A meta awareness of the moment to moment quality of awareness can be compared to theatrical irony in that it’s a larger knowledge that contains a smaller one. The practice of awareness exists on different levels and itself requires awareness.
Mindful meditation stays fluid, flexible, remains lighthearted, yields sometimes to distraction. To be aware of not being aware may be the best consciousness can do at that moment, if “best” has any meaning here. True meditation is both a process and not a process, deliberate and not deliberate, routine and the antithesis of routine.
Mindful meditation is not an end product of careful ceremony or stiff attitude but just that direction toward the more objective state of being. If distraction resolves into the here and now even just a little that is mindfulness, a transition and not an ending. It’s an aim but only seen from the outside not from the inside; to aspire would be to destroy objectivity. If we have an objective it’s the dissolving of that entity that can have objectives.
We can say that meditation is the observation of the failure to meditate but as an ongoing process with no end result mindful meditation is denied failure just as much as success.
Any form of subjectivity at all is really an incomplete awareness because to be fully here and now is to be free of past thoughts; there simply is no space for personal thought. We find this obvious during the more direct if narrow perceptions of a crisis when we’re forced to jettison our usual persona.*
Rather than looking out from a past, look through oneself into a present. Being is the window on the world that the here and now uses.
We have no choice but to feel from the inside but it’s possible to observe from the outside, the subjective being contained within the objective. It may not be obvious but self-awareness and the awareness of others amounts to the same thing; the objective state of being contains both.
Self-image is gratifying in its creation but painful in its inevitable dissolution. In other words it only defers pain; to accept flattery is ultimately to suffer. Experiment and see that in the here and now the mind is immune to both flattery and hurt.
It’s so easy to lose oneself in the trivialities of life and forget important principles. In attending to the details as they arise but keeping a larger perspective we’ll always be ready with a laugh.
* Amusingly “persona” comes from the ancient Greek word for the masks worn during a play.