It’s Always Here


The Buddha

Consciousness is always here, surrounding us. It is like space. You can’t see it, but you occupy it and mostly take it for granted. But you should notice it.

Consciousness is essential. Everything occurs within consciousness. If anything happens outside of consciousness, you have no way of knowing about it, so it doesn’t matter.

If you meditate consistently enough, long enough, you start to notice consciousness, just as you can notice space even if you can’t see it.

Consciousness is an infinite repository of knowledge and awareness. Again, think of any piece of information you know automatically, like your name or your phone number or your address. You can call it to mind, bring it to conscious awareness effortlessly, but you don’t think it actively all the time to remember it. Computer analogies for the human mind are not the best, but one can think of consciousness as the hard drive that stores information until you need it. It is the sea we think in.

Noticing consciousness is helpful for working on not self. Your concept of yourself as a self is only possible because of consciousness as the supervening space of awareness that allows you to think of anything, including yourself as a self. Your self concept is a discrete idea that you can and should dispense with. It tells you it is necessary, but it is actually a nuisance at best.

So notice consciousness and increase your awareness of it. Keep meditating.

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William B. Turner

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.