Over the next 11 blog posts, we will look at one of the 11 principles of awareness, which we link with the Sefirot of the Tree of Life. We start at the bottom and work our way up—ascending in awareness.
The most basic awareness principle is to pay attention to what shows up—which includes who shows up. At this level, we may not be asking the how and why questions—just noticing the what and the who.
A practical guide
A practice easily developed is to receive the message: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” and carry it with you, as a mantra, on the road you travel, the lanes you cross, and the exit ramps you take throughout your daily life.
Physicists explain the need for the imprinting of this message on the passenger side mirror because of the angle and distance from the car’s driver—the convexity of the mirror lessens the size of the blind spots and at the same time diminishes the size of what is viewed. Our brains interpret size as a measure of distance—the smaller an object the further away it is—hence the warning.
But why choose the word “objects” and not “vehicles?” What objects other than vehicles would be closer than they appear? Perhaps that is why the lesson from the message placed on this mirror is so well understood as a metaphor, as a teaching tool for awareness.
Entering the practice of awareness
To enter the practice of awareness, first, take a good look in the mirror to see who and what is showing up—these are the lessons for your growth. Even those “objects” that appear small and further away require your examination. They are much closer than they appear.
What showed up in my mirror this past week was the offer of a free ping pong table, an unexpected and profound conversation with a neighbor, a student’s unresolved grief from fifty years ago, a question about what is beyond thought, stubbornness in the face of another’s immaturity, immaturity in the face of another’s stubbornness, autoimmune diseases, not getting Hamilton tickets, and the list goes on.
There are so many objects that pass by my passenger side mirror, some whizzing by so fast it would be dizzying to recollect the makes and models of each. When it comes to the myriad of experiences, the whats and whos of this past week, I am admittedly a bit overwhelmed and yet very grateful for how each one reflects the growth in awareness that lies ahead.
Take time each day—or at least once a week—to reflect on the mirror of your life. This is the basis for all other awareness practice.