“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.” ~Rumi
Most of us have had the experience of a lucid dream; knowing we are immersed in a dream while dreaming. This is the analogy Singer uses in chapter four to describe the true nature of our consciousness; the awakened state.
Honestly, most of us don’t live in an awakened state on any regular basis. I know I don’t. I would like to think that after years on the spiritual path I could maintain a state of conscious awareness, but I don’t. However, the fact that I’m aware of this is a huge shift for me. And, I know I can bring myself to a state of conscious awareness if I can quiet my mind and focus on the present moment.
We learn in this chapter that we have the power to focus our consciousness, to sit in the seat of awareness and not be consumed by the events around us. We focus our awareness all the time. Some of us get lost in our art, or a football game on tv. But then we fall down the rabbit hole, first, with the immersive sights, sounds, smell and feel of our human senses and then the voices in our head take hold. We are no longer aware that we are separate from our thoughts or the events around us.
“What differentiates a conscious, centered being from a person who is not so conscious is simply the focus of their awareness. It’s not a difference in the consciousness itself. All consciousness is the same. Just as all light from the sun is the same, all awareness is the same. Consciousness is neither pure nor impure; it has no qualities. It’s just there, aware that it’s aware.” ~ Michael Singer
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – this is deep stuff, a head scratcher, but stay with me. There’s another way to gain an understanding of what Singer is trying to explain and that’s through the process of meditation. Singer explains that the ability to focus your consciousness back on its self is a form of meditation.
“The more you are willing to just let the world be something you’re aware of, the more it will let you be who you are – the awareness, the Self, the Atman, the Soul.” ~ Singer
Meditation is a practice; be patient with yourself. I’ve experienced what some call the ‘gap’ – the space between my thoughts while meditating. It’s a very personal experience that has allowed me to view my human experience from another perspective.
This week, consider starting a meditation practice if you’re inclined. Meditate and focus your awareness inward. There are many wonderful guided meditations available on YouTube. Find one that works for you and travel the inward path toward awareness. See if you can experience the gap, the space between your thoughts.