Awareness and Sensitivity

Aware of my insensitivity, I realize that I need to show more appreciation for my family…

Perhaps for many people who have done work on themselves in the area of interpersonal relationships, this remark does not seem extraordinary. Nevertheless, in the context of practicing when-which-how, it signals an important moment because this individual is experiencing an increased awareness and sensitivity involving when to apply the virtues and which virtues to apply. Prior to this moment, he has been unconscious of any negative actions or feelings directed toward the family.

This is an example of the effects of opening the meditative heart-mind system to the virtues by practicing the Virtuous Cycle Technique each day. Eventually an awareness of the lack of a virtue (in this case, appreciation) bubbles to the surface of consciousness amid the activities of daily life. This is a sign of increasing sensitivity because the detection of the absence of a virtue can only occur if there is the awareness of that virtue already. Meditating on these virtues imprints these virtues on our heart-mind system. As a result, we become sensitive to their absence in the environment. This triggers our memories and we realize that the “when-which-how moment” has arrived.