Next month I’m giving a keynote speech at the annual Global Inspiration Conference. And because it’s taking place in Ireland, I have the added bonus of a trip home. I’m talking about Radical Awareness, the kind of awareness that comes when we meditate, breathe deeply, pray…or it just comes spontaneously. Science calls Radical Awareness altered consciousness. But before Western psychology as we know it developed, states of Radical Awareness were called mystical and they were quite “normal”. And a Gallop Poll from 2002 showed that over 80 million American adults have had a profound experience of awakening that influenced the course of their life.
Expanded awareness, or altered consciousness, are episodes that can last from minutes to years (mostly on the shorter end of that spectrum). During these periods of our awareness expands to take in more than what we normally pay attention to as we go about our daily life. We can have deep insights, discover depths to our life and relationships that have previously been obscured by the relentless activity of our minds. But most of all, we can discover stillness, peace and connection at a profound level.
Whether this is the work of chemicals like serotonin and changing brainwave patterns, or something more esoteric is still undecided. But the effects can be transformative – not always in ways that change the course of life, but certainly in improving levels of peace and happiness. Radical Awareness comes most reliably through practices like meditation and breathwork.
The Global Inspiration Conference brings together breathworkers from around the world each year for workshops, breathwork sessions and networking and socializing. It’s open to anyone interested in using their breathing for health and wellbeing and this year it’s in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, Connemara.
Have you experienced expanded states of awareness spontaneously or through a practice like breathwork or meditation? I’m interested in hearing about people’s experiences.