People who have made continous awareness work.

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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ieee23
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People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by ieee23 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:17 pm

This question is for people who have made continuous awareness work in their lay lives.

I long ago gave up on continuous awareness, or mindfulness all of the time off the cushion. It seemed to work well if I was doing a manual task like doing laundry. It didn't seem to work so well at my mentally intense job. I also missed "day dreaming". I enjoyed it and I often got a lot of thinking done which led to problems solved in my work, as well as my non-work life.

I recently read a book by a Burmese monk who had a full lay life running a business before becoming a monk. His teachings seemed so clear and practical for a lay person, like Thich Nhat Hanh minus the poetic bent. The book inspired me to give continuous awareness another try.

For the people who think it works for them, what kind of job do you do? Is it a physical job or a mental job?

A problem I am having so far is getting it "tuned" properly. It seems like I only have two speeds

1. Completely living in my thoughts
2. Or being mindful too hard ( paying too much attention ) or mindful too long ( on one choice of many things to be mindful of passing in and out of my awareness.

Then there is the issue of what to be aware of or letting go and just noting whatever floats into my awareness.

The lay people who made continuous awareness work, how did you solve these problems?
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

Thisperson
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Thisperson » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:24 pm

Do you have the title of that book by chance? Sounds interesting.

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The Thinker
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by The Thinker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:15 pm

Thisperson wrote:Do you have the title of that book by chance? Sounds interesting.


I am not sure this is the book in question but did find this: When Awareness Becomes Natural: A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in ...
By Sayadaw U Tejaniya
- https://goo.gl/DbmSTQ which appears on the theme of awareness, looks ok!
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Goofaholix
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:48 pm

ieee23 wrote:1. Completely living in my thoughts
2. Or being mindful too hard ( paying too much attention ) or mindful too long ( on one choice of many things to be mindful of passing in and out of my awareness.

Then there is the issue of what to be aware of or letting go and just noting whatever floats into my awareness.
If the choice is between "being mindful too hard" and being lost in thought that's the problem.

The mind is already capable of being aware of whatever it needs to, all you have to do is recognise awareness, and reinforce it's importance. Notice when it's there, when it has lapsed and when you broght it back, when it's dull, when it's energetic etc.

It won't be 100% continuous but if you keep this up over months and years it will gradually get closer to continuous and you'll be able to maintain a thread of awareness throughout the day.

There are other teachings by Sayadaw U Tejaniya here http://ashintejaniya.org/
“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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The Thinker
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by The Thinker » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:34 pm

Some meditation advice: https://goo.gl/50JKe7
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

ieee23
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by ieee23 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:42 pm

Thisperson wrote:Do you have the title of that book by chance? Sounds interesting.
I do.


The book didn't have much to say about continuous awareness, but it did bring the subject up and I guess the tone of the book inspired me.


http://ashintejaniya.org/books-dont-loo ... efilements
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

ieee23
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by ieee23 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:50 pm

The Thinker wrote:
Thisperson wrote:Do you have the title of that book by chance? Sounds interesting.


I am not sure this is the book in question but did find this: When Awareness Becomes Natural: A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in ...
By Sayadaw U Tejaniya
- https://goo.gl/DbmSTQ which appears on the theme of awareness, looks ok!
The book was another book by the same author

http://ashintejaniya.org/books-dont-loo ... efilements
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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bodom
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by bodom » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:08 am

From the author himself:
Continuity of Awareness

You need to be aware of yourself continuously, whatever posture you are in, from the time you wake up until you fall asleep. Do not let your mind become idle or run freely. It is important that the mind keeps working, i.e. keeps being aware. Whatever you do, it is the awareness that is important. Continuity of awareness requires right effort. In our context, right effort means to keep reminding yourself to be aware. Right effort is persistent effort. It is not energy used to focus hard on something. It is effort which is simply directed at remaining aware, which should not require much energy.

You do not need to know every detail of your experience. Just be aware and know what you are aware of. Ask yourself often: “What am I aware of now?” “Am I properly aware or only superficially aware?” This will support continuity of mindfulness. Remember: it is not difficult to be aware – it is just difficult to do it continuously!

Momentum is important to strengthen your practice and this can only be achieved with continuity of mindfulness. With continuous right effort, mindfulness will slowly gain momentum and become stronger. When mindfulness has momentum, the mind is strong. A strong mind has right mindfulness, right concentration, and wisdom.

Make a consistent effort. Keep reminding yourself to be mindful and your mindfulness will become more and more continuous.
http://ashintejaniya.org/teachings

:namaste:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

Thisperson
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Thisperson » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:38 am

ieee23 wrote:
Thisperson wrote:Do you have the title of that book by chance? Sounds interesting.
I do.


The book didn't have much to say about continuous awareness, but it did bring the subject up and I guess the tone of the book inspired me.


http://ashintejaniya.org/books-dont-loo ... efilements
Ahh I saw that on reddit recently and checked it out. Nice format with the illustrations and short passages.

Thanks as well The Thinker.

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Mkoll
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Mkoll » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:46 am

Thank you all for sharing those works.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:00 am

Goofaholix wrote:It won't be 100% continuous but if you keep this up over months and years it will gradually get closer to continuous and you'll be able to maintain a thread of awareness throughout the day.
I've found that the bodily sensation of pressure is a useful basis for that thread, ever present and easy to return to. A lot of people use the breath. though I find pressure quicker and easier.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Goofaholix
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by Goofaholix » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:46 am

Spiny Norman wrote:I've found that the bodily sensation of pressure is a useful basis for that thread, ever present and easy to return to. A lot of people use the breath. though I find pressure quicker and easier.
The thing is what makes awareness of pressure, the breath, or anything else possible?.... awareness of course, we just need to recognise it in action.
“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

practitioner
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by practitioner » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Your brain is currently wired in certain way. This current condition is strong because it has been this way all your life.

Continuous awareness requires practice for as long as necessary based on your diligence and other conditional factors as well. If you have the luxury of retreat, then the same diligence would attain the results in shorter time compared to same diligence without any retreat and in a busy life.

Hence, the best way to approach this is to just practice without dwelling on the objective. The more you dwell on the objective the more you will beat yourself up when you miss mindful moments. Then, it becomes the activity of "becoming", which we want to avoid.

Just have to learn to keep remembering to be aware without judging yourself when you miss moments here and there. When driving, may be move your fingers constantly for a period of time, then periodically mentally note "seeing, seeing" or "hearing, hearing" to keep you present with alertness.

Let time grow that mindfulness. Dont' let it go or else lack of mindfulness will grow. Just keep doing this until you have attained continuous awareness.

This is the approach that I am practicing.

spacenick
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Re: People who have made continous awareness work.

Post by spacenick » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:15 pm

What do you hope to achieve? Why do you want continuous awareness?

If you see for yourself the benefits of developing mindfulness (which doesn't just mean awareness but also remembering, in other terms, remembering to "come back" and to de-personalize and see experience in terms of Dhamma, as: body/sensations/moods/thoughts; instead of living in terms of "I"), then you'll naturally want to develop it.

What benefits?

Being able to see, in the here and now, where your mind attaches. Where it "goes out". Because if your mind attaches, it will suffer. Because you know that if you let it loose, it will create pain. Only the arahant can be completely 100% loose because his mind isn't able to create suffering anymore.

If you're just trying to get continuous awareness because "that's what your supposed to do" or something like that, then yeah, you'll have a form of internal conflict.

One thing I wished I was being told: it is mostly gonna be (very) unpleasant in the beginning. Especially if you think you're supposed to be blissed out all the time. But that's not true. You're supposed to see things as they are: and wow, when you drop escapism and you stop indulging in day dreaming or other sensual pleasures: this is indeed suffering. But it will make you grow and you will develop endurance. Soon enough you'll start to see what it means to detach. And that's where true freedom is to be found.

Also, it is a myth that you can maintain awareness when doing tasks that require part of your brain. I work as a programmer and there's no way I'm gonna maintain a continuous awareness when coding. I train to get it back at every "break", but otherwise, remember that there is no "I" that is aware here. Awareness or mindfulness is just another fabrication that you train yourself to do because it is beneficial in the task of getting away from pain.

:anjali:

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