Awareness

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8 years 7 months ago #12396 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Awareness
I am curious, for those in the know, whether "deathless" and "cessation" are synonyms? Thanissaro Bikkhu uses that term too (I believe he was a student of Amaro, or contemporary through Chah).

-- tomo

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #12397 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness

"I am curious, for those in the know, whether "deathless" and "cessation" are synonyms"


No, not really. A cessation refers to the momentary winking out of existence, sometimes during a path moment, sometimes not. It's a short term, impermanent phenomenon. "Deathless" is most often used to describe IS, Awareness, non-dual realization, what have you. This is not an impermanent phenomenon but part of the fabric of existence, always present (thus described as "deathless" or "birthless" depending on who's describing it).
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Chris Marti.

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8 years 7 months ago #12552 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Awareness
I would like to revive this, as the topic of awareness came up in a discussion I had with Abre. How subtle is the shift in perception between "unawareness" and awareness? The reason I ask is because I seem to be able to now notice a "stepping back" that I hadn't really before, but it is really, really subtle and I don't know if I am just imagining it. For me, the best analogy I can use is a camera lens, where the focus starts on something in the near field, and then by turning the focus on the lens just slightly, the background comes into crisp detail. In the awareness context, "background" really means all of the senses at once, but it is the small shift that I am asking about.

Make sense?

-- tomo

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8 years 7 months ago #12554 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
"The aperture widens..."

-- not the eye's aperture analogous to a camera lens; more the mind's / understanding's aperture. The "extra dimensionality" is a "depth of field" for which I can think of no equivalents.

It is both subtle and undeniable.

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8 years 7 months ago #12557 by Tom Otvos
Replied by Tom Otvos on topic Awareness

Kate Gowen wrote: "The aperture widens..."

-- not the eye's aperture analogous to a camera lens; more the mind's / understanding's aperture. The "extra dimensionality" is a "depth of field" for which I can think of no equivalents.

It is both subtle and undeniable.


Yes, aperture is indeed a better term than focus, because aperture controls the depth of field. And the depth, for me, is the amount of sense data that I am aware of. So I am on the right track?

-- tomo

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8 years 7 months ago #12558 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness
In a way, at this point, you can't really be on the wrong track. If it happens to be a sense of depth, that's fine. If that's not what you are experience in a particular sit, that's fine. See Abre's point #1. :P

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8 years 7 months ago #12560 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
I don't know from right or wrong-- I do know that that sense was the most consistently prominent thing in my own process.

What Chris writes seems to indicate something similar.

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8 years 7 months ago #12567 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness
I'm glad that this is such a hot topic and that it's receiving so much input!

I've been contemplating the various responses on this thread, and I've been investigating awareness in my daily experiences. The only thing I can say about IT is that all things are known. By what? I have no idea. Just hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, smelling & thoughts are known/registered as they are, where they are, which is no location in particular. They are all received by no-thing that I can talk about, and they don't seem to be separate from IT.

With clear attention, all arisings & passings appear edgeless/borderless & non-separate from each other.

This is where I'm at with this so far, and I welcome all opinions/suggestions about how to look, if how I'm looking seems like the wrong direction, etc.

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8 years 7 months ago #12569 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness
My thought was this (re: "can't be on the wrong track"). Just because something happens to be present in awareness, or we become aware of awareness itself, does not mean that we should therefore prioritze looking at that, as if we will somehow therefore grab onto the new thing and keep it in sight. This is the impulse I think. "MORE OF THAT! YES!". It happens when we first feel absorption or bliss in meditation. WOO! THAT! and we try to keep finding it. Or it happens when we have a shift and feel a sense of disorientation and openness. YES! THAT! KEEP IT!

This all points to this idea we have that we are somehow fully responsible for seizing upon anything "good" that arises (that seems to be heading the "right" direction) and trying to keep a hold of it. Bad yogi! :P

My friend got a very wise bit of advice from Christopher Titmuss once, when he was in a stage where he kept having this awareness of what he called "emptiness" - a sort of pervasive spacious unfindable quality to things. He asked Titmuss how he should practice. Titmuss said: "Attend to that which is NOT emptiness."

That was the context for my earlier comment.

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8 years 7 months ago #12570 by Tina
Replied by Tina on topic Awareness

Ona Kiser wrote: My friend got a very wise bit of advice from Christopher Titmuss once, when he was in a stage where he kept having this awareness of what he called "emptiness" - a sort of pervasive spacious unfindable quality to things. He asked Titmuss how he should practice. Titmuss said: "Attend to that which is NOT emptiness."


Hi Ona,

If I'm correct, I remember reading this in an Alan Chapman/Duncan Barford book. When I read this, I was stumped.

Could you shed some light on "Attend to that which is NOT emptiness." What does that mean to you, and how might one go about attending to THAT?

Thanks! :)

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8 years 7 months ago #12572 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness
In other words (yes, it was Duncan I think): just because you are aware of, say, spaciousness, why obsess about that particular aspect of experience? Why not just continue with (say) your noting practice, or broad awareness of all phenomena in this moment arising and passing, or whatever your practice was? To drop what you were doing and race to grasp at one particular aspect of experience is falling for the idea that if you don't, it might go away, and that would be sad. It showed up without you making it show up. it will come and go in perception as it pleases.

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8 years 7 months ago #12573 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Awareness
The difference in "noticing" and "obsessing" or "making a goal of..." is significant.

The whole point about awareness is that it is the ground of, the basis from which, we are aware "OF" whatever we become obsessed with-- or dismiss as trivial. It is, like grace, not something we really do. Our manipulations of it, our attribution of significance to some of it-- we do that. But that's the smaller portion of awareness itself.

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8 years 7 months ago #12582 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
This is just MHO, but there is no way to put this in words and get it right because the minute words are used they fail. It just IS, an ineffable quality to existence. It's the only apparently permanent aspect to existence that I can see, but to say that I can "see" Awareness is not correct. It's just there. It's identifiable by its ubiquity, but that ubiquity is colorless, formless, odorless, unseen. It pervades and infuses everything. It cannot be chased down or manipulated, because it's not a thing.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #115261 by Philip Stone
Replied by Philip Stone on topic Awareness
This is a thread which frankly I never understood when I first read it but it always seemed to be gold and it amuses me now how much I used to go looking for Awareness with a capital A. Does the team think there could bet a better name for it or are seekers doomed to go scurrying off over the horizon no matter what It's called?

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2 weeks 3 days ago #115264 by Kacchapa
Replied by Kacchapa on topic Awareness
This is a great discussion, there are treasures in the archives! 

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2 weeks 2 days ago #115267 by Dusko
Replied by Dusko on topic Awareness
From an experiential point of view; 

There is consciousness there, clear knowing. 

The seen and see-er, become one field. As in the object that was over there, and me over here has merged into a free flowing dream. 
To me it felt disorienting as “I was not in control and I didn’t like that”. 
So it didn’t last. It was impermanent. 
So far I don’t see it being on all the time. 

It’s a bit scary letting this “state” jyst be as really “you” are nowhere to be found to control “all of this” and that really is freaking me out! :D 

Its a bit like deciding to just jump out of an air plain and “dunno”. :D 

Funny to think of Chris Marti (and any person realised) being in this like a default “all the time” :D 

Its an effortless “state”. I still call it a state as I haven’t see it stick. Well “I” seem not ready to “go away” (I feel sadness as I write this last sentence) 

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2 weeks 2 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #115268 by Dusko
Replied by Dusko on topic Awareness
Chris is saying this deathless non dual awareness is Permanent. 
Kenneth Folk is saying this non dual awareness is also subject to Anicca as it doesn’t last all the time. Apparently that is not what it is to be a human person (to be in permanent non dual awareness) He said “why would awakening be the only thing that is not effected by Anicca” (paraphrase). 
According to Kenneth he still can get lost in a “good movie” but he can also very quickly snap out of it and see what is there. I see this as being lost in scenarios and life situations, as in being absorbed into a good movie (6 Realms apply) 

Kenneth talks about it in the 3 podcast episodes with Taft. 
Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by Dusko.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #115271 by Philip Stone
Replied by Philip Stone on topic Awareness
I don't think the "I" will go away, instead you might simply find that it no longer has the priority you thought and becomes another part of experience that rises and passes away, sometimes moves centre stage and then recedes again?

Chris is saying this deathless non dual awareness is Permanent. 
Kenneth Folk is saying this non dual awareness is also subject to Anicca as it doesn’t last all the time

Possibly here Chris is referring to awareness itself as the absolute, the ground of experience, that phenomena arise from and pass away into, whereas Kenneth is referring to the ability to be in the absolute as a transient thing, you can't live from it all the time?

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2 weeks 2 days ago #115272 by Dusko
Replied by Dusko on topic Awareness
Hm ... calling it the "ground of experience" is not really describing what I have experienced as non-dual awareness or non-dual conscious experience might be a better phrase. 

It's the same as trying to describe cessation as "nothingness" but in all fairness, we have NO IDEA whats "in cessation". Could be any number of things but i don't have any memory of it. Blank. Hence cant say anything about it.

For the non-dual awareness to be called "ground of all experience" I would need to have Dual experience where awareness is "over here" and all experience "over there" or "these objects are inside of the awareness" as in this is a cup and the water is inside the cup. Dual. What I describe does not separate the experiences from awareness or anything else really. It all is just one I guess, one and the same.

But yeah I might be shooting blanks here :D so ...don't take my words seriously! 

We must be careful with calling anything Permanent. Even if I fall asleep tonight and that "non-dual awareness" which was there all day long goes to sleep then surely its not Permanent :) Unless is keeps going on during the "sleep" hours.

The better question yet would be "is non-dual awareness" the Goal of this Path? Dont know, but I will try and figure this one on my own. First-hand experience is The King :D 

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2 weeks 2 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #115275 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Awareness
Ah, the so-called "Good Old Days!"
Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by Chris Marti.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #115307 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Awareness

Chris Marti wrote: Ah, the so-called "Good Old Days!"


Sweet to see the engaging conversation in the first few pages.  Trying to remember who everybody is. :D

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2 weeks 2 days ago #115311 by Kacchapa
Replied by Kacchapa on topic Awareness
My thought when I read the first pages was "that was a good time here!". I miss those folks who have been unheard from or who don't participate as much as they once did. But everything changes and this is good. 

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