Once suffering leads us to a sincere desire for happiness, we usually seek that happiness in the world. This ends as well. We can then take the next step in the finding-our-way-home recipe. We turn inward. We withdraw attention from the world and begin to look to our inner world for an answer to our suffering.
We must first learn to relax our attention away from thoughts. After all, thought-identity led to suffering. So how do we explore our inner world without thought? We relax and get used to silence, space and doing and wanting nothing–no thing. We are beginning to wean ourselves from the cultural addiction to things for happiness. (Remember, thoughts are things.) And as long as we are not bringing attention to things, then attention will relax its way to it’s source, which is pure awareness or consciousness itself.
Consciousness arises as attention and goes out to thoughts or the world. What happens when it doesn’t go out? It remains as pure awareness. This is awareness being aware of itself. Try this: Ask yourself, “am I aware?” —and pay attention to what happens to thought as it tries to answer the question. Thought interprets the question–“am I aware?” and looks. It arrives at the threshold of awareness and then disappears into pure awareness, for thought cannot ‘be with’ beingness, awareness. It can lead us there and leave us as being being with it’s own beingness. This is awareness being aware of awareness itself. Try it a few times. See if you can lead yourself—and find your way home.
Sitting as pure awareness is finding our way home. For attention relaxing into its source as pure awareness is us encountering our true nature. Our true nature is that awareness. When we relax our attention from constant thought-identity, we can find our way home to our true nature of pure awareness, consciousness. And this feels fulfilling, leads to contentment and happiness for it is the quality/nature of awareness. We have found our way home.