Thoughts and awareness. How are they different?
Any experience of the outer world sends ripples through the inner world of individual consciousness. Some of these ripples can turn into giant waves in the mind. However, these waves cannot disturb the deep depths of our being, just as surface waves on an ocean cannot reach its bottom. The movement of wind influences waves on the surface of an ocean. Similarly, the mind is greatly influenced by the movement of energy through actions, speech, and interactions with other human beings.
The mind pushes us towards the outer, while awareness pulls us towards the inner
The experience of the inner through awareness creates a current that cleans the mind. Even a perfectly still lake has currents underneath. These currents do not disturb the surface. Similarly, when the mind is still, our awareness can penetrate deeply into our being. There is life there just as there is life in the depths of an ocean. The experience of the mind on the surface is very different from the experience of the deepest layers of our being.
Awareness cleanses the mind as it travels deep within our being
The mind's energies get muddied when we wade into the world. As awareness travels deeper into our being, the mind has a chance to allow its thought sediments to settle. No matter how much sand we pour into an ocean, we cannot raise its level or fill it up completely. Similarly, the space in the mind is infinitely more than what is occupied by thoughts. Even a little mud can opacify a large container of water. Likewise, a small number of thoughts can make the mind opaque.
A wall of thoughts traps awareness
When we are in front of a wall, to see what's on the other side, we will have to come around that wall. By doing so, we cannot see what's behind the wall. A similar situation plays out in the mind. Thoughts create a barrier. For awareness to penetrate that wall and enter the world, it has to move in front of the wall of thoughts. When we are engaged in the world, there is an invisible wall of thoughts behind us. This wall cannot be broken down through an active process. It gradually crumbles when we are in passive receptivity. Maintaining awareness creates passive receptivity.
When awareness is in between the wall of thoughts in the conscious mind and the world outside, attached to neither, we find thoughts reflect the world and the world reflects our thoughts. They are not very different from one another. This space may be very narrow, to begin with, but gradually, it widens as awareness fills that gap.
When awareness flows...
Awareness is like water. Water is soft, but given time, it can cut through the sharpest and hardest rocks. If we create space, awareness will flow, and that flow will cut through the wall of thoughts inside. It takes time, but eventually, even stone will have to yield to water. Similarly, however, entrenched our thoughts, awareness will find a way through. Since thoughts reflect the world, along with the crumbling wall of thoughts, the skewed view of the world will also change.
This wall of thoughts in the conscious mind is not representative of the entire mind. There is a vast expanse of thoughts that lie behind that wall. This expanse is like a lush valley full of flowering plants cut off from the rest of the world. They may be beautiful, but they are of little use in the context of the world. Similarly, when we encounter through awareness, the deeper layers of the mind, we will likely find that it may be of little use concerning our existence in the present. When awareness floods that inner valley full of dormant thoughts, they will disappear to the bottom, and as long as awareness is maintained, they cannot resurface.
Maintaining awareness requires being in a receptive mode and keeping the inner space open. Thoughts make us seekers and not receivers. Seeking adds to the wall of thoughts within the conscious mind, while awareness gradually breaks down that wall revealing a timeless aspect of existence that is not in a distant corner of the universe but right within ourselves.