Thread: Awareness

  1. #1


    “Awareness is our true self; it’s what we are. So we don’t have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness, with our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments. We’re either in awareness, which is our natural state, or we’re doing something else. The mark of mature students is that most of the time, they don’t do something else. They’re just here, living their life. "

    from "Nothing special.”
    ― Charlotte Joko Beck

    Any comments?

  2. #2
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    This needs unpicking if it isn't to descend into meaningless platitudes. There is no definition of 'awareness', 'true self', 'natural state', 'block' or 'mature students'. Without these it is nothing more than New Age rambling, which is the problem with taking many quotes out of context.

    Awareness is pretty tricky anyway, let alone in the Buddhist context. That we are aware of ourselves and our surroundings is obvious, but the assumptions behind our awareness and the understanding we impose on things and situations are not obvious at all. We need to do a lot of work on awareness before we can challenge our own view of things. I suppose this is what is meant by mature students, but it's such a shame that it sounds as if other students are immature in some way. It reads more like a propaganda technique; Writing to Persuade 101.

    So what happens when we develop awareness? Do we get to a 'natural state' that we need to stay in? I presume this means a state perhaps similar to Shunryu Suzuki’s ‘Beginner’s Mind’, “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. ” In this sense, 'empty' of Charlotte's, 'our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments'. For me this would mean to be empty of assumtions about our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments. Empty with a mind aware of how our own thoughts arise and then looking at them, and acting on them, with awareness. Not full of what went on before.

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