You can have consciousness of life. The difference between just living and being aware of the fact that you are real life is so immense that it cannot even be compared. You have to be willing to know that you are alive, as opposed to just thinking about being alive. If you want to know about real life, you have to be willing to be alive, with everything that it entails.
Presently we do not truly live because something within us rejects what consciousness requires of us. Just living -- that is, just going through our daily routine without any effort to be aware that we are alive -- is the same as dying. Consciousness, however, holds living and dying.
When meditating, try to remember that what you need to do is to be aware of yourself, as opposed to trying to get something out of your meditation. If you will be conscious of yourself, you will find that you already have everything you need... and more. You must make the choice. Do you want to just exist, or do you want to make the journey back home and participate in real life?