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Awareness Adventures Back Matter - For Audiobook Listeners:


Thanks so much to all those who read drafts of this book and gave invaluable feedback: Lindsay Stern, Jonathan Robinson, Glynnis O'Connor, and Bridgit Dengel Gaspard. Thanks to Jamie Watters and Anthony Holdampf, who encouraged me to write a second book in the first place. To Ron Buchheim for his wisdom and humor, and for generously allowing me to quote him in the book. Thanks to Jonathan Robinson, my co-host on the Awareness Explorers podcast—where several of the meditations in this book first made an appearance—for the joyful and inspiring collaboration we share. Thanks to my mom, Lenka Peterson O'Connor, whom we lost a few years ago, and who decades and decades ago was way ahead of the curve and introduced me to such marvelous books as How to Meditate, Cosmic Consciousness, Handbook to Higher Consciousness, A Course in Miracles, and The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment. Thanks also to these folks for their warm support and encouragement: Fred Adams, Monica Hoyt, Dana Chang—who has also been the generous host of the Awareness Games Meetup—and my fabulous husband, Josh Yu. Thanks also go to the gang at the Rupert Spira NY Non-Duality Group meetup, including hosts Walter and Patricia, Jacques, Jane, Lalita, Eric, John, Matt, Vita, Tara, Jimmy, Bou, Wing, Ron, Alix, Barbara, Billie, Jacques, Jamie, Amy, Andi, Abhit, Annelie, Al, Mahsa, Phil, Pierre, Annette, Desmond, Tat, Kevin, Jean, Jessica, Holger, Chris, Inguna, George, Nicolle, Walter C, Jack, Fran, Nikola, Judy, Ela, Judith, Jeffrey, Robert, Dan, and Yosef, among many others. Thanks to all the wonderful folks who have attended the live Awareness Games meetup and helped me with invaluable game-testing and feedback, including Elisabeth, Andrei, Lalita, Jane, Hervé, Barbara, Daniela, Yong, Yuliya, Vivek, Ron, Josh, John, Eric, Vita, Patricia, Billie, Tara, Glynnis, Selena, Jimmy, Kim, Slawek, Akshay, Joshua, Maria, Rachel, Nelson, Elaf, Fathima, Yogesh, Javier, Monica, Michael, Michelle, and many more. And finally, I have learned such a great deal from these wonderful teachers: Stuart Schwartz, Pamela Wilson, and Loch Kelly (all of whom I was able to work with in person) and Rupert Spira, Adyashanti, and Angelo DiLullo (through their books, videos, public appearances, and as guests on Jonathan's and my podcast). As I wrote in my first book, even though I owe a debt of gratitude to these teachers, I make no claim to have attained some sort of special state that they may have attained. Nor do I claim that they have somehow anointed, designated, or authorized me to pass on their teachings. They haven't, and I haven't asked them to. The only claim I can make is that I'm ten times happier than I used to be, and that I owe this to applying these types of teachings while directly looking within.

About the Author

Brian Tom O'Connor is the author of Awareness Games: Playing With your Mind to Create Joy, and is the co-host, with Jonathan Robinson, of the podcast, Awareness Explorers. He is also a singer, cabaret performer, and musical theater nerd. And more importantly, he's a formerly depressed guy who stumbled into the infinite well of joy lying at the heart of all experience, and who loves to share this discover with anyone who is interested.

Appendix A: 190 Methods Plus One

Recently, I had an email exchange with Jonathan Robinson, my friend and co-host on our Awareness Explorers podcast. I had just finished reading the book, The Yoga of Consciousness: 25 Direct Practices to Enlightenment by SantataGamana, and knowing that Jonathan is a self-described method junkie, I thought a book that contained 25 different methods or practices would interest him. But my email to him contained a typo. I wrote, "Chapter 16, 'Practicing Non-Duality,' indeed has 215 methods, similar to Awareness Games." When I discovered my mistake, I wrote back, "Correction: 25 Methods (not 215). Typo." Jonathan responded, "Damn! I almost had a spontaneous orgasm when I saw 215." I replied, "Oops. But the 25 are choice. And I like the writing. So it's still worth it." But Jonathan had already eagerly purchased the book, and so he wrote back, "That's all fine and good, but can you come up with the other 190 methods that you just 'took' from me?" "Well, the title is 25 Direct Practices... after all," I replied, "But I think I can come up with 190 more." We were joking around with each other of course, but I couldn't resist the challenge of coming up with 190 practices, just for fun. So here goes… 190 Methods 1. Notice Awareness. 2. Become aware of awareness. 3. Be awareness. 4. Be consciousness. 5. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" 6. Ask yourself, "What is this 'me'?" 7. Ask yourself, "Who's experiencing this?" 8. Notice your body. Ask "Who has a body?" 9. Be the background. 10. Take a half step back in your mind and be that which sees. 11. Be the witness. 12. Ask yourself, "who hears this sound?" 13. Ask yourself, "who has this thought?" 14. Ask yourself, "Where does this thought come from?" 15. Ask yourself, "Did I decide to have this thought?" 16. Ask yourself, "What is the Self?" 17. Ask yourself, "Am I my hand?" 18. Ask yourself, "Am I my torso?" 19. Ask yourself, "Am I my head?" 20. Ask yourself, "Am I my body" 21. Ask yourself, "Am I my mind?" 22. Notice present experience. 23. Ask yourself, "Am I aware?" 24. Ask yourself, "How do I know I'm aware?" 25. Ask yourself, "Is it possible to not be aware?" 26.Try to step away from yourself. 27.Ignore all thoughts about the past. 28.Ignore all thoughts about the future. 29.Shift your attention from the content of awareness to awareness itself. 30.Shift your attention from what you're looking at to what's looking. 31.Notice if the sounds you hear and the sensations in your body appear in the same field of awareness. 32.Imagine you are bigger than your body, looking at your body from outside of it. 33.Imagine all you experience is made of awareness. 34.Notice what's in your experience other than words in your head. 35.Ignore all thought. 36.Notice if the sights you see and the thoughts in your mind appear in the same field of awareness. 37.See if there are many awarenesses or just one. 38.Examine the nature of awareness: Does it have a shape? 39.Examine the nature of awareness: Does it have qualities? 40.Examine the nature of awareness: Does it have dimensions? 41.Examine the nature of awareness: Does it have limits? 42.Examine the nature of awareness: Does it appear in time? 43.Notice what has not changed since you were a little child. 44.Notice what's noticing. 45.Notice what's experiencing. 46.Notice what's feeling. 47.Notice noticing. 48.Instead of objects being outside of you, imagine objects are experienced within you. 49.Instead of awareness being in you, imagine you are in awareness. 50.Allow everything to be as it is. 51.Don't have any intention. 52.Do nothing. 53.Just be. 54.See your body and mind as empty of separate existence. 55.See that only you, universal consciousness, have existence. 56.Be the silence in which sounds appear. 57.Be the space in which objects appear. 58.Be the emptiness in which thoughts appear. 59.Be the eternal now in which time appears. 60.Imagine there is nothing. 61.Imagine there is only one thing. 62.Notice what already accepts everything. 63.Notice what already loves unconditionally. 64.Be that acceptance. 65.Be that love. 66.Love unconditionally. 67.Allow thoughts to come and go. 68.Allow feelings to come and go. 69.Allow experiences to come and go. 70.Do not hold on to anything. 71.Let go of resistance to any thought. 72.Let go of resistance to any feeling. 73.Let go of resistance to any experience. 74.Relax and be still. 75.Allow your heart to open. 76.Let your body's edges become soft. 77.Let your body's edges become translucent. 78.Let your body's edges become porous. 79.Expand your boundaries as far as you can imagine. 80.Be a river, and float downstream. 81.Be a mirror and reflect everything choicelessly. 82.Know knowingness. 83.Be knowingness alone. 84.Shift your identity from the body to what's aware of the body. 85.Shift your identity from the mind to what's aware of the mind. 86.Shift your identity from your name to what knows your name. 87.Imagine you were just born. 88.Imagine you know no language. 89.Imagine what's looking out through your eyes is identical to what's looking out through everyone else's eyes. 90.Imagine what's looking out through your eyes is the same thing as what's looking out through everyone else's eyes. 91.See your body as an action figure. 92.See your body and mind as a camera. Be the photographer behind it. 93.See your body and mind as robot. Be the controller behind it. 94.See your body and mind as a Mars rover. Be Mission Control. 95.See your ego as a temporary whirlpool in a river, and dissolve back into the river. 96.Ask, "Is awareness ever not present?" 97.Notice that awareness is aware. 98.Notice that awareness is aware effortlessly. 99.Use the least amount of effort possible to keep your attention on awareness itself. 100.Shift your attention from virtual reality of the past and future to real reality of the present. 101.Be Now. Be Here. Be This. 102.See the world as appearing within you. 103.See the world as you. 104.Be the passenger to your experience. 105.Allow fear to be here. 106.Allow anxiety to be here. 107.Allow sadness to be here. 108.Know that fear is only trying to protect you. 109.Know that anxiety is only trying to protect you. 110.Know that sadness is only trying to protect you. 111.Thank the fear for protecting you. 112.Thank the anxiety for protecting you. 113.Thank the sadness for protecting you. 114.Notice what's noticing your breathing. 115.Allow everyone else to be as they are. 116.Know that everyone does what is in their nature to do. 117.Forgive everyone. 118.Forgive yourself. 119.Free the world from your expectations. 120.Say "yes" to everything. 121.What do you experience without analyzing? 122.What do you experience without concepts? 123.Be the screen that experience appears on. 124.Be the blank canvas that experience is painted on. 125.Be the blank page that words are written on. 126.Be the blank whiteboard that diagrams are drawn on. 127.Find out if you choose your thoughts. 128.Notice what is already happy. 129.See if you can stay with "Now. Here. This" without stepping away into past memory or imagined future. 130.Ask yourself, "Would I know I'm not enlightened without consulting the past?" 131.Imagine happiness wasn’t something to get. 132.Imagine happiness wasn’t something that comes from outside or arrives from elsewhere. 133.Imagine happiness wasn’t something to pursue, or to hope will happen sometime in the future. 134.Imagine happiness was something that’s already here, inside each of us, just waiting, hoping to be noticed. 135.Imagine happiness was our natural state, simply obscured by our thoughts about fixing, changing, improving. 136.Imagine happiness was our true self, informed by the unconditional choiceless acceptance of all that is. 137.What if all we have to do is notice it? 138.Instead of thinking of it as becoming happy, think of it as becoming happiness. Notice that we already are happiness. 139.Ask, "Is the sky affected by clouds?" 140.Ask, "Is the sky affected by birds?" 141.Be the sky, not the clouds. 142.Be the sky, not the birds. 143.Ask, "Is awareness affected by anything that appears in it?" 144.Be the awareness, not what appears in it. 145.Then be everything that appears as well. Because it's all made of awareness. 146.What if the body and mind are universal consciousness’s drones, sent forth into the world to record images and sounds and transmit them back to universal consciousness? 147.What if consciousness was not local? 148.Know that you are doing the best you possibly can. 149.How do you know what's supposed to happen? Look at what's happening. That's what's supposed to happen. 150.Surrender control. 151.Let go of trying to change your experience. 152.Let go of trying to fix yourself. 153.Let go of trying to fix others. 154.Let go of trying to fix the world. 155.Turn your attention to the sense of "I Am." 156.Abide as "I am." 157.Abide as pure awareness. 158.Be pure subjectivity. 159.Be the "Big I," not the "Little Me." 160.When listening to others, listen from awareness, not from the judging or planning mind. 161.When listening to music, imagine it arising and appearing within you. 162.When in nature, imagine yourself as part of nature. 163.Imagine there is no separation between you and everything else. 164.See that nothing is permanent. Except awareness. 165.See that nothing is perfect. Except awareness. 166.See that nothing is complete. Except awareness. 167.When riding in a car, bus, plane, or train, imagine that, instead of you moving through your environment, imagine your environment moving through you. 168.When moving your hand through the air, imagine that it's simply pixels changing color. 169.Ask yourself, "Has anything you've ever experienced—or could ever experience—happened outside of awareness?" 170.Every time you feel a negative emotion, ask "What is this appearing in?" 171.Every time you feel a negative emotion, be the pure awareness that sees it. 172.Find out what thought is made of. 173.Find out whether thought happens by itself. 174.See how long you can go without words going through your mind. 175.Ask, "Does the past exist without thought?" 176.Ask, "What if I completely forgot my story? Would I be the same person? 177.When thoughts come, don't let them linger; let them slide out the other side. 178.See that consciousness is all there is. 179.See that all there is is consciousness. 180.Let go of all effort. 181.Repeat your name over and over until it loses all meaning. 182.See that all is well. 183.See that all is one. 184.See that all is you. 185.Imagine the universe looking at itself through a little window of your face. 186.Imagine the universe looking at itself through seven billion little windows of eyes. 187.Imagine the "million-eyed mind." 188.See the universe as you. 189.Know that God is looking out through your eyes at himself. 190.Be. One Method That is, all methods in a nutshell • Allow whatever is arising right now to be just as it is, without any attempt to change it. o Without any attempt to understand it, describe it, label it, or improve it. o Without any attempt to get rid of anything, or to bring about anything. • Turn your attention from the content of awareness to awareness itself. • Turn around again and be awareness itself, looking at the world and at yourself. • See that no experience is outside of awareness. o In other words, you are all, all is you, you are awareness, all is awareness. • Rest as that. Rest As Awareness.

Appendix B: List of Methods by Type and Length​

Sometimes you only have a minute or two and you'd like to pop into being awareness. Other times, you have plenty of time and would like to marinate in the deep peace and joy of your true nature. Below is a list of all the stuff in this book that you can try yourself, sorted by how long each takes. SHORT: GAMES The shortest type of method are the games. You can do these anytime anywhere, for as long or as short as you like. Includes the audiobook chapter number and name. Here's a quick way An even quicker way The Staff of RAA Game Break: Tension Detective Game Break: See How Long You Can… A Couple of Quick Thought Explorations What Is Thought? Game Break: Depth Charge Game Break: Seeing from the Heart Game Break: Your Name Here Game Break: Swimming Through Consciousness Game Break: Pick-Up Sticks Game Break: Being Aware FROM the Place You Are Aware OF Game Break: What is Aware of Your Body? Game Break: The Body Porous Game Break: Inhale the Emotion One Method   MEDIUM: EXPLORATIONS The explorations are like longer games. Take the time to explore for yourself, but as with games, you can do these anytime, anywhere, for as long or as short as you like. Includes the audiobook chapter number and name. Exploration: Three-Step Walk-Back Exploration: Just for Now Exploration: Down the Rabbit Hole of Breath Exploration: Lace of Thought Exploration: Nothing You Can Think of is You The Name Game Exploration: The Circle of This Exploration: What If? Exploration: The River Delta Exploration: Maps Without Borders Exploration: One Thing Going On Exploration: Awareness is All Exploration: The Outer Limits Exploration: Into the Body Exploration: Include More LONGER: MEDITATIONS The meditations are usually longer and are more or less of fixed length. But you can take as long as you like to pause between the steps or the questions in each meditation. Includes the audiobook chapter number and name. Meditation: The Heart Meditation Meditation: Window to Eternity Inquiry Meditation: The "I" of "My" Inquiry Meditation: Identity Shift Inquiry Meditation: The Dream Character Imagination Meditation: Be the Sky Meditation: Dissolving Borders Meditation: Quadrangulation Meditation: Quintangulation Here's what I recommend: Try as many out as interest you. Then pick one short one to do several times a day for a week or two. And also pick one longer one to do once a day for a week or two. If you like them, stick with them. If not, try others. But give each a chance.

Recommended Reading and Viewing

Awareness Explorers podcast



Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti, Sounds True, 2004, 2006

True Meditation: Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness by Adyashanti, Sounds True, 2006


Loch Kelly

Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness by Loch Kelly, Sounds True, 2015

The Way of Effortless Mindfulness: A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life, by Loch Kelly, Sounds True, 2019


Stuart Schwartz


Rupert Spira

Being Aware of Being Aware, by Rupert Spira, Sahaja Publications, 2017


Angelo DiLullo

Awake: It’s Your Turn, by Angelo DiLullo, ‎, 2021


Bridgit Dengel Gaspard

The Final Eighth by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, New World Library, 2020


Jonathan Robinson

The Enlightenment Project: How I Went From Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too, by Jonathan Robinson, 2022


David R. Hawkins, The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing Is Hidden, Hay House Inc. (2016)

Loch Kelly, Effortless Mindfulness Now, Audible (2017)

From the Rupert Spira video, "Exploring Uncomfortable Feelings"

Loch Kelly, The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, Sounds True (2019)

From Rupert Spira "A Body Pervaded by Peace" from the Seven Day Retreat at Mercy Center, CA, 31st October 2018 (PM)

Adyashanti, GUIDED MEDITATIONS: Evoking the Divine Ground of Your Being
Sounds True, October 01, 2015
ISBN-10: 1-62203-583-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-62203-583-0

Debbie Ford, "Overcoming Self Sabotage" from DailyOM

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