“The key to understanding mindfulness lies in distinguishing awareness itself from the contents of awareness. All sorts of different things arise within the frame of our awareness–physical sensations, visual perceptions, sounds, smells, tastes, emotions, thoughts. These are all contents–things that come and go. And the contents of awareness are always changing.
The light of consciousness that illuminates the sights, sounds, sensations, and thoughts? Awareness does not change. It is the only thing in our waking experience that remains still and constant, the calm foundation on which our ever-changing experience rests. Experiences continually vary, but the conscious awareness that illuminates those experiences does not.
We can’t be defined by what we are thinking and feeling when our consciousness is aware that we are thinking and feeling.”
Kristin Neff, Self Compassion