My attentional thrust as a kid was such that awareness was valued over all. In many ways I was lost in it. I used to be able to look at a very small thing, such as a pebble on the ground or that was part of an earthen wall, and the pebble seemed very important, like more of a friend than any friend, more of a parent than any parent.
I had rapport with small things. I would pick up bees and play with them. The big world of careers, human entanglements, and all the associated comings and goings, didn’t interest me too much.
As I entered my thirties or forties, I could no longer look at a pebble and recognize awareness. Everything had become that recognized awareness.
There’s a big difference between seeing awareness in a pebble and seeing nothing but awareness wherever you look. The limitation of this relationship is that … it’s a relationship. It is a higher form of duality, a lower form of nonduality.
There’s an even bigger difference between recognizing nothing but awareness and awareness itself. The death of the seer of awareness means what? Awareness. That and nothing else. Now there is no pebble and nowhere to look. You can’t pick up little bees anymore. Why? Even if a photograph is taken of you picking up a bee, now it is not done by you.
There is no difference between your fingers and a stone on the ground in the Himalayas, in the sense that they are contents made of the same stuff and exist only in what appears to be a container known as the universe. The contents and the container are very flimsy. The atmosphere in which they flicker momentarily and beautifully, like northern lights, is awareness.
How is this little telling about awareness made practical? It comes down to valuing awareness. Very simple. Value awareness, your being, you being-ness.
I confess this as a valuer of awareness and a witness to what that valuing sets in motion from an attentional point of view.
As far as how you value awareness, you have to be able to intuit that already. Just sit, be still, and realize you are aware, you exist. Respect and value it. Do that as often and as deeply as you can.
Books and teachers? They can serve as guides. However, trust yourself first and last, and somewhere in between let the books and teachers fall.
And if you try to pick up a bee, you may get stung, if it is not meant for you to do naturally.