Focused, Scattered and Diffused Awareness
Another characteristic of awareness is that you can direct it in various ways with your thoughts. If I say “focus your awareness on the sensations in your left eye” you can probably notice some sensations. (Try that now.) That’s pretty focused.
“Now expand your awareness to include both eyes.” You can easily do this, although most of the time we don’t have much body awareness except when we focus on it or have pain. That's a wider focus of awareness.
Most of the time our awareness gets scattered in various places. We think of something or someone, and our awareness goes there. We hear a noise and shift the focus of our awareness to it, but it's hard to be two places (be aware of two different things) at once. Someone calls us and asks us to work on a project and so on. After a few minutes or hours our awareness has scattered in many places and we may find it more difficult to focus our awareness on a single thing.
People who have practiced certain types of meditation, particularly mindfulness approaches, can develop more diffused awareness. Awareness is spread out more evenly throughout body consciousness, and as thoughts and sensations arise, they are included without necessarily losing the overall focus.
Learning to observe these three aspects of awareness, focused, scattered and diffused, is a helpful practice. We can begin to see how our awareness affects our day-to-day experience of life, and how our energy level and awareness are interrelated.
Now, if you feel ready, we can explore how awareness is actually made up of three components or types. This becomes very useful in healing and awakening.
Go to Understanding Awareness Part II: The Three Types Of Awareness
After we discuss them there is a second meditation that builds on the first one.