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One of the valuable skills in meditation is called open awareness, where you rest in the awareness of awareness. You can then approach situations with fresh eyes, and let go of your habitual reactions and expectations for the future.
Some find that being aware of awareness is confusing or even bizarre.
However, upon further reflection, they consider it very peaceful.
Social neuroscientists found when practicing open awareness meditation, Gamma waves that usually occur briefly and in one spot of the brain are elevated all across the brain. It makes you feel a sense of vastness and spaciousness.
We typically see the world through a set of filters that can limit our experience and keep us stuck in painful patterns of emotion.
Filters help us anticipate what is going to happen next and influence the information our brains receive. When we begin to filter too much, we lose touch with the beginner's mind that is open and without preconceptions.
Major growth can occur when we give up some of the filters that arise in our lives - whether those filters are our expectations of the future, our biases about other people, or the limitations we place on ourselves.
One way to relax our filters is to cultivate access to our inner selves. The other is to have a sense of humor about who we are.
When we have a sense of humor about who we are, it opens awareness and connection with others.
Jokes are funny because they move in an unexpected direction - not where our filters expected it to go. At that moment, we deal with something our filters never saw coming. It opens us up to new learning and more openness.
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