Session 53: Keeping it Simple in our Awareness of Awareness Practice

B. Alan Wallace, 18 Nov 2010

Awareness of awareness is “the most profound practice” according to the Buddha, and he gave us this morning very meaningful advice on how to know we’re doing it correctly.

You may wonder that if you’re doing such a profound practice, you should be getting profound results… But, nothing! This doubt comes from an expectation for deep results.

How do you know if you are doing this practice of awareness of awareness correctly? You could ask the following questions:
1. Are you aware that you are aware? And the answer could be:
“Well, yes… I’m aware of what is arising”. But in this practice you don’t have to be aware of anything arising, but instead you have to draw your attention to you, who is aware.
2. How do I know?
Alan explained this by giving an analogy that if you were taken into a vacuous container (or a deprivation tank), and all your senses were withdrawn, even your mind wouldn’t have any thoughts, nothing… do you think there would still be something? He explained there would still be a feeling or a presence there, and that would be your awareness, getting ready to illuminate anything that could arise.

So, that is what you look at. A good expectation by the end of this 8-week retreat would be having the certainty of doing this practice correctly or incorrectly, and knowing it. This practice is about letting be, it is very yin, while modern world is very yang: trying always to accomplish something. So, just practice it in this simple way.

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