Hello my friend, welcome to Resting as Awareness. In the previous lesson you discovered that you can let go of the I-AM feeling. You have experimentally discovered that you do not have to be focused down into the feeling I am present. It’s a glorious feeling; it’s a glorious feeling of Consciousness—Presence-Consciousness is a glorious state—it’s your Greater Self in manifest form. It’s the energy aspect of your beingness.
But, you know now that you have even more freedom. So yes, you do have the freedom to focus as the I-AM Presence, but now you also have the freedom to not focus on the I-AM Presence. Now that you’ve discovered, in your direct experience, more of what Awareness is like—just by itself, just the I, I-am-aware—you can start to practice simply resting in that Awareness; resting as that Awareness.
Pointers to Awareness
So, a few crucial aspects, or pointers, to most effortlessly relax into that which is always already here.
First, realize that Awareness is always already here. There is not a single moment while reading this text, where you are not aware of seeing the characters on the screen. You’re effortlessly aware of this moment. So, just for a moment I ask you to pause, for 2 to 5 seconds perhaps, and recognize that there is an awareness of this moment, of this present moment.
Got it? Recognize it? Now simply surrender to that, fall in love with it, rest into it. Rest as it. Rest as “being aware of,” without placing the emphasis on what you’re aware of; place the emphasis instead on the fact that you’re aware of this. Simply rest in the recognition that you are aware of this moment. And if words help for you, sort of like a mantra, you can use this: “I am aware. I am aware of this moment. I am noticing that I am aware.”
Another crucial pointer, in addition to knowing that Awareness is always already here, is to recognize that whatever comes up as an appearance is created out of Presence-Energy—Beingness, Love-Light. Awareness is always already here and you can let the appearances be as they are. In other words, normally we identify our sense of self with what appears, very automatically. I’m inviting you to stop that process and instead, to simply rest as Awareness whenever things appear.
So, let’s say a thought appears. Normally you would have jumped onto that thought and held on to it and believed that somehow it meant something to you; that it was important to you. Now, I ask you to simply let the appearance be the appearance, while you rest as being aware of the appearance. Again, it is a shifting of where you place the emphasis of your focus, of your identity. It’s no longer invested in the appearances. It’s no longer even necessarily invested, although that’s not a bad thing, in the sense I-AM Presence, I am here, I am now. But now, it’s simply the I remaining as the I. Pure Self remaining as pure Self; pure subjectivity remaining pure subjectivity, knowing itself as the subject and not getting caught up in the appearances or the objects.
As appearances appear, continue to naturally rest in the fact that you are aware. It is very simple. In fact, it is so simple that it is what you always already do (inevitably so), even when you believe you’re being caught up in appearances; even when you believe you are the I-AM or the I-am-this. During all of these appearances, all of these identifications, the actual truth of the matter is: You are the I that is aware of it all.
Within its own field of Consciousness, within its own field of Awareness, the I-AM Presence appears. And with I-AM Presence, everything else appears, because everything else is made out of I AM Present. Nevertheless, you are always the subject; already the ultimate Free Agent subject—the Infinite One’s subject, consciousness, agent, freedom principle. You are its free will; you are its free choice; you are its Awareness.
So, simply rest as what you already are. Notice that you already are Awareness, and then, once you notice that, give yourself permission to relax into it, knowing that it is already knowing this moment.
Awareness Remains Unaffected
As you’re resting as Awareness, while appearances appear, seemingly endure them for a moment. And then disappear from view, while you’re resting, while you’re abiding, while you’re naturally rested and anchored in knowing that you are Awareness. While you practice this, what you will notice is, again, one of those core benefits that come with Self Realization, which is the realization that you as Awareness remain unaffected by appearances of any kind. That means it doesn’t matter what happens to you, because in a sense, it does not happen to you, it appears to you. It doesn’t happen to you; it’s not a personal thing.
Thoughts, emotions, beliefs, circumstances, relationships, physical appearances, circumstances, financial situations—all of these things that you deal with on a day-to-day basis are actually not who you are. They appear to who you are. As you rest as Awareness, you will start to see this. You will start to notice that an appearance comes up and poof! It disappears. And you remain completely unaffected. You start to notice that yes, maybe there were feelings, but I as Awareness, the awareness of the feelings, is still the Awareness that it was when it was aware of the feelings. Now it’s aware of not as many feelings, or maybe no feelings at all, or sense of neutrality, or maybe a positive feeling.
The Awareness that’s aware of reading this text, before a feeling appears, is the same exact changeless Awareness that is aware of the feeling while it is present and begging for your attention (which is fine). Rest as Awareness while your mind notices the feeling, and keep resting in the recognition that you are aware, for 2 to 5 seconds again and again. That same Awareness present during the emotional turmoil is also present when all emotional appearances disappear from view; disappear from your awareness in that moment. Then you remain with that which you always already were—I-I, I AM Aware, the pure I.
This can be likened to space or, say, to sky. Clouds appear all the time in the sky. In fact, in a sense, you can say they’re “made out of sky”—they are due to sky, they are enabled by sky. Without the spaciousness of the sky, the presence of the clouds could not be present. Very similarly, the presence of your emotions, the presence of your energy, and Presence in general, could not be present without the space of Awareness. It is inside of this spacious Awareness—this cognizance, this ability to know, this universal ability to know this moment—that Presence in all of its forms can occur.
So, while these clouds appear in the sky, the sky is not actually affected. The sky’s coloring, the sky’s density, the sky’s energy is affected, but those are the contents. Awareness, remember, is the container for the content, for the appearances.
A movie screen is not affected by the appearances that are projected onto it, even if the movie is very dramatic and very intense. At the end of the movie, when the projector is turned off, the screen is still the screen. Now, the screen was still that same exact screen, even with the light projected onto it in different forms, showing different motion pictures. But during the movie, we don’t tend to notice the screen, because the movie is so engaging, so entertaining. The movie sucks us into the story of it, into the definitions we’ve built up around it.
Similarly, we tend to only see and perceive what is projected onto the field of Awareness, but we miss the fact that there is Awareness. So, this lesson is all about resting into Awareness, learning to rest as Awareness and to become even clearer in your recognition that you are aware. And as you keep doing that, you will find that this screen of Awareness, the sky of Awareness, the space of Awareness remains unaffected, no matter what appears.
This is a beautiful, beautiful realization! It’s so liberating. The more clearly you see that you are not affected by even your own thoughts and emotions, by stories and beliefs and history and past and future projections, the freer you are. You’re free; you’re free from yourself, and that is the highest freedom you could ever wish for. Freedom from yourself. Because then you truly are able to re-create yourself from a new angle. But that is more the domain of the Empowerment teachings, not so much of the Enlightenment teachings.
Nevertheless, it is really great to know that you can only re-create yourself, you can only reshape your reality, if you come from a neutral point of view—if you’ve hit the “reset button,” in a sense. And Awareness resets the button of your reality, because it shows you, in no uncertain terms, that you are Awareness, not what you perceive. You can apply the neti-neti approach here as well, which you learned in Enlightenment I.
So, when clouds appear, when fireworks go off, ask yourself, “Is the sky, the space of the sky itself, the container of the sky itself, affected? Does it change? Is it disturbed?” No. Similarly, when your emotional fireworks start firing off and exploding in your sky of Awareness, is the fact that you are aware affected? No.
What is the answer to freedom? What is the solution to suffering? It is to rest as who you truly are, to rest as the immaculate changeless sky, so that, in no uncertain terms, you can become convinced experientially of the fact that it does not matter what happens.
You will also start to relinquish attachment to outcome. This does not necessarily mean you become passive about your life, or become a couch potato. It does not mean you stop engaging with your life. It simply means you realize that at the core of your being, you’re not affected by outcome; you’re not dependent on outcome.
The more you simply rest and relax in, or as, Awareness, the large majority of your expectations, of your tightly held beliefs and expectations for certain outcomes (because you’ve identified yourself with the movie of your life, you believe you need to have these outcomes in order to gain liberation, to feel free) won’t matter to you as much anymore. You will start to simply develop a very relaxed, confident attitude throughout life, no matter what occurs, because your identity is no longer dependent on the forms of Presence-Consciousness. It simply rested in the truth of the I; the purity of I; the constant free nature of “I am spacious clarity—free Awareness—I am the first principle of Infinity.”
Resting “In” Versus Resting “As” Awareness
Sometimes people ask me, “Is there a difference between resting in and resting as Awareness?” There are some differences, but they are very subtle, and in the end, they’re quite irrelevant. It is dependent upon what works best for you. The approach you should take is dependent upon what works best for you. So, let’s say, I say the sentence, “Rest in Awareness.” To me, that feels more like we, as a being, are resting inside the all pervasiveness, the spaciousness of Awareness (but check in with yourself, this might be completely different for you). This is not a bad thing at all, because it allows us to recognize that there is Awareness and relax our bodily-mental tension (the identification tension) and allow it to merge into the Greater Self that we recognize, that we rest inside of, in a sense. We rest in the feeling, in the sense, in the clarity of Awareness.
Now when I say, “Rest as Awareness,” it has a slightly different connotation, a slightly different feel to it, for most people. Again, check in with yourself, but this is what it does for me. When I say to myself, “Rest as Awareness,” it includes the practical application of allowing me to remain conscious of the fact that I am Awareness, even while appearances appear. So, appearances appear in front of me, but I can rest as the Awareness that is right here. Of course, location is an illusion inside of Awareness as well, but for the sake of analogy, I could say that “I’m resting as the Awareness within which appearances appear.”
Sometimes, when you say, “I’m resting as the Awareness, no matter what appears,” it is easier to not be moved or swayed by appearances as much. Whereas, when you say, “I’m resting in Awareness,” it is usually more a matter of stopping the appearances for a moment, or stopping your thoughts about the appearances, or no longer referencing the appearances. For example, we are practicing these 2 to 5 second moments, when we part the clouds, so that we can see the sky, right? So, when we relax our mind, we are resting inside of the recognition of Awareness being here. We recognize Awareness and we rest in that recognition. And for that moment, we’re not really aware of our thoughts, we’re not really referencing external objects or appearances.
When I’m resting as Awareness, which, in a sense, you could say is the next step after resting in Awareness, I can simply rest as that Awareness, which I’ve already become confident and convinced of, because I’ve recognized that when I parted the clouds of my mind, I recognized sky-like Awareness. And because I grew more convinced of the fact that it is always already here, and I became more familiar with its fundamental qualities of spaciousness, clarity, freedom, aloofness, and joy, I can now apply that to this moment, without having to take a 2 to 5 second moment of parting the clouds (or not referencing thoughts). Now, I can simply include it in my moment and shift my emphasis from appearances to the fact that I’m resting as Awareness. And simultaneously, I can still be aware of the appearances.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you use, as long as it works best for you, as long as it feels the most experiential to you in that moment. Use the words “in Awareness,” or use the words “as Awareness;” it doesn’t matter. Just keep resting in or as awareness and you will start to feel that it becomes more natural, it becomes more automatic, it becomes more obvious, it becomes easier. It becomes more and more your default mode of being, your standardized mode of being, your automatic response to appearances becomes to rest in and / or as Awareness. As long as there is a recognition of Awareness, whether it feels like you’re resting in it, or you’re being it; as long as you are allowing appearances to be as they are; as long as the recognition of Awareness is there—it’s all good. You’re doing the practice correctly, in that sense.
So, enjoy your exploration of resting in and / or as Awareness, letting thoughts and emotions simply be as they are, with no need to transform them, no need to change them, no need to make your well-being dependent on them anymore. Shift your sense of well-being from being tied to appearances to being Awareness itself and then thoughts can come and go. Then emotions can come and go. Beliefs can come and go. Other people can come and go. Insults can come and go. Circumstances can come and go. Finances can come and go. Opportunities can come and go. Success and failure can come and go.
But you, my friend, are aware. And that becomes your main identity, that becomes your source of well-being, your source of peace, ease, and even joy. Learn to enjoy being Awareness. It’s already true, so why not learn to enjoy what’s already always the case? Let go of control, let go of needing outcome to change, and see yourself naturally resting into this moment, into the freedom, into the spaciousness of pure Awareness. Even when you do this for 2 to 5 seconds at a time, it is one of the most powerful gifts you can give to yourself.
Rest as pure Awareness for 2 to 5 seconds, repeatedly throughout the day, until it’s naturally convinced, naturally obvious to itself. And then it becomes effortless and it’s simply here. And then you know that that is who you are. And then outcome simply doesn’t matter to you anymore. You start to live in the moment quite naturally, and your intention starts to shift quite organically from “I am free aloof Awareness,” to “I am also Presence-Energy expressing itself fully, and being very alive and present and vivid and energetic. But also I’m very free and spacious and un-manifest and untouchable.”
These two aspects of Enlightenment, these two levels of the Greater Self—the manifest Presence-Consciousness and the un-manifest pure subject I-Awareness—both become part of your being, both become part of your toolset, both become part of what is obvious to you. And now you can start to free-flow between these two.
- Read, listen or watch this lesson’s contents at least twice more before continuing with the next lesson. Allow my voice, my written words, or my face and my words, to guide you naturally. Now that you know the contents already, because you’ve heard this once, you can simply repeat it two more times before your next lesson. Or more, whatever you want; but at least twice more. Use it as a very effortless guided meditation, to where you simply start noticing, in your own direct immediate experience, the subtleties of what I just spoke about, and liberate yourself in that way. Give yourself more and more permission to relax and expand into that which is always already here, seeing the text on the screen as you read this.
- At least three times (or more often if you want to) before you start your next lesson, you sit down in a more traditional type of meditation for 15 minutes. During this meditation, learn to let things be as they are, so that you can quite effortlessly see that you’re already always resting as Awareness, even when things are going on. So, thoughts and emotions come up—thoughts about circumstances, thoughts about people, thoughts about your emotions. Feelings come up, physical sensations come up. But you learn to detach yourself from these ideas by simply letting them be there, with no longer any need to control them, because you no longer imply to yourself that you are dependent upon the changing of these circumstances, or these feelings.
Appearances don’t matter to you, so this is 15 minutes of: “Appearances don’t matter to me. I don’t care what happens. I can let this moment be completely as it is, wild as it may be, turbulent as it may be. I can simply let the fireworks be, while I rest as the peacefully loving, gazing sky of the pure subject of I-AM Aware.”
Do this for about 15 minutes. You don’t have to be in a constant state of absolute clarity; you can’t expect that from yourself. Again, expectations are not part of what matter to you, because that’s part of the appearance. But use these 15 minutes to consistently recognize that you don’t care what happens in those 15 minutes. Appearances are simply observed as completely neutral and empty; you are noticing the vividness of your own Awareness—and that becomes your identity.
After every session of these 15 minutes, I want you to write down one or two or three paragraphs on the shifts you noticed in your experience. Changes in experience, subtle realizations you may have had, or radical shifts in identity you might have had. Whatever you notice consciously about your shift—when you started resting as Awareness and letting the thoughts and emotions be as they are—write these things down, sort of as a diary exercise.
- Throughout everyday life, at least 25 times per day, take a very sincere pausing moment of 2 to 5 seconds of absolute pure noticing awareness only. This will increase and enhance your familiarization process, your conviction process, becoming convinced of this Awareness, so that it becomes effortless. That is what we want; that is what I want for you—for the understanding, “I am Awareness,” to become so effortless that it doesn’t matter what appears, you simply see that you are Awareness. It becomes automatic, effortless, pure; it becomes total and free and it no longer requires practice. You can still emphasize it even more if you want to, but at least it will be your default mode of understanding. The appearances don’t affect you, because you are Awareness.
Please consider sharing some of this homework, some of your exercises, some of the paragraphs you wrote down, your challenges, and so on, in the appropriate corresponding study group that goes with this lesson, so that others may learn from your challenges and from your realizations, and that others may aid and assist you, as well. In this way, we can generate a tighter, better, more helpful community.
Give yourself permission to completely enjoy this process, to enjoy this homework. Because if you don’t give yourself permission to enjoy this homework, you’ll just be going through the motions, but it won’t be as sincere. Realize the benefit this will give you. Realize why we are doing this, realize why you are here, reading this lesson, why you’ve made it as far as you have made it already. It is because this is what you desire. So give yourself full permission to enjoy noticing that you are aware, over and over and over again. Prioritize that, do that for yourself.
Got a question, or just want to share?
Discuss this lesson in the forums!