Keep noticing within any state.
That’s one of the reminders for myself these days.
Keep noticing (a) all as awareness and (b) how appearances are created, within any content of experience.
This is very useful before and within an awakening, and perhaps especially so if there has been a glimpse or genuine recognition of what we are.
Why is this so tricky, at least for some of us?
I imagine there are at least two reasons.
We are used to attention going into and being lost in content of experience.
And we may have misleading ideas of what awakening is, from culture, teachers, and own misunderstandings.
More importantly, we may have misleading ideas of what awakening is not, such as fear, reactive emotions, dullness, identification, and a sense of “I” with an other. So whenever one of those come up we tell ourselves “this is not awakening, oh no – it is lost” and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t notice that any of those, and whatever happens within content of experience, can be noticed as a and b as they happen.
I know that one well from myself. There has been times with a clear recognition of what is, often extended periods over weeks, months, and years, and yet, there was a very basic misunderstanding there. An identification of the state of very stable attention and clarity with a recognition of a and b. I didn’t recognize that whatever states are here, a and b can still be recognized, and that this is what the game is all about. (Of course, the game is also about making this mistake, but that is another topic.)
As usual, there is more to explore here….
I see that I often did recognize a and b within other states, but dismissed it as peripheral. I didn’t recognize it as the essence of what this is about.
It is possible to recognize a and b within any state and content of experience, including in the midst of thoughts and experiences of it being “lost”, and in the midst of the habitual tendency of attention getting lost within content of experience, within images and thoughts.
When the thought comes up of “this is not awakening, oh no – it is lost” that is just a thought. It may be a cue for identification, and for whatever follows, and all of that can be recognized as a and b.
The recognition of a and b may not seem very clear, but a recognition is a recognition. It also has consequences – it tends to soften dynamics created out of forgetting this, or allow it to dissolve – but that is secondary. The recognition itself is what is important.
- noticing through states (keep noticing through changing states)
- helpful before and w/in awakening
- notice (a) all as awareness, and (b) (to some extent) how appearances are created
- sometimes tricky
- used to attention going to/lost in content of experience (if have lived w/out noticing what we are)
- also, misleading ideas about awakening (from culture, teachers, own misunderstandings)
- that it is not…. (fear, reactive emotions, dullness, identification etc.) – any of those can be recognized as a and b as they happen