Charleen and I had a great discussion recently during which we shared our experience and learning as Process Workers over many years. What had we learnt? what hadn’t we learnt? and when are we learning? I think we are talking about a different kind of learning than the accumulation of information or knowledge (though that can be fun at times), but rather we explored how a fluidity of awareness can lead to a deeper sense of resilience and ability to interact with challenging situations.
I suggested the acronym OCA-Y for Open Channel Awareness – Yes!!, as a fluidity of awareness that we can discover to meet different situations (Dr Arnold Mindell described this with Shamanistic terminology as First and Second Attention, and then with his later concept of Process Mind. Ram Dass speaks of being able to exist in several different realities/worlds at the same time)
We were speaking about how easy it is to get caught in states of mind or states of being. Such as when we are with a respected teacher, how easy it is to feel that they have all the experience and knowing, and that we don’t, we are the ‘learner’ they are the ‘teacher’ and we are wanting. Do you recognise situations in which you react within the blink of an eye, polarising with another person or even reacting from a triggered memory such as a tone of voice, a smell, or a particular kind of room (I notice a tendency to feel ill when I’m in a hospital for example.. was i feeling so unwell when i came in?).
Open Channel Awareness is having your awareness open outside the event while you are within it. It involves being practically involved with a situation, while noticing the feelings, the level of dreaming, and the essence or genius of the situation. Open Channel Awareness also involves noticing that you are reacting or polarising and at the same time having access to other levels or other worlds. I often can’t do this. It’s fascinating to notice how often I/you exist in a habitual or fixed pattern of response to life. I spend alot of my life half asleep, and not placing much value on other levels of experience in that moment.
So the OCA-Y anocronym came about as a little reminder to myself when faced with anything or anybody. A little ‘OCA-Y’ beneath my breath to remind myself of all the other levels of awareness. It’s OK with a hippy ‘C’ soft and fluid, rather than the harsher ‘K’.