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Bare Awareness and Right Concentration? - Dhamma Wheel

Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Mojo
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Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Mojo » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:57 pm

Does bare awareness fulfill right concentration the way a noting practice does? Or does one need to supplement with another practice such as metta to fulfill right concentration? Can the vipassana jhanas arise during bare awareness?

Thanks,

Mojo

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Mojo
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Mojo » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:46 pm

I think my understanding of bare awareness may have been flawed, so my question may have been flawed. I was under the impression that bare awareness was just vipassana without the Mahasi style noting. So instead of noting itching itching itching or thinking thinking thinking, one is silently aware that itching or thinking is occurring without the noting.

From what I read and listened to today, I take it that Mahasi style noting may actually fall under the category of bare awareness. So my question really should be, is a non-noting silent awareness sort of mindfulness on par with the noting styles?


Thanks.

Mojo

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reflection
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:25 pm

There are many interpretations -or definitions if you will- of the term bare awareness. My interpretation of it is very literal; the stage in meditation where there seems to be only awareness. So there is only awareness of awareness, not itching or any breath or whatever. In anapanasati, the breath has disappeared from awareness. But not everybody uses the term like this, so whatever answer you get depends on who you're asking.

But reading the suttas (I may have missed it, and am not aware of all interpretations) I never got across such a term. So the importance of 'bare awareness' may be doubted. In any way, samma samadhi, right concentration, is defined by the jhanas, not by 'bare awareness'.

My understanding is that bare awareness as I use the term and as you seem to use it, is both not jhana.

With metta,
Reflection

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daverupa
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:28 pm

The four satipatthana, developed and repeatedly practiced, fulfill the seven awakening factors, which we can consider to be sammasamadhi. So the question is whether the practice you're describing is done as satipatthana.

One can practice noting, for example, but if one is always noting "he robbed me, he cheated me" that's not going to work. So the approach needs to conform to satipatthana, which means that good methods can come in a wide variety of forms, and some methods can be used correctly or incorrectly. To that extent, finding the right method is finding the theme of your own mind, finding out whether a given approach is working or not.

Satipatthana is necessary; finding the ways of doing satipatthana for oneself is where the adventure begins.

Samma
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Samma » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:15 pm

Last edited by Samma on Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:25 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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reflection
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby reflection » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:36 pm


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Mojo
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Mojo » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:47 pm

Does noting add something to mindfulness or is just an aid in concentration? If it is just an aid in concentration, is it possible that it can outlive its usefulness in that the limitations of language might actually hinder the EXACT identification of what has arisen thus limiting what we gain from the effort rather than just being with whatever has arisen exactly as it is?

Thanks.

Mojo

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daverupa
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby daverupa » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:03 am

Ossifying the method "labeling" is to make a problem where there doesn't need to be one; it's a method of accomplishing satipatthana, nothing more. If it doesn't suit your mind, do something else. Satipatthana must be skillfully applied in ones own case - it's inadvisable to simply collect a laundry-list of methods from others and apply them by rote, you know?

Come to an understanding of what a given method is doing with respect to satipatthana, and pay attention to results. Fiddle around.

:heart:

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reflection
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:28 am

Labeling can be useful, and it can be a hindrance. As daverupa pointed out, try out and see. I mainly note the hindrances when they are so strong I find it hard to recognize them. That way labeling demands me to see better what is going on. But I also use other labeling at times. However, I agree it can never really describe what is going on, only very roughly. And it in itself is yet another object, moving the mind further away from one-pointedness. But there are people who swear by it. So see for yourself. I'm not claiming to know what's best for you.

Love! :buddha1:
Reflection

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:48 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Mojo
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Mojo » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:17 am

Thank you Bhikkhu.

I came across Gil Fronsdal's intro series last night and will be working through them over th next few weeks. http://www.audiodharma.org/series/1/talk/1762/ I'm also about half way through Joseph Goldstein's satipatthana series. www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/

binocular
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby binocular » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:10 am

I am generally wary about the idea of "bare awareness" and the idea that mindfulness is somehow about "just watching, without judgment."
I have never seen any reference in the suttas for this.

Although reading some books in Western psychology that work with mindfulness (that is, _their_ idea of mindfulness), it occurred to me that those bare awareness folks do have a point, even though I've never seen them put it into words clearly.
Namely, in the absence of having a standard to judge (discern) by, it's probably better not to judge (discern).
Attempting to judge (discern) by a standard that one doesn't hold or isn't sure of will probably only lead to confusion.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:28 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:41 am

And for more on that sutta follow the links from here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16840

:anjali:
Mike

binocular
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby binocular » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:08 pm


Samma
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Re: Bare Awareness and Right Concentration?

Postby Samma » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:59 pm



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