Stop, drop & roll (awareness-style)


Today we’re talking practical.

Enough poetry!

Today we’re talking stop, drop and roll.  You know, the old fire escape safety technique.  Let’s say one awakes in bed to a burning fire.  The victim then ceases movement which may fan flames, drops to the ground, and rolls to assist extinguishing the fire.

All you non-duality awareness fans probably don’t realize a stop, drop & roll technique also exists to assist in awakening beyond the thought-identified mind.

As most of you might know, we often identify with a sense of “me” which exists between our ears, maybe in the forehead area.  That’s where “I” talk to myself endlessly, story after story, hashing and re-hashing, planning and organizing, judging and deciding, you know, all the monkey-mind activities we intimately engage during the day.

Nothing necessarily wrong with those activities!  But identity can become enmeshed between the ears without any larger perspective.  Suffering may arise.  The fire of ego burns!  (Who said no more poetry?)  We may choose to “put it out”.  (Actually what we’re choosing is to notice a larger field which already exists, even though the darn fire seems to prevent larger identification, because perhaps we’re mortally afraid.)

STOP.  Simply notice that you’re caught in thought and emotion.  You’re cycling in a closed loop.  Awareness has velcroed itself to the space behind the forehead, metaphorically speaking.  It has attached itself to thought and imagination, past and future, the individual ego.  It’s perhaps fascinated with the story of a separate human life.  Just notice.

DROP.  Feel your chest, your belly, perhaps even those wiggly toes.  Notice that awareness drops or descends into the body.  Feel the differences in awareness identified between the ears, versus awareness in the belly.  Feel awareness as the body.  Linger here for a while, perhaps, noticing breathing moving in and out, in and out.  Notice that thoughts may still arise, but the velcro loosens as awareness explores itself in the heart area, in the pinky finger.  Emotions still may arise, but they appear as sensations in the body instead of glued to thought-identity.

ROLL.  Notice the room where you sit.  Let awareness roll or travel around the room, briefly noticing chair, couch, cup of tea, computer.  Notice that awareness rolls or flows easily and effortlessly, encompassing everything in the room, even the empty space.  Feel that awareness can not be separated from anything–everything IS awareness.  That floor?  Awareness.  It’s not separate from what is seeing.  That furnace motor?  Awareness.  Not separate from hearing.  It’s ALL awareness.  What else could it be?  That thought or emotion rising?  You’ve got it.  Awareness, of course!

This teeny-tiny technique of Stop, Drop and Roll contains the potential to move awareness from its focused limitation between the ears into a larger field of inclusion.  It can be especially instructive just upon awakening, before leaping out of bed into the fire of life.  I often lie quietly noticing the thoughts and identification, then the body in bed, followed by the dark shadows on the wall.  Until empty space feels like my true identity, oh yes, how could it be otherwise?




13 thoughts on “Stop, drop & roll (awareness-style)

  1. “Emotions still may arise, but they appear as sensations in the body.”

    This is something I’ve been noticing lately, that the sensations in my body, especially pain, come and go, as do my emotions. They are all part of the flow of awareness.

  2. Great metaphors scattered about in this post! Well done. As I read this I recalled a passage or two from Conversations with God, in one place he suggest, “think what you are thinking about” another which I have posted on my refrigerator door.
    “So bless the Process, and accept it as the greatest gift from the Kindest Creator. Embrace the Process, and move through it with peace and wisdom and joy. Use the Process, and transform it from something you endure to something you engage as a tool in creation of the most magnificent experience of All Time: the fulfillment of your Divine Self.”

    • Love that, Jeff. “Bless the Process” and so it is for me especially of late. Knowing it is simply engaging with Life as it unfolds in unpredictable ways that I somehow “trust” at a very deep level. Thanks for sharing that here.

      • Thank you so much Deb,
        When the thought about the idea came to me and then I saw the words again, it didn’t seem to “fit” yet I allowed intuition do continue to guide the process!

    • Jeff, glad you enjoyed this. I love when the Process provided this small technique of noticing; it has alleviated so much suffering at times. Just when something can be so helpful…it is a gift when it appears. Seems like so much of what I read or hear lately is just the next step in the Process.

      • As I just commented to Deb, Kathy I was not sure if it really did “fit” here yet I let it go. Yes our lives are always unfolding, we can continue to hold on to the old patterns and comforts or allow for the transition to manifest!


        • Sometimes when we’re called to answer in a way that doesn’t seem to “fit”, perhaps it’s because it will resonate with or challenge someone else. If we’re really not separate, who knows why Spirit is nudging our thoughts and feelings a certain way?

  3. hmmm Maybe another term for what you speak of is self centeredness

    that stop drop and roll things has me recall that the world does NOT revolve around me
    and that others have all of their own self centeredness

    for me, learning to walk alongside to view these other ways from a less sensitive chair in my head allows me to leave room for everyone to be who they are
    live and let live, let it go and so on

    oh, and you don’t have to convince me, these were just noticings at the time i read, if i came back i’d probably think something else–it’s fun!

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