Put simply, metacognition is the “knowing of knowing”, or being clearly aware of our own awareness; and as we’ve explored previously, developing and honing our metacognitive skills is essential for beneficial learning and growth — namely, healthy self development, maturation, and continuity of positive states of Being. The foundation of this practice is to generate strong Intention on where and how to place our Attention, on what is happening Right Now. In short, we practice Attending to our Experience with deep interest, intimacy, clarity, and fullness; over and over and over again.
Slowly but surely, day-by-day, we find our lives transforming as we live more and more often through the lens of a clear, open, and loving Mind.
As our metacogniton becomes stronger, with more clarity and stability, we naturally become more and more interested in understanding and exploring awareness itself. We realize that everything we experience is within our field of awareness, and we start taking awareness as The Whole Path, not just an aspect of our daily meditation and contemplation practices. We recognize that the quality, richness, fullness, and clarity of our lives is directly dependent on the quality, richness, fullness, and clarity of our awareness. This is a powerful and liberating insight — a lightning bolt of transformation which changes everything.
As we dive deep into the “knowing of knowing”, two simple, sacred, and profound questions reveal themselves — “who is the knower that knows?”, and “where is the knower that knows?”
A less personal, but equally effective phrasing of these questions is, “what is our awareness?”, and “where is our awareness?” The answers are simple and direct, but we have to know how and where to look. If we take some time to sit quietly with our eyes and ears wide open, and our clear Attention focused on the entire visual and auditory field; it is obvious that everything is in a state of flux; dynamically changing, appearing, and disappearing. Similarly, if we bring our Attention to the sensations of our body, we find the same thing — bodily sensation is vibratory, dynamic, and always changing; much like the weather. Our field of experience is a flowing stream of change –simultaneously coming and going.
The spacious visual field is changing with each dancing ray of light; and all sounds are emerging from silence and disappearing back into silence; moment by moment. Within our body, the vibratory sensations of breathing emerge from stillness and disappear back into stillness in each moment. This is the truth of impermanence — where Time operates, everything must change, in every moment. There is a direct knowing of the coming and going of our lives in each instant. That much is obvious and easily verified.
However, a more subtle inquiry is to examine whether there is an aspect of our direct experience that doesn’t change, and thus is Timeless? The surprising and wonderful answer is Yes — although all sights, sounds, and sensations are changing within our field of experience, the “knowing aspect” of our experience does not change. Awareness is always Right Here. It doesn’t come from anywhere, and it doesn’t go anywhere.
Much like a still, silent and unchanging movie screen, we watch the dynamic movie of our lives appear and disappear on the silent, still, and spacious screen of sacred awareness.
When we explore this awareness, we find that it has no boundaries. It is limitless in all directions. We also discover that it does not come or go anywhere. It is changeless. And when we search for its origin we cannot find a single location where it begins, but paradoxically, it is located everywhere we look. With sustained practice, we can take the perspective of this field of awareness and “watch” the ever-changing, flowing stream of our minds. We can be fully aware of our own sacred display, magically appearing and disappearing. This is the perspective of The Witness– we are experiencing our own unique display, with a very subtle sense of self still operating.
If we rest into this witnessing perspective, with a mindset of infinite patience — without any expectations or efforts to change anything, without waiting for anything, and without trying to get anywhere, our very subtle sense of self will collapse. The Witness will disappear, and we realize that we are the entire field of awareness. We are Reality Itself, and we’ve been watching our own Minds all along. Every moment is a view into the Sacred Mirror of Unbounded Love, Joy, and Freedom — the Uni-verse (One Song) of the Infinite Deity.
All experience is the sacred synchronicity of the Wholeness of Being Yearning to Know Itself. This is Awakening.
This is the one continually unfolding gift of a Loving Reality; and when we openly and fully receive this gift, we have no choice but to radiate Joy for all Beings with boundless gratitude. May we all become vessels of awakening; receiving Divine Love and radiating Profound Joy to a Loving Universe. May this Freedom and Truth be heard, known, and embodied by All Beings.