Meditation Instructions: Dual Awareness Practice

For those of you who’d like to learn about (or just get a refresher on) “dual awareness” meditation practice (in which we bring our awareness, during sitting, to both the sensations of our breath and the sounds in the environment), here are the instructions for the technique published in Ezra Bayda’s book At Home in the Muddy Water: A Guide to Finding Peace Within Everyday Chaos. I’ve pasted in the beginning of the instructions below. To read the full instructions (which are not long), click here.

The essential aspect of the practice life is to bring our attention to just this moment.

We always have the choice to either spin off into thinking or to just be here, with whatever the moment brings. This choice point is the basis of our sitting practice, in which we notice our particular patterns of inattention to the present moment. Do you know your own patterns? Do you habitually spin off into planning, fantasizing, self-judging? Or do you tend to dwell in internal conversations—reliving the past or in imagining the future? In noticing our patterns and returning to the moment, we make the choice moment after moment to just be here. In this way we develop the awareness that allows the energy of thoughts and emotions to simply pass through without our getting hooked.

One technique that many have found helpful in developing this wider container of awareness is called dual awareness practice. In dual awareness you maintain your attention simultaneously on the specific sensations of the breath and the specific perceptions of sound, bringing roughly a third of your attention to breathing and listening. The rest of your awareness is open to experiencing any other sensations or perceptions that arise within the wider container of breath and sounds.

To read the rest of the instructions, click here.