Before you even recognize the fact of being conscious, you are already present as the one who recognizes that fact.
Start with the fact of your own being. Is that a concept or hypothesis? Have a good look right into that, to understand the nature of what is present. Books are of little help in this. You have to look for yourself. So start with something verifiable and tangible as a self-evident fact, your own presence.
When all concepts are abandoned, your natural being still remains vividly present and cognizing, even cognizing the coming and going of consciousness. That prior-to-consciousness presence is sometimes pointed to as non-conceptual awareness. Some traditions call it the non-fabricated, space-like awareness of the natural mind. Others call it unconditioned consciousness. Still others call it "pure" or "infinite" consciousness, meaning consciousness with no limits or conditions. The key points in all the traditions are the same: You are That, your own nature is the reality, etc. This is NEVER an attainment, but the ever-present natural condition.
Non-duality is not a future state, dependent on your mind. Non-duality is the ever-present natural state in which the mind and all else appears. You are that reality. All that appears is only a manifestation of that one primal awareness. You are not separate from that, nor are the appearances. That is ever-present non-duality, the natural state.
Quotes from John Wheeler