I AM Here!
Waking up to awareness has two parts : seeing awareness | is who you are. If you notice only the first part it can seem a bit of a let down! When we transfer our focus from thoughts and objects to the background awareness we can find emptiness and a place of not-knowing. This can be a momentary relief from a flood of thoughts, but its not reassuring on a deeper level. However the second part changes that.
SHIFTING : Shifting from objects to the background ‘blankness’ of awareness
e.g. Seeing your no-face
RECOGNISING : Realise that you are here in this spaciousness ‘blankness’!
e.g. Noticing you, the seeing, presence or spaciousness within the emptiness
Self-realisation is simply recognising that your ‘private space’ is who you are. We recognise that our presence, or being, or sense of existence is still here in the ‘blank’ awareness. All of a sudden it is not really ‘blank’ – we are there. It’s the true meaning of being self aware. Awareness is aware of itself. It still might not be an ‘aha’ moment, because it is so obvious.
Also you may need to relax so that you can notice the more subtle ‘sense of self’. (The ‘sense of self’ that has always been here, that gives us the feeling that over the years nothing has changed with our true inner self).
Things change, but You are always here.
Obviously, I’m behind the eyes!
One place that I get stuck with this process, is that I feel a strong sense of me as a fixed thing in my head behind the eyes, even though I’m also aware of my private space. I have found that this fixed sense of me tends to dissolve when I occupy my private space and examine this fixed sense. I ask, “Is this fixed sense me?”
When it dissolves I’m still looking out of my eyes, but I don’t have a sense of a fixed location of a ‘me’ looking out, and my sense of the inside and outside world is the same.
As we repeat this process of recognising ourselves, a positive feedback loop takes place, leading to feelings of satisfaction / fulfilment and clarity. I find there is a self-satisfied ‘hum’. A bit like it’s the end of the day and I’m satisfied with my lot in the world, and yet nothing externally has changed.
Most of our lives may have been spent trying to complete ourselves in some way through activities or acquisitions. A positive feedback loop immediately short circuits this process. Feelings of lack are now in an environment of completeness. Recognising Self acts as a counterbalance to the feelings of lack and their quality changes.
A New Power Supply
It is as if we have switched power supplies. Previously our power source might have been the ebb and flow of success and failure, of thoughts and emotions, of goals accomplished or mountains climbed or crevices stuck in. Now the power source is our true self. We are switched on to awareness.
Being awareness has other advantages, including a feeling of calmness, the clarity of the big picture, equanimity and compassion.
A Learning Process
Once we recognise ourselves a few times, the ‘blankness’ is no longer the ‘blankness’. Each time we look, there we are. So we quickly integrate seeing awareness is who we are. Then its a case of remembering to look.
Each new instance of recognising ourselves increases our trust and familiarity with the changeover process.
- How to switch systems (thinking-based and awareness-based)
- To notice the benefits of spaciousness or the disadvantage of being solely thinking-based
- That relaxing and recognising spacious awareness doesn’t require effort. Trying to think our way there, does!
- To ask yes/no questions like, “Do I like living from spacious awareness?“
- That thinking can regenerate a fixed sense of me. We ‘thing’ ourselves. And that asking “Is this me?” from our private space can free this up.
Through trial and error we get to experience life from each system of consciousness. A thought-based system demands more thinking and emotional involvement. It’s a self-propagating system. Whereas, an awareness-based system rests on the ground of being and accesses wisdom and simple decision-making.
What differences do you notice? I’d welcome your comments below.
Find the river to the Source and practice staying afloat!