Author Topic: awareness  (Read 5098 times)

Goofaholix

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Re: awareness
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2014, 01:14:39 AM »
I understand this as resting in awareness and I can never quite put it into words. To me it seems the word focus (or de-focus) has no meaning in this context.

If I had to put words to it, I suppose awareness is diffused without being diluted.

Well put.

J0rrit

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Re: awareness
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2014, 02:49:41 PM »
Matthew, you can be aware of the whole body at once, right? (or am I fabricating things ???)

In my experience you can, with a lot of practice, and in my opinion it's the result of doing less of aiming your awareness, because when aiming your awareness the mind goes into the 'focused awareness'-mode. Doing less of the aiming and just let the sensations of the body come to the mind, and relaxing the focus/spotlight of awareness...

Matthew, could you help me out here ?

J0rrit

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Re: awareness
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2014, 02:53:17 PM »
Maybe you should de-focus your attention on your experience and/or opinions and focus on what others are saying. Maybe then you can get yourself out of the rut?

What do you mean ?

Just A Simple Guy

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Re: awareness
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2014, 04:03:48 PM »
This might be overly detailed, but I don't know how else to relate it. I stumbled on full body awareness as an offshoot of my preliminary relaxation routine.

After seated comfortably and starting my timer I take three deep and easy breaths. Then I begin a pattern in order of feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, upper legs, hips, lower torso, upper torso, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, lower arms, wrists, hands, neck, head.

For each segment I take another deep and easy breath, feeling any tension or sensation on the inhale and relaxing/releasing any tension on the exhale.

I then do the same three times for the entire body.

When I began my practice I never tried to relax the entire body with one breath, but eventually it occurred to me I was in fact doing something similar in the various segments. That is, I was working two feet, legs, joints, etc... simultaneously. If I could do that I should be able to apply the same technique to the entire body.

Beyond that it also eventually occurred to me I should be able to be aware of my breath and entire body simultaneously during practice. Same for sounds, smell, thoughts, etc...

By not directing my awareness at anything in particular, awareness drinks in all stimuli, both external and internal. One stimulus doesn't detract from, nor add to another. They coexist in an harmonious dance. The less I try to focus (direct) my awareness, the wider it opens.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 04:10:26 PM by Just A Simple Guy »
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee

Middleway

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Re: awareness
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2014, 07:21:38 PM »
Maybe you should de-focus your attention on your experience and/or opinions and focus on what others are saying. Maybe then you can get yourself out of the rut?

What do you mean ?

Please go back read what others have said. There is a lot of good advice/suggestions from Matthew, DT, Goof, Sid etc. Contemplate on what they have said and consider them along with your own experiences. And watch something new will come up in your consciousness that will be very useful to you. That is how this world goes on evolving. But only if we let other ideas come into our consciousness and let them in with open mind.  If we are focused on our own, then our evolution would be slow. Very slow.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Matthew

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Re: awareness
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2014, 09:33:05 AM »
Matthew, you can be aware of the whole body at once, right? (or am I fabricating things ???)

That and more: the body, the mind and the environment can all be within the field of awareness at the same time.

In my experience you can, with a lot of practice, and in my opinion it's the result of doing less of aiming your awareness, because when aiming your awareness the mind goes into the 'focused awareness'-mode. Doing less of the aiming and just let the sensations of the body come to the mind, and relaxing the focus/spotlight of awareness...

Yes, I would agree with you. And this is very related to the ability to relax in general. Relaxation is often the point many meditators miss out on ... so busy chasing goals .. missing the point that meditation is a form of kindness to yourself, not something to set goals and beat yourself up with but something to feel your way into naturally through relaxed awareness.

I know there is a seeming contradiction between relaxation and concentration but in reality, in my experience, these words are contradictory on an intellectual level but not experientially: there is no contradiction in the practice between relaxing/calming and focussing/concentrating. They can be achieved simultaneously.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

J0rrit

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Re: awareness
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2014, 05:51:53 PM »
This might be overly detailed, but I don't know how else to relate it. I stumbled on full body awareness as an offshoot of my preliminary relaxation routine.

After seated comfortably and starting my timer I take three deep and easy breaths. Then I begin a pattern in order of feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, upper legs, hips, lower torso, upper torso, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, lower arms, wrists, hands, neck, head.

For each segment I take another deep and easy breath, feeling any tension or sensation on the inhale and relaxing/releasing any tension on the exhale.

I then do the same three times for the entire body.

When I began my practice I never tried to relax the entire body with one breath, but eventually it occurred to me I was in fact doing something similar in the various segments. That is, I was working two feet, legs, joints, etc... simultaneously. If I could do that I should be able to apply the same technique to the entire body.

Beyond that it also eventually occurred to me I should be able to be aware of my breath and entire body simultaneously during practice. Same for sounds, smell, thoughts, etc...

By not directing my awareness at anything in particular, awareness drinks in all stimuli, both external and internal. One stimulus doesn't detract from, nor add to another. They coexist in an harmonious dance. The less I try to focus (direct) my awareness, the wider it opens.

Thank you for this post ! Very, very helpful!

J0rrit

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Re: awareness
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2014, 05:52:35 PM »
Matthew, you can be aware of the whole body at once, right? (or am I fabricating things ???)

That and more: the body, the mind and the environment can all be within the field of awareness at the same time.

In my experience you can, with a lot of practice, and in my opinion it's the result of doing less of aiming your awareness, because when aiming your awareness the mind goes into the 'focused awareness'-mode. Doing less of the aiming and just let the sensations of the body come to the mind, and relaxing the focus/spotlight of awareness...

Yes, I would agree with you. And this is very related to the ability to relax in general. Relaxation is often the point many meditators miss out on ... so busy chasing goals .. missing the point that meditation is a form of kindness to yourself, not something to set goals and beat yourself up with but something to feel your way into naturally through relaxed awareness.

I know there is a seeming contradiction between relaxation and concentration but in reality, in my experience, these words are contradictory on an intellectual level but not experientially: there is no contradiction in the practice between relaxing/calming and focussing/concentrating. They can be achieved simultaneously.

Also very helpfull this post ! Thank you Matthew

Just A Simple Guy

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Re: awareness
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2014, 12:32:44 AM »
Oh, and for whatever it's worth, in the end it's really no different a process than focused awareness. At least that's how it seems to me. That is, invariably something grabs my attention and focuses it on something specific, but just like losing awareness of breath I simply note it and gently shift back to a more open awareness.

I also find oftentimes what works best for me is varying it during a sitting. I might start out with awareness focused on breath and at some point open awareness up and after a time return to breath. I don't have any specific pattern, I just do what feels best at the moment.
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee

Just A Simple Guy

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Re: awareness
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2014, 12:39:38 AM »
One other thing...

I really like what Matthew said about relaxation and focus and couldn't agree more!

Also this quote from Matthew:

"feel your way into naturally through relaxed awareness."

YES! For me I would phrase it as arising organically, free from expectation, anticipation or compulsion.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 01:25:26 AM by Just A Simple Guy »
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee