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The Power of Awareness for Success in Meditation

By Swami Anandakumar

What is awareness?


Awareness is a skill and it can be practised and developed. 


The qualities of awareness are stillness, silence and peace. 


Awareness is constant, consistent, ever present. If awareness is lost in meditation it is regained without any loss of composure. There is no point in any agitation over loss of awareness as it will only deepen the loss and make it harder to regain. It is part of the mind being itself. 


Awareness is utterly impartial, has no preferences, no likes or dislikes; it absorbs everything. It does not react. If there is reaction, awareness is lost. And again if it is lost it should be regained without serious loss of composure. This loss of awareness and the ability to bring yourself back to the task at hand is the testing point of meditation.


In meditation the mind is not to be trusted, in what it brings to the attention of the awareness. All is viewed equally. When that part we call the awareness, the drashta can stand next to anything in the mind – the new, the irrational, the loved and the hated, the exciting and the mundane – and not be moved or affected then meditation is working.


There is a kind of quiet affection from the observer for the all-too-human nature that is being observed – it is the same nature after all. You could say this is the awareness, combining with the natural force of the spirit within. It is love, pure love, and this love is the reality though we may not know it yet. 


By the same token everything that is a construct of the mind is not. If there is a belief, faith, that the spiritual force is the truer and greater, and that also it resides within each one of us, then in meditation nothing out of the mind need disturb us unreasonably or be taken that seriously. In the end it is all subject to time and space anyway and one day it will all pass. 


These are the conditions of awareness that guarantee success in meditation. By adopting this approach, a different view of one’s own mind develops. The nature itself does not change, this is understood, but the relationship with the mind changes based on observation, acceptance and friendship, leading to insight and wisdom. Then also, almost as if by magic, the individual take on life in the outer world spontaneously undergoes a kind of revival - joy found in simpler things, needing less to attain more. This is the real power and purpose of meditation. 

Full version of this article originally published at Power of Awareness Blog Spot


About Swami Anandakumar

Swami Anandakumar has studied a wide variety of yogic disciplines for over 30 years, training and teaching in Australia and India, as well as conducting courses on meditation internationally. One of his main teaching duties over the last 10 years has been the four month course held annually in Bihar School of Yoga in India. This brought insight into the effect of sustained practise over a period of time.