Being Aware of Being Aware is the Highest Meditation – Rupert Spira
We, as spiritual beings, are aware of everything in and around us; the colors of the room we are in, the sound of our voice, whatever sensations and perceptions may be present. If you let your imagination go wherever it wants you will be able to experience and be aware of whatever it encounters. Being aware is the constant element in all experience. Things we are aware of like emotions, colors, light, sounds, smells and everything else constantly changes. The fact that we are aware of it all is the only constant, unchangeable fact.
Thoughts, sensations, and impulses our senses pick up are short, whatever you were thinking two minutes ago is not the same thing you are thinking now. But the simple experience of being aware remains constant and unchanging throughout. It is never affected of what we are aware of. The common name we give to the experience of being aware is “I”. I is the name we give to that which is the aware of our experience. It is a consistent element that runs through our entire experience. We are so fascinated by things we are aware of, we are not normally so fascinated by our thoughts and feelings, state of the body and perceptions of the world we are having. Simple experience of being aware is often overlooked because of that, to the point we don’t notice it. The experience of being aware is not something we are being aware of as we are aware of thoughts and perceptions. Still, the fact is that everyone knows that they are aware. That knowledge comes from our experience. It is easy to direct our attention to thoughts in our head, or objects around us. Directing attention to the sheer fact that we are aware brings us back to the name we give to the experience of being aware, “I”. I am aware of feelings and perceptions. But turning attention to ourselves is not simply paying attention to our thoughts, or feelings and bodily sensations. We are aware of all of those, but it is the experience of being aware that is crucial, not the sensations we are aware of.
Experience of being aware is not something that is inaccessible. We all know that we are aware. If someone was to ask you “Are you aware?” you would pause, think, and answer “Yes, I am aware.” It is in that pause that we come to a realization that we are aware. Experience of being aware is not buried in the depths of experience, and we do not need to practice techniques for years in order to have access to our essential nature of simply being aware. It is entirely available; it is in that pause, always reachable to us. Its presence is completely independent of thoughts, feelings and perceptions. Experience of being aware prevails over all our feelings, thoughts and perceptions. It cannot be disturbed or altered in any way like our thoughts and feelings. Body and world are constantly moving and changing, but the experience of being aware is completely immovable. Our essential nature of pure awareness is never stained, moved, harmed, and conditioned by any particular experience. No experience leaves a trace on our essential being.
It is always in the same pristine condition, never aged or diminished.
Awareness rests in its own being. It becomes clear gradually and in itself doesn’t share the limits of what it is aware of. Knowing that awareness itself doesn’t share the limits of any particular experience is the great discovery. That recognition is what it is traditionally knows as enlightenment. That self-recognition sometimes comes quite, and sometimes brings great excitement and colorful sensations in our mind. We realize that the self we previously acted and thought of is a fictional self. We know that we are not a simple cluster of thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings come and go, but “I” remain. It is same in childhood and in venerable age; it doesn’t grow old or changes at all. That recognition liberates us from the tyranny of the fictional self. It is shared by us all; there isn’t a separate being for us all. When we take thoughts and sensations we go to the same source, and draw upon the same source. That is what love is, recognition that at the deepest level we are all the same being.