Mind vs. Awareness – September 12 2017

Mind is matter, subject to time and space, like any object. But awareness is not matter; it is free from the clutches of time and space. So, when the mind links with pure awareness, it is liberated and attains freedom to move wherever it likes, without the restrictions of time, space and object.
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati, Sri Saundarya Lahari
 
One of the benefits of meditation is that we become able to distinguish more finely between things that in the past might have seemed identical. We might hold up our index fingers side by side and see that they look much like mirror images of each other; however when we really look at them, we see that they actually differ in countless ways. They are not the same thing at all.
 
By taking our mind to the place of transcendence time after time after time, as we do in meditation, our powers of discernment become ever more powerful, and what yesterday perhaps looked like two peas in a pod today is seen to be a pea and a lima bean (to extend the metaphor).
 
The quote above distinguishes between mind and awareness. Someone who is not a meditator may argue they are the same. But those of us who spend time in the place of transcendence, in the place of pure awareness, can see absolutely that these are two distinct things. Yes, we often have thoughts in meditation, but always there behind the thoughts is that place of pure awareness; and then oftentimes in meditation we find ourselves having the experience of pure awareness without thought. Without the sticky, sometimes endless output of the mind. 
 
This place of pure awareness is where we contact our universal Self. It is the place of bliss, of Being, of healing, of love. It is the Source of all that we are. We move in the direction of this place each time we meditate; and because we have done so again and again and again, we now find ourselves able to call upon this place outside of meditation as well, simply by asking: what am I that is behind the thoughts? What am I that is untouched by these thoughts? Simply by asking we are stepping back from the thinking and into a position that will allow us the possibility to experience the answer to these questions, the Truth of what we are. 
 
To experience that what we are–eyes open or eyes closed, thinking or not–is this pure awareness.
 
Today I will allow for the possibility that I am something other than my thinking. I will pause, for at least a moment sometime in my day, to ask ‘what am I?’ behind these thoughts.
Saddhus, Kumbh Mela, Prayag, Uttar Pradesh, India
All original material copyright © 2017 Jeff Kober