Tagged with: awareness

You can indeed be aware of your body, but you can also be aware of your mind - you can right now notice all the thoughts and ideas and images floating in front of the mind’s inward eye. You can, in other words, experience your mind, be aware of your mind. And it’s very important to experience your mind directly, cleanly, intensely, because only by bringing awareness to the mind can you begin to transcend the mind and be free of its limitations.

You can indeed be aware of your body, but you can also be aware of your mind - you can right now notice all the thoughts and ideas and images floating in front of the mind’s inward eye. You can, in other words, experience your mind, be aware of your mind. And it’s very important to experience your mind directly, cleanly, intensely, because only by bringing awareness to the mind can you begin to transcend the mind and be free of its limitations.

“This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where
people go on missing…. This pain is just to make you
more alert—because people become alert only when the arrow
goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they
don’t become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient,
who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies,
there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone—those
dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much
and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone.
Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when,
if you use them, you can become aware.
The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable,
the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery
disappears.”

“This pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where
people go on missing…. This pain is just to make you
more alert—because people become alert only when the arrow
goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they
don’t become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient,
who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies,
there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone—those
dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much
and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone.
Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when,
if you use them, you can become aware.
The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable,
the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery
disappears.”

Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting—whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.

Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting—whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.

Coming back to the present moment takes some effort, but the effort is very light. The instruction is to “touch and go.” We touch thoughts by acknowledging them as thinking and then we let them go. It’s a way of relaxing our struggle, like touching a bubble with a feather. It’s a nonaggressive approach to being here.

Coming back to the present moment takes some effort, but the effort is very light. The instruction is to “touch and go.” We touch thoughts by acknowledging them as thinking and then we let them go. It’s a way of relaxing our struggle, like touching a bubble with a feather. It’s a nonaggressive approach to being here.

The great Indian teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows.” “I am nothing” does not mean that there is a bleak wasteland within. It does mean that with awareness we open to a clear, unimpeded space, without center or periphery—nothing separate. If we are nothing, there is nothing at all to serve as a barrier to our boundless expression of love. Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything. “Everything” does not mean self-aggrandizement, but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate. Both the clear, open space of “nothing” and the interconnectedness of “everything” awaken us to our true nature. This is the truth we contact when we meditate, a sense of unity beyond suffering. It is always present; we merely need to be able to access it.

The great Indian teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows.” “I am nothing” does not mean that there is a bleak wasteland within. It does mean that with awareness we open to a clear, unimpeded space, without center or periphery—nothing separate. If we are nothing, there is nothing at all to serve as a barrier to our boundless expression of love. Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything. “Everything” does not mean self-aggrandizement, but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate. Both the clear, open space of “nothing” and the interconnectedness of “everything” awaken us to our true nature. This is the truth we contact when we meditate, a sense of unity beyond suffering. It is always present; we merely need to be able to access it.

Try living (for a day or two or more) as if everyone could read your mind. Imagine how that would change the way you think… and interact with others. It may make you more aware of what you think about as well.

Try living (for a day or two or more) as if everyone could read your mind. Imagine how that would change the way you think… and interact with others. It may make you more aware of what you think about as well.

The goal of attention, or shamatha, practice is to become aware of awareness. Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. With practice, that space—which is the mind’s natural clarity—begins to expand and settle.

The goal of attention, or shamatha, practice is to become aware of awareness. Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. With practice, that space—which is the mind’s natural clarity—begins to expand and settle.

Though this post is written mostly from my perspective and my experience, it’s based on a dynamic that my girlfriend and I are consciously working with in our relationship. Much of the awareness I have gained in the last two years has been sparked by our interactions and deep discussions about our relationship and our own inner work. To make things more interesting, I’ve asked her to add her feminine voice/perspective here and there. In this process of discussing, editing and polishing this post together, we basically wound up co-writing it. In that sense it is very much a joint effort, and Beth has offered many insights and observations regarding her sense of these dynamics that have helped me deepen my understanding of myself (as you’ll see below). And for that, I have a tremendous amount of love and gratitude for this absolutely amazing woman.


An exercise in feeling and awareness

Feeling pain can be a scary thing. I’m not talking about the secondary sensation that’s left after being able to overcome (or cover over) pain; I’m talking…

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Though this post is written mostly from my perspective and my experience, it’s based on a dynamic that my girlfriend and I are consciously working with in our relationship. Much of the awareness I have gained in the last two years has been sparked by our interactions and deep discussions about our relationship and our own inner work. To make things more interesting, I’ve asked her to add her feminine voice/perspective here and there. In this process of discussing, editing and polishing this post together, we basically wound up co-writing it. In that sense it is very much a joint effort, and Beth has offered many insights and observations regarding her sense of these dynamics that have helped me deepen…

Read more...

I can see how there’s an aspect of ignorance that is bliss but to me it’s more of a limitation than anything else. The flip side is much more blissful in my eyes. An examined life leads to greater awareness and greater awareness leads to more options and better choices and choice gives us greater possibility. All of this gives us a constantly expanding view of the world and ourselves… and expansion is quite possibly the core characteristic of the universe itself. Sure, there’s some pain and complication that may come along with the greater complexity but it’s a small price to pay. Ignorance is basically the choice to ignore reality and navigating around in the world ignoring what’s really happening will likely lead to unnecessary suffering. Dig deeper, get in alignment with the universe and bliss is sure to follow.

I can see how there’s an aspect of ignorance that is bliss but to me it’s more of a limitation than anything else. The flip side is much more blissful in my eyes. An examined life leads to greater awareness and greater awareness leads to more options and better choices and choice gives us greater possibility. All of this gives us a constantly expanding view of the world and ourselves… and expansion is quite possibly the core characteristic of the universe itself. Sure, there’s some pain and complication that may come along with the greater complexity but it’s a small price to pay. Ignorance is basically the choice to ignore reality and navigating around in the world ignoring what’s really happening will likely lead to unnecessary suffering. Dig deeper, get in alignment with the universe and bliss is sure to follow.

earthdrop
The Whole of Life

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

- Jiddu Krishnamurti

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