Awareness: Turning Confusion Into Clarity
Awareness is the natural, innate, knowing quality of mind that is with us all the time. We cannot function without awareness. We would have no experience of anything without awareness. We do not, however, always recognize it. In fact, most of the time we don’t. Meditation helps us to recognize the awareness that we already have.
There are three types of awareness:
Normal awareness which we experience before we learn to meditate
Meditative awareness which comes with the recognition of awareness itself
Pure awareness which occurs when our recognition deepens and we directly experience the nature of awareness. This is achieved through working directly with the mind in meditation.
As long as you maintain awareness/mindfulness, no matter what happens when you practice, your practice is meditation. If you watch thoughts, that’s meditation, if you can’t watch your thoughts, that is meditation as well. Any of these experiences can be supports for meditation. The essential thing is to maintain awareness, no matter what thoughts, sensations, emotions occur. If you remember that awareness of what occurs is meditation, than meditation becomes much easier than you think. It is all about awareness.
When social identities are gone, and even your body is gone, awareness is still here. When you can rest in awareness, it never dissolves. You may let go of the egocentric sense of self, of your connections to thoughts, emotions and the material world, not being aware of “any thing”, but you are always aware. Just rest in awareness, and you start to experience bliss, and you experience feeling at home in the universe, feeling that this is truly who you are, and that you have been trained to think you are something other than this. It all has a deep, intuitive validity.