Tag Archives: Awakening

I Am Aware That I Am Aware

Having spent the last couple of days pondering awareness I had the urge to write down what I was feeling in the format you see below. Starting each sentence with “I am aware” and then following with the feeling. Pretty basic as you can see.

I am aware that I am sick

I am aware that I am tired

I am aware that I am frustrated

At first glance it appears that I am two things. Focussing on the first sentence “I am aware that I am sick” I appear to be both aware and sick. I don’t suppose being one precludes being the other. I can be aware and be sick without implying a duality of some sort. Unlike the duality Eckhart Tolle noticed while on the edge of suicide (“I” can not live with my “self”).

But can either of those aspects exist without the other?

First of all, can I be sick without being aware? If I am not aware that I am sick then it is like I am not really sick at all. I could theoretically still have all of the symptoms of being sick (i.e. stuffed up nose, headache, and watery eyes) but it would go unnoticed. And if I don’t notice when I am feeling unwell then it must continue that I wouldn’t recognize when I am feeling well. In fact, if I am not aware then it is conceivable that I wouldn’t notice anything! It would be no different than if I didn’t exist at all.

What about the possibility of being aware without being sick? At first it seems like a simple question. If I am not sick I can still be aware that I am feeling well. But the deeper question is this “Can I be aware if there is nothing to be aware OF?” It is essentially asking if awareness existed prior to the beginning of the universe. Those who speak of awareness with the utmost certainty describe it as timeless. They say it has no end because it has no beginning. One can therefore assume that the existence of awareness does not depend on some form to be aware of.

Before there was the universe, there was awareness. There may be no greater description of the purpose of existence than to say it is awareness searching for itself. That to truthfully utter the following words is to take comfort in having fulfilled your destiny.

I am aware that I am aware

That looks an awfully lot like I am that I am. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I am aware that I am awareness.

But what does this mean in how I live my life? I can easily say that I am aware that I am sick but that still gives me no comfort. Isn’t achieving an inner peace the goal of all of this contemplation anyways

What if I say I am aware that I am aware that I am sick.

Woah! I am either on to something or two steps away from the loony bin. I guess the final judgement comes down to whether or not a realization helps you live a better life. The only choice that I am left with in all of this is where do I choose to dwell, or place my attention. In the awareness, or in the sickness.

I Am Not, Yet There Is

As it becomes clear that this body is void of any personal identity, the enigma of existence unravels.  What is left is an alarming emptiness. An impersonal organic structure of perception exists but not in service of an identity.

And as the identity vanishes, so does the haze through which I had previously seen the world. A remarkable clarity is born as the heavy emotions and burden of re-activity are lifted from my heart.

After meditating on this discovery I stood up from my trusty park bench, and somehow, I felt taller. But there was also fear of these new sensations. There is an obvious temptation to return to the old ego. To return to that familiar stomping ground. But this time I’ve come too far.

Walking back to work I feel as if I am floating. I repeat several times to myself “I am not, yet there is”. It is an accurate reflection of how I am feeling. That the long accepted paradigm of my existence is changing. I used to be a person in the world. Now there is just the world.

It is a pure awareness of my environment. I call it pure because there is no false “I” that I am trying to incorporate into it. I am not evaluating the goodness or badness of the events around me. There is simply no baseline against which they could be measured.

The Now becomes a given. Without a personality to make life conditional, things just are as they are. Thinking has not stopped, but I am not energizing it with excessive attention. There is an ease which carries me back to my desk.

It is not a beautiful day here by any means. It is rainy, windy and an unseasonable humidity is in the air keeping it slightly warmer than normal. It is a day that could have easily lowered my mood, but I am quite content. There is an ineffable beauty to it. Not so much from an aesthetic perspective, but in the energy of it. It is the energy of life simply living itself.

A Path To Freedom

The next time you experience an unwanted or negative thought, dig into it and find it’s origins. Feel no shame and do not run from it. Search for it’s source of power. Be quiet and wait patiently for the answers to be revealed to you. Pay strict attention to it. Be intensely curious but unassuming. What do you find?

It just simply fades away.

There’s absolutely nothing there. It exists only superficially. It is just a thought. There is no depth and no truth to be found. As the thought fades from reality so does the body’s reaction to it. Whatever anxiety, guilt, or fear accompanied that particular thought goes away quite naturally.

There are some powerful implications here. Now you are free from resolving each disturbing thought that appears. Be calm simply in what your inquiry has revealed to you. Dwell in the knowledge that they are not real. There is no need to deal with it. No need to say that this is not me. That I am better than this thought. Or kinder. Or more loving.

A thought has no link to identity.

The deeper realization of this inquiry is that ALL thoughts are not real, good or bad. You can now be free of this entire realm of thinking. Yes they still happen but it means nothing to you. When you let this river of thought flow without disturbing it, you are also leaving behind the ideas of past and future as well. This is the true gateway to the now. The now is not a constantly moving point in time. It is a dimension completely separate from it.

There is no “I” in Self

For many years I had been attempting to follow the teachings of several spiritual gurus and, honestly speaking, I had experienced very limited progress. The teachings are similar throughout the spiritual realm and they primarily focus on these approaches:

  • Presence
  • Acceptance
  • Surrender
  • Stillness

I had attempted to practice each one of these many times. I had practiced presence by focusing on my senses and attempting not to interpret what I perceive. I had practiced acceptance by trying not to resist my current situation no matter what it may be at the time. I had practiced surrender through utter frustration by lack of progress and to a certain degree giving up. And I had practiced stillness through meditation and daily long walks in a local park.

But yet I wasn’t making the kind of progress that I wanted. I was most definitely going through a healing process but there were still plenty of moments of suffering. Then I noticed one major flaw in how I had practiced those spiritual techniques.

They were all practiced from the place of “I”

I cannot be present. I cannot accept. I cannot surrender. I cannot be still. It is the “I” that subsides in order for any of the above to genuinely occur.

“I” is a concept. It is a vast collection of thoughts, often contradictory, that one accesses relentlessly in maintaining their false identity. Each one of the approaches above demands an absence of thought. No “I” can coexist within them. Instead, the techniques all act as gateways from the “I” to the real self.

What they offer to the seeker is a taste of the true self. A hint of truth. Evidence that there is a self that exists beyond that limited “I”. If for only a moment you experience true presence, acceptance, surrender, or stillness you will see for the first time a separation from the “I”. You will step back from the life you have always known and become it’s witness. If only for a moment. And you will have awakened.