Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 12:23:03 PM

Title: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 12:23:03 PM
Obviously, these are two very different words but I often see these words are used interchangeably in a lot of spiritual books. Please can you comment. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 01:25:03 PM
Hi there

I think I'll have a disappointing answer for you. The answer is: You cannot know how the terms are used by the author(s). I use the Theravada model to illustrate:

The author / a teacher might use "consciousness" for anything that is referred to in the pali canon as "citta", "mano" or "vijnana".

The author / a teacher might use "awareness" to refer to "sati sampajanna" or to any other mental faculty that means that "the lights are on".

You would have to judge from the context, the teacher's lineage etc. what is meant.

I hope this is more on the helpful side than on the confusing one...
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 02:11:39 PM
This is definitely on helpful side. We say “I am conscious of the table in front of me”. We can also say “I am aware of the table in front of me”. We say eye consciousness, ear consciousness, touch consciousness etc., but we don’t say eye awareness, ear awareness, touch awareness etc. Clearly, the consciousness pertains to five sense organs and the mind. But I cannot seem to put a finger on the awareness. Does awareness also belongs to sense organs and the mind? Or is it an entirely different from the senses?
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 14, 2020, 02:40:04 PM
I don't know how others use the words. Some Tibetan teachers use the word awareness a lot, while consciousness is a word I have encountered usually from Hindu teachers.

I think I use the word awareness almost as synonymous to attention, which is a psychological process of putting something at the forefront of your internal mind process. I tend to not use the word consciousness, possibly because I don't know how to use it.

With respect to sense organs, one can be aware of say, bird songs. For me, it is a kind of tuning of the sense of hearing to perceive that range and volume in which bird-songs can be heard. This can require an active effort because usually we are not aware of bird-songs as they fade into the background.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 03:31:20 PM
Attention is another word that is often used in this context. It is “at tension”. This is focus or a form of concentration. But attention is also dependent obviously upon consciousness. For example, if you close your eyes, you cannot pay attention to the table in front of you. Similarly, the bird song example, one cannot pay attention to bird song if one is deaf. But even if the ears are functioning, one may not pay attention to the bird song as you said.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 04:43:43 PM
This is definitely on helpful side. We say “I am conscious of the table in front of me”. We can also say “I am aware of the table in front of me”. We say eye consciousness, ear consciousness, touch consciousness etc., but we don’t say eye awareness, ear awareness, touch awareness etc. Clearly, the consciousness pertains to five sense organs and the mind. But I cannot seem to put a finger on the awareness. Does awareness also belongs to sense organs and the mind? Or is it an entirely different from the senses?

The root of the confusion might be that English words are not mapped to the mind model of - for example - Theravada. So if we use examples as aware/conscious of a table, the words mean basically the same thing. Pali on the other side is rather precise as it is the language that was used to write down the minutes aspects of mind. To give you an example: In English, being aware of your table and being mindful of it is basically the same thing. But if one defines "aware" as JUST noting the object of table, then it is a very different thing than being MINDFUL of it in the sense of sati + sampajanna. The latter is a certain form of attention to the object (namely, with a non-judgemental mind free of greed, aversion, delusion). But one could be aware of a table with a mind full of aversion. That cannot be mindfulness (sati + sampajanna), JUST some sort of taking note of the table.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 05:14:14 PM
You are absolutely right. Pali is based on Sanskrit. Sanskrit was developed and widely prevalent during the Vedic times. Sanskrit words were used to precisely describe the nature of reality and subtle nuances. For example, the words you mentioned earlier chitta, Mano, and vijnana. Jnana is knowledge. Vijnana is experiential knowledge. Chitta is often used to describe consciousness and awareness interchangeably. Another word for consciousness is chaitanyam. Mano in Sanskrit is manas. Which is loosely translated into English as memory.

Sati is smriti in Sanskrit which means remembrance. This is again loosely translated into English as mindfulness. Samprajanya in Sanskrit means clear understanding.

In Sanskrit there is no precise word for awareness for a reason. It is intentional.

But here I am talking English words. Why do we have two very different words namely consciousness and awareness if they appear to mean the same thing.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 14, 2020, 05:31:46 PM
Quote
But here I am talking English words. Why do we have two very different words namely consciousness and awareness if they appear to mean the same thing.

Outside the context of meditation, they can clearly mean different things. Consciousness indicates something that is the essence of life, while awareness has more to do with knowledge.

IMO language is always subjective and even native Pali or Sanskrit speakers will never have the exact identical usage, apart from the fact that it is not even possible to verify what exactly the other person means when they use a word.

Since the early Buddhists came from all walks of life and not everyone of them was an intellectual able to use language in a very nuanced way, it is perhaps not important to know exactly what the original words meant. Even if 'mindful' is just an approximation, it is IMO good enough.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 05:38:42 PM
My apologies, Middleway. I feel I have made the confusion worse. That was not my intention.

Maybe we should consult a linguist to track down the origin of both English words. Anybody reading this, your contribution is welcome?

My two cents on the use/meaning of the two ENGLISH words would be: I feel people use "consciousness" as a somewhat wider term than awareness. I guess a neurologist would use the term in the sense that somebody's "lights are on". Awareness is often used in connection with an object as you pointed out.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 05:54:30 PM
Fair enough. I will introduce another word “knowingness”. This is how I understand the difference between consciousness and awareness (at this time).

We see, we know.

We hear, we know.

We touch, we know. And so on.

See, hear, touch etc. can be termed as consciousness. This knowingness which is common to all is awareness. There cannot be consciousness without awareness. But can there be awareness without consciousness? In deep jhana, we withdraw all our senses including the mind consciousness (mental formations). This is pure consciousness.

This pure consciousness reflects awareness. So, consciousness is body dependent and belongs to space and time. Awareness is beyond it. Beyond space and time. This awareness is the void or emptiness. In this empty void, all impermanent manifest universes arise and passes away.

This is my intellectual concept and I am sticking to it (for now). 😉😀
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 06:47:12 PM
Great if you managed to bring precision to "fuzzy" English words. I usually fail in this endeavour as I have no control over how other people use English. Therefore, personally, I find it more useful to use a precise framework that was intended to be used to address aspects of mind (such as in the pali canon and/or the Abidhamma) and are therefore very precise and less subject to interpretation.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 14, 2020, 07:04:03 PM
If you're a professional philosopher, then you have to define concepts as precisely as you can. The rest of us can do whatever we like. :)

There's also the word sentience. We say peace to all sentient beings and by which I think we mean peace to all beings that have consciousness and we exclude objects like chairs and rocks. But actually, some cultures including Indian and Japanese (not sure about Chinese) can consider objects to be more than objects so some Mahayana followers consider everything as having sentience and consciousness, including stones.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 07:16:21 PM
If you're a professional philosopher, then you have to define concepts as precisely as you can. The rest of us can do whatever we like. :)

Totally disagree. I wonder how one would discuss subtle aspects of mind if there are no precise words everybody agrees upon. Or at least the people participating in the conversation...
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 08:26:27 PM
It’s not that complicated Phil. Withdraw all your senses in the wakeful state and watch what happens. That’s all there is to it. Everything else is the practice to get there.

We don’t need sutras or have to know Sanskrit or Pali canon. In fact Buddha rejected all the vedas and upanishads. After he passed away, his disciples created scriptures similar to vedas and upanishads which Buddha rejected in the first place.

Practice noble eightfold path. That’s all.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 14, 2020, 09:20:01 PM
Phil, I also think that all this is very interesting and I enjoy it very much but the fundamental teaching is simple - to let go of attachment and aversion. If someone sits quietly long enough the mind will figure out how to do it. Imo techniques are not important.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 14, 2020, 09:33:32 PM
 :D
You two made me laugh hard.   :D
Back and forth trying to solve a puzzle in Middleway's mind, then: Phil, let it go! Just practice!
  :D Laughing hard again.  ;D

but anyway, if you are hapoy, I am happy too
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 14, 2020, 09:36:53 PM
Haha. There is Buddhism in a nutshell. Just be happy. :D
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 14, 2020, 10:00:42 PM
Here I am expounding Dhamma in very simple and plain English and you feel it’s funny and a laughing matter? All your practice has come to this? Where is the humility? Humility is the prerequisite for learning. Please re-read what I have said about the difference between consciousness and awareness. Then read your suttas. You will understand them with utmost clarity.

I am saying this utmost humility.

In the Dhamma.

Middleway
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Nicky on November 15, 2020, 04:11:51 AM
Obviously, these are two very different words but I often see these words are used interchangeably in a lot of spiritual books. Please can you comment. Thanks in advance.

"Awareness" is a very broad & non-specific word in the English language and has no equivalent in Buddhist terminology. It is used by people who don't understand Dhamma very well.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 15, 2020, 08:40:08 AM
Here I am expounding Dhamma in very simple and plain English and you feel it’s funny and a laughing matter? All your practice has come to this? Where is the humility? Humility is the prerequisite for learning. Please re-read what I have said about the difference between consciousness and awareness. Then read your suttas. You will understand them with utmost clarity.

I am saying this utmost humility.

In the Dhamma.

Middleway

Friend

I am sorry for the pain you feel that led you to post with such obvious aversion. However, I take no responsibility as my silly but light hearted post could not possibly have caused all your ill will.

Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: raushan on November 15, 2020, 11:26:47 AM
"Awareness" is a very broad & non-specific word in the English language and has no equivalent in Buddhist terminology. It is used by people who don't understand Dhamma very well.

Hi Nicky,

How do you understand the Dhamma very well? Do you just practice or do a lot of reading also? And also How do one verify that one's understanding is correct?

Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 15, 2020, 11:40:41 AM
Here I am expounding Dhamma in very simple and plain English and you feel it%u2019s funny and a laughing matter? All your practice has come to this? Where is the humility? Humility is the prerequisite for learning. Please re-read what I have said about the difference between consciousness and awareness. Then read your suttas. You will understand them with utmost clarity.

I am saying this utmost humility.

In the Dhamma.

Middleway
It's a shame that English really isn't a good language to discuss the Dharma. There is no such thing as simple and plain English when it comes to words which have a history apart from usage as a translation of technical words from a different religion, time and culture. The words are widely used in many contexts and with many interpretations. With groups at the Buddhist centre it took years of face-to-face discussions to get some kind of shared understanding of terminology based on Pali or Sanskrit but translated initially by Christian Victorian scholars. Even then turnover of people led to gradual 'creep' of understanding.

There is no consensus at any level, be it scientific or religious or whatever, about the term 'consciousness'. Nobody knows what it is, let alone define it for such a discussion. Similarly with 'awareness', 'knowing', 'attachment' and 'aversion'. Tracking down derivations of words can be useful, but their meanings for people change constantly, as language does. Meaning for a Victorian can be very different for the here and now.

I constantly write, for myself, about the Dharma and how it could be easily understood in English, and quite frankly, it can't. I follow a blog about the Heart Sutra and its different versions, and arguments around translations of terms. If anyone wants to see the kinds of problems then this is an interesting link to scholarly discussions on the subject http://jayarava.blogspot.com/ (http://jayarava.blogspot.com/). Run through some of the issues raised in the series of blogs and you might get some idea of the problem we have in the English speaking world.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 15, 2020, 12:02:13 PM
It's a shame that English really isn't a good language to discuss the Dharma. There is no such thing as simple and plain English when it comes to words which have a history apart from usage as a translation of technical words from a different religion, time and culture. The words are widely used in many contexts and with many interpretations. With groups at the Buddhist centre it took years of face-to-face discussions to get some kind of shared understanding of terminology based on Pali or Sanskrit but translated initially by Christian Victorian scholars. Even then turnover of people led to gradual 'creep' of understanding.

There is no consensus at any level, be it scientific or religious or whatever, about the term 'consciousness'. Nobody knows what it is, let alone define it for such a discussion. Similarly with 'awareness', 'knowing', 'attachment' and 'aversion'. Tracking down derivations of words can be useful, but their meanings for people change constantly, as language does. Meaning for a Victorian can be very different for the here and now.

I constantly write, for myself, about the Dharma and how it could be easily understood in English, and quite frankly, it can't. I follow a blog about the Heart Sutra and its different versions, and arguments around translations of terms. If anyone wants to see the kinds of problems then this is an interesting link to scholarly discussions on the subject http://jayarava.blogspot.com/ (http://jayarava.blogspot.com/). Run through some of the issues raised in the series of blogs and you might get some idea of the problem we have in the English speaking world.

While language cannot easily explain cultural nuances between peoples, Dhamma does not require language. Dhamma is not monopolized by Pali or Sanskrit. Dhamma is universal. Dhamma is also discovered by tribes in the Amazon, Inuit in the Canadian North and First peoples in North America and aboriginals in Australia. What I see as the main obstacle is our accumulated knowledge and the accompanying ego that limits our ability to have dispassionate discussion about Dhamma.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 15, 2020, 12:36:29 PM
Friend

I am sorry for the pain you feel that led you to post with such obvious aversion. However, I take no responsibility as my silly but light hearted post could not possibly have caused all your ill will.

Hi Phil, I do not have aversion or ill will towards you whatsoever. I noticed your ego in your introductory post and am bringing your attention to it. You said that you have 10 years of meditation experience, 1.5 years of retreat time, and self studies of suttas, Abhidhamma and other texts. You said that you will be happy to "help" others. You encouraged us to send you personal e-mails to discuss 1:1. No where you stated that you are also here to learn. I suggest that you to carefully examine the state of mind that wrote that introduction.

If you are genuinely here to "help" and not display your jnana, compassion should arise in your heart. Not laughing hard at us.

Read your first response to my question in this post. Right off the bat, your ego became defensive. It said that it's answer would be disappointing. Then it threw a Pali book at me. It refused to engage in any meaningful discussion about the Dhamma.

When jnana is accumulated, the ego gets strengthened. When that jnana is applied and turned into vijnana (experiential knowledge), the jnana and the accompanying ego drops off. For example, you first learn how to drive a car. Someone teaches to how a clutch, gears, and brakes function. This is jnana. First when you drive the car, there is fear of hitting a curb etc. (this is ego). Once you learn how to drive i.e your jnana becomes vijnana (experiential knowledge), the fear goes away. Mind returns to its natural state of ease and composure. It is not "proud" that it learned how to drive. The mind simply internalizes the knowledge.

All the sutta reading and listening to dhamma should be internalized. Turn that knowledge into experiential knowledge by practice.

In our sangha here, we don't "teach" others. We share our experiences on the path and learn from one another.

Warm regards,

Middleway

Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Phil on November 15, 2020, 03:29:29 PM
You're right, still no aversion there in your post and I'm happy you checked your mind for greed, aversion and delusion before typing!
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Matthew on November 15, 2020, 04:00:13 PM
Quote from: Middleway
Obviously, these are two very different words but I often see these words are used interchangeably in a lot of spiritual books.

These are not "very different words".

Firstly both words have more than one meaning in the English language. In most contexts they are synonymous, and can be used interchangeably, but not all. Sometimes "consciousness" is defined as "awareness" of some object (in English). These words are not alone in being troublesome.

Similarly, Sati, "mindfulness" you note is "remembrance" or "to remember" in Sanskrit. It is not "loosely translated" into mindfulness in English, because in English, " to remember" and "to be mindful of" are also synonymous.

As both Nicky and you have noted there is no direct equivalent in Sanskrit/Buddhist terminology of the word "awareness". I think for the purposes of discussion it is probably best to assume the two words are synonymous, or not use the word awareness without precisely defining how you are using it. Anything else seems likely to lead to semantic argument for the sake of it.

All of the discussion above is blighted by differential meanings of words - and made worse by the imprecisions of translation, and the confusions and many-fold interpretations that have arisen over time.  There are many examples I could pick on in the comments above where my understanding and experience disagree with firm statements made by others, yet I won't, because I don't want to stoke divisions.

Please all remember (be mindful) of the fruits of compassion towards others in discussion, and that pointless speculative arguments aren't why we come here.

Text based interaction lacks the humanity and non-verbal clues that we have in physical space and interactions: it is easy to get lost in pointless debate, and equally easy to act like an arse online. It is harder to maintain compassion and equanimity, yet if you can't consistently do that, don't come here to score points against others. It's not why this forum exists.

Kindly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Matthew on November 15, 2020, 04:17:41 PM
You're right, still no aversion there in your post and I'm happy you checked your mind for greed, aversion and delusion before typing!

Do you truly think the above comment is utterly free of greed, aversion and delusion Phil? It seems you need to check your mind before posting as much as anyone.

Please keep it straight and compassionate, and don't be climbing on high horses - it's not a good look or what this forum is about.

Kindly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 15, 2020, 04:32:15 PM
You're right, still no aversion there in your post and I'm happy you checked your mind for greed, aversion and delusion before typing!

I am not an arahant Phil. Of course I have greed, aversion and delusion in my mind. I watch it and I know i have it. I was sincere when I said that I do not have any aversion towards you. As I said I am pointing at your ego. And yes, I have ego too which I am working on.

When I see greed in my mind, I recognize greed in others. Greed is greed. It is universal. Same with aversion and delusion. These are not yours or mine. They are universal. So, this ego is also universal. It is not your ego or mine. Do you see that? So, when I recognize your ego, I am recognizing my own.

Let us get back to discussing Dhamma. When we see, we know. When we hear we know. When we touch we know. This is direct knowledge and not inferred. The mind does not interfere at that instant of the sense contact. After the direct knowledge, there is an echo in the mind as thought. This is where name and form appear as concepts and grasping takes place.

So, the seeing and knowing are practically inseparable. Meaning, consciousness and awareness are practically inseparable during the normal waking state. You can isolate them in deep Jhana. That was my point.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Nicky on November 18, 2020, 01:14:06 AM
How do you understand the Dhamma very well? Do you just practice or do a lot of reading also? And also How do one verify that one's understanding is correct?

Thank you sir. If we study Pali sutta closely, we will find there are various words connected to meditation such as:

1. Sati - mindfulness, which means recollection, remembering or bringing to & keeping in mind.

2. Sampajana - clear-comprehension or ready wisdom or situational wisdom, which means applying the right wisdom for a certain situation

3. Anupassi - closely watching or contemplating

4. Pajānāti - to understand or know

5. Paṭisaṃvedī - to experience

6. Vinnana/Vijānāti - consciousness or to cognise directly via the sense organs

7. Vipassana - clear seeing

8. etc, etc, etc

None of these words mean the English "awareness".

In English, the word "awareness" can mean "to understand" (such as: "I am aware clouds cause rain") or can mean "to sense" or "to experience" (such as: "I was aware of the touch on my skin").

In the 1st example above (of understanding intellectually or having "awareness" that clouds cause rain), the Pali word for consciousness (vinnana) is not appropriate. In Buddhism, it not accurate to say: "I am conscious (with vinnana khandha) clouds cause rain". Instead, you would say: "I understand (with sankhara khandha) clouds cause rain".

In the 2nd example above (of sensing or having "awareness" of a touch on the skin), the Pali word for consciousness (vinnana) is appropriate.

 Therefore, the word "awareness" is too inaccurate for Buddhism because it has myriad meanings in English.

Kind regards and thank you  :)
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Nicky on November 18, 2020, 01:25:45 AM
How do you understand the Dhamma very well? Do you just practice or do a lot of reading also? And also How do one verify that one's understanding is correct?

To add to my previous post, if we combined the two English meanings of "awareness" to mean "being conscious of an object with understanding/wisdom" then we are possibly close to the meaning of the Pali word "sampajanna", often translated as "clear comprehension", which the monk named Sujato translates as "situational awareness".

However, this won't really work because "sampajanna" is a factor of wisdom where as "vinnana" ("consciousness") would probably be a factor of concentration.

Kind regards  :)
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Matthew on November 18, 2020, 02:17:25 AM
Nicky,

To add to my previous post, if we combined the two English meanings of "awareness" to mean "being conscious of an object with understanding/wisdom" then we are possibly close to the meaning of the Pali word "sampajanna", often translated as "clear comprehension", which the monk named Sujato translates as "situational awareness".

In the canon, if I have understood correctly, sampajanna specifically refers to faculties of knowledge (or mental processes) which provide insight into the states of body and mind.

Quote
However, this won't really work because "sampajanna" is a factor of wisdom where as "vinnana" ("consciousness") would probably be a factor of concentration.

Sampajanna would therefore be a factor of knowledge/wisdom specifically in relation to vinnana, or consciousness, of states of body and mind, and concentration is a factor of consciousness rather than the other way around (which concurs with experience). Thus concentration can penetrate deeper into sampajanna as the mind is refined and concentration developed.

Have I misunderstood something here?

Matthew
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Nicky on November 18, 2020, 07:22:47 AM
In the canon, if I have understood correctly, sampajanna specifically refers to faculties of knowledge (or mental processes) which provide insight into the states of body and mind.

Hi Matthew

I would disagree with the above. To me, sampajanna is pre-learned knowledge brought by mindfulness to quality control meditation and particularly concentration. Sati & sampajanna support concentration (samadhi); and samadhi supports the development of direct insight (vipassana).

Regards  :)

Quote
Thus associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up hearing the good Dhamma. Hearing the good Dhamma, becoming full, fills up faith. Faith, becoming full, fills up careful attention. Careful attention, becoming full, fills up mindfulness and clear comprehension. Mindfulness and clear comprehension, becoming full, fill up restraint of the sense faculties. Restraint of the sense faculties, becoming full, fills up the three kinds of good conduct. The three kinds of good conduct, becoming full, fill up the four establishments of mindfulness. The four establishments of mindfulness, becoming full, fill up the seven factors of enlightenment. The seven factors of enlightenment, becoming full, fill up true knowledge and liberation. Thus there is nutriment for true knowledge and liberation, and in this way they become full.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 18, 2020, 05:05:30 PM
This pre-learned knowledge that Nicky referring to is the previous understanding / clear comprehension of the mental process on how the desire arises in mind. This is to be remembered from moment to moment.

For example, we see and we know. Then thought arises that what we saw is a car. Then another thought that it is a BMW. Then another thought that rich and successful people drive it. Now we want to have that car. This is “becoming” followed by old age, sickness and death (suffering).

Having a clear comprehension of this mental process of becoming, old age, sickness and death should be remembered all the time. This remembrance allows us to cut the root of the desire and prevents it from arising. A desireless, unwavering, steady, still and alert mind is samadhi. This samadhi then leads to insight into reality.

Nicky’s quote “thus associating with good persons...” is a condensed version of the entire noble eight fold path. Beautifully said!
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 18, 2020, 06:04:15 PM
"I am now aware of my breathing. Now I am aware that I am thinking of a quarrel I had with somebody yesterday. I am aware that I spent some time reliving my quarrel. Now I am aware of my breathing."

Isn't that how it goes?
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 18, 2020, 06:13:10 PM
The moment thinking starts you have already “become”. You spent some time thinking of yesterday’s quarrel. This is old age sickness and death after becoming. You lost your sati while you spent time thinking. Otherwise, thought of yesterday’s quarrel is discarded as soon as it arises.
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: dharma bum on November 18, 2020, 06:28:43 PM
Sorry I'll skip the argument
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 18, 2020, 06:43:43 PM
I would not characterize this as an argument. No worries. You may and can skip the discussion anytime...  ;)
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: raushan on November 20, 2020, 01:48:44 AM
Thanks, Nicky for the response. It was well explained and really helpful. Some of the pali words you described look like they are synonyms.  Like the word Sati and Anupassi. So, Why Buddha defined so many words regarding the mind faculties and so precisely?

By the way, did you learn the pali language to read the suttas? Is there a big difference between English suttas and Pali suttas?

Regards
Raushan
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: raushan on November 20, 2020, 01:56:29 AM
Hi Middleway,

Thanks for explaining further. From these posts, I realize that reading suttas may help the practice further. Theoretical understanding can be a signpost for the journey as Matthew described in one of the posts.

"Thus associating with good persons" I find this subjective. Does this mean associating with people with integrity? Because In a professional world sometimes a highly intelligent person can be very annoying. And also not all who practice meditation can be good people.

Regards
Raushan
Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Nicky on November 20, 2020, 07:19:37 PM
Thanks, Nicky for the response. It was well explained and really helpful. Some of the pali words you described look like they are synonyms.  Like the word Sati and Anupassi.

Sati & Anupassi are not synonymous.

Sati means to remember.

Anupassi means to watch or see.

Title: Re: Consciousness versus Awareness
Post by: Middleway on November 20, 2020, 10:24:00 PM
Hi Middleway,

Thanks for explaining further. From these posts, I realize that reading suttas may help the practice further. Theoretical understanding can be a signpost for the journey as Matthew described in one of the posts.

"Thus associating with good persons" I find this subjective. Does this mean associating with people with integrity? Because In a professional world sometimes a highly intelligent person can be very annoying. And also not all who practice meditation can be good people.

Regards
Raushan

Absolutely! Reading the suttas  and contemplating on them is definitely recommended. As you progress on the path, their deeper / subtler meaning will be revealed to you.

Good people in this context are those who understand Dhamma well and follow it diligently. If one understands Dhamma well and follow it, they cannot do anything bad at all. It is impossible.

Warm regards,

Middleway