How To Wake Up And Quit Walking Like a Zombie

 walking meditation

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” – Henry David Thoreau

 Even While Awake Everybody Sleeping

Living here in Asia, I walk a lot. I don’t have a car, so I mainly use my cute little bike to get me around. One of my favorite things to do while I am out and about is to people watch.

As I make my way through a sea of people, the looks on people faces, and the quality of the look in their eyes let’s me know that although they are awake and moving around, inwardly/psychologically most people are fast asleep.

They are hypnotized by the contents of their mind. And just like someone who has been hypnotized by a hypnotist they are largely unaware of their surroundings and what state they are are really in. It feels perfectly natural.

Only when something comes along, such as a scooter, or me,  and almost run over their foot do they temporarily jolt themselves out of their day dream, but will quickly fall back asleep.

It’s Time We Wake Up and Live Our Lives

The biggest obstacle is that you won’t try to “wake up” when you already think you are awake. Our bodies may be awake, but inside we are still asleep and dreaming. Real life Zombies.

This is the source of all strife on our planet. We aren’t awake. If we were all really awake and conscious, we wouldn’t participate in behaviour that would harm ourselves and our neighbors.

As we are we live mainly in a conceptual world, and thus become identified to a false self created through our imaginations. We need to wake up and realize our higher nature that dwells within us. Our True Self is capable of perceiving reality and seeing things as they are.

Below I will present a simple exercise that will help you get a taste of awakening to a higher reality. It attempts to break the spell that we are under. Don’t let its simplicity fool you. If done with earnestness there is the possibility that you will grasp something that will change you forever. Once you get a glimpse it is enough to set you down a path to uncover the very fabric of reality.

Walking Meditation: How To Quit Being a Zombie

  • Be alone in a room,one where you will have no distractions.
  • Walk from one starting point to the opposite side, turn around, pause for a bit and walk back to where you started.
  • On the first half of the trip, let your mind think whatever it wants, you can be aware of your thoughts, just don’t try to direct them, don’t fight them, or judge them in any way. Just watch them.
  • On second leg of the trip, don’t think at all, your not going to let your mind wander at all, if a thought creeps in, push it aside, try to remain aware and alert of your inner state. Focus on the sensation of your bodies movements. When intruding thoughts come in gently go back to sensing your body, and to intuitively knowing that you are walking back. Just get a sensing (not thinking) that there is a physical body moving back in forth in that room. Be careful it is very subtle and easy to just think that you are being aware. The purpose of this second trip is to work hard at understanding what it is to be a truly conscious human being.
  • When you pause do it long enough to remind your self what you are supposed to be doing, because quite easily you will forget. Do everything in a relaxed manner, don’t be stiff with your movements.

You need to “know” that you are walking back and forth without mentally saying to yourself you are walking back and forth. Try to intuit it, realize your state of just going back and forth. Just know what is happening to you in that room. Don’t let your false self back into the picture of adding its additional commentary.

The purpose of this exercise by doing it over and over is two detect the difference between these two distinct states of being.

It may not come to you first time you try it. Keep at it, because this will open up a whole new world for you.

On your first mental trip you may start wondering what it’s all about. You will encounter thoughts such as, “I wonder if I am doing this right”. That’s all right, but just “know” that your thinking, don’t become identified to your thought process.

Realize who you really are is the awareness that is aware of thinking the thoughts. Stand aside with a passive alertness. Notice the sudden shifts of your attention.

For a long time your normal compulsive thinking will be in charge of you.

One day, while you are on your second lap, something will come to you. You’ve been trying to not think, but to allow a pure consciousness to be with you while you cross.

You will realize that there really is a different kind of “me” than the usual “mental” me, which we all usually derive our sense of self from. This will be a taste of grace descending. An awareness beyond any verbal description I can give.

It was the mental you who took the first trip, and now you are aware of that first trip, because you are on that second trip trying to become aware of everything, your attention on the second trip is not centered around the mental “me”. You will begin to have contrast and understand that there is a completely different way of living. A much more graceful way to move through life. One which is much more free and joyful.

This will give you a glimpse of living an awakened life. See you on the other side. Peace and love.

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4 Responses to How To Wake Up And Quit Walking Like a Zombie

  1. Great post Ivan! Feels good to know there’s something I can apply practically to help me on the journey of knowing myself.

    Honestly, I thought that the whole point of this blog was to get you to the description of what you said about taking the 1st trip (being aware of your thoughts without judgement/being a witness, etc.)

    Wouldn’t the second trip that you described (pushing your thouhts away) still involve thinking? And could those thoughts come back much stronger sense you are repressing them? I’m only asking because it seemed that you implied that you would want to exist like this all the time.

    Having said that, my friend and I were having a conversation about this topic the other day.

    He seemed to think that if the real you is awareness, then basically you (awareness) is subject to whatever your ego wants to think about it (whether it’s enlightenmnet/money/junkfood, etc).

    Because your mind/ego will decide where to place your awareness.

    So, if you’re brain is addicted to sugary foods, obviously in that moment of temptation, your brain/ego is going to want to focus on sugary foods, and it’s not going to want to focus on healthy foods.

    So are what people choose to be aware of dictated by their ego/mind?? And if so, how do you actually change?

    I’m just asking this becuase I’ve been struggling with healthy eating for a long time now, and I’ve been trying to overcome those temptations. ANd it’s about 50/50 whether or not I give in. I’m sure there’s lots of people out there who struggle with the same problem. So, I’d really enjoy it if you could write a post on how to overcome temptation consistently.

    Anways, keep up the good work!

    Ted

    • Hello Ted, thanks for the thoughtful comment. Glad to hear your really putting in some work. Sorry for the late reply, quite busy these day’s.

      It would take several posts to address your questions. But let me try to address the essence of it.

      Yes, the first leg is important, because like you said I emphasize the importance of learning to passively observe your thought process. This is the first stage in becoming less-identified to the mind. You need to understand that identification is a relative thing. You can be either more or less identified. When you begin to observe you will see how at different times it is easier to observe than others. You need to learn to observe the full swing of the pendulum of your emotions. Seeing how you are happy one moment and eventually swinging to the other side of being depressed. Otherwise your observations are incomplete. Seeing the full swing, means you are becoming stronger inside.

      The purpose of the second trip was to get you out of thinking all together for a bit so you could create some contrast of what if feels like to not think, yet still be able to function. To just be fully aware of your inner and outer world without having your attention being focused on any particular object. Kind of like a diffused awareness that is able to recognize it’s existence in the present moment, but being outside the field of thought.

      You need to understand awareness is not thinking. When you are still really strongly identified to your thoughts, you may start to observe…but will very quickly become identified, and then you will only be thinking that you are observing. That’s why your observations always need to be grounded in bodily sensation, otherwise it quickly just turns into mental gymnastics.

      Who cares whatever your monkey mind thinks, you need to learn to look at it and just smile at it, and remember to know you are not it. It only causes problems when you say “I” to it.

      Look at anything that is causing you psychological discomfort and you will see that the cause is that you are still identifying with your false self. Only the false self really suffers. Your false self will do everything in it’s power to get you to identify with it, because it knows it will die if shine enough awareness on it.

      Just try this exercise all the time, let me know if a light bulb goes off. The purpose is wake you up long enough that your recognize awareness for what it is and not put a label on it. Acting from this place, is living intuitively, living intuitively you will be much closer to your true self. Your true self is always happy, always content, because it is always in the moment. You act from a spontaneous space. Anytime you resist the moment you start identifying with the false self (with your thoughts).

      As you let more light in through self-observation…your temptations will begin to lose their grip on you.
      Ivan´s last blog post ..Water Is Life: The Story of LifeSoap

  2. Your posts are always so insightful Ivan! I wish more people would be interested in learning more about these ideas. Keep up the good work, you help me tremendously.

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