Fully Alert

Path of Action: Day 21

Language curves the structure of mind in particular ways. The way we use the term ‘alertness’ is a good example, because the word carries overtones make it sound something like spying— looking from our position here at something going on over there. But spying eyes are critical and suspicious, and that is not necessarily what we want.

There is a broader way of being alert that embodies the presence of awareness.

This kind of alertness operates within sensitivity. It stays in touch with experience without turning mindfulness into fixation. Not forcefully directed ‘to’ any particular point, it naturally encompasses the whole of body and mind.

When you are fully alert in this way, you enter into wholeness, and this means that you can embody knowledge and hold it. Senses, feelings, thoughts, perceptions, and understanding all function together, supporting your resolve and your insight.

In the beginning, you may need to make special efforts to concentrate; in fact, many people will have to take the path that leads through pain and frustration in order to learn the importance of this ‘alert wholeness’. With time, however, the practice becomes much lighter.

It becomes a part of you.


Path of Action, by Tarthang Tulku is an unpublished work. Please do not copy, remix or republish this post or any others in this series without express permission from Mandala Training.