Awareness is a point untouched by problems || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Speaker: Vishal is asking, ‘What is awareness and how does one get it?’.

Start by seeing what is not awareness.  Whenever there is a sense of problem, the mind is busy finding a solution to that problem by using thought. Right? Then there are images, then there are various kinds of options, possibilities, this and that. There is a complete movement. A lot of clutter going on. Right?
Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.
Speaker: This is called consciousness. Right?
Listeners(everyone): Yes, Sir.
Speaker: Consciousness involves thought. That is why someone becomes incapable of thinking. Consciousness involves the participation of mind. Right? Mind is busy thinking. Mind is busy trying to find some solution to the problem. This is consciousness.
Now, there is something called witnessing the mind. In that, one can stand at little distant from the mind, and look at whatever is going on. One is not participating anymore. One is just witnessing. Calm, relaxed witnessing. This is Awareness.
So, you are aware. How do you know that you are aware? You are aware, if there is some part of you, which is untouched by problems. That is why I started my answer with problems. We all have problems. There is nobody that doesn’t have problems. This,-that, right- left,  big-small. Right? Every moment there is a problem. See, even if I want to pick this up, there is some sense of problem because there is a task needing to be done and the mind must find a way how to pick this up? So, the mind says that this needs to be picked up. There is some kind of movement  which says that the left hand must be used, the left hand must be moved to such a degree and at such a distance, and then it should be clutched, and then it should be picked up. Everything for the mind is a..?
Listeners(everyone): Problem.
Speaker: Problem! That’s why it is said, ‘Big or small, everything is a problem.’ Mind participates in the world as if the world is a problem. The world in fact is a problem for the mind.
Awareness is when there is some part of you which is so relaxed that the problem has not touched it. It’s a simple, calm witness. That is awareness. Awareness does not mean having any kind of information. All that comes in the domain of consciousness, collecting information, knowing, analyzing, having data, working on the data, putting together pieces, doing this and that, whenever you have something to do, you are yet not aware, fully aware.
Complete awareness is a sense of distance from whatever is going on and that distance does not mean that I am not into it. That distance only means that I am untouched. Are you getting this? Have you sometimes seen this? That the situation might be very bad  but there is some part of you that remains untouched, which does not become tensed or nervous. Or, have you seen some other people, exhibit this? That even in the middle of very tense situations they are still composed. Have you seen this? This is called awareness. That does not mean that they will not act. So, if there is a fire in the room, they will act, they will know what to do. They will run around. They will push the right buttons. If there is somebody who needs help, they will help him. Right? If they need to jump over the tables, they will jump. They will do everything, still they will not be ‘tensed’. They will not be panicking. They will not be acting as if everything is about to be lost. The body will be busy in action. The mind too will be busy in action. Yet, there will be one point within, which will not be busy at all, which will just be witnessing. The entire drama is going on and I am just watching it. That is awareness.
So, we talked about two, three things.
Firstly, what is consciousness? Right? That the mind always needs problems. Then we said that it is possible that even in the middle of the problem, one is not touched by the problem. One responds to the problem. If the problem demands action, one will act but yet there will be something within which the problem cannot touch. And we said that is..?
Listeners(everyone): Awareness.
Speaker: Yes.

Excerpted from a ‘Shabd-Yog’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session video: Awareness is a point untouched by problems || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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