Who do you think you really are? Now stop thinking and listen for a few seconds to any noises in the room. In that silent state of awareness, you are not thinking, yet very alert. In this state you are closer to who you really are than any thought about yourself you have ever had.
Your Natural State Of Being
Your natural state of being is knowing yourself as the awareness of all forms. In this state you experience the inner peace, sense of wholeness and joy that you may have previously searched elsewhere for. It is already there inside you, as you, and it requires nothing.
You Are The Awareness
Who you really are is not a concept, not an idea of "me". It is not a name or a form. It is that which is aware of the concept, name and form.
Beneath your thoughts, behind your emotions and sense perceptions is a still, alert awareness. This is who you are. Thinking covers this up and leads you to believe that all these thoughts are who you are. But who you really are is more subtle and yet more vast than any of these thoughts.
This still awareness is everywhere yet it is nowhere. You can not point it out or name it, yet it can be felt as you, constant throughout the whole universe. It is one thing, and you are part of it.
Listen again…. that inner silence that arises is the space of awareness, who you really are. Remain as that for a while, or whenever you can remember. Just listen. Listen within yourself as well as for what is happening around you. Can you hear how silent the inside of your body is, your "inner body"? Can you notice the gaps between these words as you read them? Can you hear the gaps between thoughts, the space around all the things you see, the space of your breath as it flows in and out of your body?
All of these things are noticing the formless in the world of form. Form is required for you to notice the formlessness of who you are, in the same way that you would have to stand next to someone tall to realise that you are short.
As soon as you notice the formless, you are the formless. You must be silent to listen to silence, you must be still and spacious to notice the stillness and spaciousness in the room or area you are in.
Do not worry if there is still mental noise, or the pull of your mind dragging you away from your formless depth. Allow it to be, be the space, and see what happens to your spaciousness from there. It grows. Through your nonresistanceto what is, it deepens.
Notice how the space in the external world allows everything within it to be as it is. This is the same for your internal space in relation to thoughts and emotions. Thoughts arise within the space that you are, and the space does nothing about it, it lets the thoughts (or emotions) be. When you do this, your thoughts and emotions have no power over you, even if they are playing out.
Your thoughts do not matter, and not resisting them implies this. Nonresistance removes their power. Resistance gives them power.
The True Self
The awareness that you are is known in many spiritual teachings as the true self. The "illusory self" is often called the ego, which arises when we identify with forms, particularly thought and emotional forms. This means that we become trapped in a conceptual existence, believing that we are a form or conceptual identity.
We believe that our names, personalities, thoughts, emotions, physical forms, behaviour etc. are all part of who we are. These are all just objects of your awareness. You are the awareness itself.
Rather than you being some "thing", saying "I am 'this' or 'that'", it is closer to the truth if you simply say "I am". This implies no form, yet that you still exist.
Say to yourself "I am" and feel your inner body. See what happens.
The true self transcends the world. It is indestructible. Notice the gaps between thoughts, the awareness of form, the silence of space. You are the knower. You know a thought is there, you know an emotion is there, you know a sense perception is there.
The true self is not any kind of personality, it is just pure, still consciousness. It is the consciousness that gives rise to all forms. It is the source of everything. Consciousness allows you to be aware of a thought. Without consciousness no thought could even be. This consciousness means you can be aware of your physical body, rather than believing you are the physical body.
Who you really are is beyond name and form. It can not be harmed. It is the life behind every thought, emotion and perception you ever have. Be the awareness, be the watcher, no matter what arises within or without. Then you will see that inner peace is always there within you, as you.