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Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by Karmoh, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member


    We all know the word, yet it means something different to all of us, we do follow a similar vein of thought when putting our insights in to words but the terminology is quite different.

    So as an exercise I have jotted down how I came about noticing the space that is awareness

    To be clear about what awareness is from my perspective. Take a moment to pick two objects within your view. This could be in a room, at work or outside, Make sure the objects are at least a metre (yard) apart. For arguments sake let's say it's a painting and a vase. When you are looking only at the painting or only at the vase, there is focused attention. For the most part, say your attention is directed primarily towards the painting, the surrounding objects and the vase will seem vague in your periphery.

    Now, instead of focusing on the painting or the vase, notice the space that holds or allows both the painting and the vase to be. This is a calm all-knowing space that simply allows. It isn't focused on the painting or on the vase. This gentle space just recognises itself as that which allows the painting and the vase, and any other object in the room, to just be as they are. This is awareness. True awareness, It is what knows the present moment directly.

    With this realisation comes the invite for you to notice thoughts, emotions, experiences, states, or other objects or movements, it is not an invitation to place focused attention on those objects or movements. It is an invitation to recognise the space as awareness and see that these things are appearing and disappearing in it. As you become comfortable knowing that this awareness is what you are, it is realised that the objects or movements in awareness are not separate from awareness.

    What does awareness in any form, mean to you?

    Peace :)
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  2. Hazelkay

    Hazelkay Member


    There seems to be only one awareness but many situations.

    Sometimes there is awareness of what I have just thought and the interesting judgement I just made on the thought.

    Sometimes awareness arises of some tension in the body - most often in the car

    When I am walking there is a sort of soft focus that is encompassing - its difficult to put into words - there is awareness of the whole scene without any individual bits in sharp focus - that's not it - but the best I can do.

    When standing surrounded by a tree the awareness is of a different vibration running through and a sort of shimmering energy which is me and the tree and the leaves and nothing/everything

    In everyday things like washing up, bathing there is sometimes a sudden awareness of the absolute beauty of the water and the impermanence of objects as the eye registers only the constant movement like a rippling - again only a word description.

    did me best!:eek:
  3. Michael David

    Michael David Member

    Whew! A tough question to respond to…here goes

    For simplicity of writing I will be writing as if I really know the answers which I do not. This is just meandering of mind or maybe awareness.

    Awareness is bare. It is like a blank screen that the focus of attention is projected upon.
    Awareness is like a computer screen that displays whatever program is playing.
    Awareness is like a mirror which reflects everything that comes in front of it.

    When we single out one thing or thought to focus all or most of our attention on awareness is narrowed to this pin point view like looking down a long tunnel.

    There is one awareness that divides and fuses back together.

    If we start with Self, God, It, Mystery, formlessness, emptiness; as the foundation of everything else which evolves into life with awareness then awareness would contain the essence or core of its foundation and be in harmony with it. When we are aware with this harmony we are advancing along with its evolution. When we are aware without the harmony it's like the eddies along the side of a stream that just go in circles.

    What is a mystery is that when we lose the harmony one way of getting back into it is to focus attention so tightly (as on the breath) even on the eddies of the stream that we pop back through its center and return to bare awareness in harmony once again.

  4. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

    Awsesome answers, :) you both recognise that words we use are somewhat diverse and our situation or interpretation is quite different but it all points to the same thing...

    ...Awareness is the unmoving, unchanging space to which all appearances come and go. Recognising awareness means reminding yourself to notice the presence of awareness no matter where you are or what you are doing. It is always present. In the most fundamental sense, it is what you are.

    Peace :)
  5. olmate

    olmate Member

    Hi Karmoh,

    As far as I can tell, so far, awareness is a little like consciousness. By that I mean our individual perception of it depends on our view.

    In one sense our day to day walking around, talking, engaging is a level of awareness. As is dreaming like day dreaming or visualising and maybe even some stages of the meditative state. Other forms of awareness might include deep dreamless sleep and deeper states of meditation.

    A further form of awareness might be "the Witness" which would be witnessing all of the above states of awareness.

    Perhaps the whole enchilada of awareness is the ever present non-dual awareness which is the ever present ground of all states - kind of encapsulated by words like enlightened and fully awake.

    Maybe the journey will reveal more. Some teachings suggest such but I guess they are outside the realm of language.

    Experientially, they manifest in so many wonderful and amazing ways right across the full spectrum of the rainbow - seen and unseen.

    Nothing but the best...

  6. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

    :) Enchilada...Now that's an amusing thought, it is all down to the wrapping we choose to place around our belief.

    Maybe it is not about a witness witnessing an experience. It is the recognition that your real identity as awareness is the space in which all experiencing happens, regardless of its content.
    Awareness permeates every experience, no matter whether it is a spiritual experience full of peace or a full on argument with your wife or husband. To see awareness any other way is to set up duality.

    Peace :)
  7. olmate

    olmate Member

    Yep, perhaps a better way to term the "witnessing" is the capacity for unbroken attention - across all states.

  8. Bryan555

    Bryan555 Member

    Karmoh writes: "To see awareness any other way is to set up duality."

    It's odd, but I love duality...and especially enjoy the "awareness" of duality in the physical world. The great dichotomies of our planet seem, to me, endlessly tantalizing and exciting.

    One quick example: We obviously live in -- and contribute to -- a world of good and evil. The two clearly exist, side-by-side. Yet, in the larger sense, there is no evil. Ultimately, only good exists.

    To me, THIS is the great awareness. Being a creature of that duality; living it inside and out. Yet seeing the great dichotomy which lies just beyond it.

    Living two absolute -- yet utterly contradictory -- truths. Being constantly "aware" of the contradiction. That's my definition of awareness.
  9. Karmoh

    Karmoh Member

    Hi Bryan,

    That’s the wonderful part of being human, we have the choice to see, we can embrace duality, embrace non-duality, or from my observations seeing that my entire experience, in every moment, is inseparable.

    This means that life is non-dual in nature. This is the realisation that, despite appearances to the contrary, separation on every level, in every way we experience it, is not real. Separation appears only because thought appears. And because we process life almost exclusively through thinking, a belief in separation has formed in human daily life. This is a deeply held belief. It is very dominant.

    So living in the middle is the way, to see non-duality for what is but also see duality for what it is.

    You hit it perfectly with your observation...
    Peace :)
  10. olmate

    olmate Member

    I am currently undertaking a facinating study program that today touched on this very topic - duality in everyday life.

    Interestingly, this study program suggests that the relationship is not in fact 2, i.e. good and evil but actually 3. The reference can be described in many different analogies to try to explain.

    In essence the law of 3 is best visualised as a triangle:
    Bottom left is affirm (or good or whatever label you choose). Bottom right is Deny (or evil of whatever). The top of the triangle is neutral (emergence). It is within this space in the NOW that evolution occurs.

    Think about the simple Serinity Prayer to further illustrate:

    God grant me the serinity to accept the things I cannot change (the deny aspect);
    Courage to change the things I can (the affirm aspect);
    And wisdom to know the difference (the neutral aspect).

    Living one day at a time
    Enjoying one moment at a time (the neutral NOW aspect)
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace (emergence)
    Taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

    Trusting that he will make things right if I surrender to his will (being in the now to allow emergence to occur).

    Knocked my socks off...

  11. pollyanna

    pollyanna Super Moderator

    Wow, as I began reading your post Olmate, and before I got to where you mention the serenity prayer, the words "God grant me etc." immediately sprung to mind.

    It was exciting to read the words when I reached them - It's so hard for me to describe (and I have tried in past posts) how really understanding and living this little prayer has completely changed my life.

    Once the serenity prayer was "a good piece of advice" from the point of view I had then.

    Now, it is simply the only way to live and the peace, understanding and ability to not resist is phenominal.

    Thankyou, and I wish you an abundance of peace and joy :) :) :)
  12. olmate

    olmate Member

    Hi Pollyanna,

    I agree. We are very priviliged to be able to review some of these early writings with the benefit of our current vocabulary, knowledge and understanding. Just last night I was reading the Lords Prayer translated from the original Aramaic language it was written thousands of years ago. Maybe we are wiser now or perhaps lots of wisdom has been lost over the eons. Either way, NOW is a wonderful time and place.

    Allow me to share this too:

    O Birther! Father - Mother of the Cosmos
    Focus your light within us - make it useful.
    Create your reign of unity now -
    through our fiery hearts and willing hands
    Help us love beyond our ideals
    and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
    Animate the earth within us: we then
    feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
    Untangle knots within
    so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
    Don't let surface things delude us,
    But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
    Out of you, the astonishing fire,
    Returning light and sound to the cosmos.

  13. pollyanna

    pollyanna Super Moderator

    Thankyou Olmate for sharing this wonderful piece. It seems to be describing what meditation reveals and allows access to :) I believe all the wisdom, which can appear to be hidden, surfaces when needed through meditation. It's there all the time - in the quiet within. And that light and deep compassion can shine from deep within onto others through our eyes - as though God is gazing on others (through our eyes) with great love and compassion

    I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)

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