Awareness Is Full Of Itself AloneI sort of understand at times that the emptiness is awareness and that is who I am. Should I be holding on to that emptiness?
As I try and welcome and be present to whatever comes, it is a mix of thoughts, perceptions, sensations and also emptiness. I sort of understand at times that the emptiness is awareness and that is who I am.
Also, as objects present themselves, attending to them momentarily (not concentrating on any one object) seems to help as it keeps thoughts at bay.
My attention seems to jump from one object (or thought) to another without resting anywhere.
Should I be holding on to that emptiness?
Should one have the intention to lightly attend to objects and perceptions that show up?
Does one really have a choice when it comes to ‘noticing’?
Frequently when one takes this as a practice (although it is not exactly that) one ends up with a strain around the region of the forehead and eyes.
What does this indicate?
Sonya: As I try and welcome and be present to whatever comes, it is a mix of thoughts, perceptions, sensations and also Emptiness. I sort of understand at times that the Emptiness is Awareness and that is who I am.
Rupert: Are you not simply present to whatever comes without trying? For instance, do you need to try to welcome these words, your thoughts, your bodily sensations or the current visual impressions of the world? Do they not simply arise, remain and disappear within Awareness without any effort on your part?
See clearly that there is no individual creator, holder, controller, knower or dissolver of thoughts, sensations or perceptions.
“Sort of understand” is not clear enough. Is it clear to you that you are whatever it is that knows, sees or experiences these words and that within which they arise? Whatever that is, is known as ‘I.’ It is also known as Awareness because it is present and aware. It is sometimes known as Emptiness because it is present and knowing but ‘empty’ of all objective qualities.
However it is not ‘empty.’ Emptiness is a concept that is never experienced. Awareness or ‘I’ is fullness itself – full to the brim of itself alone.
Yes, apparent objects could be said to be a mixture of thoughts, sensations and perceptions plus Awareness. However, such a formulation is valuable only in that it establishes the presence and independence of Awareness, that runs throughout all experience.
In reality there is not Awareness plus objects. There is just Awareness, taking the shape, as it were, of thinking, sensing and perceiving and seeming as a result, to become a thought, a body or an object/other/world.
Sonya: Also, as objects present themselves, attending to them momentarily (not concentrating on any one object) seems to help as it keeps thoughts at bay. My attention seems to jump from one object (or thought) to another without resting anywhere.
Rupert: Why the need to keep thoughts at bay? Who is this one that wants to keep thoughts at bay? That one is itself a thought, an imagined entity. That imagined one is not controlling the show. It is part of the show.
It is not that one that pays attention, decides, controls etc. but rather that one (which is simply made out of the thought that thinks it) is appearing effortlessly and spontaneously along with all other seeming thoughts, sensations and perceptions, within ever-present Awareness.
Attention is not a point or focus of Awareness that is shone like a torch onto thoughts, sensations or perceptions. Awareness is more like an infinitely, wide-open space in which everything arises and it is the light which is inherent in Awareness, that is Awareness, that illumines all seeming things.
In fact all seeming things are made only out of the light that illumines them.
The apparent separate entity seems to inhabit a location in this vast, wide-open space and to look from that point of view at the world of objects and others.
However, there are no real ‘points of view.’ There are no ‘points’ or ‘places’ from which Awareness looks, sees or experiences. The apparent ‘point of view,’ which is another name for the apparent entity, is imagined.
The separate entity does not view. It is part of the view.
Experience is one seamless garment. It is not comprised of one part that experiences and another part that is experienced. It is seamless.
The experiencer and the experienced are not two separate entities. They are one seamless garment woven of Knowingbeing, knowingbeing itself alone.
Sonya: Should I be holding on to that Emptiness?
Rupert: Emptiness is not an object that can be held onto or not. It can never be lost. It can never ‘not be.’ It is Ever-Presence itself.
And who is the one that would hold onto Emptiness? That one must first be imagined to be other than and separate from Emptiness. And if there is an entity that is separate and distinct from Emptiness, then Emptiness itself must have a boundary or border.
In other words, in order to imagine that ‘I’ is separate, distinct and other, we have first to forget the limitless, all-pervading reality of Emptiness or Awareness.
However, there is in the reality of our experience only Emptiness, so how can it be said that Emptiness forgets itself and imagines itself, as a result, to be a limited entity?
It does so by taking the shape of dualistic thinking. It is this dualistic thinking, which is in fact made only of Emptiness, that rises as the apparent entity and seems to obscure Emptiness from itself, thereby creating the apparent entity and the apparent world.
However, how could something made only of Emptiness veil Emptiness from itself? It cannot. The veiling is in appearance only. It is for the mind not for Emptiness.
This apparent veiling is the separate entity. It is made of the thinking that imagines it. It veils Emptiness only from its own pseudo point of view. In other words the veiling of Emptiness is imagined by the imaginary entity that the imagined entity consider itself to be.
See that you are already this Emptiness, which from ‘time to time’ takes the shape of the apparently veiling ‘I’ thought. Could you ever be anything other than that? Can you find anything else in your actual experience, such as a body or a mind, which you could be made of?
Therefore, see clearly that it is not necessary to hold on to Emptiness. How could Emptiness let go of itself? If anything, it is necessary to cease holding onto the ‘I’ thought.
But even that is too much. Just seeing the apparent ‘I’ clearly for what it is - a thought arising in Emptiness or Awareness - is enough to rob it of it apparently veiling power.
And in order to see that it is just a thought, all that is necessary is to see that you are the Awareness in which this thought arises and out of which it is made.
See that clearly, take your stand there knowingly and allow the momentum of the ‘I’ thought and ‘I’ feeling to slowly unwind.
Sonya: Should one have the intention to lightly attend to objects and perceptions that show up?
Rupert: No, that is not necessary. Have the intention to be knowingly this presence of Awareness. I say ‘knowingly’ because we are this presence of Awareness whether we know it or not. Simply be that knowingly. Reside there. Take your stand there and allow all ‘objects and perceptions’ to arise within you, take their shape, do their thing and leave.
Your own thoughts are included in whatever arises and these thoughts will suggest actions and responses to all the situations that arise. If the ‘I’ thought is not present or is greatly diminished, these ‘actions and responses’ will be in line with your true nature of Awareness and will naturally, effortlessly express the love and intelligence that are inherent in it.
Sonya: Does one really have a choice when it comes to ‘noticing’?
Rupert: The ‘one’ that may or may not have a choice is an imagined entity. However, if that one seems to be present, one of its identities is as the ‘chooser.’ So, if the apparent ‘I’ entity seems to be present, we will inevitably feel that we are a doer, a chooser, a decider. There is no escaping that.
As this apparent ‘one’ the best we can do is to make every effort to notice this presence of Awareness and do whatever it takes to be reminded of it as often a possible, such as contemplating ones own experience, asking a question as you have done, attending certain meetings or reading certain books.
If the ‘I’ thought is not present, the question does not arise.
Sonya: Frequently when one takes this as a practice (although it is not exactly that) one ends up with a strain around the region of the forehead and eyes. What does this indicate?
Rupert: It suggests that you are focussing onto an object instead of relaxing into the open arms of Awareness.
However, the fact that you have noticed this shows already that you are not entirely lost in it. As soon as you notice this focusing or grasping of the attention, simply see that you are this open, empty, welcoming space of Awareness and be that knowingly.
As That, allow everything, including the ‘strain around the region of the forehead and eyes’ to appear, unfold and dissolve in you. Have no agenda with them, or with anything, for or against.
In this way we simply get used to being knowingly our Self and the mind, body and world gradually realign themselves with this experiential understanding.