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2017 PROGRAMS


May 7-12 Will Kabat-Zinn and


Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teachers Cultivate mindfulness in your daily life


May 21-26


Sharon Landrith Dharma heir of Adyashanti Awaken to your true nature in silent retreat


June 9-11 Harville Hendrix and


Helen LaKelly Hunt Cocreators of Imago Therapy Learn to get the love you want


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Tara Brach Author of True Refuge Access wisdom and peace within


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Brian Weiss, MD Past-life regression therapy expert Discover the power of past-life memories


September 22-29 Adyashanti


American-born spiritual teacher Explore the heart of spirituality


inspiration


A Simple Gaze Invokes the Infinite by Sandy C. Newbigging


SKY HIGH I


magine being outside on a sunny day, looking at a clear, blue sky. It’s natural to feel calm and wonderful while contemplating this expansive view. Then a solitary bird flies across our field of vision. Notic- ing it takes our attention away from the stillness of the sky to instead track its movement as it flies by. Then we start think- ing about the bird: “I wonder where it’s coming from and going? Why is it alone? Has it lost its mate?” At that point, we are no longer feeling calm, but concerned. Inside of each of us, right now, there is a “big blue sky”


of awareness with all kinds of “birds” flying around, includ- ing thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and anything in the external world that catches our attention. Attaining a consistent inner calm is possible by learning to be more interested in and attentive to the conscious aware- ness that is calmly observing what’s going on in our thinking, emotions, bodily sensations and life. We can live permanently engaged with this awareness and the inner dominion it con- tains instead of being helplessly caught up in the content of our own or others’ thinking or emotion, which are often condi- tioned by the world to be more negative than positive. As we mature in this skill, we discover that such aware-


ness is always still, silent, peaceful, powerful, unlimited and infinite. It reflects who we really are as opposed to who we think we are. Through practice, it becomes our natural way of being and we awake to an excellent way of living To experience this, try the Gently Alert Attention Wide


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Open (GAAWO) technique. Look at something that’s straight ahead while simultaneously letting the gaze gently open up wider, looking neither left nor right, using passive periph- eral vision. Now do the same with up and down, so gentle alertness encompasses an even greater scope. As we do this, we will likely notice that our thoughts are stilled and we feel more present, calm and quiet than a moment earlier. This simple technique works for everyone. By playing with it regularly, we can discover that a sense of peace never leaves us; rather, we leave our innate, peaceful center when we focus on and feel the to and fro movements of our mind. Exchanging typical thinking for staying in a conscious state of awareness helps us to unchain our being from limiting views and perspectives, so that we live more freely.


Sandy C. Newbigging is the creator of Calmology principles and techniques, including the transformative GAAWO. He offers a 12-week Calmology foundation course at CalmClan.com. Connect at SandyNewbigging.com.


Iakov Kalinin/Shutterstock.com


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