Flexible Awareness

There are different ways of being aware in meditation. Flexible Awareness is a type of awareness in which you follow a single car, but more loosely.

Flexible Awareness and Spectrum of Awareness

There are different ways of being aware in meditation.

As an analogy, imagine that you are looking out the window at a busy street.

If you can do so right now, you can try each type of awareness as I describe it.

The first type of awareness is called focused attention, in which you focus on a single car from the moment it enters your window frame until the moment it exists. Then you choose the next car and do the same.

The second type of awareness is called flexible awareness, in which you follow a single car, but more loosely. Now, if your attention instead gets caught by a street sign or a yelling pedestrian, you let it go there. You notice wherever your attention is naturally drawn, and then after observing that new object, bring it back to the cars.

In the third type of awareness, called open awareness, you take in the entire view of the window. Instead of focusing on individual cars, you just take in the whole scene. You still let your attention wander to various objects, like the sky or the road, but unlike flexible awareness, you don't go back to watching individual cars. There's no anchor of attention.

And finally, the fourth type of awareness is called natural awareness. As you look out the window, you become aware of the fact that you are aware of some scene in front of you. You become aware of the awareness behind your eyes. You don't have to look too hard, as natural awareness is effortless, resting in a state of meta-awareness and taking in both the scene outside the window and staying aware of the very fact that you are aware of that scene. 

Liam McClintock

About FitMind Founder

Liam received a B.A. from Yale and worked in finance before traveling to Asia to study meditation full-time. He was diagnosed with OCD and ADHD as a child and overcame these disorders primarily using his meditation training.

Liam's LinkedIn    |    View More FitMind Meditation

330 Mindfulness Worksheets

Step-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation and more!

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Nicely designed PDF's with writable fields to add your reflections, answers and journal entries
  • Expertly designed for both beginners and advanced mindfulness practitioners
  • Organized into separate folders, based on health, relationships, career, self-discovery, purpose, formal meditation, and more
  • Evidence-based practices for increasing a sense of peace, calm, clarity, care and confidence
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
200+ GUIDED Meditation Scripts

Discover the world's most popular mindfulness meditation scripts that make a positive impact on people's well-being.

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Elegantly formatted for you to read easily and confidently at your own pace
  • Learn how to do many new mindfulness meditations , while deepening your experiential understanding of the one's you're practiced
  • Evidence-based meditations for cultivating calm, self-compassion, embodied presence and resilience
  • Guide these meditations for others to make a positive impact on the qualify of their day-to-day lives
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
mindfulness exercises attribution

About the Author Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]

follow me on:

Browse More Categories

>