Awareness of awareness

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Rick
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Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:11 pm

From what I've read and heard, the core activity of Dogzen is becoming directly aware of awareness.

But this doesn't make sense to me. Pure awareness, as I understand it, sees (hears, observes, etc.) objects (gross and subtle) as they arise, without any interpretation.

For example: Pure awareness sees objects in the visual field; it doesn't interpret these as: tree. It hears an object in the aural field; it doesn't interpret it as: bird chirping.

So, how can seeing see seeing, with both seeings (the original and the "meta") happening in the same exact moment?

Like I said, it just doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is that seeing (awareness) sees the thought/memory of the original seeing a fraction of a second after this original seeing has occurred.

Can anyone help me fathom what Dzogchen then means by: awareness of awareness?
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lorem
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by lorem » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:26 pm

Anything and everything is Rigpa. I just prosed the first part but everything in Dzogchen that I've read or heard points to Rigpa.
I should be meditating.

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Paul
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Paul » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:40 pm

rachmiel wrote:From what I've read and heard, the core activity of Dogzen is becoming directly aware of awareness.

But this doesn't make sense to me.
I have also heard many people say this, but I really don't like it. I don't think it properly explains the practice of trekcho. I'd personally say it was resting uncontrived in the direct experience of the nature of mind. The nature of mind is not just 'awareness' - it is the non-duality of clarity and emptiness.

So, how can seeing see seeing, with both seeings (the original and the "meta") happening in the same exact moment?

Like I said, it just doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is that seeing (awareness) sees the thought/memory of the original seeing a fraction of a second after this original seeing has occurred.
This kind of issue is explained well in Bonpo Dzogchen teachings in chapter 4 and chapter 6 when talking about the chittamatra view of things.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Rick
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:49 pm

Paul wrote:
So, how can seeing see seeing, with both seeings (the original and the "meta") happening in the same exact moment?

Like I said, it just doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is that seeing (awareness) sees the thought/memory of the original seeing a fraction of a second after this original seeing has occurred.
This kind of issue is explained well in Bonpo Dzogchen teachings in chapter 4 and chapter 6 when talking about the chittamatra view of things.
Any chance you could sum the Bonpo explanation up in terms I can fathom? My concern is that, if I read the Bonpo original, I might well end up more confused than ever.
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Rick
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:52 pm

Another way to look at my confusion around awareness awaring awareness:

Awareness awares objects, gross or subtle. But awareness itself is not an object, at least as far as I understand it.

So how can something that awares objects aware a non-object?

(Hopefully you can all stomach my using "aware" as a verb. It makes it feel more accurate to me.)
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Crazywisdom » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:56 pm

Is a mirror doing something when it reflects?
Delete my account

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LastLegend
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by LastLegend » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:05 pm

I know nothing of Dzogchen but would like to say that when there is subject and object, there is a division and seperation. Mind is aware of object because it sees object seperate from it. What if mind is the object itself?


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―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:07 pm

rachmiel wrote:From what I've read and heard, the core activity of Dogzen is becoming directly aware of awareness.
Dogzen?
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by LastLegend » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:09 pm

:rolling:
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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lorem
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by lorem » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:14 pm

Sherab that!

Look into the eyes of a true Lama and the wisdom mind would tell.
I should be meditating.

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Paul
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Paul » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:15 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Paul wrote:
So, how can seeing see seeing, with both seeings (the original and the "meta") happening in the same exact moment?

Like I said, it just doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is that seeing (awareness) sees the thought/memory of the original seeing a fraction of a second after this original seeing has occurred.
This kind of issue is explained well in Bonpo Dzogchen teachings in chapter 4 and chapter 6 when talking about the chittamatra view of things.
Any chance you could sum the Bonpo explanation up in terms I can fathom? My concern is that, if I read the Bonpo original, I might well end up more confused than ever.
Not sure I'm not going to butcher it, to be honest, but... it is related to the fact that in chittamatra there is a mind that knows objects and also knows itself. The emptiness in this system is that this experienced object is dependent on the observation by the mind - and therefore empty. But Lopon Rinpoche says that this awareness is being explained in chittamatra as existing inherently.
rachmiel wrote:Another way to look at my confusion around awareness awaring awareness:

Awareness awares objects, gross or subtle. But awareness itself is not an object, at least as far as I understand it.

So how can something that awares objects aware a non-object?

(Hopefully you can all stomach my using "aware" as a verb. It makes it feel more accurate to me.)
Conventional awareness does act like that - actively knows objects. The nature of mind is inseparably clear and empty. The natural state is not actively knowing another object, it is knowing its own empty nature. It is self-illuminated, so doesn't need to actively be aware of itself in the verb meaning of the term. It is naturally being what it already is, not a subject holding another object. When the mind does go around holding objects (in the active, verb type way) it has bifurcated into subject and object and so is in the confused state and conditioned.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:35 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
rachmiel wrote:From what I've read and heard, the core activity of Dogzen is becoming directly aware of awareness.
Dogzen?
Hah! Good catch. Freudian slip? (I love dogs!) Maybe my unconscious found MY PATH. Woof woof.
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Rick
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:44 pm

Paul wrote:
rachmiel wrote:Any chance you could sum the Bonpo explanation up in terms I can fathom? My concern is that, if I read the Bonpo original, I might well end up more confused than ever.
Not sure I'm not going to butcher it, to be honest, but... it is related to the fact that in chittamatra there is a mind that knows objects and also knows itself. The emptiness in this system is that this experienced object is dependent on the observation by the mind - and therefore empty. But Lopon Rinpoche says that this awareness is being explained in chittamatra as existing inherently.
Hmm ... doesn't quite compute for me. I'll check out the source and see what I can make of it.
Awareness awares objects, gross or subtle. But awareness itself is not an object, at least as far as I understand it. / So how can something that awares objects aware a non-object?
Conventional awareness does act like that - actively knows objects. The nature of mind is inseparably clear and empty. The natural state is not actively knowing another object, it is knowing its own empty nature. It is self-illuminated, so doesn't need to actively be aware of itself in the verb meaning of the term. It is naturally being what it already is, not a subject holding another object. When the mind does go around holding objects (in the active, verb type way) it has bifurcated into subject and object and so is in the confused state and conditioned.
That's helpful. To know that the awareness being spoken of in Dzogchen is not conventional awareness. That said,

"The natural state is not actively knowing another object, it is knowing its own empty nature."

To know one's own empty nature is (I think) to know -- be aware of -- a subtle object: that one's nature is empty.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Paul » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:56 pm

rachmiel wrote:
Paul wrote: Conventional awareness does act like that - actively knows objects. The nature of mind is inseparably clear and empty. The natural state is not actively knowing another object, it is knowing its own empty nature. It is self-illuminated, so doesn't need to actively be aware of itself in the verb meaning of the term. It is naturally being what it already is, not a subject holding another object. When the mind does go around holding objects (in the active, verb type way) it has bifurcated into subject and object and so is in the confused state and conditioned.
That's helpful. To know that the awareness being spoken of in Dzogchen is not conventional awareness.
In both the natural state and the conventional samsaric state there is always a knowing of what is going on. You can't get rid of this knowing as it's part of you. The difference is does whether or not the clear aspect knows its own nature as being empty - if it is not in a state of directly experiencing this it will get busy grasping at things and creating an 'I' or 'other' out of everything it comes across. This 'I' and 'other' then provides the framework for accepting and rejecting and therefore suffering.
To know one's own empty nature is (I think) to know -- be aware of -- a subtle object: that one's nature is empty.
In the natural state the mind isn't taking itself as a self, so it's not positing objects. That subject looking at an object framework isn't there. Kind of like an understanding without an understander.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Rick
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:23 pm

Paul wrote:
rachmiel wrote:To know one's own empty nature is (I think) to know -- be aware of -- a subtle object: that one's nature is empty.
In the natural state the mind isn't taking itself as a self, so it's not positing objects. That subject looking at an object framework isn't there. Kind of like an understanding without an understander.
If by "awareness without an awarer" you mean awareness without an I/ego ... it makes sense to me, because I grok that I is a story, fictional, conceptual.

But if you mean that there is *nothing* that awares ... it doesn't play. The organism awares ... the body, brain, nervous system. Remove that, and the awareness ceases.
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Paul » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:29 pm

rachmiel wrote:But if you mean that there is *nothing* that awares ... it doesn't play. The organism awares ... the body, brain, nervous system. Remove that, and the awareness ceases.
What about the formless realms? The bardo of dharmata?
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:57 pm

I have no direct knowledge of these. And precious little indirect knowledge! :reading:
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Jesse » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:02 pm

Paul wrote:
rachmiel wrote:But if you mean that there is *nothing* that awares ... it doesn't play. The organism awares ... the body, brain, nervous system. Remove that, and the awareness ceases.
What about the formless realms? The bardo of dharmata?
I'd say all phenomena are inherently aware, the body/mind doesn't generate awareness, it generates temporary phenomena all of which are aware unto themselves.
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Paul » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:10 pm

If I can be cheeky and offer advice with respect to what exactly it is that is aware it would be to just practice one's teacher's instructions as closely as you can and keep going. Any assumptions at all when practicing will hamper things.

I came across this paragraph from Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche:
Here in Dzogchen we are not thinking or creating concepts; we are simply looking directly at our own immediate experience. When we discover this for ourselves, then we can compare it with what the texts say. Searching for the nature of mind is not just thinking thoughts about the nature of mind. We are searching for the real truth, what is really there. Thoughts are secondary; they are one or more steps removed from our immediate experience. They are about the past, but our immediate experience is here and now in the present moment. What is our immediate experience? Do not think about it; just look at it. What do we find?
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Rick
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Re: Awareness of awareness

Post by Rick » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:24 pm

Paul wrote:Here in Dzogchen we are not thinking or creating concepts; we are simply looking directly at our own immediate experience. When we discover this for ourselves, then we can compare it with what the texts say. Searching for the nature of mind is not just thinking thoughts about the nature of mind. We are searching for the real truth, what is really there. Thoughts are secondary; they are one or more steps removed from our immediate experience. They are about the past, but our immediate experience is here and now in the present moment. What is our immediate experience? Do not think about it; just look at it. What do we find?
Useful, thanks.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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