24 Dec
Posted in: Practice, Retreats
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Take Interest

Most of the recording of talks from the Nature of Awareness retreat are only available to people who were at the retreat, but I found an excellent talk by Guy Armstrong, publicly available on Dharmaseed, that sums up this particular understanding of Consciousness and Awareness (which comes from the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism, but is contrary to the Burmese Tradition of Theravada Buddhism).

In the introduction to his talk, Guy writes: “The Buddha clearly described consciousness as an impermanent part of the mind. Yet many people feel that awareness has some kind of lasting or ongoing nature. How can we understand the seeming contradiction? How can we make awareness itself a part of our meditation?” Click here to listen to the talk.

For today’s reflection, this quote from I Am That, by Sri Nisagardatta:

“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginning-less, 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….

“Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness.”

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