If you practice meditation, you probably spend a lot of time training your focus—on the breath, the body, or your wandering thoughts and feelings. But if you only train focus, you may be missing out on some profound benefits.

Another valuable skill is called open awareness, where we simply rest in the awareness of awareness, feeling what it’s like to be conscious without paying attention to anything in particular. In everyday life, open awareness means approaching situations with fresh eyes, letting go of our habitual reactions and our expectations for the future.

Open awareness is part of the Wheel of Awareness practice, a meditation tool I’ve developed over many years and offered to thousands of individuals around the world. In the Wheel, we imagine awareness lying at the center of a hub and sending out spokes of attention to points on the rim—focusing on our first five senses; the interior signals of the body, such as sensations from our muscles or lungs; the mental activities of feelings, thoughts, and memories; and finally our sense of connection to other people and to nature. To practice open awareness on the Wheel, we visualise bending the spoke of attention around so it aims back into the hub, retracting the spoke, or simply leaving it in the hub.
How to Gain Freedom from Your Thoughts — by Daniel Siegel