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How I Learned About Awareness

Experience submitted by Laura Boeva

I had always been very intellectual. When coming across Belsebuub’s courses, it was the first time I encountered a practical approach towards spirituality. This turned out to be a hidden obstacle for a long time – the only way I was used to living life was to think about it and block feeling it.

Especially difficult ‘to get’ for me was awareness. Just focusing on the information from your five senses and being in the here and now is quite simple; too simple for me to believe there could be something profoundly spiritual about it, so it must be more complex than that, I unconsciously thought.

I remember trying really hard to concentrate and be aware, whether I was walking outside, grocery shopping, traveling on the subway, visiting a museum, etc. All I was doing was thinking about it, but I couldn’t see what I was doing wrong. I simply wasn’t able to hear, see, feel, smell, taste, or relax – I couldn’t perceive with the consciousness. In a sit-down practice maybe, for a second or two, but I couldn’t bring it to my daily life.

Luckily, there were various little experiences I was given as a help to get awareness right.

Helped to Be Free

A year or two after learning about awareness, I had been working in town and was heading home for the day. It was a long walk, a couple of hours, and I could have ridden my bike instead, but I relished this opportunity to try to practice awareness and enjoy the movement. However most of the walk went by in the usual wanderings of my mind, wondering how to get it right, etc.

I was about 10 minutes from home, getting a little tired but happy to enter my familiar forest path, when suddenly something happened within me. I felt a weight and heaviness fall away from all around my body, especially my back and shoulders. I hadn’t realised I was carrying so much weight! For a few moments I felt wonderfully calm, light, free, joyful, energetic. Especially the lightness in my physical body was amazing where I had been feeling tired before.

Helped to See

Public domain image found on Pixabay.
Public domain image found on Pixabay.

During the same summer one night, I was taking my evening awareness walk around the neighbourhood, being mostly stuck in the mind again. I was coming back, just about to turn the corner to my house, when I suddenly felt a similar energetic freedom and lightness replace the tiring thoughts and emotions.

It was joyful and exciting. I went back in and into the kitchen.

I was trying to hold onto the clarity and strength, and was looking at the reflections in the pots and pans, which I had never noticed before. I could see them crisp and clear now, because I was shown how to look with awareness.

The clarity faded after a while, and even when I tried, I couldn’t get it back. There was some way to go still before I could get to awareness on my own.

Helped to Hear

One day I was walking through my university campus, going to my next lecture. I walked through the doors in the corridor and towards the cafeteria, which was full since it was lunch hour.

Public domain image photo found on Unsplash. (Image has been modified)
Public domain image photo found on Unsplash. (Image has been modified)

I was just passing by when it felt like my ears popped, but it was like they spiritually popped. Suddenly I could hear all the sounds coming from the cafeteria – chatter, clinking glasses and plates, scraping chairs, etc.

It was incredibly loud and clear, and I was surprised – I felt like I had never fully heard a sound before, simply perceiving it and allowing it to flow through my consciousness, without commenting on it or reacting to it but just relaxing into it.

How couldn’t I have heard something so loud and obvious before? I walked by holding onto this sense of hearing, and it was a joy to perceive how the cafeteria sounds got quieter and other sounds arose as I walked to a different area.

Magical World

On another day I was walking home from the university. I had my bike with me and it would have been about a 20 minute’s ride, but I chose to walk the bike instead because 20 minutes felt like too short to take in my surroundings and enjoy the beautiful forests the road wound through.

I was about midway through the walk, trying to be aware but stuck within my mind, when suddenly everything changed in my perception. It felt like entering a magical world. Everything felt different and wonderful – it’s hard to explain how, just the flavour of everything around me became powerful and magical. I was looking at the clouds and the forest in awe, feeling like I was walking in a different dimension.

Dispelling an Obstacle

I had read about a technique for spiritual protection in Belsebuub’s Secret Knowledge, Hidden Wisdom book, so I decided to try it. As soon as I did, I remember standing in the kitchen and trying to be aware, and amazingly it felt very light and expansive, like I could freely extend my perception and hold it there. It was a clear contrast to how difficult awareness had felt before –  every time I had tried to be aware, it was like something had been pushing against my efforts, quenching my awareness. I hadn’t seen it before but now it was evident – the pressure was gone.

Conclusion

Now, years later, I know more about how awareness works. I’ve slowly trained my mind to relax and let go, trained my consciousness to perceive and hold onto the senses. I feel like what was incredible and impossible for me back then, seeing those reflections on the pans and hearing the sounds from the cafeteria, is something I can do now when I make the effort. Back then I couldn’t, even when I did make the effort. The help I received along the wayy has been an invaluable encouragement to continue trying and learning.

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23 comments
  • Thank you Laura for sharing your experiences. Your stories are inspiring especially comparing how you approached awareness in the past and now, how you managed to develop this ability.
    I can relate to a lot of your experiences and to the magic and beauty awareness moments give us. What always has inspired me mush is how through awareness we can find interesting and happiness in everyday mundane duties. This has always uplifted me.

    Lately, having to deal with many problems that have appeared all together, my minds spreads and is completely lost, it’s very difficult for me to concentrate and be aware and I lose strength. In this internal state I have noticed how terrible the annoying noise around me disturbs me, I can’t stand it at all and close my ears, unlike in the state of awareness in which we are separated from all this noise and exoteric things, it is out of us.
    Reading your stories you gave me the momentum to look back, reconsider better on what I need and reflect on my problems. Thank you and everyone for sharing your helpful comments.

    • Hi Maria,

      So nice to hear from you : )

      Thanks a lot for sharing that. That’s an interesting observation that when we are struggling with egos and can’t get to clarity, the noise around is disturbing and upsetting, while when in clarity we can detach from it. I’ve noticed that when I’m struggling with emotions and am identified with them I also get affected very easily by what is going on around me and react in an exaggerated way to something that doesn’t bother me when I have inner balance.

      I agree, it’s so inspiring that we can find sacredness and inspiration in mundane things we do every day through awareness.

      I was going for a walk the other day. I had almost completed it when I sat down in the forest to look at a flower and to ground myself a little. After a while of doing that I was looking at the base of a tree, and had a feeling as I would have felt as a child when the little hole in the tree would have been a house for my toys etc. What I’m trying to say that as children we really look at things and feel things and assimilate them into our being, and I could remember it a little in that moment, while as adults we just rush by and don’t really connect to what’s around, so lost inside our heads, even an awareness walk can go by very quickly and not so aware unless you are really trying.

      Wish you lots of light and love from the divine to be able to go through the difficulties!

  • Thanks Laura for recalling your experiences. I must have felt some of the amazement of the cafeteria sounds as it brought gladness to me too.

    After I learned about awareness from Belsebuub’s courses I used to go for walks for hours practicing it. I remember a time when I was walking home from university (a 2.5hr walk) several days a week practicing awareness. Like you, I also felt stuck in the mind and it seemed like almost impossible to get out of it. The main feedback that I remember though from the time are all the astral experiences I had from waking up in dreams. Even though I was struggling to be aware and felt like I was failing, I kept doing reality checks and was lucid in my dreams on a weekly basis.

    • Thanks for sharing Aleks. It’s great you were able to use the walks for reality checks and that it affected your awareness in dreams. I’ve been trying to do more checks lately and especially when I go for a walk I seem to remember it naturally, but I need to do it much more to make a significant impact.

  • Hello Laura,

    I really enjoyed reading your story, you’ve shared some very good moments and understanding of the work. Thanks for that.

    It’s nice to see that your making so many efforts to walk and to connect with your environment, hopefully you can continue, and also make time in the days ahead.
    I’ve experienced time when I feel completely connected to everything in nature and the peace from such moments is truly magical.

    Our slave system has so many traps to keep us asleep and in chains, most people are so time poor and tend to always rush, I’m constantly addressing this problem. The rush energy is so poisonous and needs a lot of attention, and walk are so beneficial.

    • Yes I agree, I fall into the rushing mode easily. I start to rush when I feel like I didn’t get all the things done yet that day that I wanted so I have to be quick to get them done… but then they are done with half or less of the quality and you end up in a bad state. Better to prioritise doing a few things well and consciously than a lot of things hurriedly and carelessly. And if you do something for another person in a hurried way, they can feel it even if subconsciously and it affects them, and if you do it consciously, it can have an uplifting and calming effect. I’ve often observed this effect on myself from something someone has done, or especially if it was done in a conscious way, it feels so nice.

      I’m trying to go for walks every day in nature but the time I wrote about in the article was unique because I was doing it so frequently and it had momentum. But I feel I’d like to do it more, especially go for sunrise and sunset walks as they are so uplifting. Thank you, wish you lots of strength to move ahead.

    • So true – this ‘slave system’ as you say seems to have been designed to keep us distracted, busy and running for survival. But it must only have been possible because we have this ‘rushing’ energy in us, and even it seems that we enjoy being busy. (Not that being active is a bad thing, quite the opposite, but it seems that people don’t value ‘quiet time’.) The mind loves to be consumed by things, to be constantly engaged. I saw this the other day just moving around my house. I realised my mind was just grabbing on to everything it saw and wanted to engage with it – if I was came across something that needed doing while I was in the middle of completing a task, my mind just wanted to jump on it straight away and do it, just because it was there in front of my eyes.

  • It is great that you were able to experience the real sense of hearing and seeing Laura. I feel that the reason we get these experiences is because we put an effort into our practice and I also feel as you do that that is a way of showing us how we should approach it. There were some amazing experiences I have been given too as a result of my efforts and it always struck me how easy it is to be in that state yet it’s quickly taken away from us…

    • I can relate to that Tina, when we are given the help and the experiences it feels so effortless and easy, and I can start to feel like great, I get it, I can do it now! But then when they take it away so we can learn on our own, it feels close to impossible sometimes. It’s taken me some time to understand this and understand not to feel down about it but allow it to inspire and motivate my efforts.

  • I liked the retrospecting look where you mention the contrast between how you’re able to tune into awareness now compared to how you had so much difficulty back then. What I thought was that spiritual beings at that time must’ve also had that foresight and that help seems to make so much sense now.

    I also felt remembered, felt like, and tried to practice awareness and that pure perception when reading your article. 🙂 The hearing one is very interesting because obviously our ears are hearing those things all the time, but our absorption into the subconscious daydream doesn’t let us hear it. Very telling that one.

    Once on a summery day I was drinking from a tap outside, the reflections of the water casting that yellowy light everywhere, the water itself reflecting the blue sky, green grass. Smelling a herbs from the garden. Feeling the cool water in my hands, looking at it all from a close up, as I took that sweet sip. It had that very nice ‘raw reality’ to it and was so nice. Imagine living like that all the time in everything we do.

    Hope you can make even greater leaps in your aware perception of life!

    • What you describe about that moment drinking water sounds like paradise 🙂 It makes me realize how much I’m missing in the everyday things I do just because I consider them mundane and routine that I have stopped paying attention. It is easy like Ella said above to stay caught up in the mind especially as we are in an everyday environment like doing things in the house or in the office etc. I guess it is a result of us having assimilated our environment into our psychological landscape that Belsebuub sometimes mentions in his work, and the way out of it is awareness.

      I find it pretty amazing to pay full attention to the sounds that are around me, especially when going for walks. Makes me realize how little I normally hear sounds and only listen to my thoughts. Such as, some people can’t stand noise, loud bad music, disruptive sounds going on around them and they have to get away. I don’t really even hear it, unless it’s something very loud and very bad 😮 I mean it doesn’t bother me consciously because soon I will stop hearing it from the noise of my mind if I’m not aware. But then sometimes like in a previous place we lived when the electricity used to go out, and even just the hum of all the electronic devices, air conditioners etc. suddenly went quiet, I felt relief. Or when you go to the countryside and don’t hear all that the traffic noise for once, I do sense the difference. So it must be affecting me beneath my awareness.

      It is interesting to me now how I honestly couldn’t do it all those years ago 🙂 I’m not even sure if I had hope for things improving so much that the help I was given then could be something I could reach on my own much later. Makes me feel hopeful that things I’m helped with now that seem impossible, could be things I can do on my own later if I persist.

  • Those are all absolutely beautiful examples, thank you for sharing them Laura! I really liiked the pots and pans reflections example, it reminded me the way I looked at things when drawing.

    The cafeteria sounds also sounded amazing. I found there is something about the sound, when we focus on it, things can become very spiritual somehow, even though the sounds themselves are just coming from different mundane objects/activities. I remember having a period in my life where I would be (guided maybe?) to focus on the sounds in my appartment. I remember just suddenly becoming aware of all the little everyday sounds that I used to take for granted – the sound of opening the old fridge, the sound of opening the pantry door, window, etc. They all had their distinct flavor and were characteristic sounds of that appartment. For a while, I even thought of recording them, just as we take pictures of places where we used to live, I thought recording the sounds could be a good idea too. 🙂

    It was also very nice to hear that now you can decide to be aware if you want as opposed to the former invisible obstacle.

    • That’s a neat idea, recording the sounds Lucia 🙂 That’s actually a bit of what it felt like – at school we would sometimes get these listening exercises in language class, where they would have added background sounds so you can feel the conversation is out in the street or the cafe or whatever. So I heard the cafeteria sounds a bit like that. It sounds a bit mundane but the clarity was very nice.

      I find that I have to be very focused to actually hear and be aware of the sounds around me, it doesn’t come to me naturally, like seeing things does for example. The chatter in my mind is so loud. But I agree that there is something spiritual in just hearing sounds and catching them occurring, arising and disappearing.

      I can imagine you would have to learn to look at things very closely and clearly when you’re drawing 🙂 It felt like my eyes suddenly coming to focus after being unfocused for so long. There was actually a similar feeling now that I think about it when looking at the reflections like when hearing the sounds – like resting in them, relaxing, finding a balance and a solid place to hold onto, instead of the often chaotic wanderings of the mind.

  • Oh I’ve had many of those ‘thinking about awareness’ walks too Laura! For me though, I felt like it was something that I had known naturally as a kid, and was also the reason why I was drawn to spending time alone in nature as I grew up, but as soon as I had a mental explanation of it, my mind wouldn’t let it go and churned over it (or about the spiritual work in general). It’s still very difficult just to feel present during the day, especially when around the house. Your descriptions of putting in that consistent effort are a good reminder to gently persist – I know this is where breakthroughs hide.

    You describe well the internal struggle and the feeling when you break through the multi-sensory haze. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing Ella. I was lucky to grow up in an environment where there was lots of nature around. It was in the North, so we had distinct four seasons too. I’ve come to realize that the magical feeling I still remember from some times and places, like the magic of a summer day with the sunlight through the trees and a gentle breeze, or that of a freezing cold pitch dark winter morning where the snow glitters in the street lights as I walk to school, or the crispy air of autumn, etc. were manifestations of awareness. I used to really look forward to the different seasons to feel that magic again, but couldn’t anymore as I grew up and it was disappointing, all I could feel was this tired, busy, cynical grey haze. Now I feel like I can start to connect to that feeling again through efforts in awareness.

      Gentle persistence is the thing 🙂

  • This made me want to be aware 🙂 And just notice how beautiful sounds can be, I mean even sounds that are not really beautiful, but are just nice to hear because they’re part of being alive. What you said about entering a magical world struck me. Sometimes I’ve too walked into a forest, without really seeing it at first, but suddenly the trees, the sky, everything shines out at me in a very magical way. It can be hard to leave at such times.

    • They were totally every day sounds, but I felt a power and happiness of sorts in just relaxing into the flow of them, if that makes sense 🙂 and it was supporting my awareness. Maybe because I was given that experience of hearing them clearly without being broken by thoughts or feelings. Flowing with life perhaps.

      I know what you mean. Sometimes I go out in the forest and my mind is very cloudy, but after a bit I start to realize where I am and what’s around me. Then the next step is seeing how much beauty and secret life there actually is, and that makes me yearn to connect to it more, to see it more and sense it more. Like I can feel there is much more out there but my internal state is what limits my perception of it.

      • I like that, the thought of there being beautiful secrets to discover all around us. Right now. Just need to see them 🙂

  • Those sound like some really powerful experiences in waking up to your different senses, Laura. I certainly know many of the struggles involved when awareness is done through the mind. There is such a contrast between a mental awareness and actually perceiving the world with a given sense.

    I really liked your experience in hearing the cafeteria and the sounds of your environment. I’d also like to have my ears pop (spiritually) so I can hear with that level of clarity and intensity!

    Your dedication in going for such long walks to practice awareness is inspiring and I think that’s what I should do. Right now! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Yes, I was walking a lot during that time. Not only dedicated awareness walks around my neighbourhood, but also walking to places I had to be if at all possible. It was really nice also in the sense of connecting with nature, with different times of day, different seasons etc. There is lots more time to do that when walking than even when riding the bike. There is such a beauty in just observing these things, and then of course the more you sincerely and persistently try the more you learn.

      Actually I had an experience in a semi-lucid dream recently, where I spent a long time trying to call a spiritual being. They weren’t showing up, but instead of being frustrated, defeated etc. I felt a kind of joy in just continuing my efforts with an open mind, without expectations. I felt it was ok to continue as long as I needed to get a result. I feel like this is a good attitude for me to have when trying spiritual practices.

      Hope you had a great walk! 😉

      • Thanks, Laura. It was a rather nice walk the other night.

        I’m quite fortunate in that I live within walking distance to everything: groceries, the university where I work, the restaurants I eat at, etc. I think walking has to be my favourite mode of transportation and it does afford an appreciation for the beauty of the surroundings, etc.

        A lot of patience is required in calling spiritual beings, it seems. I think that’s a great attitude in just continuing with your efforts to call 🙂

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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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