We see a beautiful rainbow, mountains, sky, flowers etc. and the next time we see it, it has lost its impact. As humans we quickly habituate to what we experience. This may reflect a primitive biologic need for survival. If we become too engrossed in what we are experiencing we are no longer vigilant to a potential threat. We also make the assumption that it is the same and we know what it is. We become bored. “Nothing new here!” Unfortunately, we miss out on a lot. Just listen to people who have a life threatening illness with a shortened life span. They may often experience an appreciation and joy for every moment that they never had before. What is different? The way they view and are present for the moment! We have all experienced the awe of a majestic moment that seems greater than our human condition. Is it possible to see the awe in everyday experience that on the surface lacks the majesty of the vastness of one’s awe filled moments?
I believe it requires the cultivation of two components. First, we need to be aware of what is present. Conventionally we are not present to what we are experiencing. We multitask, always looking for the next sensory “hit.” We need to slow down. Focus on what we are experiencing. Be aware of what we are aware of. When we have the capacity to have continual awareness of what we are doing in the present moment, this helps to shut down the mental interpretation, amplification and rumination. We short circuit the default mode network of selfing.
Next there needs to be a cultivation of developing a different way to view experience. Value is not inherent to what is being experienced. It is superimposed by us onto what we are in relationship with. Initially we need to look for what is unique with what we are experiencing. Nothing is the same. Can we see the beauty manifesting in all that we experience? Can we see the interconnectedness of existence reflected in what we encounter? Can this be a reminder to have gratitude for one’s capacity to be able to be aware? Can we rejoice in being reminded of the fact that we are alive in this human existence moment to moment? Can we delight in the discovery of what is being revealed to us?
With every experience reflect:
“How can I look to see how Awe Full this moment is?“
by Dr. Phil Blustein
May 4, 2023