Dmytro wrote:"Bare attention" is a modern invention, [for the the Buddha's description of recognition of impermanence...]
The Concept of "Choiceless Awareness" was introduced by Jiddu Krishnamurti:
"(Choiceless) Awareness is a state in which there is no condemnation, no justification or identification, and therefore there is understanding: in that state of passive, alert awareness there is neither the experiencer nor the experienced."http://books.google.com/books?id=_5ho4x ... frontcover
Krishnamurti's books were popular in Srli Lanka:
"Godwin once said to me: 'I learned to think from K.N (Jayatillake), Ven. Nyanaponika encouraged me to read the suttas, and Krishnamurti's writings made sense of it all.'"http://www.godwin-home-page.net/Tributes/Dhammika.htm
Ven. Nyanaponika mentions the Krishnamurti's "Choiceless Awareness" in his book on "Achtsamkeit" (Mindfulness), and describes the difference between his approach and Krishnamurti's. However the name "Choiceless Awareness" and the key features remain the same in both approaches - it's passive observation of what happens.
"By bare attention we understand the clear and single-minded awareness of what actually happens to us and in us, at the successive moments of perception. It is called “bare” because it attends to the bare facts of a perception without reacting to them by deed, speech or mental comment."http://www.midamericadharma.org/gangess ... lness.html
Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu says:
"The Myth of Bare Attention
The Buddha never used the word for “bare attention” in his meditation instructions. That’s because he realized that attention never occurs in a bare, pure, or unconditioned form. It’s always colored by views and perceptions—the labels you tend to give to events—and by intentions: your choice of what to attend to and your purpose in being attentive.
If you don’t understand the conditioned nature of even simple acts of attention, you might assume that a moment of nonreactive attention is a moment of Awakening. And in that way you miss one of the most crucial insights in Buddhist meditation, into how even the simplest events in the mind can form a condition for clinging and suffering. If you assume a conditioned event to be unconditioned, you close the door to the unconditioned. So it’s important to understand the conditioned nature of attention and how the Buddha recommended that it be trained—as appropriate attention—to be a factor in the path leading beyond attention to total Awakening."http://dharma.org/ij/documents/FoodforAwakening_000.pdf
"In the Satipatthana Sutta, they’re combined with a third quality: atappa, or ardency. Ardency means being intent on what you’re doing, trying your best to do it skillfully. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep straining and sweating all the time, just that you’re continuous in developing skillful habits and abandoning unskillful ones. Remember, in the eight factors of the path to freedom, right mindfulness grows out of right effort. Right effort is the effort to be skillful. Mindfulness helps that effort along by reminding you to stick with it, so that you don’t let it drop.
All three of these qualities get their focus from what the Buddha called yoniso manisikara, appropriate attention. Notice: That’s appropriate attention, not bare attention. The Buddha discovered that the way you attend to things is determined by what you see as important—the questions you bring to the practice, the problems you want the practice to solve. No act of attention is ever bare. If there were no problems in life you could open yourself up choicelessly to whatever came along. But the fact is there is a big problem smack dab in the middle of everything you do: the suffering that comes from acting in ignorance. This is why the Buddha doesn’t tell you to view each moment with a beginner’s eyes. You’ve got to keep the issue of suffering and its end always in mind."http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... efined.pdf
"Sometimes people use the term “choiceless awareness,” and over the years I’ve heard it used in various ways—some of them quite fuzzy. If awareness is really choiceless, there’s no reaction. And actually very few people can practice real choiceless awareness: when all seven factors are pretty well developed. If the wholesome and the unwholesome stuff keeps coming up, we might not quite be able to be choiceless. It’s easy to take things for granted; stuff that we’re comfortable with, stuff we like and don’t like to look at. We all tend to build up lot of habits, and then we don’t want to look at those. But often when there’s a habit pattern there’s a lot of working of the self, and that’s exactly where we need to look."http://dharma.org/ij/archives/2000b/santikaro.htm
Ven.Bhikkhu Bodhi writes:
"To practice heedfulness is to take full account of these dualities with their profound implications. The heedful person does not aim at a choiceless awareness open to existence in its totality, for to open oneself thus is to risk making oneself vulnerable to just those elements in oneself that keep one bound to the realm of Mara. The awareness developed through heedfulness is built upon a choice — a well-considered choice to abandon those qualities one understands to be detrimental and to develop in their place those qualities one understands to be beneficial, the states that lead to purity and peace."http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_17.html
"Would you be happy with such a gatekeeper's explanation of mindfulness? A wise gatekeeper knows that mindfulness is more than bare attention. A wise gatekeeper has to remember the instructions and perform them with diligence. If he sees a thief trying to break in then he must stop the burglar, or else call in the police.
In the same way, a wise meditator must do more than just give bare attention to whatever comes in and goes out of the mind. The wise meditator must remember the instructions and act on them with diligence. For instance, the Buddha gave the instruction of the 6th Factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, "Right Effort." When wise meditators practising mindfulness observe an unwholesome state trying to "break in", they try to stop the defilement, and if the unwholesome state does slip in, they try to evict it. Unwholesome states such as sexual desire or anger are like burglars, sweet-talking con artists, who will rob you of your peace, wisdom and happiness. There are, then, these two aspects of mindfulness: the aspect of mindfulness of awareness and the aspect of mindfulness of remembering the instructions."http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebmed070.htm
Best wishes, Dmytro