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.