You are awareness. That is the fundamental nature and essence of being of you and me and everyone we know. That is so of animals and maybe plants; it is so of Mother Earth, this planet. But, we humans are more often unaware than aware, and this displays most obviously with our senses.
Right now as you are reading, there are myriad other things in your visual field. To what extent are you aware of them? Right now as you are reading, and your sense of touch is experiencing standing or sitting, the in and out of breath, the breeze or the texture of your clothes. Are you aware of them while you are reading? During reading, smells are in the air, sounds are everywhere, and there is a taste to the atmosphere that has nothing to do with your mouth. Are you aware of these? And are you aware of them all as they are happening in their simultaneous plethora each moment?
Probably not; we humans are checked-out most of the time. We are in a constant state of distraction and don’t know that, don’t recognize distraction in its ongoing manner.
Please use this podcast as an experiment. Have fun discovering!
No matter what one is doing, one is living moment by moment. Eating, drinking, talking with friends, creating, researching, or watching something from a park bench or on some platform, moments are streaming through our senses, perceptions, and consciousness. What is interesting to consider is that each moment is going through a pre-set filter system – at least unless one is a highly realized yogi/yogini. This is one reason why moments flow together so seamlessly into time, habits, group consensus of up/down, spicy/salty/sweet, inside/outside, and such.
However, calling one’s self to be present in the present is an invitation to this moment – unadorned by the habits of consciousness, by the social norms, by the memories of the past, or by the preferences that generally guide us through each day.
The present is uncontrived unto itself. Meditation mindfulness – on and off the cushion – help us recognize the contrivances that we put upon any thing, event, or person so that we can learn to unlearn the habits of lifetimes and social imputations.
To have Awareness in its seat is a choice. Awareness IS. You are this essence that gives birth to all manner of consciousness, knowing, questioning, loving, rejecting, creating, destroying, to gestation, transformation, letting go, letting be, simply BE, and to life in all its craziness and sublime qualities. To choose Awareness begins with getting used to the idea that Awareness already IS, already is Aware, and is one’s essence of Being.
We are so used to questioning, doubting, wondering what if or who did. The common human habits of consciousness tend toward abdication of intrinsic Being, giving away the natural profundity of universal wisdom-compassion innate to us all and trading it for temporary and completely fleeting senses of stability or control or gratification or … . Current societies are predicated upon such abdications of innate wisdom; and the world is poised on a knife’s edge as a result.
The Path of Intrinsic Being is one of less desires. Well, there goes capitalism and being codified as a consumer. The Way of Awareness is one of pauses, pregnant and purposeful gaps in thought. Oops, there goes drama down the drain. Wisdom-compassion asks nothing of anyone but one’s self; and what innate Wisdom-Compassion asks of its reflection is to be wise and compassionate. Well what do you know – self-importance and entitlement just dissolved and left plenty of everything for everyone and every being.
At the completion of this session, I say something about the function of practices and that no effort will affect Awareness nor is necessary to Awareness-Wisdom-Compassion. The function of all the practices from all traditions including every one that we have done in our years together is two-fold:
If a practice has truth of Being at its core, then that practice will somehow point out, erode, highlight, clarify, tame and train the persona and its myriad ways to cleverly sustain a sense of incompleteness and lack within one’s self. When one thinks about this, one recognizes how ridiculous this game is. But, we’ve been playing it for a long time, societies and cultures, religions and rules are based upon this contrived sense of incompleteness, so those habits of consciousness are not so malleable or open to truth of Being.
If a practice has truth Being at its core, then that practice will engender vulnerability which is simultaneously an openness to the insanity around one and of which one might be a part. In other words, loving-kindness is fostered. We begin to look around and see. And we get sad, wondering what “I” can do. At this point, a person becomes an unwilling part of the problem and a willing source of solution through empathy, sympathy, and action through words, deeds, aspirations, motive, caring.
The function of meditation techniques and practices of Path including learning concepts or contemplation on Truth and what is Real or who/what am I/how can I help the world is to bring us back to ourself, to illumine and illustrate that you are vastly more than one tends to consider true. When you are Being, Present, True, you are more powerful than any god or goddess or set of circumstances. The function of all practices of truth is to illumine you to you. Little by little, we begin to see that what I thought was so ain’t necessarily so; and what Essence of Being is, innate Awareness is, Pure and Total Consciousness is is this very person that I call me.