Consciousness and Awareness

peeking in

“Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it. The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is a background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

The Buddha made an eminently astute observation when he noted that what we are is the result of our thinking: “As ye think, so shall you be.” Indeed, it is consciousness — the power of thought-energy – which creates everything we take to be reality. Consciousness utilizes and inhabits form to express itself, and form in this sense also includes our bodies. Consequently, taking responsibility for our thoughts is a necessary step in our being able to function effectively in this realm.

One perennial obstacle in the consideration of consciousness, however, is that the terms “consciousness” and “awareness” are often used interchangeably, resulting in a lot of ensuing confusion and misunderstanding. Many a heated debate could be avoided if the two terms were used appropriately. Essentially, consciousness can be regarded as mind with objects, whereas awareness refers to mind without objects.

In our felt experience — given that everything which we can think, feel, or know is constantly changing, appearing and disappearing — clinging to and fixating on consciousness invariably creates a sense of dis-satisfaction, or stress. The ceaseless cycle of craving and aversion that characterizes the usual human activity consists of alternately grasping at objects of attention, or running away from them, and it is this very pattern which generates the conflicted experience of “me and mine”.

In various Buddhist texts, consciousness is designated as the fifth skandha, or aggregate. The five aggregates (form, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness) together create the illusion of individual and independent personhood. Conversely, the recognition of their inherent emptiness is an indication of the dawn of awakening. Consequently, Buddha is often quoted in the literature depicting consciousness as stressful, transient, and not-self, in order to liberate the seeker from attachment to it. To illustrate, here is a bit of dialogue from the Anattalakkhana Sutta:

“How do you construe thus, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: ‘This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am’?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus, monks, any consciousness whatsoever — past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness — is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am’. Seeing thus, the instructed Noble disciple grows disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is released.”

bu

The non-dual sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj has been even more blunt, calling consciousness a “fraud and hallucination”, “an itching rash”, and comparing it metaphorically to “being stung by a scorpion”. He recommends that the aspirant diligently strive to understand consciousness directly through meditative inquiry, getting to know it inside and out, until it is summarily recognized as “useless and imperfect”, and then transcended. In his seminal text, the spiritual classic “I Am That”, he clarifies the difference between consciousness and awareness:

Q: You use the words ‘aware’ and ‘conscious’. Are they not the same?

M: Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.

Q: How does one go beyond consciousness into awareness?

M: Since it is awareness that makes consciousness possible, there is awareness in every state of consciousness. Therefore the very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement in awareness. Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness. It is not a new state. It is at once recognised as the original, basic existence, which is life itself, and also love and joy.

Moreover, in response to the materialists who claim that consciousness arises in the brain, Nisargadatta teaches:

“I am not my body, nor do I need it. I am the witness only. I have no shape of my own. You are so accustomed to think of yourself as bodies having consciousness that you just cannot imagine consciousness as having bodies. Once you realize that bodily existence is but a state of mind, a movement in consciousness, that the ocean of consciousness is infinite and eternal, and that, when in touch with consciousness, you are the witness only, you will be able to withdraw beyond consciousness altogether.”

In this perspective, consciousness might be considered the relative nature of mind, since it is transitory and dependent on conditions, whereas awareness would be regarded as a reflection of the absolute nature of mind, since it is the unchanging background. Whatever is subject to change has no enduring reality. Since consciousness is always moving, it cannot comprehend the motionless, so it falls into silence. Just so, by dis-engaging from identification with the stream of thought objects, a space is created for awareness to shine forth unobstructed. This is the purpose of meditation, releasing attention from the passing neural parade by being aware of being aware. In this way, attention can penetrate the surface layers where it typically resides and fall back into its source – the silent and aware, transparent and spacious essence of mind’s true nature.

light of meditation

Ramana Maharshi put it this way: “You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is, of the not-self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains . . .”

Through repeated practice of detachment from “other things”, the power of the mind to abide in its source increases. Thus, the spiritual endeavor in its most fundamental form is a process of letting go, surrender. The sages are unanimous in their suggestion that we give up our obsessions with the past and future, our efforts at trying to force life into our idea of the way it should be, and simply relax into our natural state, which is peace.

In the beginning, there is effort involved, because the distracting power of our mental habits is strong, and the “monkey mind” will not willingly relinquish its throne, but with consistent practice, the effort becomes effortless, and a natural and relaxed spontaneity blossoms. We no longer need to mistake the body and its consciousness for who and what we are, because those errors in discernment and identification have been outshone by the clear recognition of our true nature — Awareness.

Despite the innumerable names that are tagged on to it,
Know that the real meaning is as follows:
Let your mind spontaneously relax and rest.

When left to itself, ordinary mind is fresh and naked.
If observed, it is a vivid clarity without anything to see,
A direct awareness, sharp and awake.
Possessing no existence, it is empty and pure,
A clear openness of nondual luminosity and emptiness.

It is not permanent, since it does not exist at all.
It is not nothingness, since it is vividly clear and awake.
It is not oneness, since many things are cognized and known.
It is not plurality, since the many things known are inseparable in one taste.
It is not somewhere else; it is your own awareness itself.

~Lama Shabkar, Tsogdruk Rangdrol

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About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have several other sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ https://freetransliterations.wordpress.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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42 Responses to Consciousness and Awareness

  1. marcel says:

    Perfect, thank you Brother!

    Your post reminded me of this excerpt from the “tao of sudden enlightenment”
    and is related to your previous entree also.

    Q: So what, in a nutshell, is right thought?
    A: In a nutshell, right thought means thinking only of Bodhi.

    Q: Can Bodhi be acquired?
    A: No! You cannot acquire Bodhi.

    Q: Since it cannot be acquired, how can one, reasonably. think only of Bodhi?
    A: To name Bodhi is false, because it cannot be described or possessed. It is neither in front nor in back of one who tries to acquire it, because it cannot be acquired or thought about. Only not thinking about it is true and right thought. Bodhi, then, is not a thought-object and, thus, there is no mind whatsoever anywhere. However, all the various kinds of non-thinking which have been touched upon accord with the needs of particular circumstances, being merely expedient terms; and even though different names are used expediently, there is no difference whatsoever in the substance. There is only no mind whatsoever dwelling nowhere at all. When this stage is reached, one is, quite naturally, liberated.

    “Skies are clearing” 🙂

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you for the wonderful picture and quote, Brother! Hui Hai was a pretty smart guy! Hey, that sounds like a good first line for a poem or song, eh. . .

      Old Hui Hai was a pretty smart guy,
      When it came to Bodhi, he wouldn’t lie.
      Since we are one with the clearing sky,
      We no longer need to question “why”.

      🙂

  2. Jan Springs says:

    How can one say ‘Thank you’ in its truest sense?

    I don’t know but thank you, thank you, thank you!

    _/|\_

    _/|\_

    _/|\_

    Without reminders there is little remembrance here. Sorry .. and merci again.

  3. marcel says:

    “Finally you have to understand that the principle which you are using to talk, to move about, and operate in this world, is not you.” ~Sri Niz

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Great quote, and that tune — the nuns back in elementary school had us learn that one, and so you might imagine a bunch of 10 year old boys and girls all sitting in black and white school uniforms at their desks in the classroom, singing at the top of their voices, “What do you do with a drunken sailor…” Thanks for the memories! 🙂

  4. Bob OHearn says:

    Someone who seeks the Way doesn’t look beyond himself. He knows that the mind is the Way. But when he finds the mind, he finds nothing. And when he finds the Way, he finds nothing. If you think you can use the mind to find the Way, you’re deluded. When you’re deluded, buddhahood exists. When you’re aware, it doesn’t exist. This is because awareness is buddhahood.

    ~ Bodhidharma

  5. Bob OHearn says:

    “There is a story of a man who goes to the Buddha and asks him, “If each separate sense-door (smelling, seeing, tasting, etc.) does not connect to the other, what holds all the senses in a single body?” The Buddha replies, “The mind holds all the senses.” All of the senses arrive into the mind and can be observed from the mind. “Ah,” says the man. “What then holds the mind?” The Buddha says, “The mind is held by awareness.” Awareness can see everything in the mind. Finally the man asks the Buddha, “What holds awareness?” The Buddha replies, “Awareness is held by the unconditioned.”
    ~Samyutta Nikaya

  6. Bob OHearn says:

    “Just remaining continuously in a bright sense of presence without grasping at anything will bring us a sense of inexpressible bliss. We still continue to see all of the mountains, lakes, trees, houses, people, and so on , that exist in the world, but we will not be distracted by anything that we see or hear. We remain in a sense of presence . . . that is bright and clear, just like a mirror that reflects all of these same things in the world, but is not affected or changed by what it reflects. We become like that mirror. All of them are merely reflections and they make no changes or modifications to our Natural State.”

    ~ Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche

  7. Bob OHearn says:

    From the Vajra Heart Essence (Nying thig) section of Dzogchen, Longchenpa writes:

    “This awareness- Buddha Nature- is enmeshed in the physical body, and so the term “an embodied being” is used: Its is enmeshed in the net of ordinary mind- The eight avenues of consciousness- and so the term “ordinary being” is used; it is overlaid with karma and habit patterns, and the term “an obscured being” is used; its obscured by what is by nature a state of non-recognition, and so the term “a benighted being” is used….Thus, primordial basic space as naturally occurring timeless awareness- Buddha Nature, completely permeates the body.”
    “Timeless Awareness is awareness free of elaboration, which in essence is beyond these levels. Awareness abides as the aspect that is aware under any and all circumstances, and so occurs naturally, without transition or change. For this reason, it should be understood to be ultimately abiding Suchness.”

    “Therefore, the description of the fruition as “freedom in the immediacy of the Ground of Being” is meant to refer to the nature of basic space, beyond transition or change. It is impossible to actually become free in that immediacy, because it is impossible for the Ground of Being to ever have become distorted.”

    “The second method is to identify the unconfused nature of phenomena by letting confusion settle in the natural state. This method is based on the fact that the essence of being is such that it has never known confusion, and so is uncontaminated by anything that could cause non-recognition. At present, this essence does not abide as a state of confusion, and so is devoid of any basis for karma and afflictive states. Subsequently, it cannot possibly become confused, and so any extremes of positive versus negative action have been eliminated. Given that the nature of being is indivisible, in awareness the ground of samsara is identical to that of nirvana, so confusion is innately pure.

    Being can be characterized as that which cannot be subject to confusion…

    The Pearl Garland Tantra of Dzogchen Nying Thig States:

    “Enlightened Mind is free of all vacillation, but it not like some inanimate thing. It is conscious and aware, exhibiting an illuminating quality. It incinerates all concepts, for it is timeless awareness itself, consuming like fire. It is analogous to space itself. It is empty yet lucid, as well as aware.”

    The Great Garuda Tantra of Dzogchen Nying Thig states:

    “Timeless Awareness, not manifest yet free of being a void, is not reified, not relinquished, and not corrupted, but is the Natural State.”

    The Natural Freedom of Awareness (Rigpa) Tantra of Dzogchen states:

    “In essence, true Awareness is not an awareness that entails plans or actions. Reification is the very cause of going astray, so the path does not entail refuting or proving anything. Awareness is not in any way dependent.”

    Lonchenpa writes:

    “Buddhahood- the discovery of the Dharmakaya- is nothing other than the uncontrived and unadulterated essence of Awareness becoming evident. And because awareness is present in everyone without transition or change, I advise you to rest in the spontaneous presence of your uncontrived Awareness”

    The Perfect Dynamic Energy of the Lion Tantra of Dzogchen Nying Thig states:

    “Since Self-Knowing Awareness is timelessly unchanging, I am not obscured by either virtue or harm. Given that this Awareness occurs naturally, without causes or conditions, there is no need for structured spiritual practice”.

  8. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do realize that it is not you who moves from dream to dream, but the dreams flow before you, and you are the immutable witness. No happening affects your real being – that is the absolute truth. The witness is not a person. The person comes into being when there is a basis for it, an organism, a body. In it, the absolute is reflected as awareness. Pure awareness becomes self-awareness. When there is a self, self-awareness is the witness. When there is no self to witness, there is no witnessing either. It is all very simple; it is the presence of the person that complicates. See that there is no such thing as a permanently separate person and all becomes clear.

    Awareness, mind, matter – they are one reality in its two aspects as immovable and movable, and the three attributes of inertia, energy and harmony. Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.

    Then there is the final step to be apprehended. This consciousness is the ‘such-ness’, the ‘taste’ of the essence of food of which the body is made and by which it is sustained. To that extent, consciousness too is time-bound like the body. When the body ‘dies’, consciousness disappears like a flame when the fuel is exhausted. Indeed, consciousness is duration, without which an object would not last long enough to be manifested and perceived. What then, are ‘you’? So long as the body exists, you are this conscious presence within, the perceiving principle; when the body dies, ‘you’ are the Absolute Awareness into which the temporal consciousness merges. And then there is no longer the sense of being present. Remember, therefore, that no ‘one’ is born and no ‘one’ dies, because all the forms (that appear, remain for the duration and then disappears,) are your expression, your mirror-ization.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    Here the author makes a distinction between soul and spirit that in many ways compares with the distinction between consciousness and awareness:

    The soul and the spirit:

    The soul is the Self-aware presence. The consciousness of that which I AM. This includes your memories, your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, your desires and aspirations, your fears, your sense of character and personality, your knowledge, and all those qualities, imperfections and aspects that distinguish and illuminate you as a separate entity. It is the embodiment of your Self-Journey. This is within a continuous cycle of change and expression, the creative experiential instrument of the spirit.

    Your spirit on the other hand is that which does not change. Does not give way to any imperfection, flaw or fear. It is the aspect of you which is closest to that which God is. It is that which requires nothing, but provides everything. It is that which is unseen but forever felt through the vehicle of love, wisdom and service. It is the pure, the perfect and the permanence of the divine. It is the sublime marriage of that which is God and that which is conceived into you.

    -SPARROW

  10. Bob OHearn says:

    Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche: “Emptiness is awareness and awareness is emptiness, and emptiness understands itself by its own awareness.”

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    “When we say that the mind can see itself, this is not at all like an eye seeing itself. Rather, the mind, being awareness, can experience its own awareness. In fact, this is not difficult to do at all because the mind is not looking for something far away. It’s right here.

    You might ask then, if it’s right here, and it’s always been right here, why have you never seen it? The reason is that, throughout beginningless time, we have been afflicted by ignorance and, under the sway of ignorance, we have never looked. If you look, then you can recognize the mind’s true nature, which is that it has no substantial existence whatsoever and yet is not a mere nothingness or static emptiness. It is pure awareness. This is something that you can experience directly in meditation.”

    ~Thrangu Rinpoche, Pointing Out the Dharmakaya

  12. Bob OHearn says:

    “Awareness abides as the aspect which is aware under any and all circumstances, and so occurs naturally, without transition or change. For this reason, this should be understood to be ultimately abiding Suchness.”

    ~Longchenpa

  13. Bob OHearn says:

    Dr. Bruce Greyson reports of cases that suggest that consciousness does not need a physical brain and in fact not even a physical body.

  14. Bob OHearn says:

    The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state–your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea in endless succession.Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind..The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it ‘my thought’. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognizance of consciousness as a whole.

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  15. Bob OHearn says:

    “Your true self has no life and no death.
    And it never comes or goes.”

    ~Zen Master Seung Sahn, “The Compass of Zen”

  16. Bob OHearn says:

    “Awareness is here even during times of darkness. Presence never goes anywhere…Even though doubts may obscure it, it is here the instant the mind stops and every cell of the body opens up to hear and see and be….There’s only what is. And that’s completely unbroken, without possibility of lack. Every one of us inevitably contributes to this unbroken, pulsating wholeness, whether we’re temporarily good or bad, ignorant or wise, selfish or selfless, violent or gentle, beautiful or ugly personalities. All of us together, as we are, are an ever throbbing, ever changing, never gaining, never losing creative whole, floating in spaciousness that does not know right or wrong.”

    ~Toni Packer

  17. Bob OHearn says:

    Anything can arise within space. Thoughts, feelings, and sensations are like birds flying in the sky, which don’t leave any trace of their flight. Let them fly. Let them come and go without a trace. Let yourself become the space that welcomes any experience without judgment. That is who you are, after all.

    ~Tsoknyi Rinpoche

  18. Bob OHearn says:

    Consciousness is infinite and comes in from all directions simultaneously; it permeates through all matter, it animates matter, and expands beyond it within realms not even your brain is attuned to perceive. There is no place where consciousness does not exist in your universe. The space between where you think consciousness begins and where consciousness ends, there too exists consciousness. The space between is the illusion and the game you are playing through your physical brain. The human brain is simply a translator of information of specific frequencies and formats attributed to your dimension. It is a coordinating computer to assist your soul to interpret physical density experiences. Consciousness itself exists within and outside of every single cell in your body; your soul does not sit inside the body, the body sits inside the soul – for the body is a by-product of the soul, and the body is much smaller in comparison.

    ~Sparrow

  19. Bob OHearn says:

    http://www.watkinsmagazine.com/consciousness-in-the-cosmos-part-i-the-third-concept-of-consciousness?utm

    “Is consciousness generated in and confined to the brain? Or does it extend in some way beyond the brain—and could it even be a fundamental feature of the cosmos? Until a few years ago nobody other than deeply spiritual or religious people would have subscribed to a concept of consciousness other than what I call the “turbine theory”: the theory that the brain generates consciousness, and the consciousness it generates is confined to the brain. Today there is more and more evidence that consciousness is not confined to the brain but is “nonlocal,” embracing minds and events beyond the brain and the body. And there is an insight dawning among avant-garde scientists, thinkers and spiritual people that consciousness may be not only nonlocal, but cosmic.”

    Ervin Lazlo

  20. Bob OHearn says:

    “All that is known of the world is experience. All experience is mind and the essential nature of mind is Consciousness. Proceeding in the opposite direction, it is Consciousness that, vibrating within itself, assumes the form of mind and, as such, appears to itself as the world.”

    ~Rupert Spira

  21. Bob OHearn says:

    http://scienceandnonduality.com/to-be-conscious-of-consciousness-mirror-neurons-and-human-freedom/

    What happens when a mirror neuron sparks empathy for its own empathy? What happens when the mirror neuron’s awareness turns to the other mirror neurons, and the brain becomes aware that it is aware? What is then reflected?
    The brain is still alive, firing reflections but now it is reflecting its own capacity for reflection, like a tunnel of mirrors into infinity. On a cellular level, we are becoming aware that we are aware, in increasing degrees of refinement and liberation from normal perceptive constraints. Could this be a neurophysiological explanation for the phenomena of spiritual awakening?

  22. Bob OHearn says:

    “In the field of consciousness research—and also in physics and astronomy—we are breaking past the cause-and-effect, mechanistic way of interpreting things. In the biological sciences, there is a vitalism coming in that goes much further toward positing a common universal consciousness of which our brain is simply an organ. Consciousness does not come from the brain. The brain is an organ of consciousness. It focuses consciousness and pulls it in and directs it through a time and space field. But the antecedent of that is the universal consciousness of which we are all just a part.”

    ~Joseph Campbell in Mythic World’s, Modern Words

  23. Bob OHearn says:

    http://www.theonion.com/article/psychology-comes-to-halt-as-weary-researchers-say–36586

    The field of psychology was brought to an immediate halt this week as disillusioned and weary practitioners of the discipline reportedly concluded that the mind could never possibly hope to study itself.

    Abandoning more than a century of clinical research, theoretical developments, and observational studies, psychologists worldwide announced that their entire professional lives had been utterly worthless, as the human brain could never comprehend its own workings, let alone understand its own understanding.

  24. Bob OHearn says:

    “Look into the awakened mind of your own awareness! It has neither form nor color, neither center nor edge. At first, it has no origin but is empty. Next, it has no dwelling place but is empty. At the end, it has no destination but is empty. This emptiness is not made of anything and is clear and cognizant. When you see this and recognize it, you know your natural face. You understand the nature of things. You have then seen the nature of mind, resolved the basic state of reality and cut through doubts about topics of knowledge.

    This awakened mind of awareness is not made out of any material substance; it is self-existing and inherent in yourself. This is the nature of things that is easy to realize because it is not to be sought for elsewhere. This is the nature of mind that does not consist of a concrete perceiver and something perceived to fixate on. It defies the limitations of permanence and annihilation. In it there is no thing to awaken; the awakened state of enlightenment is your own awareness that is naturally awake. In it there is no thing that goes to the hells; awareness is naturally pure. In it there is no practice to carry out; its nature is naturally cognizant. This great view of the natural state is present in yourself: resolve that it is not to be sought for elsewhere.”

    ~ Guru Rinpoche

  25. Pingback: The Conscious Process – Bob O’Hearn | Creative by Nature

  26. Bob OHearn says:

    “Though we’re conditioned to identify with the thoughts that pass through our awareness rather than with awareness itself, the awareness that is our true nature is infinitely flexible. It is capable of any and every sort of experience – even misconceptions about itself as limited, trapped, ugly, anxious, lonely, or afraid. When we begin to identify with that timeless, pristine awareness rather than with the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that pass through it, we’ve taken the first step toward facing the freedom of our true nature.”

    ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    “The key is to identify your own persona within your consciousness and learn that it is not a requirement for your pervading existence. If you lose persona, if you let go of the need to be an individual definable identity, you will not cease to exist, as some currently fear. The ability to let go of your life story at will greatly dissolves active thought processes to the point that you simply become an aware observer. It is this state which has great reward for reintegrating back and forth into the spirit world, without the barriers of accumulated attitude.

    You are a human being existing in an ocean of energies and influences bombarding your every thought and pore. The idea that you can sustain any singular state of mind or state of consciousness indefinitely is not realistic. In this knowledge one should never reprimand themselves for not being able to achieve complete perfection and infinite peace.

    The most spiritual being is not one void of all thought, but one who has learnt to master their relationship to thought and use it effectively as they would any other tool available.

    There are times and circumstances where mind benefits greatly from the absence of thought. Such as during certain types of meditation. It is for you to decide when mind and thought is a useful tool, and when it should be moved away from to achieve other desirable experiences.”

    ~Sparrow

  28. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do not divide appearances as being there and awareness as being here. Let appearance and awareness be indivisible.”

    ~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

  29. Bob OHearn says:

    In essence, the mind is what is aware of everything — it is a clarity that perceives all external objects and events. But try to find it, and it turns out to be as impossible to grasp and as elusive as a rainbow — the more you run after it, the further away it appears to recede; the more you look at it, the less you can find. This is the empty aspect of the mind. Clarity and emptiness are inseparably united in the true nature of mind, which is beyond all concepts of existence and nonexistence.

    ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

  30. Bob OHearn says:

    3 Sages on Awareness

    “Awareness (rigpa) abides as the aspect which is aware under any and all circumstances, and so occurs naturally, without transition or change. For this reason, this should be understood to be ultimately abiding Suchness.”

    ~Longchenpa

    “Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer; only a naked manifest awareness is present. (This awareness) is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.”

    ~Karma Lingpa

    “No matter what circumstances or what worlds we find ourselves in, we are without any expectations or changes. We are just what we are, the Natural State which is like a mirror. It is clear and empty, and yet it reflects everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes. But it never changes and it does not depend on anything else.”

    ~Bon Lopon Tenzin Namdak

  31. Bob OHearn says:

    Although hundreds or thousands of explanations are given,
    There is only one thing to be understood –
    Know the one thing that liberates everything –
    Awareness itself, your true nature.

    ~Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche

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