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    Thread: Awareness, self-awareness; the confusion...ADA/Mindfulness

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      Awareness, self-awareness; the confusion...ADA/Mindfulness

      Let it be noted that I don't currently practice ADA in its purest form, in other words in the form prescribed by King Yoshi's tutorial. I do not advocate for or against it. This is meant to be a discussion not about the merits of the practice but about the misunderstanding, from my perspective, of the underlying (sometimes controversial) topic of awareness vs. self-awareness that ADA/Mindfulness hinges upon. Or at least swings precariously from.

      To put it simply to start things off, awareness is intrinsic to existence. It does not have to be thought upon, contemplated, evaluated. We are 'aware'. We have awareness. It is instinctual. Self-awareness, in contrast to awareness, is a practice, a decision to engage. To discuss them as two distinct 'practices', one versus the other, is to miss the point. Which is where so much confusion is generated.

      So here we go.

      If I am out walking, and I'm practicing ADA, I am going to be focused on as much as possible, focused on what goes on both around me and within me. And this is where the supposed duality of self-awareness and awareness comes to the forefront.

      So, I'm out for a walk, I can not look at the tree, and really see it, without first looking at it from a given perspective. That perspective point is the self. I do not believe it necessary to actively say, "I see the tree, and I am seeing it with my eyes, and I know I am somehow connected to it."

      We are human beings. We are not slugs. We have a frontal cortex, and that frontal cortex is what gives us reasoning power and the power to recognize the 'self' portion of self-awareness. Now, I am not speaking in terms of a focused, concentration exercise where I'm trying to become one with the rock. Although self-awareness would have to be present there as well. I.e., you can not focus on a candle flame if 'you' are not aware to do the focusing. In other words, you must first be self-aware before you can focus on anything else.

      The rub, I think, is that you can be casual about doing the noticing of the self. You don't have to make a big deal of it for it to be there in a functional capacity. I simply have to say to myself, for lack of a better phrase at the moment, "Ah, I see the trees, feel the grass, smell the sewer, hear the birds." I don't believe anyone goes into the ADA practice or Mindfulness practice staring blankly out into the world and saying "tree, frog, house" in some mechanical fashion. That would be more akin to us on auto-pilot, existing in a simple state of awareness. That would be most people, generally speaking, 90% of the day. Not exactly, of course, but close enough for the conversation.

      The moment we choose to observe, the moment we choose to function within the ADA/Mindfulness paradigm, then we automatically engage the whole 'self', or engage self-awareness.

      "Awareness" is what we experience while on auto-pilot (functioning from the habitual mind, the sub/unconscious mind, where all the programs, such as walking, are stored and accessed when the conscious mind is off lollygagging with some other-than-the-moment thought).

      We have to be 'aware' or we could not function. It's the 'self' part of self-awareness that we engage when we start to use ADA/Mindfulness. This action is automatic, requires no separate statement or intention. Becoming self-aware is in and of itself the point of the practice. It is the interaction of a mindful self with the overarching awareness of existence. Put another way, ADA/Mindfulness is the purposeful decision to engage the self with our intrinsic awareness.

      Like so many issues regarding lucid dreaming, the terminology being used can be so easily misinterpreted or misused or misrepresented, without any malice. We each have our personal perspectives due to upbringing and training.

      I'm not saying that my opinion is 'the' opinion. "Bow down 'knaves', if you haven't already." I'm simply discussing an idea that I feel, personally, has been misdiagnosed, misapplied. You can take it with a grain of salt. You can think me a nutter. But do give it a thought. Don't just nod because the idea sounds cool or sounds like a bunch of crap. Been there; done that. Still do it on occasion. We humans have an incredible, built-in propensity for making assumptions.

      Thanks for reading. Good dreaming
      Last edited by madmagus; 07-15-2016 at 12:49 AM.
      Sageous and 13WAR08T like this.

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