Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

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cappuccino
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by cappuccino » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:14 pm

The realm of infinite consciousness, is the refuge of awareness.
And is samsara...

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Thisperson
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by Thisperson » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:53 pm

dhammarelax wrote: Observing rise and fall is an important part of the path, but is not the end of it, as you can note Awareness does not apear in the noble eighfold path, Minfullness does but awareness does not and they are not the same also in the factors of awakening there is no awareness but Investigation of qualities, also note that when you enter the jhana of neither perception nor no perception, awareness is greatly diminished to the extent that to gain insight in to the states occurring in that jhana one needs to remember what happened in there (MN 111), and when one enters the cessation of perception and feeling there is no awareness any more, body retains some temperature but otherwise it lies there like a log so awareness is destructible.

Check other teachers as well, Thanissaro B. is a great one also Vimalaramsi.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
I'm not sure that the awareness you're thinking of is the same as the awareness which Ajahn Sumedho is speaking. It seems (at least it's evident in my point of view) he's speaking of the intuitive awareness of the way things really are, anicca, dukkha, anatta. If one is seeing things in this way (without ignorance) then there's no attachment to what's arising/ceasing. Refuge stemming from clear awareness/knowledge/wisdom (whatever you want to call it) of the way things really are.

Ajahn Chah, in one instance, put it as right view being our refuge, which (I believe) is interchangeable with what Ajahn Sumedho is saying.
If we have right view wherever we go we are content. I have practised and seen this already. These days there are many monks, novices and lay people coming to see me. If I still didn't know, if I still had wrong view, I'd be dead by now! The right abiding place for monks, the place of coolness, is just right view itself. We shouldn't look for anything else.
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Right_View_Place.php

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tiltbillings
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:41 am

dhammarelax wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Minfullness does but awareness does not and they are not the same
And the qualities of mindfulness are?
Right Mindfulness includes a specifically directed awareness (not just general) but awareness does not necessarily involve mindfulness:

From Thanissaros B. Right Mindfulness:

"The Buddha, in including right mindfulness in the path, takes the role that
mindfulness plays in any experience where memory is brought to bear on the
present and points it in a skillful direction. This is an important point to note.
Instead of telling you to abandon past memories so as to approach the present
with totally fresh eyes and bare awareness, he’s saying to be selective in calling
on the appropriate memories that will help keep you on the path to the end of
suffering. And instead of telling you to watch passively as things arise and pass
away on their own, he’s saying to keep remembering the need to complete any
uncompleted tasks required by the path, and to protect any attainments that
have already been attained. In other words, there are some things you have to
remember to make arise and to prevent from passing away."

smile all the time
dhammarelax
That is Thanissaro's take on this; however, there are more nuanced, better discussions of what mindfulness entails.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

dhammarelax
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by dhammarelax » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:26 am

Thisperson wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Observing rise and fall is an important part of the path, but is not the end of it, as you can note Awareness does not apear in the noble eighfold path, Minfullness does but awareness does not and they are not the same also in the factors of awakening there is no awareness but Investigation of qualities, also note that when you enter the jhana of neither perception nor no perception, awareness is greatly diminished to the extent that to gain insight in to the states occurring in that jhana one needs to remember what happened in there (MN 111), and when one enters the cessation of perception and feeling there is no awareness any more, body retains some temperature but otherwise it lies there like a log so awareness is destructible.

Check other teachers as well, Thanissaro B. is a great one also Vimalaramsi.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
I'm not sure that the awareness you're thinking of is the same as the awareness which Ajahn Sumedho is speaking. It seems (at least it's evident in my point of view) he's speaking of the intuitive awareness of the way things really are, anicca, dukkha, anatta. If one is seeing things in this way (without ignorance) then there's no attachment to what's arising/ceasing. Refuge stemming from clear awareness/knowledge/wisdom (whatever you want to call it) of the way things really are.

Ajahn Chah, in one instance, put it as right view being our refuge, which (I believe) is interchangeable with what Ajahn Sumedho is saying.
If we have right view wherever we go we are content. I have practised and seen this already. These days there are many monks, novices and lay people coming to see me. If I still didn't know, if I still had wrong view, I'd be dead by now! The right abiding place for monks, the place of coolness, is just right view itself. We shouldn't look for anything else.
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Right_View_Place.php
Would you say that in the attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling awareness of any kind is still there? If not then this awareness is just one more fabricated phenomenon hence not only destructible but something we need to be careful off, its a great tool but has its limitations.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

pegembara
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by pegembara » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:33 am

Here is another view of what role "awareness" plays from Ajahn Maha Boowa.

Ven Paññavaddho to the Venerable Acharn in Thai:
People in this country understand "Citta" to mean thinking and that the Citta is divided into those forms of the Citta which come from seeing, hearing, & touching; in other words "consciousness" (Viññana).
A:
That aspect of the Citta which arises when something comes into contact with eyes, ears, nose, etc., and which knows and receives that contact is called "consciousness" (Viññana). It arises and ceases together with that contact. As for the Citta which waits and knows these things, it does not cease together with the consciousness when it ceases, it does not cease even though the body ceases, for it will go on and take rebirth in the future. There is no end to it if the "sap of the heart" which is the Kilesas and Ignorance (Avijja) are still in the heart. But when this "sap" which is the Kilesas, has been removed from the heart, there is an end to continual becoming and birth, as happened with the Buddha and his arahant disciples.
Q3 M1:
This "one who knows" which we call our selves, is not this "Atta"? Or is it not-self (Anatta)?
A:
If we compare the "one who knows" with stairs, such as the ones used to reach this room, then we will still have to take hold of them as "self" and let go of each step one after the other until we reach this room, which is our purpose. If at the beginning we do not cling to the self, we can go widely off course because we have not got any basis to hold on to. We have to make use of the self as the way which will lead us to the state of not clinging to self. Therefore, at this stage, we should not go thinking about self and not-self (Atta and Anatta). We must at first make use of self before we can reach our goal. The question of Atta, Anatta, and the Citta will be dropped of itself, just as happened when we climbed the staircase until we reached this room, when the problem of us and the staircase vanished of its own accord

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ondon.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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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tiltbillings
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:39 am

It seems that msg was missed. Worth repeating.
Goofaholix wrote:
bodom wrote:Ajahn Sumedho from his book Intuitive Awareness :
In terms of this conditioned realm that we perceive, create and hold to, it is a very unstable, uncertain, undependable and changing condition in itself. That’s just the way it is. The Buddha pointed to the instability of conditioned phenomena, to their impermanence. This is not just a philosophy that he was expecting us to go along with. We explore and see the nature of the conditioned realm in just the way we experience it, the physical, the emotional and the mental. But that which is aware of it — your refuge is in this awakened awareness, rather than in trying to find or create a condition that will give us some sense of security. We are not trying to fool ourselves, to create a false sense of security by positive thinking. The refuge is in awakening to reality, because the unconditioned is reality. This awareness, this awakeness is the gate to the unconditioned. When we awaken, that is the unconditioned, the actual awakeness is that. The conditions are whatever they are — strong or weak, pleasant or painful, whatever. -
:namaste:
This is a good example.

You'll notice he doesn't say that awareness is unconditioned, but reality is.

He also says that awareness is the gateway to the unconditioned, which was my point, we condition awareness through meditation etc until eventually awareness gains momentum to the point of being unconditioned, this is Nibbana.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Aloka
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by Aloka » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:19 am

This is an excerpt from Ajahn Amaro's introduction to Ajahn Sumedho's book "The Sound of Silence" :

A second term that Ajahn Sumedho has given particular meaning to is ‘intuitive awareness.’ As with the sound of silence there are many places in the talks contained here, particularly in the chapter ‘Intuitive Awareness’ itself, where he elucidates the ways in which he is using this term. However, it might be helpful here to reflect a little on its usage,
just to clarify it in relation to other ways of employing the same words.

In this book the phrase ‘intuitive awareness’ is a translation of satisampajañña. The quality of sati-sampajañña is part of a continuum of three elements. The first element is sati, the raw, mindful cognizance of an object. The second element being sati-sampajañña, referring to the mindful, intuitive awareness of an object within its context; the final element is ‘sati-paññā’ – usually translated as ‘mindfulness and wisdom’ – which refers to the appreciation of an object in respect to its essential nature as transitory, unsatisfactory, and not-self.

Ajahn Chah used to characterize the relationship between these three elements as being like the hand, arm, and body: sati is that which picks things up, sampajañña is like the arm that enables the hand to get to the required place, paññā is
the body which provides it with the life force and the directive element.

Throughout these talks Ajahn Sumedho develops the connection between the terms sati-sampajañña and intuitive awareness. In so doing he is endeavouring to clarify and expand the common renderings of sampajañña as ‘clear comprehension’ or even ‘self-awareness’.

His chief concern is that these translations do not give a sense of the true broadness of that clarity. Thus he is experimenting with an expression that conveys a deliberately expansive quality and that includes the element of mystery; for it is important for the English wording also to imply an attunement of the heart to experiences that the thinking mind cannot understand or that, as he says, are ‘foggy, confused, or uncertain’. The word ‘intuitive’ is used because it perfectly conveys the mixture of a genuine apprehension of reality, yet also that the reason why things are the way they are might not be at all apparent.

Source: http://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/upl ... ilence.pdf

:anjali:

dhammarelax
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by dhammarelax » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhammarelax wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is Thanissaro's take on this; however, there are more nuanced, better discussions of what mindfulness entails.
Hi Tilt

Would you please point towards those better discussions?, I find mindfulness to be very important part (although not indestructible) of the path and I am interested in other opinions as well.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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tiltbillings
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:42 am

dhammarelax wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That is Thanissaro's take on this; however, there are more nuanced, better discussions of what mindfulness entails.
Hi Tilt

Would you please point towards those better discussions?, I find mindfulness to be very important part (although not indestructible) of the path and I am interested in other opinions as well.
Insight practice/mindfulness
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=23097

watching rise and fall
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 19#p338019

Thanissaro/radical acceptance
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=22993

judgment-free awareness
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=18458
(although not indestructible)
See:
Goofaholix wrote:
bodom wrote:Ajahn Sumedho from his book Intuitive Awareness :
In terms of this conditioned realm that we perceive, create and hold to, it is a very unstable, uncertain, undependable and changing condition in itself. That’s just the way it is. The Buddha pointed to the instability of conditioned phenomena, to their impermanence. This is not just a philosophy that he was expecting us to go along with. We explore and see the nature of the conditioned realm in just the way we experience it, the physical, the emotional and the mental. But that which is aware of it — your refuge is in this awakened awareness, rather than in trying to find or create a condition that will give us some sense of security. We are not trying to fool ourselves, to create a false sense of security by positive thinking. The refuge is in awakening to reality, because the unconditioned is reality. This awareness, this awakeness is the gate to the unconditioned. When we awaken, that is the unconditioned, the actual awakeness is that. The conditions are whatever they are — strong or weak, pleasant or painful, whatever. -
:namaste:
This is a good example.

You'll notice he doesn't say that awareness is unconditioned, but reality is.

He also says that awareness is the gateway to the unconditioned, which was my point, we condition awareness through meditation etc until eventually awareness gains momentum to the point of being unconditioned, this is Nibbana.
And See Aloka's msg above.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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equilibrium
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by equilibrium » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:49 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
bodom wrote:Ajahn Sumedho from his book Intuitive Awareness :
In terms of this conditioned realm that we perceive, create and hold to, it is a very unstable, uncertain, undependable and changing condition in itself. That’s just the way it is. The Buddha pointed to the instability of conditioned phenomena, to their impermanence. This is not just a philosophy that he was expecting us to go along with. We explore and see the nature of the conditioned realm in just the way we experience it, the physical, the emotional and the mental. But that which is aware of it — your refuge is in this awakened awareness, rather than in trying to find or create a condition that will give us some sense of security. We are not trying to fool ourselves, to create a false sense of security by positive thinking. The refuge is in awakening to reality, because the unconditioned is reality. This awareness, this awakeness is the gate to the unconditioned. When we awaken, that is the unconditioned, the actual awakeness is that. The conditions are whatever they are — strong or weak, pleasant or painful, whatever. -
This is a good example.

You'll notice he doesn't say that awareness is unconditioned, but reality is.

He also says that awareness is the gateway to the unconditioned, which was my point, we condition awareness through meditation etc until eventually awareness gains momentum to the point of being unconditioned, this is Nibbana.
Something to think about here:
But that which is aware of it.....What exactly is "that" which is aware?.....and what exactly is "it" under.....aware of "it"

If we read carefully, there is "awareness" AND "awakened awareness.....What exactly is the difference here?.....does it not suggest that "awareness" can be elevated to become "awakened".....and this also suggest that "awareness" can be in a state of "mundane"(conditioned) rising to "super-mundane"(unconditioned).....furthermore.....What is it that has this characteristics of dwelling in the "conditioned" and also the "unconditioned" and it is aware?.....and if awareness were to touch reality (unconditioned) then awareness can also be unconditioned too because that which is conditioned cannot touch the unconditioned.

When we awaken.....What exactly is it that is awakened?

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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by Thisperson » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:17 pm

dhammarelax wrote:
Thisperson wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Observing rise and fall is an important part of the path, but is not the end of it, as you can note Awareness does not apear in the noble eighfold path, Minfullness does but awareness does not and they are not the same also in the factors of awakening there is no awareness but Investigation of qualities, also note that when you enter the jhana of neither perception nor no perception, awareness is greatly diminished to the extent that to gain insight in to the states occurring in that jhana one needs to remember what happened in there (MN 111), and when one enters the cessation of perception and feeling there is no awareness any more, body retains some temperature but otherwise it lies there like a log so awareness is destructible.

Check other teachers as well, Thanissaro B. is a great one also Vimalaramsi.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
I'm not sure that the awareness you're thinking of is the same as the awareness which Ajahn Sumedho is speaking. It seems (at least it's evident in my point of view) he's speaking of the intuitive awareness of the way things really are, anicca, dukkha, anatta. If one is seeing things in this way (without ignorance) then there's no attachment to what's arising/ceasing. Refuge stemming from clear awareness/knowledge/wisdom (whatever you want to call it) of the way things really are.

Ajahn Chah, in one instance, put it as right view being our refuge, which (I believe) is interchangeable with what Ajahn Sumedho is saying.
If we have right view wherever we go we are content. I have practised and seen this already. These days there are many monks, novices and lay people coming to see me. If I still didn't know, if I still had wrong view, I'd be dead by now! The right abiding place for monks, the place of coolness, is just right view itself. We shouldn't look for anything else.
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Right_View_Place.php
Would you say that in the attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling awareness of any kind is still there? If not then this awareness is just one more fabricated phenomenon hence not only destructible but something we need to be careful off, its a great tool but has its limitations.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
I've never attained the cessation of perception and feeling so it would be foolish to speculate what takes place. Again though, Ajahn Sumedho isn't saying that consciousness is our refuge, the "knowing" of things as they really are (anicca, dukkha, anatta) is the refuge. Pegembara and Aloka's posts do a nice job in elaborating on this point (along with previous posts).

:anjali:

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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:34 am

equilibrium wrote:But that which is aware of it.....What exactly is "that" which is aware?.....and what exactly is "it" under.....aware of "it"

If we read carefully, there is "awareness" AND "awakened awareness.....What exactly is the difference here?.....does it not suggest that "awareness" can be elevated to become "awakened".....and this also suggest that "awareness" can be in a state of "mundane"(conditioned) rising to "super-mundane"(unconditioned).....furthermore.....What is it that has this characteristics of dwelling in the "conditioned" and also the "unconditioned" and it is aware?.....and if awareness were to touch reality (unconditioned) then awareness can also be unconditioned too because that which is conditioned cannot touch the unconditioned.

When we awaken.....What exactly is it that is awakened?
I agree with your analysis.

The point is that awareness is not inherently unconditioned, which is the view I think the OP posited. For most people awareness is very much conditioned, but for those who are awakened I believe it's reasonable to say awareness is unconditioned.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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tiltbillings
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:50 am

Goofaholix wrote: but for those who are awakened I believe it's reasonable to say awareness is unconditioned.
Unconditioned/asankhata
    • "Bhikkhus, I will teach you freedom from the conditioned [ness of greed, hatred, and delusion] and the path leading to freedom from the conditioned. Listen to that....
      "And what, bhikkhus, is freedom from the conditioned? The destruction of greed, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called freedom from the conditioned.
      "And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to freedom from the conditioned? Mindfulness directed to the body: this is called the path leading to freedom from the conditioned."
      SN IV 359
    • In S.N. IV 251 and IV 321 we find: "That which is the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion is nibbana."
So, the awareness of an awakened individual is no longer conditioned -- it is unconditioned -- by greed, hatred, and delusion.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by pegembara » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:51 am

equilibrium wrote: But that which is aware of it.....What exactly is "that" which is aware?.....and what exactly is "it" under.....aware of "it"

If we read carefully, there is "awareness" AND "awakened awareness.....What exactly is the difference here?.....does it not suggest that "awareness" can be elevated to become "awakened".....and this also suggest that "awareness" can be in a state of "mundane"(conditioned) rising to "super-mundane"(unconditioned).....furthermore.....What is it that has this characteristics of dwelling in the "conditioned" and also the "unconditioned" and it is aware?.....and if awareness were to touch reality (unconditioned) then awareness can also be unconditioned too because that which is conditioned cannot touch the unconditioned.

When we awaken.....What exactly is it that is awakened?
Anything that we can point or refer to is not self. Awareness is clearly not self since we can talk about it as if it is something separate. Even the unconditioned is not self - sabbe dhamma(conditioned and unconditioned) anatta.


When we awaken.....What exactly is it that is awakened? is not exactly a valid question. That is the point of the teaching of dependent origination.

“Venerable sir, who craves?”

“Not a valid question,” the Blessed One replied. “I do not say, ‘One craves.’ If I should say, ‘One craves,’ in that case this would be a valid question: ‘Venerable sir, who craves?’ But I do not speak thus. Since I do not speak thus, if one should ask me, ‘Venerable sir, with what as condition does craving come to be?’ this would be a valid question.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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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equilibrium
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Re: Thai forest tradition - Refuge in Awareness

Post by equilibrium » Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:57 pm

Goofaholix wrote: The point is that awareness is not inherently unconditioned, which is the view I think the OP posited. For most people awareness is very much conditioned, but for those who are awakened I believe it's reasonable to say awareness is unconditioned.
If we analysis further on awareness here, we see that at one point, it is conditioned.....then at another point, it is unconditioned.....this gives an impression that it changes.....this change is an illusion.....the reason being is that awareness had always been unconditioned.....at all times.

The reason is limitation/boundary.....if we see the signature of tiltbillings:
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.
The 3 key words/phase are:
"being".....would suggest the person/I/I-am/self.
"bound to samsara".....would suggest the boundary/limitation one is limited/restricted to/within.
"kamma".....would be the physical body.

If we can break through this boundary, we go from samsara to Nibbana.....yet awareness can do that, it is only bounded (temporary) by this body.

So we can say awareness is inherently unconditioned.....because it is bounded by that body which is temporary and when it is crossed, it gives the impression that awareness itself had changed from conditioned to unconditioned.....but remember, awareness is only conditioned/bounded by a temporary body, so awareness is "naturally" unconditioned.....is it not?

The body is an "obstruction".....like clouds blocking the sun from naturally shining!.....yet the sun is always shining (unconditionally).

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