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Stabilizing your pyramid of consciousness

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What is the simplest, stabl-est and most basic way to stabilize your mind and attention? The article below explores one answer to this in a practical way.

In the stability,


Stabilizing your pyramid of

Within your field of awareness, you have three basic areas; your senses, your feelings and your thoughts. Of these, which do you imagine is the most stable and reliable? Which of these three moves slowest and is the most predictable? If you watch for a while, you will see clearly from experience that the answer to this is your senses. The mind and emotions can move and change very quickly and unpredictably. Your physical awareness and senses however are much slower moving. For example, if you bring your attention to the sensation of your physical body over a one minute period, you’ll see that it remains fairly constant, even as your mind moves here and there, and your moods shift.

Anchoring your attention to your senses
In mindfulness terms then, if you want to establish basic stability in this moment, the obvious place to go is to your physical body and senses. You can use them as an anchor for your attention. If you think about your attention as like a boat, and your thoughts and feelings as being like the waves, wind and other moving conditions around the boat. Your body and senses then become like the anchor that keeps the boat in one place. You don’t even need to try too hard still your mind and feelings. Just keep coming back to the anchor of your body, and you’ll find this gives you the basic ‘weight’ and stability for a sense of calm to start to come into your mind.

The weight of your body
I find it particularly useful to focus on the weight and solidity of my body. In particular the sensation of the weight where my body is on contact with the floor or surface where it is sitting or standing. So, if you are standing, that would be the soles of your feet, or if you are sitting it’s the back of your legs and butt that is on contact with the seat. If you like you can focus on the weight of your body as you inhale and then feel the tension in your upper body flowing down into the floor through that contact point as you exhale.

Your pyramid of consciousness 
If you think about your consciousness as being like pyramid, with your senses as the broad base, your mind and emotions as the mid-section, and consciousness itself as the top tip (see the article diagram). In this exercise, we are focusing upon stabilizing the ‘base’ of our pyramid by paying attention to the weight of the body. If the base is stable, then everything above it is going to feel basically strong and stable, even when your under pressure.

You don’t need perfect concentration!
Even if as you are focusing on the weight of your body you are only able to concentrate 10-20% of your attention on it, then that is still 10-20% more stability and centre than you have when your lost in your thoughts and feelings. What’s more, if you lose focus on the weight of the body, its very easy to find again, as it is such a simple, obvious sensation. When you have a sensory ‘anchor’ for your consciousness, then even if you ‘get lost’ its easy to find centre again!

This week you might like to spend a few minutes each day ‘stabilizing the pyramid of your consciousness’ by paying attention to the weight of your body.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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