Developing Awareness

How often do you pause and ask yourself “How aware am I of my present moment?” Often we are so busy thinking of the past and the opportunities we have missed or speculating about events that we imagine may happen in the future that we pay no attention to where we are now, at best this is a diversion and at worst this develops into states of depression and anxiety which can make life seem to be an unbearable burden. How can we create a better healthier life and relieve the burden? Often we attempt to correct our failures by persisting in the behaviour that got us there,  we adopt the book margin philosophy of “Must Try Harder” but rather than improvement we find ourselves more frustrated but the Mind tells us that this is progress and we have not heard the saying “the fool who persists in his folly will become wise!” Or if we have we have mistakenly used this to justify our position, what we have missed is rest of the story that reveals that it is only when the fool realises the folly and changes his approach that he learns from the experience. It is due to our lack of attention and selective approach to learning that we limit our options and opportunities in life, in Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) there is a axiom which sums up the situation “Keep on doing what your doing and you will get more of what you got” of course we listen to this and think ‘ Well of course but I would never be so stupid!” Unfotunately the Mind is a master of deception and will convince us that because we are doing something seemingly intelligent that it does not apply to us, however a golden cage no matter how wonderful remains a cage. However there is hope in our current situation, developments in the field of psychotherapy in the last 30 year’s have lead to a reintegration of eastern psychological understanding which provides effective tools for dealing with the crisis many people find themselves in. The two major contributors to this are ACT and Human Givens Approach. Both of these systems are empirically researched and tested and make use of constant monitoring and development of the practitioners as well as making extensive use of Mindfullness and metaphors as a means of increasing the clients awareness.

In the past mindfulness or being present was described in often very esoteric terms the reason for this are a matter for history to record but serve little purpose in our current time, the need is for a simple method and understanding that can be applied in todays frenetic world.  Let us begin with a simple demonstration, below are two photographs rather like a spot the difference game, the task is to take note of as much detail as possible while also allowing yourself to experience and notice events in your environment, body and mind, allow your attention to drift between the two pictures and feeling your inner and outer world.  There is no right or wrong way to do this just allow yourself to take note and allow each experience to come and go.

Try this for about 5 mins, remember to be comfortable , you can try this each day and compare how you feel after a week.



By Jonathan Varty

On “Being” a Tree…

The Tree rooted deep in the ground reaches its branches to the sky, not striving it creates its place and holds fast, giving food and shelter to all. Never withholding it’s essence it breathes life, absorbing the suns light.
Content not complaining, wasting nothing. Just being!

– no one special…

The great mystic Rumi once said…”Every step leads away from the place where the object of the search lies.”

This is the essence of the pathless path he also said “The Way goes in.”

Practising Mindfullness we learn to go in while looking out without grasping The Observing Self acknowledges the mystery but makes no attempt to solve it, content like the Tree to root itself in the present  giving its transformational powers without judgement.