buddha statue meditating peace garden zen

Your consciousness - Your space - You are the space of consciousness

consciousness happy katherine bihlmeier meditation Aug 18, 2022


When Siddhartha Gautama (the future Buddha) sat down under the Bodhi tree about 2,600 years ago, he was determined to realize his true nature.
Siddhartha had a deep interest in truth, and the questions "Who am I?" and "What is reality?" drove him to look even deeper within and illuminate his own consciousness.

As the following Zen story teaches us, this kind of search is not an analytical or theoretical exploration, so it's not a mental thing!
The story goes like this:
One day a novice asks the abbot of the monastery, "What happens after we die?"
The venerable old monk replies, "I don't know."
Disappointed, the novice says, "But I thought you were a Zen monk. "
"I am, but not a dead one!"

The most powerful questions possible direct our attention and lead us solely to the present moment.
To practice this Buddha-inspired way of self-exploration, we can still the mind quiet and ask, "Who am I right now?" or "Who is conscious right now?", or ask questions from your heart about your life.
Like: What choices can I make today that will help me even more out of my connection with my space of consciousness to live and BE ?".

With this we can gently dive into consciousness to see what is true.
Ultimately, we find that there is no way for the mind to answer the questions - there is no "thing" that we can see or feel.
There is only your awareness of it.
It is simply a matter of looking and then letting go into the nothingness that is here.

The question "Who am I?" should completely dissolve the feeling of being on a quest.
But as you may find, that doesn't happen right away. At first we come across all possible things we think we are, our patterns of feeling and thinking, our memories and the stories we believe about ourselves.
Our attention keeps fixating on elements of the outside, the foreground.

Our attention keeps fixating on elements on the outside, on the foreground.
Perhaps we got in touch with a feeling. We keep asking: "Who is aware of this?".
And the more we ask, the fewer answers we find. Finally, the questions bring us to silence - there is no step back.
We can't answer.

The discovery of nothingness, your space of consciousness, is "the highest seeing" according to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
It reveals the first fundamental quality of awareness: emptiness/openness.
Consciousness or awareness is free from any form, from a center or a boundary, from an owner or an inherent self, from any solidity, it's undefined and completely free of valuation!

But our investigation also shows that awareness, though free from "thing-ness", is filled with alertness - a luminous, constant knowing. Rumi expresses it this way, " You are gazing at the Light With its own ageless eyes."

Sounds, shapes, colors and sensations are spontaneously recognized. The entire flow of Experience is received and recognized by consciousness. This is the second basic quality of awareness: wakefulness or cognition.

When we let go and rest in this relaxed, awake openness, we discover how consciousness relates to form: When something comes to mind - a person, a situation, a feeling - the spontaneous reaction is warmth or tenderness.
This is the third quality of awareness: the expression of unconditional love -compassion.
Tibetan Buddhists call this the "unrestricted awareness," and it includes deep joy, appreciation, glory, lightness, and the many other qualities of the heart beyond all realities.

When Siddhartha looked into his own mind, he recognized the beauty and goodness of his essential nature and was free.

The three fundamental qualities of our being - openness/determination, alertness and love - are always there.
Gradually, we too can realize that this awake, tender awareness says more about us than any story we have made up about ourselves.
We are not a human being on a spiritual path, but the spirit discovering itself through a human incarnation.
To the extent that we begin to integrate this and draw from this endless field of consciousness of your infinity more and more, our life fills up with another kind of lightness, joy and glory and above all with more and more, gratitude, goodness, and grace.


For a deeper exploration into your own consciousness and your capacities, join our monthly membership group - The Conscious Fit Gang.