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There Is No Thought In Awareness

 In the mirror of your mind, says Nisargadatta Maharaj, all kinds of pictures will appear, stay for a while and disappear. Silently watch them come and go. Be alert, but not attracted or repelled. It is important not to be involved. This attitude of silent witnessing will have the effect, gradually, of driving away all useless thoughts, like unwanted guests that are ignored. By being thus within yourself, that is, in the 'I-am-ness', by watching the flow of mind, without interfering or judging, as a dispassionate witness, the 'deep' unknown will be encouraged to come to the surface of consciousness and release its unused energies to enable you to understand the mystery of the origin of life.

Consciousness alone is our constant companion, and that it is the continuous attention to one's stream of consciousness that takes one on to Awareness — the basic existence, that-which-is-life-love-joy.

The very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement towards Awareness. The mind by its very nature is out-going, always tending to seek the source of things within the things themselves. When it is directed towards the source within, it is almost like the beginning of a new life. Awareness replaces consciousness. The 'I am', which is a thought in consciousness, ceases. In awareness, there is no thought. Awareness is the source of consciousness.

It is an excellent spiritual exercise to sit quietly and watch what comes to the surface of the mind. What we call thoughts are like ripples on the surface of water. Thoughts always lead to identification or condemnation; they are products of preconceived notions and stand in the way of real understanding. Just as water is serene when free of ripples, so is the mind serene when free of thoughts, when it is passive and fully receptive.

Awareness is of the Absolute, and, therefore, beyond the three Gunas (Gunatita); whereas consciousness is something fed by, and limited by, the food-body. When the food-body is destroyed, consciousness also disappears. Mind you, no one dies — the body, made of the five elements mingles with the elements when it is lifeless, and consciousness, which is subject to the three Gunas, becomes free of the Gunas. Awareness is the primordial original state, prior to the concept of space-time, needing no cause, no support. It simply is.

Source – book titled ‘Pointers From Nisargadatta Maharaj’ By Ramesh S. Balsekar