In consciousness things are known. It is the essential aspect of all experience.

Meditation Instructions

When we turn our attention toward consciousness, we don't find anything. It has no location, shape, taste, or color, yet it reveals everything.

If we want to experience it directly, we need to turn away from objects and pay attention instead to the simple fact that they are known.

When the mind is undistracted, consciousness appears clear and unobstructed. Nothing comes between it and the known object. The undistracted mind knows things directly and immediately. Thoughts about objects always follow the direct knowing of them.

We often believe that consciousness is who we really are.

We believe we are really the watcher, or the witness that seems to be behind everything.

We say "I see" or "I think". But who is it that's actually doing the seeing and thinking? Is there really some "I" standing back behind it all, or is that just a deeply-rooted belief?

The Buddha's teaching is about not clinging to anything that is changing, no matter how refined or subtle it may be. This includes consciousness, which the Buddha said also arises and passes in connection with objects. The belief that consciousness is our true self is a subtle form of clinging in the mind.

If we cling neither to objects nor to the knowing of them, then what?

What stands revealed when there's no clinging to anything at all? This is the experience of peace, of freedom from suffering, that the Buddha meant when he called his teaching the sure heart's release. And it is always available for each of us, at any moment. That is why each moment is worthy of our attention.

*Thanks to Bryan Tucker for providing and allowing the use of these instructions.

Next: Awareness without an object

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