Identification & Traces
When awareness is closely identified with the phenomena arising (sensations, emotions, thoughts), there is little or no space for anything other than resistance. Awareness is compelled to directly interact with whatever arises, either by pushing it away or fuelling it.
And this resistance leaves a trace. We repeatedly return to the specific situation that triggered the experience, and we engage in habitual emotional and mental patterns around it – with a charge of attraction or aversion. In addition, the habitual patterns deepen.
The situation hooks us, until we can be with the experience – allow it to unfold in awareness.
Awareness & No Trace
As there is more awareness and less resistance, the inner processes unfold within spacious awareness and leave less trace. There is less of an impulse to repeatedly revisit the situation and to engage in habitual emotional/mental patterns around it. Both being with the experience, and letting go of revisiting, allows the habitual patterns to soften and decrystallize.
The past situation has less of an hook for us.
Maybe it is not quite accurate to say that there is no trace when we allow experiences to unfold in awareness. There is often a trace in the form of decrystallization, softened habits of the personality. Resistance deepen the habits. Awareness and no resistance decrystallize.
It also seems that the hook that comes from resistance is Existence’s way of helping us bring awareness into what is going on. As we repeatedly engage in the same patterns, we see that something is missing – we keep running into the wall head first. This is a gateway into awareness, into a different way of relating to the inner and outer world.
First, we may seek and develop ways to relating to the inner/outer world that produces less suffering. Then, we may gradually allow ourselves to be with whatever we are experiencing.
The former is more from a view of separation, the latter opens for a transdual view. Both can be immensely valuable and can exist simultaneously.