Taking awareness as self

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Taking awareness as self

Postby jackson » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:37 am

Hi everyone,
I have a question for more advanced practitioners regarding awareness. With objective things they can all be observed to be anicca, dukkha, anatta, but awareness is subjective so if there's a subtle feeling that this is what I am how does one go about eradicating that misperception?
Thanks, and I hope that made sense,
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:50 am

jackson wrote:Hi everyone,
I have a question for more advanced practitioners regarding awareness. With objective things they can all be observed to be anicca, dukkha, anatta, but awareness is subjective so if there's a subtle feeling that this is what I am how does one go about eradicating that misperception?
Thanks, and I hope that made sense,
Jackson
It makes sense. Simply, don't worry about it. If there is a subtle sense of self, simply pay attention to it without comment. Its nature will reveal itself as your practice matures and deepens.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:58 am

tiltbillings wrote: Its nature will reveal itself as your practice matures and deepens.


This is a completely sincere question, if this awareness is not self, what is it?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:00 am

In addition to Tilt's advice...
If you are practicing vipassana meditation then you will in all likeliness pay attention to the anicca characteristic of the meditation object.
In the Satipatthana Sutta, the repeated refrain atapi sampajjano satima translates imprecisely as ardently and with full comprehension and awareness .
As you continue,the quality of your observation will change. As Tilt says - don't worry about it. Just be aware, and be equanimous.
kind regards,

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
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sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby Reductor » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:06 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Its nature will reveal itself as your practice matures and deepens.


This is a completely sincere question, if this awareness is not self, what is it?


Inconstant. Is that part of the definition of 'self'? To be inconstant?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby James the Giant » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:26 am

jackson wrote:but awareness is subjective so if there's a subtle feeling that this is what I am how does one go about eradicating that misperception?

I had an interesting discussion with Ajahn Viradhammo a while back. We were talking about my meditation, and I said how when I got really good and aware, I would sometimes meditate on awareness. That is, make awareness itself the subject of the meditation.
Awareness being aware of awareness. Wacky!!
He was quite enthusiastic and encouraging about it, and said yes I could certainly continue like that. He said as I looked at awareness itself, I would eventually see that that awareness, that sense of self bound up in awareness, could disappear, unlink itself from awareness and extinguish temporarily, leaving only awareness and no "self".
And it did! Shocking! Bliss, coolness, release...
Then the "self" rekindled and I was back as normal old me. Sigh! Can't it be forever!? Not until final nibbana I guess.

So just like everyone else above has been saying, don't worry about it, just keep on keeping on. There's no trick to it, just work and persistence.

(mind you, I asked the same question of Luang Por Piak, and he said NO, don't focus on awareness, just come back to sensations, sensations, breath, breath.)
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:29 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Its nature will reveal itself as your practice matures and deepens.


This is a completely sincere question, if this awareness is not self, what is it?
Do the practice. Awareness arises and falls dependent upon conditions. What does that make it?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:31 am

"'I am' is a construing. 'I am this' is a construing. 'I shall be' is a construing. 'I shall not be'...'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a cancer, construing is an arrow. Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell with an awareness free of construings.'

"'I am' is a perturbation. 'I am this' is a perturbation. 'I shall be' is a perturbation. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a perturbation. Perturbation is a disease, perturbation is a cancer, perturbation is an arrow. Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell with an awareness free of perturbations.'

"'I am' is a wavering. 'I am this' is a wavering. 'I shall be' is a wavering. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a wavering. Wavering is a disease, wavering is a cancer, wavering is an arrow. Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell with an awareness free of waverings.'

"'I am' is a objectification. 'I am this' is a objectification. 'I shall be' is a objectification. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is a objectification. Objectification is a disease, objectification is a cancer, objectification is an arrow. Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell with an awareness free of objectifications.'

"'I am' is an act of conceit. 'I am this' is an act of conceit. 'I shall be' is an act of conceit. 'I shall not be'... 'I shall be possessed of form'... 'I shall not be possessed of form'... 'I shall be percipient'... 'I shall not be percipient'... 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' is an act of conceit. An act of conceit is a disease, an act of conceit is a cancer, an act of conceit is an arrow. Therefore, monks, you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell with an awareness free of acts of conceit.'"

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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby daverupa » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:05 pm

It isn't the same awareness, as has been intimated above.

Awareness must be defined according to its content; this is why contact involves vinnana no matter what, but that vinnana isn't the same from one percept to the next. What strings them together is memory, associations... sankhara, in other words. And this is based on avijja, to start, so the question is about the eradication of avijja - the very point of the Dhamma, but here the problem is being seen with some clarity, rather than taken as a doctrinal point.

Keep on a-truckin'...

MN 95:

"The cultivation, development, & pursuit of those very same qualities..."
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Its nature will reveal itself as your practice matures and deepens.


This is a completely sincere question, if this awareness is not self, what is it?
Do the practice. Awareness arises and falls dependent upon conditions. What does that make it?

I dont think we are talking about the same thing. Thank you tho.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:18 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:I dont think we are talking about the same thing. Thank you tho.
I am talking about what the Buddha taught. Are you talking about some "awareness" other than viññāna? If so, does it feel? Does it perceive? Is it aware?

You can assume whatever self you wish, but it come down to this, as the Buddha clearly said:

    Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. -- SN III 46.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:00 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:I dont think we are talking about the same thing. Thank you tho.
I am talking about what the Buddha taught. Are you talking about some "awareness" other than viññāna? If so, does it feel? Does it perceive? Is it aware?

You can assume whatever self you wish, but it come down to this, as the Buddha clearly said:

    Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. -- SN III 46.


Im not assuming a self, im just wondering what opinions are on that which notices. For instance, what notices awareness rising and falling as you say?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:13 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:I dont think we are talking about the same thing. Thank you tho.
I am talking about what the Buddha taught. Are you talking about some "awareness" other than viññāna? If so, does it feel? Does it perceive? Is it aware?

You can assume whatever self you wish, but it come down to this, as the Buddha clearly said:

    Monks, whatever contemplatives or priests who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. -- SN III 46.


Im not assuming a self, im just wondering what opinions are on that which notices. For instance, what notices awareness rising and falling as you say?
You do not know the answer to this question?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:32 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Im not assuming a self, im just wondering what opinions are on that which notices. For instance, what notices awareness rising and falling as you say?


Vinnana.

It's a process not a thing.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:32 pm

Goofaholix wrote:Vinnana.

It's a process not a thing.


Thanks, thats helpful.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby jackson » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:01 am

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply, it's appreciated.
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Taking awareness as self

Postby pegembara » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:18 am

Funny how I just answered another thread and the same question crops up.

Being aware of awareness, just ask this question. "Which of these awareness is the so called true self?" Can there also be an awareness of awareness of awareness ...etc?"

I find that even awareness/consciousness is not self.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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