May 30 • 15M

Meditation: What Is Awareness?

A meditation investigating the nature of awareness.

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James Juniper
Essays and meditations on happiness, non-duality, and healing trauma.
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Are you aware? Are you aware that something is happening? Are you aware that you're having an experience?

Could you think, feel, see, taste, or hear if you weren't aware?

Being aware does not mean thinking about your experience. You feel, see, taste, hear, and think effortlessly, naturally, and automatically. These experiences, and the awareness of these experiences, do not stop when you're not thinking about them.

What is awareness? Awareness is an experiential knowing. It's that which allows you to know that the answer to the question "Are you aware?" is "Yes".

The intention behind non-dual meditations, like this one, is to help you familiarize yourself with the only fundamental quality of your experience — awareness.

Sensations, perceptions, and thoughts are always changing. While the contents of experience are always changing, the context of experience is changeless.

Awareness is the context of experience in which sensations, perceptions, and thoughts arise. If awareness is like the ocean, sensations, perceptions, and thoughts are like the waves on the surface.

In fact, awareness isn't just the context in which sensations, perceptions, and thoughts arise. Sensations, perceptions, and thoughts are made of awareness. Just as waves are made of ocean.

Look in your own experience to see if you can find any distinction or distance between a sensation, perception, or thought and the awareness of it.

Feel that there are sensations tingling at the bottoms of your feet.

Is there any separation between feeling the sensations and being aware of the sensations? What could this distinction even look like experientially? How could you know that you were feeling a sensation before you were aware of the feeling?

Awareness of sensations, like the tingling at the bottoms of your feet, is not the thought "I am aware of the sensations at the bottoms of my feet". This is a thought about awareness. Pure awareness is prior to thinking. Pure awareness is what allows you to know that a thought like "I am aware" arose.

Thoughts, sensations, and perceptions are temporary expressions of awareness. In the absence of thoughts, sensations, and perceptions, awareness remains.

The only thing that's been consistent in your experience is your sense of being. You have never not had the sense of "I am". This may not always be clear, but you have never stopped being what you are.

What you are has never left you. What you are never changes. What you are is without borders or boundaries. What you are is limitless and one.

What you are is awareness. Non-dual teachings and meditations are aimed to help you know, feel, and be what you truly are. In doing so, you'll reveal the happiness, freedom, peace, and love that's natural to your being.