Choiceless awareness as inquiry

 

Allowing experience has an element of curiosity: what happens if….?

What happens when I resist experience?

What happens if I allow experience? What happens if I open my heart to it?

Can I even allow resistance to the experience, the impulse for the experience to change?

Allowing experience – as is – also gives opportunity for noticing certain other patterns and dynamics.

I can notice thought patterns. I may notice how certain thoughts, when taken as true, seems to fuel and create emotions, and how attention easily can get absorbed into stories taken as true and their corresponding emotions.

I may see the story of I unfolding, in all its many variations and flavors. I may notice some of the habitual stories and patterns, and how they are born out of the history of this human self. I may notice  how seeing it over and over, as an old movie, in itself allows identification with it to soften, wear out, eventually fall away.

I may notice the sense of a doer and observer, and that they are content of experience like any other content of experience. No difference there. Is it what I really am? Am I content of experience? Am I something else? Am I that which all of this happens within and as?

What is this “I” apparently doing a practice, and observing what is going on? Is it content of experience? Does it come and go, as other content of experience?

Allowing experience can be done throughout the day. It can be done in more formal practice sessions, in the form of shikantaza or choiceless awareness.

And there is no end to what can be quietly, wordlessly, almost unintentionally, noticed when attention is more available, when it is free – even for a short moment – from being caught up in stories and identifications.

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outline….

  • choiceless awareness as inquiry
    • notice what happens when resist or allow experience, as is + w. heart/kindness or not (healing, esp. w. kindness)
    • notice thought patterns/dynamics
    • notice how thoughts (taken as true) trigger emotions
    • notice the story of I in all its many flavors + see it over and over as an old movie, natural detachment after a while
    • notice doer/observer as content of experience, not what I really am

Any practice has elements of inquiry, devotion, integrity and service.

It can be an expression of love for reality (God, Buddha Mind). It can be an expression of curiosity: what happens if…? It can be an expression of integrity, a sincere intention to live more aligned with reality, with what I find to be more true than beliefs and assumption. And it can be an expression of service, of realigning so this human life can be of service to the larger whole.

So there is fertile ground for exploration here. Any of those four is a practice in itself, and it includes elements of each of the other ones. What is the devotion component of inquiry? What is the integrity component of service? What is the service component of devotion?

One of these questions is

This can be done informally throughout the day. To be with and allow experience as is, as if it would always stay that way, with kindness and heart. (Including resistance to experience, wishes for it to be different, and the fear behind those.) When this is done in a more formal way, it can be called shikantaza, just sitting, or choiceless awareness. Allowing experience as is, in a relaxed and alert way.

Common for those different

………….

I can notice thought patterns. I may notice how certain thoughts, when taken as true, seems to fuel and create emotions, and how attention easily can get absorbed into beliefs and emotional attachments.

…………..

Allowing experience, as other practices and activities, has an element of curiosity: what happens if….?

What happens when I resist experience?

What happens if I allow it? What happens if I bring in heart and kindness?

Can I allow even the resistance to experience, even the impulse for the experience to change?

Allowing experience, as is, also gives opportunity for noticing certain other patterns and dynamics.

I can notice thought patterns. I may notice how certain thoughts, when taken as true, seems to fuel and create emotions, and how attention easily can get absorbed into stories taken as true and their corresponding emotions.

I may see the story of I unfolding, in all its many variations and flavors. I may notice some of the habitual stories and patterns, and how they are born out of the history of this human self. I may notice  how seeing it over and over, as an old movie, in itself allows identification with it to soften, wear out, eventually fall away.

I may notice the sense of a doer and observer, and that they are content of experience like any other content of experience. No difference there. Is it what I really am? Am I content of experience? Am I something else? Am I that which all of this happens within and as?

What is this “I” apparently doing a practice, and observing what is going on? Is it content of experience? Does it come and go, as other content of experience?

Allowing experience can be done throughout the day. It can be done in more formal practice sessions, in the form of shikantaza or choiceless awareness.

And there is no end to what can be quietly, wordlessly, almost unintentionally, noticed when attention is more available, when it is free – even for a short moment – from being caught up in stories and identifications.

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