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So, part 1 of this introductory practice will involve the following.

In a minute,

I’m going to give you some basic mindfulness practice instructions. I’d like you to try

these for the next 30 days or so. These will involve getting you in touch with the pure

Witness, or your true selfless Self, and help you dis-identify with any finite, temporal,

self-contracted objects. This first step in Integral Mindfulness practice will help open

you both to higher levels of Growing Up, as well as to the last and highest stage of

mindfulness, that of nondual unity consciousness. In the following presentations, we will

also indeed take up precisely those stages of Growing Up, an Integral Mindfulness of

each, and the final stage of mindfulness, namely, unity consciousness or the Supreme

Identity. So we have quite a venture ready for us!

Okay, step one, practice resting in pure Witnessing awareness, or pure

mindfulness. This is something that you will want to do as a formal practice for a set
period of time once or twice a day, and then randomly throughout the day whenever the

thought strikes you. The formal practice is, with one exception, quite similar to the way

mindfulness is usually practiced by any number of teachers and schools.

Simply sit in a comfortable position, relax the mind and body, and then bring

attention to bear on the present moment, whatever is arising. Start by sitting on the floor,

and loosely cross your legs, or sit in the standard lotus posture; place your hands face up

on top of each other and rest them in your lap, or put one hand facing down on each knee;

or sit in a chair, feet on the floor, spine erect, and hands in one of those two positions.

Then simply rest with attention focused on the now moment, and with calm clarity, notice

whatever is happening to you, both inwardly and outwardly. Usually, you will be

instructed to pay attention to one particular item at a time—breathing is by far the most

common. The idea here is to be aware of your breath as you breathe in, then notice the

pause, then pay attention to the breathing out, again the pause, the following in breath,

and so on. If you lose track—if you find your mind wandering somewhere else

(something annoying at work last week, or an exciting event happening tomorrow, or

difficulties in your present relationship), just gently drop those thoughts and return to

following the breath.

Now, we will come back, in a later practice, to using the breath. For this

beginning stage in our practice, simply be aware of whatever it is that arises—but

definitely remain Aware, resting in the ever-present Now-moment. What this is really

doing, you can probably see, is having you rest your awareness in the position of the

Witness in the timeless Present. You are resting as pure Awareness, and you are being

Awareness itself as it is Aware of any of its contents. You are Awareness, but NOT any
of its contents—neti, net, “not this, not that.” You are resting as the pure Witness, aware

of any and all objects that are arising. Simply rest as that Witness in the Now—that’s the

practice. Do this for 10 to 40 minutes once or twice a day, and then randomly throughout

the day when the thought strikes you.

We mentioned that many mindfulness practices have you attempt to be aware of

the present Now moment, focusing your awareness ON the present moment. You can

indeed do that. But Integral recommends that you also notice, whenever you can, that

you are already aware only of the Now moment anyway. As you give Awareness to the

Now moment, and your mind begins to think of something that happened yesterday, let

it—that’s right, LET IT—just also see that those yesterday-thoughts are arising in the

present Now moment—and you are their Witness. So where most conventional

mindfulness approaches will have you try to train your awareness to be in the simple

witnessing state paying attention to just the present moment, Integral Mindfulness

reminds you that the Witnessing state is actually an ever-present state—you are already,

without any effort at all, spontaneously Witnessing everything that is arising moment to

moment—you are aware of those birds signing, you see the clouds floating in the sky,

you hear traffic sounds and noises all around you, without any effort at all, and this is

always happening in an unending timeless Present Now-moment, a timeless Present that

includes thoughts of yesterday, thoughts of the present passing moment, and thoughts of

tomorrow—past, present, and future are all already embraced by the real, present,

timeless Now. So the state of mindfulness is not something you have to work hard to get

into, it’s something impossible to avoid.

But, of course, you can be mindful of your ever-present mindfulness, or you can

be forgetful of it. And so as you rest in the timeless-Now Witness, simply make note of

the fact that some part of you was already witnessing even before you noticed that. It’s

impossible that you can’t get into a state of mindfulness—just notice that which is

already aware of the present moment, and just that is ever-present mindfulness. So

consciously rest in that mindfulness, and then make note of all the objects that are arising

in that ever-present Field of Awareness, that pure Witness, that Absolute Subjectivity,

that Mirror-Mind, that pure I AMness.

So, as noted, do this conscious practice for 10 to 40 minutes, once or twice a day.

I recommend starting slow—say, 15 minutes once a day—and then expand that if—and

only if—you really enjoy that practice. If it’s not your favorite activity, don’t worry—

just do it for 10 or 15 minutes once a day—that alone will be strong enough to have some

very significant effects, especially since you are doing what we called “conscious

mindfulness,” or not only resting in the pure timeless Witness, but noticing that that

Witness has been there all along. It’s the ever-presentness of the Present Witness that

you are resting in, and that you can’t avoid even if you wanted to—that’s the key point.

We’re looking for the all-inclusive, ever-present Present (the Big Present which includes

thoughts and images of past and present and future), not the exclusive, narrow, passing

present (which is the narrow present that excludes past and future).

The Christian mystics make an important distinction between what they call the

nunc fluens and the nunc stans. The nunc fluens is the passing present, split off from the

past and from the future, like a slab of luncheon meat between two slices of bread. This

is the present you can get in touch with by trying to “be here now” or practice “living in
the now.” But the nunc stans is the standing present, the timeless Present, the pure

all-pervading Present that includes thoughts of the past, thoughts of the passing present,

and thoughts of the future, and is already what you are actually doing. So “conscious

mindfulness” is recognizing that you are already in the state of the Witness, and the

Witness is always in the ever-present Now-moment—and then, from that recognized

ever-present state, simply watch or Witness whatever is arising, passing present to

passing present to passing present (as well as any thoughts of past and future—as long as

you stay conscious or aware that they are arising in this ever-present Present).

In addition to your formal meditation sessions, do this throughout the day

whenever the thought strikes you (that is, recognize your own ever-present Witness or I

AMness in the timeless Now). You will probably find it especially helpful to do this if

you get into states or situations that are particularly uncomfortable—anxiety, fear,

depression, envy. In those cases, simply remember that you are “neti, neti”—you are

“not this, not that.” Your True Self, your pure Witness, has the attitude, “Anxiety is

present, but I am not anxiety; fear if present, but I am not fear; depression is present, but I

am not depression.” This practice of dis-identification will in many cases almost

immediately release you from the negative feelings you are having, and allow you to

recognize that vast, open, empty, free Clearing or Spaciousness that is your true

Condition. And that, of course, is one of the primary goals of this practice—although

“goal” is not quite the right word, since it is an ever-present Condition, but by now, I

think you know what I mean. You can probably already start to see that one of the results

of this practice is a sense of a virtually infinite, unlimited, and boundless Freedom. Your
True Self or pure Witness is radically Free of Everything that is arising—and in the core

of your being, you ARE that timeless, eternal Freedom—yes?

So that’s the practice until we meet again. Okay, great. I’m sending you the very

best wishes and Godspeed for this endeavor, and I look forward to being with you again

very soon. This is Ken, saying thank you.