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Who or what is being mindful?

DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

An open question but please avoid the usual Buddhist cliches.

«1345

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Perhaps it is the "perception" part of the five aggregates :)

    rohitDakinilittlestudentmmo
  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    It's poor English translation due low vocabulary.

    StingRayZendoLord84
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Shoshin said: Perhaps it is the "perception" part of the five aggregates :)

    So who is perceiving?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @rohit said:
    It's poor English translation due low vocabulary.

    So can you do better? How about actually answering the question?

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Mindfulness itself is being mindful - the eye with which I see Mind
    is the same eye with which Mind sees me.

  • StingRayStingRay Glasgow Explorer

    It is reminding to explore "what is this?" Throughout the day.

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @rohit said:
    It's poor English translation due low vocabulary.

    So can you do better? How about actually answering the question?

    'Just seeing as it is without deflections' or 'to become self contented, calm and still'.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    When I ask myself this question the only answer that satisfies is silence.

    Some unique aspect of reality would be my best guess but to label any more than that will sound cliche.

    silverStingRay
  • Emptiness and luminosity are not two separate things, but rather the nature of emptiness is luminosity, and the nature of luminosity is emptiness. This indivisible emptiness-luminosity, the naked mind, free of everything, dwells in the uncreated state.
    ~ Guru Rinpoche

    silverStingRaysova
  • First reaction: No idea.

    Second reaction: Good question!

    Third reaction: Me?

    Fourth reaction: Must write good posts on bulletin boards.

    Ahhh, the maze of the mind :)

    BunksStingRaysova
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Sorry to say that the best I can do is "a sense of something else." We did this exercise in a retreat I was in where we tried to observe the observer and then Lama Tony asked what we came up with. That was the best I had, and he said I was the closest to describing it, LOL. There aren't always words to explain everything. Perhaps there is a good reason for that. Really, you shouldn't be able to observe or describe something that the aggregates don't apply to. It is just a sense of connection (for lack of better words) and not a "something" really. When you remove all of the aggregates from any description, you are now left with no words at all because all the words we use to describe such attributes then reapply the aggregates.

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    An open question but please avoid the usual Buddhist cliches.

    Can u tell us what u think?

    lobster
  • Who or what is being mindful?

    Not u! :p

    Can u tell us what u think?

    No.
    [oops]

    Walkerkarasti
  • "Lord, who makes contact?"

    "Not a valid question," the Blessed One said. "I don't say 'makes contact.' If I were to say 'makes contact,' then 'Who makes contact?' would be a valid question. But I don't say that. When I don't say that, the valid question is 'From what as a requisite condition comes contact?' And the valid answer is, 'From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.than.html

    The valid question is, 'From what as a requisite condition comes mindfulness?" The valid answer is, "From following the Noble 8 Fold Path comes mindfulness."

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't know about that, @pegembara . There are plenty of people who practice mindfulness quite well without knowing what the Eightfold path is.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Consciousness is being mindful.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @karasti said:
    I don't know about that, @pegembara . There are plenty of people who practice mindfulness quite well without knowing what the Eightfold path is.

    You don't need to know to practise. It is not an esoteric teaching but you do need to practise it though.

  • What then is conscious?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Awareness is fundamentally non-conceptual and does not need a self to operate, it can do it's job without a subject....
    Tis the thinking process that splits experience into subject and object...

    So what is it that's being mindful ?
    Well from what "I" gather , it is awareness ( Sati ) of the sense of self in which this sense of self 'perceives' itself to be experiencing being mindful of itself and its surroundings...

    It sounds confusing "I" know, but in the long run awareness of being mindful takes a sense of self ....be it a very subtle sense, just enough for realisation to take place but not to flood/overwhelm it ( ie, realisation) completely...

    Well that my theory of sorts...But then who am "I" ?

    " There was a young [wo]man who said though-It seems I know that I know-What I would like to see is the "I" that knows me when I know that I know that I know !"

    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @pegembara said: You don't need to know to practise. It is not an esoteric teaching but you do need to practise it though.

    But who is the the "you" that needs to practice mindfulness? Ajahn Chah used to talk about "the one who knows", what do you think he meant by that?

  • Well said @Shoshin that is my experience.

    Awareness in the higher sense of 'intuitive being', 'thinking thoughtlessly' and all the dualistic descriptions of the ineffable, can not magic us into this mindful Buddha condition.

    No confusion. Awareness is [drumroll] ... aware ...

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @karasti said:When you remove all of the aggregates from any description, you are now left with no words at all because all the words we use to describe such attributes then reapply the aggregates.

    I think that's where it becomes tricky. It's like there is a knowing of the aggregates, but we are told there is nothing "beyond" the aggregates to do the knowing. It's like "I" practise mindfulness, but I am told there is no "I" to practise it.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @rohit said: 'Just seeing as it is without deflections' or 'to become self contented, calm and still'.

    But who or what is involved in that activity?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Jeffrey said: Emptiness and luminosity are not two separate things, but rather the nature of emptiness is luminosity, and the nature of luminosity is emptiness. This indivisible emptiness-luminosity, the naked mind, free of everything, dwells in the uncreated state.
    ~ Guru Rinpoche

    So it's this naked mind which is being mindful? Is this naked mind part of the aggregates or separate?

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @rohit said: 'Just seeing as it is without deflections' or 'to become self contented, calm and still'.

    But who or what is involved in that activity?

    Mind is involved.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    So mind is being mindful?

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited March 2016

    Mind needed proper training. It needs to be 'samyak'.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Dakini said: Consciousness is being mindful.

    Consciousness is certainly involved, but there is also intention. It's as if somebody is deciding to pay attention, but we're told there isn't a somebody to make the choice.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @rohit said:> Mind needed proper training. It needs to be 'samyak'.

    So who decides to train the mind? Who decides to practice?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @Fosdick said: Mindfulness itself is being mindful - the eye with which I see Mind
    is the same eye with which Mind sees me.

    But mindfulness is a conscious activity, we are deliberately choosing to pay attention, to remain focussed. Who is remaining focussed? Who is the "he" referred to in the Satippathana Sutta?

    "And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?
    Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'"
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @lobster said: No confusion. Awareness is [drumroll] ... aware ...

    But we're discussing the practice of mindfulness. Awareness is obviously involved, but there is also the intention to be aware. Where does the intention come from?

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @rohit said:> Mind needed proper training. It needs to be 'samyak'.

    So who decides to train the mind? Who decides to practice?

    Our hands can wash itself and body as well. Same way mind can decide to train itself by learning and unlearning process.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @rohit But the Heart Sutra specifically says there is no mind.

    @SpinyNorman It just seems like any words we try to apply don't work. It is a limit of our language and the inability to describe such experiences. I read somewhere just last week (I'll see if I can find it) that someone who is awake, or even reached bodhisattva 'status' would be unable to talk about it to anyone who had not experienced it because it's not possible to do so.

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    An open question but please avoid the usual Buddhist cliches.

    @karasti said:
    @rohit But the Heart Sutra specifically says there is no mind.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    It's not a cliche, @rohit. The Heart Sutra is a major teaching that takes a whole lot of study and contemplation to even begin to understand. The whole point is to understand there is no mind (or anything else) on a level apart from the one we live our daily lives on. Absolute and ultimate levels of various things definitely apply to this discussion outside of "cliches."

    lobster
  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @karasti
    The core of human being is the mind. There is absence of soul or nature of soul is impermanence.
    This is what Buddha said as per my reading.

    lobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    The mind is a part of being human. But it is made of up the aggregates which have to be dissolved/surpassed/whatever you want to call it. The problem is in trying to communicate about both relative and absolute terms. One is the human experience, and the other is what lies outside of it. What we do every day, doing good deeds, practicing right speech, all of it is part of our relative human life, our thinking-mind life. But outside of that is emptiness, impermanence. Everything in our lives is the product of our minds. But there exists concepts beyond this limitation where mind as we know it and operate out of it exist as something else entirely. Also, if I remember, you are in an Eastern country. So realize my Western view of "mind" is probably quite different than your Eastern view of it. In America we have to separate the concept of mind and heart/nature, because here, mind is limited to the thinking, observing, sensing portion of our mind-ie, the aggregates. But we lack an accurate term to describe the rest.

    This is what the HHDL has to say about it:
    Another distinctive feature of mind is that it has the capacity to observe itself. The issue of mind's ability to observe and examine itself has long been an important philosophical question. In general, there are different ways in which mind can observe itself. For instance, in the case of examining a past experience, such as things that happened yesterday you recall that experience and examine your memory of it, so the problem does not arise. But we also have experiences during which the observing mind becomes aware of itself while still engaged in its observed experience. Here, because both observing mind and observed mental states are present at the same time, we cannot explain the phenomenon of the mind becoming self-aware, being subject and object simultaneously, through appealing to the factor of time lapse.

    personlobster
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: You don't need to know to practise. It is not an esoteric teaching but you do need to practise it though.

    But who is the the "you" that needs to practice mindfulness? Ajahn Chah used to talk about "the one who knows", what do you think he meant by that?

    The body. It separates us, giving us the "I" feeling.

    rohit
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @karasti said:
    This is what the HHDL has to say about it:
    Another distinctive feature of mind is that it has the capacity to observe itself. The issue of mind's ability to observe and examine itself has long been an important philosophical question. In general, there are different ways in which mind can observe itself. For instance, in the case of examining a past experience, such as things that happened yesterday you recall that experience and examine your memory of it, so the problem does not arise. But we also have experiences during which the observing mind becomes aware of itself while still engaged in its observed experience. Here, because both observing mind and observed mental states are present at the same time, we cannot explain the phenomenon of the mind becoming self-aware, being subject and object simultaneously, through appealing to the factor of time lapse.

    I like this quote, HHDL seems to be saying that there is an additional factor at play in awareness besides the meeting of mind and its object.

    I think another possibility though rather than an additional factor would be that awareness becomes larger than just the object it is engaged in, like being engrossed in a movie then becoming aware of your surroundings as well.

    Additionally, mindfulness is one of the 51 mental factors, so it isn't owned by a mind, rather it is one of its constituents.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited March 2016

    This discussion has the a bit of the feel of being engulfed by a ball of snakes. But I like snakes - fortunately, otherwise I might start screaming.

    @SpinyNorman asks

    But mindfulness is a conscious activity, we are deliberately choosing to pay attention, to remain focused (sic). Who is remaining focussed? Who is the "he" referred to in the Satippathana Sutta?

    "He" is the conditioned self, the house of cards in which the consciousness is accustomed to dwell. When mindfulness is actually achieved, "he" fades away, ceases to exist - only to be reborn again when mindfulness, in its turn, also fades away.

    silverpersonShoshinlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited March 2016

    Who or what is being mindful?

    "I AM Mindfulness" .... which stands for the Integrated Awareness [of the] Multifunctional Mind ... ( Or the Integrated Awareness [of the] Mindful Self )

    However "I"m guessing one must take our ol' friend "Karma" into account, when discussing such matters and in meditation the awareness becoming aware of it functional self ie of the bundle of karmic energy flux...

    From what I gather when it comes to us unenlightened, the Buddha left the complex workings of karma in the too hard basket, and for obvious reasons so it would seem... :) ...

    In other words the Buddha said "Ah they can eff the ineffable.... "I" am not going there !" :wink:

    "No God, no Brahma can be found
    No matter of this wheel of life
    Just bare phenomena roll
    Depend on conditions all.(Visuddhi Magga)"

    David
  • I liked M. McConaughey's dialogue in True Detectives : quote: " Look, as sentient meat, however illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgments. Everybody judges, all the time.": endquote
    The "sentient meat" thing gets me. Is it sentient meat that is being mindful? Is it an illusory identity we call "mind" or "concsiousness" or is it just light or energy dispersing through form. Judging it as this or that is natural - even entertaining - certainly discursive. It is neither this nor that and it is this and that. Am I wrong? Don't know.

    Kale4Dayz
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: You don't need to know to practise. It is not an esoteric teaching but you do need to practise it though.

    But who is the the "you" that needs to practice mindfulness? Ajahn Chah used to talk about "the one who knows", what do you think he meant by that?

    "The one who knows" is nothing more than "I am" conceit(asmi-mana). It isn't something that can be easily uprooted.

    Best to just say there is "knowing" or awarenessing.

    "Friends, it's not that I say 'I am form,' nor do I say 'I am something other than form.' It's not that I say, 'I am feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness,' nor do I say, 'I am something other than consciousness.' With regard to these five clinging-aggregates, 'I am' has not been overcome, although I don't assume that 'I am this.'

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.089.than.html

    In response to this question

    Is this naked mind part of the aggregates or separate?

    lobsterperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Who or what is being mindful?
    @SpinyNorman said:
    An open question but please avoid the usual Buddhist cliches.

    Who or what is desiring the answers ?
    This is not a Buddhist cliché @SpinyNorman , I'm genuinely interested in the answer...perhaps your answer will answer the original question :)

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2016

    @Fosdick said:> @SpinyNorman asks

    But mindfulness is a conscious activity, we are deliberately choosing to pay attention, to remain focused (sic). Who is remaining focussed? Who is the "he" referred to in the Satippathana Sutta?

    "He" is the conditioned self, the house of cards in which the consciousness is accustomed to dwell. When mindfulness is actually achieved, "he" fades away, ceases to exist - only to be reborn again when mindfulness, in its turn, also fades away.

    I'm not sure. There is a continuity of intention involved in establishing mindfulness and then re-establishing it. The idea of an owner-less chunk of intention floating around somewhere doesn't make much sense to me.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Shoshin said:> Who or what is desiring the answers ?

    I don't know, that's partly why I started the thread!

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @SpinyNorman said:
    But who is the the "you" that needs to practice mindfulness? Ajahn Chah used to talk about "the one who knows", what do you think he meant by that?

    "The one who knows" is nothing more than "I am" conceit(asmi-mana). It isn't something that can be easily uprooted.

    I'm pretty sure that isn't what the Ajahn meant, it looks more like a description of the unconditioned, a knowing which is unaffected by conditions.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Fosdick said:> @SpinyNorman asks

    But mindfulness is a conscious activity, we are deliberately choosing to pay attention, to remain focused (sic). Who is remaining focussed? Who is the "he" referred to in the Satippathana Sutta?

    "He" is the conditioned self, the house of cards in which the consciousness is accustomed to dwell. When mindfulness is actually achieved, "he" fades away, ceases to exist - only to be reborn again when mindfulness, in its turn, also fades away.

    I'm not sure. There is a continuity of intention involved in establishing mindfulness and then re-establishing it. The idea of an owner-less chunk of intention floating around somewhere doesn't make much sense to me.

    Intention is one of the factors that make up the conventional self, not something owned by a self. In the same way that a molecule of water is made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom and not something called water that owns the atoms.

    Maybe your wondering if mindfulness continues to exist once the conventional self drops away?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @person said:> Maybe your wondering if mindfulness continues to exist once the conventional self drops away?

    I'm saying that intention is necessary to practice mindfulness, and questioning whether there can be intention without self.

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