Consciousness… Week 01

a Moment for Wisdom…


A Moment for…


“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Blaise Pascal 



Personal Wisdom:


Do you have a regular meditation/ contemplation practice?


Where do you feel most caught up in the “busyness” of life?  What control do you
have over that “busyness”?


What are the conditions that are conducive to meditation?  What are the least conducive conditions?


Societal Wisdom:





a Moment with Sharif…




I had to think about this one for a bit!


My first reaction was to disagree.  I believe that all of our problems stem from our belief and actions regarding exclusivity, the notion that “I AM SEPARATE” from all others.  Then, as I began to consider the quote, I realized that we are saying the same thing.


When you consider our “busyness”, the hectic nature of our lives, you can see that many of us are unable to be still.  Many of us find it difficult to be alone with just ourselves for company.  This means that we are unable to practice the most important kind of inclusivity: the practice of inclusivity with oneself.


A few decades ago, the first thing I did when I walked into my apartment was turn on the television.  My excuse was that I was going to “catch the news” (that was in the days before 24 hour, non-stop “info-tainment”).  The reality was that I found it difficult to simply be with myself.


This habit was compounded by the fact that I was a regular meditator!  I would do my
prayers and meditations, the way a person plunges into an icy stream – with every intention to get OUT!


Even after silencing the television and relaxing into my meditation, there was a constant stream of thoughts, ideas, fantasies and illusions floating through my head.While it looked like I was still, inside I was buzzing at Warp Factor Eight.


Meditation really means to still the chattering mind – not just sit in a certain posture for a certain number of minutes. 


But… back to the quote: how does this become “all man’s miseries”?


If we were able to truly be with ourselves, to be with our stillness, we would on the road to self-awareness and self-fulfillment.  And, if we are fulfilled, what need would we have for any of the negative human qualities: violence, greed, oppression?  If we are fulfilled, we would experience balance and compassion. 

If we are in balance, we will not be afraid of another – even if that Other is trying to take something away from us, or “hurt” us in some way.  If we are still, we can rise above the hurt.







Consciousness Exercises:


This week’s “Consciousness” exercises: 


  1.  This week, change your meditation practice in some way.  If you sit in the lotus
    position, try sitting in a chair, or lying down.  If you meditate for 30 minutes,
    try two 15 minute meditations.If you use a timer, do without (or vice versa).

 The purpose of this exercise is to see if your stillness is dependent on your habits and positions.  Ultimately, we must be able to have a meditative attitude under all circumstances and conditions, not just the “ideal” conditions of our choosing.


  1. Identify for yourself the LEAST quiet moments in your life.  Identify the top five
    recurring “awareness stealers”.For each one, identify:
    1. What about it makes it distracting?
    2. Are other people involved?Who?
    3. What control can your exercise over the situation?
    4. What do you intend to do about it?

 The purpose of this exercise is for you to become more aware of your own consciousness, aware of those moments when you are more (or less) conscious, and aware of your power in your own environment to make change that is for your own good and the good of all.






All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.








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6 Responses to Consciousness… Week 01

  1. Thatgreg Guy says:

    My first reaction was to disagree as well. I follow your thinking. I want to jump in and try the meditation practice, but I must first take care of the process I was in before I clicked on this–otherwise it will that much harder to still my mind.

  2. Jeanne Nyquist says:

    S – I like the new format and the exercises.

  3. More of us are moving form orthodoxy to orthopraxy. Stillness is a challenge in a busy world. Simple disciplines like meditation are necessary to avoid getting “caught up” in busyness. Thank you for the gentle reminders.

    By the way, with some reflection, we discover that Paschal was right. As the Tao Te Ching suggests, (stillness) requires us to sit in the center of the wheel and “be” without giving in to our compulsion to “do”.

    • Sharif says:

      Yes… “and” (which is “but” spelled with different letters), this is one of the hardest things for me to accomplish! I’m fully aware that my “doing” can and should come from my “being”. And… (see above) its hard to resist the temptation to “do” something!

      This is especially true when I perceive that I am operating well under my capacity. Picture Tiger Woods playing “Putt-Putt” golf. How fulfilling would that be for him?

      Thanks for the thoughts!



  4. Chuck Willis says:

    Hello Sharif and All,

    “If we are in balance, we will not be afraid of another – even if that Other is trying to take something away from us, or “hurt” us in some way. If we are still, we can rise above the hurt.”

    I agree that our (evolutionary) “work” (or healing) lies within us, and it is in stillness that we can focus upon that work. I agree that meditation, and contemplation (as described in the Gene Keys), places our feet firmly upon the inward path and leads us to an ever greater realization of our Essence, bringing inner peace and balance which we then bring into any external situation as our presence.

    And, … our fears are genetically encoded within us (Bruce Lipton; Gene Keys; Ho’oponopono) handed down to us (as a gift) over millennia. We react in archetypal ways, outwardly, in accordance with the “re-playing” of these old, outdated memories whenever they are triggered by external life events. It is only through our deliberate intention to confront, embrace, and transform (through absorption into the light of our Essence by Grace) these fears that we can “rise above” (integrate and transform) them. This takes (most of us) TIME! Lots of time! And, patience. And, practice!

    Hence, the value of your gifts and teaching. We’er OK … and, we have our work to do. We’re going to be all right.

    Love to All!


  5. Holly Wells says:

    LOVE your new format, especially the thematic organization and the clear integration of the exercises into each entry. I’m going to note your “re-start” on my blog,, as soon as you have an entry page URL ready for me to link to. It will be great to see you tonight at NTCSL.

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