Awareness of Awareness Meditation

For many people meditation means simple, one-pointed concentration - for example, focusing upon the breath.  While this is a good way to start meditation, I've found that the deepest meditation comes from focusing upon your own awareness - Awareness of Awareness, as some call it.  This is thought by many to be the highest form of meditation and the path to awakening or enlightenment.

To begin, become aware of your current emotional state and thoughts.  If you are agitated acknowledge that and let it be a starting point. If you are mellow then acknowledge that.  Notice your thoughts.  Listen to them as you would listen to another person in a conversation.

Next step back from your thoughts.  Don't try and stop them, but distance yourself from your thoughts until you no longer identify yourself with your thinking mind.  If you find yourself straying and caught up in your thoughts , just distance yourself once again from them and begin to focus upon your breathing.

You can look at a room and notice 10,000 things in an instant before your thinking mind starts analyzing and critiquing.

Spend several moments focusing upon your breath.  Breathing in, notice yourself breathing in.  Breathing out, feel the air leave your lungs.  When thoughts enter your mind simply observe them as an object and return to your breath.  Continue watch your breath over and over.  Realize that thoughts are just something you do, like breathing, but they are not you.

Now realize and acknowledge the awareness that is watching the breath.  Awareness is not thought, it is higher.  You can look at a room and notice 10,000 things in an instant before your thinking mind starts analyzing and critiquing.  This noticing is awareness.  The language and thoughts about what you see are thoughts.  You are aware of your thoughts so you must not be your thoughts.  The thinking mind is a lot like your beating heart - it thinks, but it is not you.

Next lets turn our awareness upon itself.  Notice the self that is noticing.  Watch your own awareness.  When it starts to feel weird or your thinking mind starts chattering, watch your breath for a while and then return your awareness back upon itself.

Allow your attention to expand and encompass your entire sphere of consciousness.

Eventually you will feel a warmth, a sense of peace.  You are getting in touch with your true self, your awareness.  When you are in touch with yourself, you will gain an abiding sense of peace.

Now let your awareness expand.  Realize that your awareness is bigger than the everyday-ego-self that you are used to experiencing.  Let it include the room or space that you are in.  Feel that you are in touch with your surroundings.

Just allow your mindful attention to expand, to encompass your entire sphere of experience, of consciousness.  Allow yourself to experience clarity and spaciousness.  Realize that you are more than your everyday ego.

Sit with this experience as long as you can.    As you practice more often you will find that anxiety and agitation begin to fade from your life.  Things will happen, but you don't have to experience the same level of distress and dissatisfaction.  You will expand.  You will know yourself.

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