Awareness is Never Lost
Since birth we are aware, we are always in the moment as children, but as we grow up our awareness is diluted. It appears to have disappeared as it gets entangled in other objects. Awareness is our nature, it is never lost, one can focus it on anything one chooses to. Once you are tired of focusing it on material objects like money, power, prestige, then a moment comes in life when one wants to focus one’s awareness within by closing the eyes. One begins to look for the source of this awareness, where is it coming from, on the roots — once this happens, in that split second life is transformed.
There are no steps to be followed — just one step — turn within. There is a story in Judaism which explains this concept. There was a man, Bal Shem, every day in the middle of the night he would go and sit on the banks of a river. That was his routine, night after night without fail, he would sit in that absolute calm and quiet just watching himself, watching the watcher. One day as he was passing by a rich man’s house on his way back, the watchman out of curiosity asked him, “What do you do every night, I am curious to know. I have followed you and seen that you just sit there till the middle of the night and then return. What is your business? What do you do?”
Bal Shem replied, “I know you have been following me. I can hear your footsteps in the absolute silence. I know you hide behind that gate and watch me! I too am curious about you. What do you do? He said, “I am a watchman, I guard the rich man’s house.” Bal Shem was overjoyed, “By God, you have given me the key word! This is my business too!” The watchman was confused so Bal Shem explained, “There is a difference between what I watch and what you watch. You are watching for somebody outside who may enter the house; I simply watch this watcher. Who is this watcher? This is my whole life’s effort; I watch myself.”
The watchman was puzzled and wanted to know what Bal Shem got out of it. Bal Shem replied, “Nobody pays me anything, it is such bliss, such a joy that it pays for itself profoundly. Just a single moment of bliss and the world’s treasures amount to nothing in comparison.”
One needs to take only one step, and that is of direction, of dimension. Either we can focus on the outside or we can let our whole consciousness be centred within by shutting our eyes to the outside world. Once we do this, we will know that, because we are the ‘knower’, we are ‘awareness’, we have never lost it. It has simply got entangled in thousands of things. Just withdraw your awareness from everywhere and just let it rest within the self, and we have arrived home!