All meditation practices have an effect on building awareness and can be considered meditation for awareness. However, meditations that have the aim of taking the seat of awareness itself have a particularly powerful impact on building awareness. Meditation for awareness helps awareness take the forefront your experience so that useless thoughts and stresses no longer drive you during meditation or in daily life outside of meditation.
3 Excellent Meditations For Awareness
The ideal meditation for awareness hones in on becoming directly aware of awareness itself. Underlying all of the activity in our lives, from people and objects to all the sensations that pass through our five senses, awareness is in the background constantly observing everything.
However, because of the barrage of thoughts and judgements about whatever is passing through our senses to awareness, the awareness usually goes unnoticed. A meditation for awareness that makes us more aware of the awareness itself is an excellent exercise to make the shift to clearer awareness in daily life. That’s what the following awareness meditations offer.
These meditations are partly imagination exercises that bring you to a meditative state of awareness, so look at them as a process of introspection that leads to meditation for awareness all in the same sitting.
Meditation for Awareness #1: Letting Go Of The 5 Senses and Thoughts
For a detailed explanation of the following meditation for awareness, read this article on awareness of awareness.
- The basic idea is to close your eyes and imagine dropping each one of your five senses one by one. Start with your eyes and imagine you can no longer see.
- Then drop hearing so you can no longer hear or see.
- Then drop taste and smell.
- Lastly, drop your body sensations and imagine you can feel nothing.
- What are you left with? Thoughts and emotions, but also you’re left with the awareness that is aware of your thoughts and emotions. Now drop the thoughts and emotions and feel the awareness that remains.
- Rest in that awareness.
With this meditation for awareness it helps to first notice whatever is coming through each of your senses in realtime during the meditation. This helps you become acutely aware of the sensation itself, which makes it easier for you to imagine dropping it.
Meditation for Awareness #2: What Makes You Feel Like You Exist?
With your eyes open or closed ask yourself what makes you feel like you exist right now in this moment. You’re not looking for answers that come in words or thoughts. You want to feel the answer via experience. What is this feeling of existence? The simple and perhaps obvious answer is that you are conscious. Consciousness is awareness.
You can verify your existence by simply asking “Am I aware right now?” and notice the experience that confirms you are aware. This experience of awareness is the answer. Doing this continually in meditation can have a powerful effect on bringing awareness to the forefront of your experience.
Meditation for Awareness #3: The Mirror Of Awareness
This meditation for awareness can be started one of two ways. You can start by actually looking in a mirror, or simply close your eyes and imagine you are looking in a mirror.
- See yourself in the mirror as your body, but also see that within that body are many thoughts, emotions and physical sensations constantly moving.
- If you are actually looking in a mirror, this is the point where you can now close your eyes.
- Continue imagining you are looking in the mirror and seeing yourself with all your history as a person, all the identities that you contain, all the thoughts, emotions and sensations that are moving.
- Now imagine that on the real side of the mirror (not the reflection) you cannot see your body at all. On the real side of the mirror you are just awareness looking at your body’s reflection in the mirror with all of the above that is contained in your body.
- Now imagine as this awareness peers at the image of your body that the background behind your body goes black. There’s no light behind you and nothing behind the image of your body that your awareness sees in the mirror.
- Now imagine your body, with all its thoughts, emotions, sensations etc slowly moving backwards and fading into the black where all that is left is blackness and your awareness being aware of the blackness.
- Rest in this awareness in this meditation for awareness.
There are certainly other meditations for awareness. As I mentioned, any meditation has an effect on building awareness. Even meditation on the breath – counting the breath or watching the breath from the edges of your nose to your lungs and back – are exercises of meditation for awareness. They make you more aware and help to keep your thoughts from dominating your experience. However, the above three meditations for awareness more directly enable the movement of awareness to become the forefront of your experience, which offers amazing benefits for your life.