Question: By consciousness, do you mean the absence of thought? What do you mean by consciousness when you use the term?
No, by consciousness I do not mean the absence of thought.
Consciousness is not contingent on the presence or absence of thought. Nor is it contingent on the presence or absence of perceptions or sensations.
In fact, consciousness is not contingent upon anything.
Consciousness refers to the one and only reality. Although consciousness is the reality of all experiences, it is not dependent on any experience or condition. Consciousness, the one reality stands on its own feet and does not need the world body mind to confirm its reality.
Consciousness celebrates its freedom, sense of play and creativity by creating out of itself, the world body mind, the universe and cosmos. Like you create your night dreams out of yourself and out of your innate freedom.
Having said all that, what matters is to know yourself. Your true self. Not the imagined me character, but the real ‘I’ that is consciousness.
Since only consciousness is conscious, it would follow, given that you are conscious, that you therefore are consciousness conscious of itself.
Next is to contemplate that consciousness is not personal nor limited by any form, by any event, by any mind structure.
In time, such contemplation will reveal the universality of consciousness and dissolve all sense of externality, revealing the magnificence and infinity of the Self.