Pure Awareness

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby rachmiel » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:02 pm

futerko wrote:I think you've laid it out very clearly here. The issue in these terms is that A-consciousness can start to act as a replacement for P-consciousness, so for example in the formation of a phobia or a prejudice, the first experience of something gets represented as a concept, and then subsequent experiences become coloured by that concept rather than remaining open to any new encounters.

I'm familiar with this from David Bohm, who talks about thought misrepresenting itself as perception. I see this at work in my mind all the time. And I see how clear awareness of the actuality of the moment mitigates this. But it doesn't explain the function of pure awareness, awareness of qualia without any "skillful thought" accompanying it.
gone gone gone
User avatar
rachmiel
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby muni » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:27 pm

rachmiel wrote:
In your experience of pure awareness, is it good for anything? If so ... what? If not, why continue spending time being purely aware?


Suffering or not, I guess.

A way how the meaning of pure awareness can be is nonclinging, in a way of not stained by the conceptual mind.
It can be helpful to see what is not pure awareness.
Therefore here an example about what is the conceptual mind ( lots of personal experience regarding that one, well trained), by which, it is said the meaning of the Buddha remains hidden:

"Conceptual mind takes the nonexistent and makes it existent.
It takes
things that have already ceased and makes them exist now.
It takes
that which has not yet been produced, that which will arise only in the
future, and brings it into the present.
As for what does arise in the present
moment, as soon as it arises, it ceases. Immediately upon having arisen,
it is gone.
But thinking mind takes that and keeps it hanging around as
if it were some kind of a thing, a hard and solid thing.
That is the activity
of conceptuality".
http://www.ktgrinpoche.org/quote/quote-3
muni
 
Posts: 2875
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby rachmiel » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:39 pm

muni wrote:
rachmiel wrote:
In your experience of pure awareness, is it good for anything? If so ... what? If not, why continue spending time being purely aware?


Suffering or not, I guess.

A way how the meaning of pure awareness can be is nonclinging, in a way of not stained by the conceptual mind.
It can be helpful to see what is not pure awareness.
Therefore here an example about what is the conceptual mind ( lots of personal experience regarding that one, well trained), by which, it is said the meaning of the Buddha remains hidden:

"Conceptual mind takes the nonexistent and makes it existent.
It takes
things that have already ceased and makes them exist now.
It takes
that which has not yet been produced, that which will arise only in the
future, and brings it into the present.
As for what does arise in the present
moment, as soon as it arises, it ceases. Immediately upon having arisen,
it is gone.
But thinking mind takes that and keeps it hanging around as
if it were some kind of a thing, a hard and solid thing.
That is the activity
of conceptuality".
http://www.ktgrinpoche.org/quote/quote-3

Excellent quote, thanks. :-)
gone gone gone
User avatar
rachmiel
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby White Lotus » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:59 pm

pure awareness is difficult as long as the Alayavijnana remains. even when alaya has ceased there may still be worrying ideas and concepts. we try to be mindful of what is going on around and within us, though the time may come when there is no longer a within... still worries and concerns may appear and pain be felt. this has ceased and that remains. still pain.

it is not natural to live in a continuous state of awareness. distraction is necessary some times. should awareness be anything special, no awareness is normal mind, everyday mind and naturally like a fish it sometimes moves and sometimes likes to sit still. to remove all concepts and all thought is possible i guess with practice, however it is not necessary. this mind you have is buddha mind, or donkey mind or whatever you wish to call it. water has no taste, but you will be in difficulty if you cant get hold of some. awareness is a bit like water.

distraction and awareness, both natural states of a normal mind. whats wrong with being a normal mind? its what we all have regardless of whether or not ego and or higher self are extinguished. horses and donkeys both have ordinary mind. ordinary mind is the most profound part of our daily lives.

what we cant let go of is the drive towards perfection. we seek and seek and seek, but we already are perfect. some are perfect horses and others are perfect donkeys, but they both still seek grass. seeking and seeking. will we ever stop. this seeking is the air we breathe. we want to rest, and when we think ''oh this is a nice state to rest or abide in'' we soon get bored of our perfection and go on seeking fresher grass not realizing that all grass is just grass.

can we rest in the simplicity of ''now'' and recognise that as an aspect of nirvana, all things being one and the same thing and yet all things being unique and different. no, we cannot rest in the present moment, there is no place of abiding in this life only moving on and seeking. who says just rest? it is impossible.

who says remain aware? the awareness is no place to rest, there is no place to abide in this life that i am aware off... just go on seeking and seeking and seeking. thats what we do when we are on the path. you can say that i am wrong, fine; but look again at yourself in the last days of your life. you will still be seeking, thats because emptiness is a womb that cannot be satisfied.

this does not satisfy, nor does that, this and that do not satisfy, emptiness does not satisfy, extinction does not satisfy. only love satisfies the heart, but loves fire is in short supply and too much of it would kill us quickly, so one cannot abide in love.

where can one abide? when seeking abide in seeking, when resting abide in resting. moving on moving on, moving forwards and then back again and then forwards on the golden spiral, the path. we are told in the prajnaparamita to abide in nothing whatsoever, to take our stand nowhere. it is not possible to abide nowhere unless there is noone to do the abiding. when there is no one abiding there cannot be abiding and yet abiding in non abiding just wont do. moving on moving on. the natural state is lived, it is the natural state that one cannot abide anywhere or in anything unless there is no one to abide, and even he cannot abide.

there may be states such as vivid awareness, bliss and anatman that can be experienced, but none of them satisfy, they are all passing states. pain comes and goes. awareness and intellect complement and at the same time conflict. ying and yang. these two being one in emptiness and yet separate phenomena.

what the Buddha found was rare and unusual: freedom from fright, craving and blemish. how did he do it? i just dont know. pain can be a blessing in disguise. that is why we seek. because we seek we find, but we cannot abide in what we find, moving on moving on. always so. always seeking. never resting for long.

the Buddha learnt how to abide in the impossibility of abiding? if he was free of pain this would be possible. how did he do it? amazement! but for poor old me, its just mindfullness of pain when it comes, and that does help, but it isnt the answer. the debt of karma is heavy, the weight of life comes and goes. trying not to live in the past or in the future but in the present.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:31 pm

rachmiel wrote:Most of what you say makes sense to me. Especially the part about pure awareness being a way to experience emptiness firsthand. Thanks. :-)

A teacher of mine once said that emptiness is the absence of concepts. So this "intelligence" thing I'm positing that works with awareness (yin-yang-ishly) to enable us to fathom/navigate the world ... can it do its thing without conceptualizing? I think it can. Which means that awareness+intelligence (rather than pure awareness) is also a way to experience emptiness. Just thinkin' out loud here ...

dimeo wrote:Pure awareness results in utterly releasing.

Utterly releasing what?

An absence of concepts (non-conceptual awareness) is the 'experience of emptiness' but it isn't the realization of emptiness.
asunthatneversets
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby rachmiel » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:24 am

White Lotus wrote:pure awareness is difficult as long as the Alayavijnana remains. even when alaya has ceased there may still be worrying ideas and concepts. we try to be mindful of what is going on around and within us, though the time may come when there is no longer a within... still worries and concerns may appear and pain be felt. this has ceased and that remains. still pain.

it is not natural to live in a continuous state of awareness. distraction is necessary some times. should awareness be anything special, no awareness is normal mind, everyday mind and naturally like a fish it sometimes moves and sometimes likes to sit still. to remove all concepts and all thought is possible i guess with practice, however it is not necessary. this mind you have is buddha mind, or donkey mind or whatever you wish to call it. water has no taste, but you will be in difficulty if you cant get hold of some. awareness is a bit like water.

distraction and awareness, both natural states of a normal mind. whats wrong with being a normal mind? its what we all have regardless of whether or not ego and or higher self are extinguished. horses and donkeys both have ordinary mind. ordinary mind is the most profound part of our daily lives.

what we cant let go of is the drive towards perfection. we seek and seek and seek, but we already are perfect. some are perfect horses and others are perfect donkeys, but they both still seek grass. seeking and seeking. will we ever stop. this seeking is the air we breathe. we want to rest, and when we think ''oh this is a nice state to rest or abide in'' we soon get bored of our perfection and go on seeking fresher grass not realizing that all grass is just grass.

can we rest in the simplicity of ''now'' and recognise that as an aspect of nirvana, all things being one and the same thing and yet all things being unique and different. no, we cannot rest in the present moment, there is no place of abiding in this life only moving on and seeking. who says just rest? it is impossible.

who says remain aware? the awareness is no place to rest, there is no place to abide in this life that i am aware off... just go on seeking and seeking and seeking. thats what we do when we are on the path. you can say that i am wrong, fine; but look again at yourself in the last days of your life. you will still be seeking, thats because emptiness is a womb that cannot be satisfied.

this does not satisfy, nor does that, this and that do not satisfy, emptiness does not satisfy, extinction does not satisfy. only love satisfies the heart, but loves fire is in short supply and too much of it would kill us quickly, so one cannot abide in love.

where can one abide? when seeking abide in seeking, when resting abide in resting. moving on moving on, moving forwards and then back again and then forwards on the golden spiral, the path. we are told in the prajnaparamita to abide in nothing whatsoever, to take our stand nowhere. it is not possible to abide nowhere unless there is noone to do the abiding. when there is no one abiding there cannot be abiding and yet abiding in non abiding just wont do. moving on moving on. the natural state is lived, it is the natural state that one cannot abide anywhere or in anything unless there is no one to abide, and even he cannot abide.

there may be states such as vivid awareness, bliss and anatman that can be experienced, but none of them satisfy, they are all passing states. pain comes and goes. awareness and intellect complement and at the same time conflict. ying and yang. these two being one in emptiness and yet separate phenomena.

what the Buddha found was rare and unusual: freedom from fright, craving and blemish. how did he do it? i just dont know. pain can be a blessing in disguise. that is why we seek. because we seek we find, but we cannot abide in what we find, moving on moving on. always so. always seeking. never resting for long.

the Buddha learnt how to abide in the impossibility of abiding? if he was free of pain this would be possible. how did he do it? amazement! but for poor old me, its just mindfullness of pain when it comes, and that does help, but it isnt the answer. the debt of karma is heavy, the weight of life comes and goes. trying not to live in the past or in the future but in the present.

best wishes, Tom.

I found that quite powerful, and kind of depressing.

But I am no stranger to depression ... it has been a good (if harsh) teacher for me.

So thanks for sharing.
gone gone gone
User avatar
rachmiel
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby rachmiel » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:25 am

asunthatneversets wrote:An absence of concepts (non-conceptual awareness) is the 'experience of emptiness' but it isn't the realization of emptiness.

What is the realization of emptiness?
gone gone gone
User avatar
rachmiel
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 am

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby White Lotus » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:59 pm

the realisation of emptiness is a stage or level on the path. in Dogen's Bukojoji in the Shobogenzo one is encouraged to extinguish own nature and to once again become blind to emptiness. one may have lived breathed and spoken emptiness for a year or so and then renouncing emptiness and all things one sees the great bright pearl within oneself and 'hey presto' one can no longer look within except when the eyes are closed. this Bukojoji is going beyond nature. the ancients such as Zhao Zhu and Keizan among others spoke of the Great Icchantika. one who no longer has any nature.

previously through renunciation and vows and mental gymnastics one had eliminated the personal experience of I and my, that was necessary in order to see own nature and to experience the emptiness within as being one with the emptiness without. this was seeing the dharma within as the dharma without. after becoming icchantika it was no longer emptiness that saw all things as empty. rather it was now seeing mountains as mountains, flowers as flowers again. no longer was emptiness the key word... now it is mind that matters and seeing that that is that. seeing that but no longer seeing this.

after attainment of THAT/Icchantika one becomes aware of the higher self as I AM for the first time. at that time, one is indeed I AM. but following Buddhas path of renunciation one relinquishes the I AM (which incidentally is not an internal experience) the i am hovers around the field of vision like a black vapor that alternately comes and goes in strength.

renouncing the I AM one becomes no self. looking at oneself one sees no sense of I AM any longer. one has become no self and the objective world has become no self, this again is with the hint of emptiness, though it is more accurate to say just no self. having said that no self has been realized long after the elimination of i and mine one gains great respect for the Therevada. it must however be emphasised that there is a subjective experience of self hood that can be relinquished through practice. sutta nippata 761 :"the holy ones know it as highest bliss, the personality's cessation, repugnant to worldly folk, but not to those that clearly see."

still having understood certain things, having once realized emptiness of all things and gone beyond that one is still suffering, but... one is much stronger and better able to deal with it. however, not having reached the attainment of the Buddha: i am still suffering.

one however is not one, nor is one emptiness, nor is one non existence, nor existant. (forgetting words for a while)

sorry to pontificate. i speak as a fool.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby xabir » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:45 am

White Lotus wrote:the realisation of emptiness is a stage or level on the path. in Dogen's Bukojoji in the Shobogenzo one is encouraged to extinguish own nature and to once again become blind to emptiness. one may have lived breathed and spoken emptiness for a year or so and then renouncing emptiness and all things one sees the great bright pearl within oneself and 'hey presto' one can no longer look within except when the eyes are closed. this Bukojoji is going beyond nature. the ancients such as Zhao Zhu and Keizan among others spoke of the Great Icchantika. one who no longer has any nature.

previously through renunciation and vows and mental gymnastics one had eliminated the personal experience of I and my, that was necessary in order to see own nature and to experience the emptiness within as being one with the emptiness without. this was seeing the dharma within as the dharma without. after becoming icchantika it was no longer emptiness that saw all things as empty. rather it was now seeing mountains as mountains, flowers as flowers again. no longer was emptiness the key word... now it is mind that matters and seeing that that is that. seeing that but no longer seeing this.

after attainment of THAT/Icchantika one becomes aware of the higher self as I AM for the first time. at that time, one is indeed I AM. but following Buddhas path of renunciation one relinquishes the I AM (which incidentally is not an internal experience) the i am hovers around the field of vision like a black vapor that alternately comes and goes in strength.

renouncing the I AM one becomes no self. looking at oneself one sees no sense of I AM any longer. one has become no self and the objective world has become no self, this again is with the hint of emptiness, though it is more accurate to say just no self. having said that no self has been realized long after the elimination of i and mine one gains great respect for the Therevada. it must however be emphasised that there is a subjective experience of self hood that can be relinquished through practice. sutta nippata 761 :"the holy ones know it as highest bliss, the personality's cessation, repugnant to worldly folk, but not to those that clearly see."

still having understood certain things, having once realized emptiness of all things and gone beyond that one is still suffering, but... one is much stronger and better able to deal with it. however, not having reached the attainment of the Buddha: i am still suffering.

one however is not one, nor is one emptiness, nor is one non existence, nor existant. (forgetting words for a while)

sorry to pontificate. i speak as a fool.

best wishes, Tom.
What you said about going beyond the I AM/higher self identification is well said.

However at the same time, 'no self' is not merely a stage of attainment. It is a dharma seal. I do not see Anatta as merely attaining a state of experience where the sense of self is dropped or forgotten (this is merely a peak experience and there might not be any realization/wisdom involved); rather I see it as that a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation or as its commonly expressed as ‘the observer is the observed’; there is no self apart from arising and passing. A very important point here is that Anatta/No-Self is a Dharma Seal, it is the nature of Reality all the time -- and not merely as a state free from personality, ego or the ‘small self’ or a stage to attain. This means that it does not depend on the level of achievement of a practitioner to experience anatta but Reality has always been Anatta and what is important here is the intuitive insight into it as the nature, characteristic, of phenomenon (dharma seal).

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ as an illustration. When a person says that I have gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’, he is mistaken. When it is taken to be a stage, it is illusory. For in actual case, there is and always is only sound when hearing; never was there a hearer to begin with. Nothing attained for it is always so. This is the seal of no-self. Therefore to a non dualist, the practice is in understanding the illusionary views of the sense of self and the split. Through understanding, through direct realization, there is release.
xabir
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:14 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby Karma Tashi G. » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:54 pm

Can this old guy come at this question "What is the use of pure awareness" from a different direction?

I was shown that on my computer, if I press three keys and hold them down, the computer does different things than it normally does than if I just press the keys quickly! The digital camera I have is the same way, the instructions say "to restore factory defaults, hold down the menu key for 10 seconds" then all the values change and go back to the original setting! This is amazing whoever thought those things up.

Maybe sentient beings have keys that if they hold them down long enough, systems change. Maybe naked awareness, if held long enough does something miraculous in the human system a restoration of original values of the Buddha. When zen buddhists hold down their questioning button down long enough it is a sudden breakthrough!

So holding down the key seems pointless and even gets boring! But suddenly the water in the faucet changes from a wibble wobble flow to a smooth flow.
Karma Tashi G.
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:21 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby White Lotus » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:46 pm

in my humble understanding there are two elements to a buddha: no self and naked awareness. it can be argued that donkeys which see with ordinary mind are buddhas, however this does not take into account a direct experience of no self. it is true to say that when one sees emptiness that he knows that there is no self, that however may be seen only if the relative experience of a lower self has been extinguished. so relative experience has to be adjusted in order to recognise that there has never been a lower or higher self. only emptiness.

the time comes when one sees THAT, seeing that there has been cessation of the inner experience (except when eyes are closed), focusing on own nature ones attention is immediately focused on the outer world (THAT). in the state known as THAT one becomes aware of the higher self, which is also maya and non substantial. the relative experience of I AM is merely appearance, there has never been a higher self, only the appearance of one. cessation of the 'experience' of IAM may not be necessary. i have found however that i could only clearly perceive a relative experience of no self once I AM was left.

the actual experience of i am and no self is relative, however this no self has always been the state of things. i know : its complicated. there is a relative experience, an appearance of self hood, both higher and lower and the experience of emptiness. this is really empty.

the buttons that we press are the techniques such as vows, meditation, awareness prajna... but ultimately we have to use our own methods and be creative in the techniques we use.

bests wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
White Lotus
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Pure Awareness

Postby Paul » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:14 pm

rachmiel wrote:In your experience of pure awareness, is it good for anything? If so ... what?


If what you mean by 'pure awareness' is the nature of mind/rig pa (and that's quite a question) then it is the discovery of self-liberation and the same taste of samsara & nirvana.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
User avatar
Paul
 
Posts: 758
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm

Previous

Return to Personal Experience

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

>