Awareness

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8 years 7 months ago #12119 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
Tina, you are making a valiant attempt -- ten points!

The consciousness being referred to in that quote is the Theravada concept of object consciousness. It is not the same as Awareness. So... that quote is not about Awareness, it is about the components of co-dependent origination. That's an easy confusion, frankly, because we're talking about subject-object dualities and such, but at the end of the day all of these things - non-dual awareness (or Awareness if you like), emptiness (the embodiment of the not-one aspect of existence), and co-dependent origination come together and are inextricably intertwined to form our experience. Each describes an aspect, a facet, of experience yet the reality of our universe is larger than the sum of the individual parts.

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8 years 7 months ago #12122 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Chris Marti wrote: Tina, you are making a valiant attempt -- ten points!


Thanks, Chris, but maybe I should give up for now. I appreciate everyone's attempts to explain this mystery, but, frankly, my brain is tied up in knots!

I suppose I just have to keep practicing, and I'll either find out or I won't!

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8 years 7 months ago #12123 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
Um, it is exactly that kind of focused, determined inquiry (leading to utter confusion) and then a, "Screw it, I'm just going to sit here and look at what's happening right now," that seemed to produce my first big whack of non-dual Awareness. You are creating a koan-like situation that might be worthwhile. Your call.

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8 years 7 months ago #12124 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Awareness
I am aware that this thread is awesome!

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8 years 7 months ago #12125 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness
it is indeed awesome.

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8 years 7 months ago #12127 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Chris Marti wrote: Um, it is exactly that kind of focused, determined inquiry (leading to utter confusion) and then a, "Screw it, I'm just going to sit here and look at what's happening right now," that seemed to produce my first big whack of non-dual Awareness. You are creating a koan-like situation that might be worthwhile. Your call.


I actually feel like trying to see/know/grok this awareness thing has been/is a big source of suffering! The very thing that practice is meant to alleviate.

Better to let it go & try to pay attention to the best of my ability.

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8 years 7 months ago #12129 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
Do you have a plan to get you through the path without suffering?

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8 years 7 months ago #12130 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Chris Marti wrote: Do you have a plan to get you through the path without suffering?


Well, I know there will always be suffering of some kind or another, but didn't the Buddha talk about the kind of suffering generated from thinking things like: who am I? what am I? what was I in the past? what will I be in the future?

I guess my plan is to try to see, to the best of my ability, the kinds of activities that cause dis-ease. I'm thinking that even this kind of intellectually driven seeking for an answer comes under the category of dukkha that the Buddha talked about, and that the surrender of that kind of desperate desire to know will lead to ease. Then energy is freed up for actual practice.

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8 years 7 months ago #12131 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness
In addition, I think that it's just that kind of mental masturbation that has thrown the monkey-wrench into my practice. If I could just get out of my head, out of the incessant habit to figure things out & think them to death, then & only then might I see some real progress.

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8 years 7 months ago #12132 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
Giving up is good! How else will what is not produced by effort be apparent?

The "unnecessary" part of suffering is the "this shouldn't be happening" part. The "things ought to go differently" part.

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8 years 7 months ago #12133 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness

Tina wrote:

Chris Marti wrote: Um, it is exactly that kind of focused, determined inquiry (leading to utter confusion) and then a, "Screw it, I'm just going to sit here and look at what's happening right now," that seemed to produce my first big whack of non-dual Awareness. You are creating a koan-like situation that might be worthwhile. Your call.


I actually feel like trying to see/know/grok this awareness thing has been/is a big source of suffering! The very thing that practice is meant to alleviate.

Better to let it go & try to pay attention to the best of my ability.


tina - how so? that may be a very productive thing to grok. is it that when you run into feeling stymied, for example, you feel like an intellectual failure, and that's unpleasant? if so, that points to good stuff to look at, beliefs and sense of identity that may be learned but not actually true. that particular one just an example. we each have our own stuff to explore.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #12135 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Ona Kiser wrote:

Tina wrote:

Chris Marti wrote: Um, it is exactly that kind of focused, determined inquiry (leading to utter confusion) and then a, "Screw it, I'm just going to sit here and look at what's happening right now," that seemed to produce my first big whack of non-dual Awareness. You are creating a koan-like situation that might be worthwhile. Your call.


I actually feel like trying to see/know/grok this awareness thing has been/is a big source of suffering! The very thing that practice is meant to alleviate.

Better to let it go & try to pay attention to the best of my ability.


tina - how so? that may be a very productive thing to grok. is it that when you run into feeling stymied, for example, you feel like an intellectual failure, and that's unpleasant? if so, that points to good stuff to look at, beliefs and sense of identity that may be learned but not actually true. that particular one just an example. we each have our own stuff to explore.


Ona,

I don't feel like an intellectual failure, but it just feels like the kind of effort that leads away from the actual seeing/knowing of what is being pointed to.

So many people have advised practitioners not to be so caught up in their heads because it's not the intellect that gets you there, that words and concepts are not adequate for describing the indescribable. I'm only thinking that they may be onto something because it's just that kind of mental analysis that has led me around in circles like a dog chasing it's tail.

Also, when I think back to those few times that I've had insights, I was always in a state of relaxation, experiencing the senses fully, being interested & curious, really receptive, and not at all in my head.
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Tina. Reason: grammar

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8 years 7 months ago #12137 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
There is a two-edged sword at play here. On one hand yes, getting caught up in thinking about things can be counter productive. On the other hand, there is definitely an intellectual element to the path. Once you have an insight or realization, you sort of have to think about it and the implications of it for it to really soak in. And there is something to be said for using the intellect's proclivity to need to know, to get somewhere, that can be very useful by turning it back on itself. Koans are a great example of that, and that's the sense in which I meant my suggestion that you not just give up on thinking about Awareness. We are not creatures made purely of intellect and we are not creatures made purely of feelings and sensation. We're in the middle and there's a role for both.

JMHO

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8 years 7 months ago #12141 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
I suspect that there are both personal and gender-based differences to what constitutes "proof" or "understanding." As a member of the minority gender in these venues-- and therefore with particular interest in how any of it might be different for women-- a dynamite philosophical exposition doesn't move me the same way even fleeting visceral sensations and emotions do. That seems to me (in my small sample of experience) to be more typical of women than of men.

I don't wanna get all Mars vs. Venus about it, but in the tiny subset of practice teachings that include bodily differences in the approach, there is acknowledgement of factors like "hara" meaning different things to men and women based on anatomy.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #12144 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
No doubt there are differences by gender, by age, by upbringing, by culture, by previous religious affiliation, and so on. My only point was that, being human, we cannot escape the intellectual part of everything we do, including this path. I'm pretty sure Tina will find the balance that is appropriate for her. Sounds like she may have already.

FYI - this is not meant to downplay gender differences.
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Chris Marti.

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8 years 7 months ago #12147 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness
hey guys,

I happen to work at a bookstore, so I have access to oodles of info on titles that are available. Today, I'm going to seach for Awareness for Dummies, or Awareness for Idiots. I'll let you know what I find.

Just throwing some humor into the mix and laughing at myself! :lol:

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #12148 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Russell wrote: Nice Chris. Tina, it is not some trick question. You can already see the answer. But, like Chris said, until you truly see for yourself, you will probably still say 'OK, but so what?' This it not something you can just be told.


Back to this again, because I just can't seem to put it down!

How can I already see the answer if I'm still asking the question? And, so what if I say OK, so what?! :lol:

If there is an answer, what is it? And then I'll investigate THAT!
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Tina. Reason: grammar error

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8 years 7 months ago #12149 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Awareness
It seems like through the process of this thread, you have already been told the answer and said, 'so, what?' :)

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #12150 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness
Russell,

Please point out what I'm overlooking! Have I said "so what?" or have I said things about how I'm not sure that the answer can be seen just by thinking or intellectual analysis?

If you and others have seen IT by thinking, then please correct me, and I'm open to all sincere guidance and advise. That's why I'm on this forum. I can't go at this alone.

Also, I'm not ashamed to admit that I must be extremely dense when it comes to this stuff :unsure:
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Tina. Reason: spelling

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8 years 7 months ago #12151 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Awareness

Kate Gowen wrote: It is the ongoing process of being/awareness itself-- in words. But to put it in words doesn't do justice to the mind-explosion of feeling it in the totality of your body and mind. A long-ago teacher noted "we go on existing, and none of us knows anything about what it is to be going on existing."

Afterwards, it is as if every last silly thing has an extra dimensionality that you've ignored all your life. And you couldn't say if it is "in/part of others/ things" or "in/part of you." And you know that you'd had glimpses now and then-- sometimes since you were a child.


Kate answered you a long time ago. And later you still said "SO, what is it?" As Kate said, putting this in words does not do it justice. It's just not possible. This is a part that you cannot intellectualize.

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8 years 7 months ago #12152 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
Persistence is good, too, Tina. Because it's all about engagement.

My own most frequent observation, right up to the final frontier, was-- "That can't be right--??!! Is this IT?" It was like an internal "Who's on first?" routine.

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8 years 7 months ago #12153 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Awareness
From Chris's journal, this sums it up for me: "Well, it’s like setting off years ago to walk down to the nearest corner only to realize that once you get there you went all the way around the city and, seemingly, wasted all that time and energy to make what now is seen as a very short trip. It could anger a person, but it made me laugh."

I was both angry and laughing hysterically.

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8 years 7 months ago #12156 by Rod
Replied by Rod on topic Awareness
This is probably the most compelling, interesting and amusing thread I have seen anywhere. It should be a book. Would love to have thrown a few questions in too but time differences as usual blah blah. I am fascinated with the comments around awareness being something that you already know but ignored all your life. So tantalising! Thanks Tina and Tom for trying to get these more awakened folks to spill the beans on this point. It seemed they did but I think 'beans' means different things. :lol:

One question I have for Kate, Russell, Ona, Chris and other aware people, what was the context in which you first saw things in this way (sorry for the clumsiness)? What were you doing literally and practice-wise that led up to that realisation or was it gradual? Sure, 'It' is beyond words to define/describe so it would be interesting to know the conditions around which you 'understood' it?

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8 years 7 months ago #12157 by duane_eugene_miller
Replied by duane_eugene_miller on topic Awareness
It is the deep singular loneliness of the infinite and eternal now that has journeyed with "me" for this life. It is Now and Presence. The presence of the now maybe? It's hardcore whatever "it" "is". :)

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8 years 7 months ago #12159 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Awareness
First i have to say, please don't put me in the same category as the others you mentioned above. I am a mere child in this process compared to them. This is an evolving process, I have many stones left unturned.

My practice was kind of hardcore in the fact that I was so consistent and persistent that I sat every day. Started with noting then after "2nd path" I did lots of jhana work, after "3rd path" it was all just frustrating and yucky. I had started having these strong non-dual experiences that i thought were it, but It wasn't until I stopped my obsession with practicing that it tipped me over. See, even the practice itself became an obstacle at some point.

This is just a quick rundown and is by no means the way, it just happened to be my way. Everyone will tell a different story.

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