Spiritual teachers encourage us to abide as awareness as the path of peace and happiness.
How do we begin? First, we realize that the cultural norm of how we are living our lives falls short of the path of peace and happiness. Most of us are living short of the fullness of ease and flow, and our natural enthusiasm and sense of fulfillment. Why is that?
We are living far short of our natural fulfillment because we misunderstand our own nature. Our life experience devolves into listening to our thoughts as if thoughts were real and telling us the truth. Upon investigation, we see that thoughts are always rising and falling, temporal and reactionary—-reacting to the world to protect, comfort, defend, find fault and build ego to name a few! In sum, we must realize that our minds are never going to lead us to peace, flow and happiness. That’s not the function of the mind. And, more powerfully, the mind is not me!
If thoughts come and go and I’m always here, then I’m not the mind….Consider this. We are not thoughts; we are listening to the thoughts. And then we extend this to experience: We are not the thoughts, sensations, perceptions, body/mind or world. We are that in which all of these temporal experiences are happening. We’re not the content; we’re the context.
Consider for a moment that we are the knowing which knows our experience.
So, knowing that our unconscious identification with the mind does not lead to fulfillment, peace or happiness, we begin to turn to ourselves and ask, “who am I?” Or what am I? What is my essential nature?
This is the path we are walking to discover how to sidestep the suffering that the mind provides and step onto the path of peace.
One of the most effective questions we can ask ourselves on this quest for self knowledge and understanding is, “am I aware?” This questions cuts to the chase. It focuses the mind on a question that the mind cannot answer but only arrive at the threshold of the experience of being aware. Try it now. Ask yourself, “am I aware?” And watch the mind attempt to find out.
It takes the questions and begins to look….It drops off or dissolves as we let go into the direct experience of being aware.
We know that we are aware. How do we know this? What knows that we are aware? Is it the mind? No. The body? No. It is only awareness that knows awareness. Only being aware knows the experience of being aware. Can you begin to drop out of the mind and into the experience of being aware? Try it now. Notice that you are the one that is aware of all experience and that you know all experience because you are the knowing awareness that knows these experiences.
I invite you to slow down and move beyond the words into the experience toward which these words are pointing. Simply notice that you are seeing these words on the screen. Is it the eyes (the body) that is aware of the words or is it the knowing awareness which uses the eyes to perceive and understand these words. In other words, eyes without consciousness do not see. It is the consciousness that animates the body and its functions to experience the words and the world. The body and its senses are not aware. It is only awareness that is aware.
Can you begin to let go into the experience beyond thinking to which this path of inquiry is leading us? This is the path that frees us from the confines of the thinking mind and into the unbounded knowing awareness that is our essential nature.
Once we begin to crack the cultural bind that locks us into the prison of the mind, and liberate our experience of ourselves as this knowing awareness, this being that we are —beyond thoughts and its concepts—into the unbounded freedom, then the peace, happiness and fulfillment that is our birthright, begins to percolate in us. We sink from mind identification into the heart. We uncover our natural ease and flow as we abide as our essential nature, knowing awareness more and more.