While reading, this paragraph made me think of my past experience:
“If you are not familiar with “inner body” awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don’t ask your mind. It will say, “I can’t feel anything.” Probably it will also say, “Give me something more interesting to think about.” So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. you may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won’t even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their “inner hands” at the same times as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body – legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on – into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness.”
When I was in High School, Father Emmanuel Escaňo demonstrated this exercise during our retreat in Baguio City in 1998. He asked us to close our eyes, relax our muscles, and focus our attention to the “light” inside our head down to the different parts of our body and limbs. As he guided us, there was instrumental music background. I don’t remember if he talked about God’s presence or made us aware of the tingling sensation or any feeling while we were doing it except that he wanted or rather expected us to feel alive after we opened our eyes. I noticed most of my classmates smiled while others took a deep breath. Thinking too, I didn’t feel anything different and I was trying to convince myself that I felt better. Perhaps, I have been aware of my Being even before I was given a chance to find myself.
If I’m not mistaken, I have been thinking (aware / being conscious) about my Being (existence not as a person but a creature where there are countless life and lifeless forms all around). Some times in my early life, while travelling or before falling asleep, I saw myself as a dot or a light. From an aerial view, it instantly flashes outward from my location to the world, the stars, the universe, and beyond. After seeing myself as part of God’s creation I started to ask these questions: What on earth am I here for? What is my role in this world full of so many different creatures and creations? Why did God create me? Why do I exist? What am I in this world? Who am I for God? What am I living for? Why are there many people on earth and I am one of them? Is there a God? Is He really the source of everything? Will I ever see Him?
Surprisingly, the answer is too simple yet difficult to fathom – I have a purpose. This remained an enigma until I have read the book, entitled Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren which was given to as a birthday present in 2004. After six years, I finally had the chance to have a clearer view of what this purpose is all about. I believe, if not hope, that I will be able to achieve my purpose in life (easier) for I have found an affirmation on the discovery of my awareness that made me aware of my unconsciousness from the life-changing revelations of Eckhart Tolle found in his book entitled A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
I cannot claim this moment as my spiritual turning point for two reasons: first, I have always been living my principle of practicing what is good in the eyes of God as I follow Christ’s examples, though not as perfectly as what my ideals are; and second, I have not started making a significant effort to enhance my “purpose-driven” life.