Awareness in Practice

How is the liberation of the heart by Love developed?

 

Where does it lead to?
What is its limit?
What is its fruit?
What is its culmination?

 

Here monks,
(1) One develops the awakening support of awareness,
filled with Love…

So I like to take time here.

Because this is quite profound,

it’s quite a lot to take in right?

 

There are many aspects of it…

Okay, so there this Boundless Love,

Okay, how does that work?

 

Okay, suffusing the entire universe… with Love.

Okay! That’s a good start.

But then it doesn’t stop there,

it’s like, okay, sure!

 

What’s next Buddha? 😊

 

Now you practice this with awareness.

 

Oh, okay!

But that’s just a word,

what does he mean by that?

 

So what is this awareness thing…

I call it awareness, this is sati,

this is mindfulness.

If you look at other translations,

that is what it’s going to be.

 

So…

Well, awareness, usually,

the Buddha describes as the four resting places,

the four satipaṭṭhānas,

I am also leaning towards the four…

natural abiding places of awareness also,

natural abidings of presence…

 

And these are just the things which we can be aware of,

for ourselves,

When the Buddha says:

‘Be an Island onto yourselves’

He is talking about that.

 

Because anything else is beyond that,

anything else is not on your island,

your island is this,

Body,

Experience,

it’s what’s happening in your mind,

and Dhammā, mental states as Dhamma.

 

But awareness here, I would say,

you know, even though we say body,

awareness of body,

the thing is that, ultimately,

when the Buddha is talking about awareness,

he is always talking about awareness of mind,

awareness of mental states.

 

Because that’s what we are really talking about here.

So if we want to really boil it down to a simple thing, is that:

Being aware…

But being aware of what?

 

Of mental states.

 

And that’s where it could branch out.

That’s where it could branch out into other practices.

Like being aware… of something outside…

Then that’s not the Buddha’s teaching anymore.

That’s wrong mindfulness.

Or unwise awareness…

(If I follow my own lexicon,

or my own glossary.)

 

Because I use wise for sammā and awareness for sati.

 

But see, the Buddha didn’t teach awareness…

of the six senses actually,

he taught to let go of that, and he taught awareness of mind,

awareness of mental states.

 

I mean, if we were not going to be aware of mental states,

we couldn’t tell menta states apart,

we could tell if we were angry, or…

 

and the body is useful to know that,

because there’s tension.

How does anger feel?

It feels terrible.

 

These unwholesome states,

whatever it is,

whatever it is, it doesn’t feel good in the body.

And from there, you can actually develop the wisdom to let go.

 

Let go and, instantly,

you see it feels better,

it feels uplifting.

 

But how could we even do that if we were not aware of our mental states.

So that’s what it really means.

 

And so: ‘One develops the support of awakening of awareness, filled with boundless Love;’

Then, whenever boundless Love fades, then we know.

That’s how we know,

that’s how we cultivate this.

 

When we say ‘developing or cultivating’,

that means it’s not going to be steady all the time!

That means it’s not going to be perfect all the time.

That’s why we needs to do it!

We need to cultivate, we need to develop.

 

And that’s where the awareness comes in,

right there.

We are aware when awareness is filled with Love,

and because of awareness,

we know when it’s not any more.

 

So it’s not like…

Here another interpretation that could be misleading is:

You really have to force awareness,

full,

packed full with Love.

(Laughter)

But that’s not it.

That’s not it.

 

It’s just about Loving awareness.

Filled with Love,

and when the Love fades,

you bring it up again,

you let go of whatever hindrance arises,

 

I mean, I kind of have to go into the other supports of awakening a little bit,

The Dhamma is not disjointed,

actually, it’s very cohesive, it comes together,

so it’s really hard to isolate one aspect of it.

 

But I am trying to really,

put awareness on a pedestal right now,

so that we can look at it clearly,

then it’s going to be investigation of states…