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    Thread: A way to view mindfulness/ADA

    1. #1
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      A way to view mindfulness/ADA

      Quite often i see posts, both here and elsewhere, where it is said that someone can't quite have a grasp on what mindfulness or All-Day-Awareness really is. Something that I've been thinking about recently sparked an idea. People who are blind can develop the ability to use a sonar-like system through a series of clicking, similar to what bats and dolphins, et al, use to navigate. In order to use this system, the person must be very attuned to their environment to differentiate the return signal. In other words, they must to an extent become adept at mindfulness/ADA to be good at it, because they are having to tune into other senses to a much higher degree.

      If the sighted person could take a step back for a moment and try to view the world around them the way a blind person does, I think you would have a much closer understanding of mindfulness/ADA. I think you would have a much greater likelihood of applying the concept. It's similar to one of the bugaboos of LDing for those who have not accomplished it yet; if you haven't reached into an LD and experienced the state, how do you know for sure your goal?

      Hopefully this perspective turns on a slightly brighter light for understanding mindfulness/ADA.

      Thanks for reading.

    2. #2
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      I think the key missing step in most discussions of mindfulness/ADA/etc. especially as used in LD practice is meta-awareness: being aware of your awareness [got this phrase from Marc VanDeKeere's "The Ultimate Lucid Dreamer's Manual: From Basics to Beyond", lots of good stuff in here]. The goal of awareness work in LD practice is to recognize the dream state. So it's directed awareness, awareness with a goal. Sense awareness without the critical reflection step is just intense observation.

      So in whatever practice you do, don't forget to keep in mind *why* you're aware, and *what your goal* is: to recognize the dream state. This focused awareness, awareness-with-a-goal I like to term "vigilance."
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    3. #3
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      I agree with FryingMan, there's a difference between being aware of yourself in the present moment and being aware of your surroundings. Being aware of yourself is really what gets me lucid in my dreams. Constantly questioning your reality and thinking to myself, I'm here, I exist in this present moment. Being intensely aware of your surroundings helped me more with the vividness of the dream but not really my awareness
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      I agree with both of you that self-awareness is a necessary ingredient to be mixed into anyone's arsenal who wishes to have the highest potential for/with LDs. That said, I have become lucid many times simply because I observed an oddity of environment that made me stop and question the condition. Did I have to be self-aware before I had the ability to question the oddity in the first place? To a point, certainly. But you can't have a dream of any kind without a degree of self-awareness already in place. The dream couldn't exist because there would be no dreamer.

      Though I believe that self-awareness and mindfulness (I shouldn't speak directly to ADA as I did in my above post, though my understanding of it is reasonable, I think) should be co-developed, I won't jump on the bandwagon and say that mindfulness is not an ingredient that induces lucidity in and of itself. Whether others agree or not, my personal experience (in other words my opinion, after 45+ years of meditation. I'm on the down slope nearing 60.) says that self-awareness is a naturally developed condition for those who practice mindfulness. That doesn't mean, however, that it shouldn't be considered a differentiated goal, but I don't think it possible in the long run. I think it's a bad idea to say that this thing is the key, and imply a disregard for the usefulness of other ideas without this thing coming along as well.

      We should be able to have a discussion about mindfulness and LDing without downgrading its importance by saying it's essentially nothing without a self-awareness practice tacked on. It makes self-awareness sound too much like a thing, like a technique or exercise rather than a condition of existence. If you do this, there's not a single topic that can be discussed regarding LDs, techniques included, that won't require a self-awareness caveat being tacked onto the beginning of the discussion. I applaud anyone who works with these concepts, together or separately. But I think you will find, in the end at least, that self-awareness self-develops through the practice of mindfulness or similar. Thanks all for your responses. I appreciate a good conversation.
      Last edited by madmagus; 10-02-2015 at 08:51 PM.

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      I've gotten into the bad habit, after reading so many posts here at DV, of combining mindfulness with ADA in conversations rather than keeping them as separate ideas, despite their obvious similarities. I need to make a point of being more precise. Just thought I needed to point out my error. Sometimes saying something out loud allows it to sink in more effectively. So this post was mostly for myself.

    6. #6
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      I have become lucid many times simply because I observed an oddity of environment that made me stop and question the condition
      I think we may be starting to slice the semantics pretty thin, but to me, the concept of oddity cannot exist without some form of judgement. That (together with 'stop and question') is "critical reflection."

      Would "pure" mindfulness in a non-LD setting with "non-judgmental awareness" ever notice an oddity? Or just say, "wow, that's a pretty flying pink elephant over there!"

      Stopping to question comes from LD practice as well. Why stop and question if your goal is not to get lucid in a dream?

      So in LD practice I guess I would call it "mindfulness PLUS." The PLUS is critical reflection with a goal: to get lucid in dreams.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

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      Mindfulness + self awareness = the pure mindfulness you speak of possibly. A mindfulness without self awareness is deffinatelly lacking and so no LD's for sure I think ...Madmagus speaking of self awareness as a naturally developed condition; yes I feel becoming aware of our selves does develop if we work on it and it becomes more and more natural coz it is doing just that" making us aware of our natural condition" - what could be more crucial to anything! What could be more clear as a path or cause for Lucidity - this is not a bland state unquestioning - it's alive with wonder and clear insightful seeing ...
      Last edited by Patience108; 10-02-2015 at 09:51 PM.
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      Thanks for the responses. Flyingman and I will have to agree to almost agree. At least at some level. As it is, words are merely metaphors used to attempt, quite often unsuccessfully, to describe an event, to explain one's understanding. The more amorphous the topic, the less effective the metaphors.

      I think the concept of mindfulness, since it reflects a subjective reality that we attempt to harness objectively, is always interpreted with varying shades of understanding --- none of which are necessarily right or wrong. My view of mindfulness necessitates self-awareness, or one can not become mindful. In other words, without self-awareness, there is no mindfulness, just as if there is no self-awareness there is no dreamer. Self-awareness must be viewed as a matter of degree, and (my opinion) self-awareness increases the more mindful one becomes. I don't believe they can be separated, despite people trying to use independent exercises that supposedly develop one without the other. But those understandings come from my personal history, my personal study. Which is how, of course, everyone's opinion becomes.

      Discussing topics such as this is not much different than the appropriate way to discuss different religious beliefs. They should be discussed not with the idea of converting another to one's perspective but rather to further illuminate the topic in general, as parties at opposite ends of a belief spectrum seldom change positions. I appreciate hearing both your perspectives.
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      Yes I think we do agree. And I also agree that language is not at times sufficient to describe the experiences we have in our heads. I think most of the disagreements in similar discussions come from the different way we frame these ideas in our minds, and the words we choose to express these internal understandings.
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

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      Yes the words so often make people feel they are disagreeing when I fact they are simply speaking around a subject sharing different views of it the more I ponder the LD process and my own interest in developing my mind I come to see the critical questioning is very much a natural part/ development of selfawreness ...

      Coz, I suppose really, truly being aware of ones self involves "knowing" and in our case "knowing what state I am in - Am I dreaming?"
      "Am I aware of myself right now - in all the of aspects that I can be - do I know what's going on?"
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    11. #11
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      It occurred to me while walking this evening why mindfulness in my mind is a complete practice for LD, why I view mindfulness as incorporating self-awareness and mindfulness practice as a singularity. It involves the fact that mindfulness meditation, whether sitting, walking, or as lucid living, is a dual practice in a sense. The first aspect is what most people discuss, which is the act of being aware, being in the now. But there is a second aspect that is even more critical to lucid dreaming. It's something that Jon Cabat-Zinn would point out quite often in his lectures on mindfulness mediation. It's the fact that you will always have distraction coming into your mind, but it is the act of recognizing the distraction and bringing yourself back to mindfulness that matters. In other words, you become critically aware of the moment. This is what is important specifically for lucid dreaming when combined with overall awareness. When you become aware of your condition as you follow your mindfulness practice in the dream state, you become aware that you are dreaming. Perhaps this makes my underlying thought a bit clearer. thanks for reading.
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