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Different traditions put different emphasis on either awareness or cessation.
Thai forest tradition and in particular the student of Ajahn Chah place a lot of importance on awareness yet most stress it as being empty of "self".
There have been a few different models present with Ajahn Geoff referring a lot to "non-self" in relation to the conditioned elements yet being careful not to through out "self" all together.
It's been a tricky road to say the least in how to talk about it.
I think you will find "Awareness" is a hot subject in Buddhism. In Zen and in particular the style of intensive Zazen in traditions like Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery in America and Antaiji in Japan try and leave the subject open and have someone return to "Simply sitting".
I get the feeling of "otherness" or the "outside" of my self perception commonly when practicing. I think in silencing oneself and slowly calming down the whirl wind you begin to realize the sheer gravity and awe inspiring nature of what is "outside" the small and constricted self you have constructed.
One thing I have found when I have personal retreat practices or in a monastery setting like Ajahn Chah lineages or Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery is that one begins to understand how deep and almost unfathomable the practice truly is.
This is one of the benefits of intensive and a life oriented solely around practice. Humbleness is usually one of the first character traits that arises. It is very pronounced.
Lol I have to thank some of the posters in this one. Actually made me get a good laugh.
Your right everything has it's season and things change.
I guess I have been very lucky to be able to enjoy time and resources from great Theravada and Mahayana locations, monastics, academics and sometimes I worry the next generation or material won't be of the same caliber and or provide the same benefit.
I'm glad I posted hah
I think that phrase has a lot of truth, being authentic is important