I have no idea about what “right awareness” is. How to judge that I am going in the right direction?
There is no right awareness, because there is no possibility of wrong awareness. Awareness is right. So first drop the wrong question. Once you are asking a wrong question to yourself you cannot get the right answer.
Don’t ask what is right awareness. Simply ask what is awareness. Your question gives the fallacious impression that you know what awareness is, that the only thing that you don’t know is what is right awareness and what is not right awareness. Erase that fallacy completely from your mind.
Awareness is simple, very innocent. Everyone has it, so it is not a question of achievement. One wrong question leads to another wrong question: first you ask what right awareness is, then you ask how to achieve it. You already have it. When you see the sunset, are you not aware? When you see a roseflower, are you not aware? You are aware of the beautiful sunset, you are aware of the beautiful rose; all that is needed is that you become aware of your awareness, too. That is the only thing that has to be added, the only refinement.
You are aware of objects. You have to be aware of your subjectivity. When you are looking at a sunset, you are so absorbed in the beauty of the sunset that you completely forget that there is a greater beauty which is making it possible for you to know the beauty of the sunset – it is your awareness. But your awareness is focused on an object – the sunset, the sunrise, the moon. Drop the object and just remain engulfed in pure awareness, in silence, in peace. Just be alert.
I am reminded of one of the most beautiful stories that I have come across in my life.
A king in Japan sent his son to a mystic, to a master, to learn awareness. The king was old. And he said to the son, “Put your total energy into it because unless you are aware, you are not going to succeed me. I will not give this kingdom to a man who is asleep and unconscious. It is not a question of father and son – my father has given it to me only when I attained awareness. I was not the right person because I was not his eldest son, I was his youngest son. But my other two brothers, who were older than me, could not attain.
“The same is going to happen to you. And the problem is even more complicated because I have only one son: if you do not attain to awareness, the kingdom is going into somebody else’s hands. You will be a beggar on the streets. So it is a question of life and death for you. Go to this man; he has been my master. Now he is very old, but I know that if anybody can teach you, he is the man. Tell him, ‘My father is sick, old, can die any day. Time is short, and I have to become fully aware before he dies; otherwise I lose the kingdom.’” A very symbolic story too: If you are not aware, you lose the kingdom.