Sunday, December 30, 2012
The word Emptiness has many various meanings. The experience of awareness becoming aware of its own self opens the experience of emptiness in a most direct manner. Experientially emptiness has many faces. Sometimes the face of emptiness is a void or abyss like experience. This abyss can open the unhappy experience of falling and falling and falling. This void experience can at times open the experience of disappearing and dissolving into a terrifying nothingness. And sometimes emptiness is experienced as no thingness. Sometimes emptiness is experience like endless and infinite space. Sometimes emptiness is experienced as unbound openness. Sometimes emptiness is experienced as deep unmoving stillness, stillness of movement and stillness of sound. Sometimes emptiness is experienced as bliss, vast bliss. All these variations of experience unfold over time as one becomes aware of their own awareness. Sometimes emptiness is experienced as freedom of pure potentiality. Often the word sunyata implies the experience and nature of emptiness. The personal experience of emptiness is a vast range experience often beyond words and language. The human range of experiencing emptiness is vast and ineffable. The experience of emptiness can range from nihilistic experience that can not be thought to the positive experience that is unbound bliss as gnosis. This wide range of meaning of emptiness is not only personally experiential but there is vast range of the historical cultural unfolding of the appearance of emptiness and articulation of emptiness by the various spiritual traditions. Over time the phenomena of emptiness has been articulated in various ways, and at times in ways that are in opposition to each other.
Historically, emptiness has had many meanings in the history of eastern philosophy both in Buddhism and Hinduism. I will briefly describe some of the meanings ascribed to emptiness in Tibetan Buddhism. I will describe the appearance of emptiness and the unfolding of the understanding of emptiness over time.
Emptiness as Dependent Origination
In early Buddhism (approximately 400 BC through to the second century AD) the understanding about emptiness was primarily dependent origination. During the time of Buddha Shakyamuni and the Brahmanic scriptures, the Vedas had not be written down. Buddha’s own words or understanding was not to be written for several centuries. For the Tibetans, this was the first turning of the wheel of teaching and was to be continued on within the ongoing revelation of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings. Another way of thinking is that the early teachings of Buddhism was part of an ongoing, unfolding process of reformulation and self revelation. For the Tibetans the word Buddha referred less to the historical person than to the universal process of self revelation.
Early Buddhism was preoccupied with causality as karma. The word karma itself means action. The early understanding of mindfulness was a total awareness of the immediate situation. Realization or enlightenment has the implication of being able to read the karma of the situation; the knowingness that allows the reading of the subtle causes and results. Early Buddhism grew out of a shamanistic context. Its formulation was none the less within a clerical context with the emphasis on monastic life and spiritual rules of behavior. This shamanistic clerical tension manifested early in the Buddhist tradition and has continued to manifest throughout time; the dynamic tension of the rational and logical with the magical and esoteric.
Buddha gave subtle insight into the relational nature of phenomena in his early teachings. There is the famous formula pratityasamutpada, which is dependent origination. Dependent origination understanding was foremost philosophically in early Buddhism. There is this ceaseless arising of mutual causation. The emptiness of phenomena is described as all phenomena are without substance and are empty since they do not exist independently. Dependent origination reflects the understanding that phenomena are the result of infinite multiple causalities. Interdependent causalities bring phenomena into a temporal and time limited existence. Interdependent phenomena are empty and have no basis within them. Every and all phenomena are a result of multiple infinite causalities. This causal result is phenomena and the resulted phenomena, in turn, enters the sequence of causality and in turn contributes to innumerable causal sequencing resulting in infinite phenomena arising. Interdependence is the meaning of emptiness. This experience of emptiness is experienced as the view of phenomena within our own self and as well as our view of all external phenomena.
Because every phenomenon is the result of causes outside of its own being, its own being is empty and contingent. The self concept was considering the occurrence of attributions and reality was regarded as some sense real. Reality was regarded as somewhat real as the subject and object implies each other, or co-emergent with each other. By self concept we may use the contemporary language of self representation. Self concept means how I represent myself to myself on the level of ideation or representational thinking. In this phrasing the sense of self or sense of subjectivity becomes an ideational and mental configuration.
Some people interpret this vast infinite interdependency as an empty process with empty results. They consider this is a mechanistic approach to emptiness. This view is there is simply this unending process of events without basis, without source or without end. This interdependent view is considered by some to be nihilistic. In this view of emptiness there is neither cosmological source nor intrinsic meaning. Some think this dependent origination can be also understood beyond the rationalistic. Dependent origination frame can be viewed from within the shamanistic frame. From within the shamanistic frame this would imply the power of unbound resonance, the vast magical net of radiant luminous energy that makes up the universe. This is implies a cosmological framing of the vast relational reality of the energetic luminous universe.
Unthinkableness of Emptiness
In time (1st or 2nd century AD) the meaning of the appearance of emptiness was described by Nagarjuna. He formulated the Madhyamaka traditions. This great tradition was part of the unfolding of the Mahayana tradition. This was another turning of the wheel of dharma, the wheel of understanding. Mahayana or great vehicle was a vast shift in the experience and projection of Buddhism. Mahayana and Madhyamaka are not the same. Mahayana was a vast shift in understanding and practice of Buddhism and Madhyamaka was the major philosophical part of this shift.
The Madhyamaka tradition is an epistemological tradition. Epistemological traditions focus on what we know, how we know, and if we can know. This epistemological tradition of Madhyamaka suggests that emptiness means empty of meaning and empty of signification. This emptiness of meaning suggests that emptiness can not be thought and neither can emptiness be conceptualized or linguistically represented. In a profound way, no signifier actually can signify emptiness. So this place of emptiness is a place without reference and without signification. This emptiness is the essence of phenomena or the essence of everything about which nothing can be said or thought. This is an epistemological and deconstructive approach to emptiness. In a way, the methodology of approaching emptiness is by deconstruction of both meaning and attribution of meaning. This deconstructed event is experienced beyond language and words. This view has nihilistic sides (no meaning) as well as being powerful in its epistemological openness which is free of language attribution.
Madhyamaka orientation was also a response to the concreteness of earlier Buddhist formulations of mind and awareness. Nagarjuna‘s work challenges some of the fundamental concrete language and imagery of the Abhidharma. Nagarjuna used rationalistic thinking to deconstruct the rationalistic Indian Buddhist philosophy of the day. Nagarjuna attempted to logically prove that the logical assertions about the nature of reality are inconsistent and useless assertions about emptiness. All language and rational thought takes us away from sunyata. The mind can not lead us into emptiness and can only distract us from the non conceptual experience of emptiness.
Madhyamaka does have limitations. A limitation is that Madhyamaka seems to make no active understanding or intuition as to phenomena of emptiness. Madhyamaka makes no attribution as to the indivisibility of phenomena and emptiness. The dimension of phenomena is simply left out of the Madhyamaka. Phenomena is left as unsaid and unthought. Within this lack of inclusion of phenomena there is a loss of the understanding of the non duality of appearance and emptiness. The presentation of Madhyamaka lacks reference to phenomena that does reflect the non-duality of form and emptiness as expressed in the heart sutra. The non-duality of relative truth and ultimate truth is by passed and unsaid. The dynamic aspect of radiance is unspoken and un-recognized in Madhyamaka.
Nonetheless, the actuality of the great compassion as sunyata is spoken and signified. The bodhichitta is also expressed and signified. The sambhogakaya dimension is also relatively unsaid, as is the nirmanakaya dimension. The Madhyamaka is an epistemological presentation of the dharmakaya via the path of negativity. What is not rather then what is.
It was on the basis of a group of Mahayana sutras the Prajnaparamita sutras that Nagarjuna created Madhyamaka philosophy. Prajnaparamita is the “Perfection of Wisdom” and means going beyond. Cutting through dualistic thinking, conceptual thinking; into experience of wisdom. The Madhyamaka uses rational thinking in cutting through rational thinking and understanding. In this approach, he deconstructs causality and all and any assertions that can be made about nature of reality or emptiness or sunyata. The cessation of conceptualization will itself transform samsara into nirvana and brings forth enlightenment.
Nagarjuna says emptiness is essentially compassion and compassion is emptiness. Ultimately the Madhyamaka philosophy opens the doorway to non-conceptual actuality of compassion. Similar to Madhyamaka methodology is the post modern philosopher Derrida’s methodology which deconstructs language and its meaning. This path of negation is also present in forms of Vedic philosophy as well as in Christian theology.
Emptiness as Buddha Nature
The next major tradition to unfold within the Mahayana was Yogacara originated by Asanga around the fourth century. The Prajnaparamita was considered the second turning of the wheel of dharma. The later sutras that followed Nagarjuna were considered the third turning. The Yogacara reflects a number of sutras, especially the five teachings of Maitreya revealed by Asanga. In the teachings of Maitreya, the understanding of the Tathagatagarbha clearing arose and is translated as Buddha Nature. This understanding and actuality of Buddha nature was specifically developed in the Uttaratantra. The Uttaratantra is one of the five teachings of Maitreya. This tradition of the givenness of seeds of enlightenment as the innate Buddha nature is understood to be within everyone and all sentient beings. The Tathagatagarbha doctrine is significant here as representing a contrasting pole in the presentation of Buddhism to the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna. The Tathagatagarbha doctrine provided the basis for a different way of conceptualizing the process of enlightenment. Rather than a progress along a path in which the path is primarily one of purification, the Tathagatagarbha perspective understood the attainment of Buddhahood as the uncovering of potential that was always there. The path is the path of experiencing the underlying sublime structure of reality. This arising of the Uttaratantra tantra and the Tathagatagarbha gave cosmological base to dependent origination. This primordial awareness as Buddha nature became the primal cause of dependent origination. This is an amazing shift and there is the opening for the Vajrayana to unfold. Within this formulation there can be an implicit theism. Within this understanding, phenomenon was also included into the path of realization.
The Yogacara also provided a frame to hold the relationships between conventional reality or relative truth and the ultimate truth. The realm of phenomena was being integrated into the ultimate reality. The two truths understanding contrast our ordinary perception of reality with the absolute or ultimate truth.
Tathagatagarbha understanding is different than the Madhyamaka approach. Rather then the rational descriptions of the illusion of samsara there is the beginning attempts to experience the indivisibleness between view of phenomena and the enlightened state. This view is closer to the shamanistic view of meditative practice. The Madhyamaka descriptions are negative and deconstruct experience. The Yogacara was the view of yogis and meditators. The Nyingmapa tradition or the old translation school manifest the positive descriptions of primordial awareness as emptiness that is neither void nor dead. Rather, primordial awareness is alive and luminous radiance and is the source of phenomena and the possibility of experience of the indivisibleness between phenomena and emptiness. The Tathagatagarbha was emptiness but within each person it is the base of experience and the world. Buddha nature is emptiness, which is alive and compassionate and is knowingness or gnosis.
Emptiness as Cosmological Radiance Embodied: The Path of the Tantra
Within this formulation of the tantra, emptiness is primordial awareness that manifests the three kayas. This next unfolding was the revelation of the great tantras and the Vajrayana and Mantrayana paths. The arising of the understanding of emptiness as radiant light and bliss. . This period was from the fourth through the 12th century. These great tantras arose, which elaborated the practice of deities and the cosmology of the deities and dakinis. The world of awareness as being multi-dimensional was unfolding as dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya.
Dependent origination is now ultimately light. Emptiness is understood to be the openness of spaciousness, luminous radiance. And this radiant light is the great compassion that creates everything and manifests everything directly ceaselessly. Since luminous emptiness was manifesting the infinite circumstances of dependent origination, dependent origination was also light. So the world is fused with light as light, and the map of Indra reflects this understanding of the interpenetration of energy and light. The indivisibleness of phenomena and luminous emptiness and luminous emptiness and phenomena is central to the tantric practice.. Also, the field of light can be located within the human body but is also beyond the body. Hence, there is this interfusion of the world of beings as light. This allows for extension to place us within the other directly and not just by words or modeling but by extension and transmission of awareness itself. The time period of the tantras was an extension of the great sutra’s and goes from about 400 A D through 1200 A D. The Guhyasamaja tantra, one of the major Anuttarayoga tantras may date as early as fourth century. New tantras continued to appear until the last stages of Indian Buddhism. One of the most important tantras for the Tibetans was the Kalachakra tantra. This tantra appeared in India not long before the destruction of Buddhist monasteries by Islamic armies.
The old tantras were transmitted to Tibet during the eight century. The major sources of the new tantras were transmitted two centuries later. Some of the major tantras concerning the supreme siddhis of enlightenment were the Hevajra, the Guhyasamaja, the Chakrasamvara, Kalachakra and the Guhyagarbha tantra. In this understanding, emptiness becomes positive, alive, luminous radiance, potentiality and is embodied as human awareness itself.
Indivisibleness of Emptiness and Phenomena
In the old translation traditions of Nyingma tradition phenomena is brought deeply into understanding of the essential relationship between luminous emptiness and phenomena. The understanding was the non-duality or the indivisibility of phenomena and luminous emptiness was essential to the path of realization. The oneness of relative truth and ultimate truth is an essential aspect of the Vajrayana path. The meaning of heart sutra is completed explicitly. The early understanding of sutra was emptiness alone. And the later understanding was the indivisibility of form and emptiness and emptiness and form. There is the moving away from emptiness as void alone to the understanding of emptiness as potentiality and source of manifestation of the world and the archetypical energies as the deities and dakinis. There is the recognition of the divinity of appearance and the divinity of experience within the Vajrayana. The Nirmanakaya dimension is included in the drama of realization.
The arising of Dzogchen during the 8th and 9th centuries was the most exquisite understanding of the indivisibleness of phenomena and luminous emptiness. The indivisibility of relative phenomena and absolute truth was completed within Dzogchen. There is much speculation since the origins of Dzogchen are mysterious that Chan Buddhism influenced the arising of Dzogchen. Other influences were the Indian Mahasiddha tradition, Bon, Indian Yogacara /Tathagatagarbha understanding, Hindu Kashmir Shaivism, the Mahayoga tantras, and even Gnosticism. Of great influence was the fundamental Mahayoga text of the Nyingma School, the Guhyagarbha Tantra.
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
1.For Husserl phenomenology is an experiential philosophy of essence as phenomena. For Husserl there is the indivisibility of the essence and the manifestation of the essence which manifestation is phenomena, the manifestation of appearance. This was Husserl’s great contribution to philosophy, the inseparability of essence and phenomena. Merleau Ponty made this the focus of his philosophical work.
Essence as phenomena
2. Essence is the essence of something. The essence of being, the essence of some quality, the essence of some dimension of experience are examples of essence and its relationship to phenomena. Phenomena and the essence of phenomena are within non duality and are indivisible. Phenomena and the noumenon are within non duality and are indivisible. Being and the appearance of Being as beings are in non duality and indivisible within the very duality of appearance. Appearance as phenomena are dualistic. There is a me and a you and we are indivisible.
Essence is manifested in phenomena as the phenomena. Phenomena is the manifestation of essence. This understanding that essence and phenomena are not in opposition dissolves many philosophical and theological impasse’s and the violent splitting of the actuality of reality. This understanding opens up the possibility of experiencing pure primordial awareness as manifesting our own singular subjectivity. Pure awareness is essence and our subjectivity in time and space is the phenomena.
3.For Plato and much of ancient philosophy(not the presocratics) the essence was the unchanging and subtle idea, a subtle dimension of being. There was opposition between the ephemeral world of the senses and the essence of reality. There was a split between the world and the essence of reality. This split is played out both in western philosophy and theology as well as eastern philosophy. The split was expressed in vedic philosophy as the split between consciousness and prakrti(flesh). In buddhist philosophy there was a split between ultimate reality as emptiness and the appearance of phenomena. The appearing of phenomena of human life was considered deluded and illusionary. Some would consider this very splitting of essence and phenomena as the true grand illusion and deludedness. As human experience is validated, except for the rare few who become realized.
In psychoanalysis there was a foundational splitting between phenomena and noumena. The split was a function of dynamics for un knowning such as foreclosure, repression, denial. This foundational split is found in both western and eastern traditions of philosophy. Jung ‘s struggle was with understanding the intimate relationship between phenomena and noumenon. In Jung’s thinking the relationship was between known experience and unknown source, between consciousness and unconsciousness. He searched for the medium of indivisibility.
4. Merleau Ponty focused on the actuality that essence and phenomena are indivisible. Phenomena is the manifestation of the noumenon. the essence. The essence can not be detached from the phenomenal form. The essence makes its appearance in the world as phenomena. The essence may not itself be limited to the sensible but can manifest itself in sensorial form. There may be different levels of manifestation or different dimensions of manifestation of the singular essence. The phenomena and noumena are intimately related. The essence and its manifestation are intimately related and are actually in non duality. Non duality manifesting in duality. Non duality manifested within dualistic appearance.
As was already described there is foundational split found in certain forms of buddhism and vedic philosophy. The unhappy and nihilistic views of the world as not being real, and the realm of appearance is delusion…
The Iconic Openness of Phenomenon as Appearing
5.Merleau Ponty continues that the essence can be experienced from the iconography of vision and experience. The essence is not simply a contemplative reflection, but essence presents itself within corporeal vision, The field and medium of the flesh are indivisible. To know is not limited to thinking conceptually but we can see and gaze non conceptually and directly into the place of essence. Essence can be known non conceptually and experienced directly. Understanding can be thought free. Direct knowingness is natural and is non duality within duality. This is the phenomenology of the icon, the iconic view of reality. The iconic view of Being manifesting through beings as Being.
6.Essence can be the very presence of the thing appearing. There can be the representation of the thing and there can be the appearing of thing. Representation is only one form of knowning. Representation is not experiencing the essence of what is. The mapping is not the experience of the territory. Representational thinking and representational conceptualizing is the mapping of experience knowing the experienced.
7.The visible bears the invisible within itself, inside itself. The language of the icon takes us beyond representational knowning and representational thought. Thinking and conceptualizing is one kind of knowingness. The iconic opening expresses the essence becoming visible experientially. The icon is the place where the invisible becomes visible. The visibility of the invisible, the visibility is where the invisible appears. The iconic place, the icon space, the iconic openness of phenomena is the indivisibleness between the visible and the invisible. Being and the appearing of beings are indivisible and all beings are iconic doorways. The realm of the flesh and medium of the flesh is iconic.
8. The experience of Primordial being is as Merleau Ponty describes is beyond representation thinking and yet is not invisible to non conceptual direct perception of open awareness.
Embodiment as Medium of the Field
9.Embodment manifest in us within space and time. Our embodying is embodying the medium of the field. The field of being is manifesting within the dimension of flesh. The field of flesh moves itself through us and is the expression of spaciousness. This experience of the flesh is experiencing the essence of luminous spaciousness. The body illuminates the phenomenological flow of the field of the world which is the Field of Being manifesting within this dimension of flesh.
10.This essence can be grasped from the iconography of vision. The classical essence as Husserl’s description as being constituted by the mind in noetic noematic frame is replaced by contemplative awareness and non conceptual thought. The essence presents itself within corporeal vision. Essence can be known nonconceptually and then language and represented in various ways of words and sentences. There are many words and languages that approximate essence but no word holds the whole experience. Language is limited. This is the phenomenology of the iconic view of Being manifesting through beings with languaging referencing the experience in approximation.
11. Essence is within the very presence of the thing, There can be the representation of the thing, and there can be the appearing of the thing. The appearing of the thing as Being manifesting as thing. This essence is ultimately is no thing and arising from within this no thing can be everything and anything. There is always some distance between language and experience.
12.The visible bears the invisible inside. The experience of icon takes us beyond representational knowning or represenatational thought and language. There is direct and indirect knowning of essence. The icon expresses the innermost relation. The icon is the place where the invisible becomes visible. The visibility of the invisible. The visibility where the invisible appears as such, the iconic place, iconic openness of phenomena.
Embodiment As Phenomenological Flow of Singular Essence
13.My body manifest within space and time. Our body is the medium of the field of the world, the field of being manifesting as this dimension of flesh. The field of flesh sounds itself through us and is the expression of spaciousness. The understanding of the flesh of the field deconcretizes the body and illuminates the phenomenological flow of the field of world which is the field of BEING manifesting within this corporeal dimension. Embodiment is a relatedness of the field of the world and is a hollow or fold or flesh of openness which is made and can be unmade. My consciousness is saturated with limitless blue, the blue of the sky somehow gives self in me. The skill of Merleau Ponty is the expression and realization of how subjectivity is de concretized , de entified or de -reified, de -objectified, de-thinged.
No thingness As Essence of Phenomena
Yes I do exist but I am not a thing…although my body and mind have thing qualities. There is an extension in space but this extension is non materialistic form. No thingness arise in everything and as anything. In this way the essence of phenomena is emptiness as no thingness.
14.The essence of the unfolding understanding of Merleau Ponty in his later work is the non dual relationship within duality and duality non duality. Merleau Ponty will continually try to elaborate how there can be both oneness and twoness. How there can be intertwining between appearance and essence. For Merleau Ponty the experience of flesh as openness will not emerge if you overly reify phenomena.
15. There is infinite manifestation of singular experience. No thingness, manifest fields and the field of fields. These fields in which things, people, creatures, intertwine, interweave, yet there is wonder in each singularity. Everything and everyone is connected within the field. There is the fluidity of all phenomena as all beings are open and within otherness. The indivisibility of twonness within oneness. There is the expandedness and interrelatedness and interpenetration of all beings through the flesh of the field. There is non duality of Being within the beingness of all appearance can be experienced easily.
Intertwining of Phenomena
16.The body is actually embodying. As embodying the self that emerges as embodiment Is foundational. Always emergent among all the being emergence, and of the world. Embodiment is an ongoing upsurge of the, an interweavement, a kind of bringing forth that has the foundation of no thingness and yet is everywhere as the dimension of the flesh of the world is not material drama. These vortices that are en bodying and the perceived of the world are spirals of transformation that find themselves with moments of meaning as the emergence of sensibility. The depth of the world is our participation in Being without restriction, a participation in the being of space. There are transformations of movement within vibrational reality. This embodiment is corporeal. There is confusion between being the dimension of corporealness and equating that quality with not being real or existing. This is untrue. The flesh of the world is spaciousness Viscousity.
The Flesh as indivisibleness of Phenomena
17.The metaphor of flesh allow us to go beyond the thing. For Merleau Ponty there are not simply sensible objects contained within themselves but rather a series of showings, appearances, and emergence of sensual meanings that retains vitality in keeping open the infinite variety among l infinite singular things with infinite singular subjectivities which are openings within and of the field of Being.
18.There is the ongoing transformation and relational intertwining of all beings such that they do not exist independently on their own. Being is being brought forth ceaselessly and in their beings both appearing and disappearing. Time sequencing gives the illusion of fixed thingness.
19.Within the flesh of embodiment there is the experience of spaciousness ,pervading spaciousness, pervading energy and pervading luminosity. This dimension of no thingness is the source of the spiraling vortexual energies, which bring forth ongoing embodiment. This is the dimension of fluid spaciousness. The views of intellectualism and empiricism are ways of the mind alone organizing experiencing of the world.
20.Merleua Ponty works within non duality within duality. His move to non dualism went against the history of western philosophy. Emptiness or Spaciousness or Potentiality is not the embrace of non being or nihilism but rather the sense of intertwining of vortices, of ongoing, foundational emergence or manifestation. The seemingly void of nothingness is the fullness of Being. We are shared embodiment of the field with another. This description is a description of the dimension of flesh. In the language of vajrayana, this is nirmanakaya.
21.The resonating bodies of human beings are part of an enveloping sense that we can enter and penetrate into the flesh of Beingness. The flesh of awareness in which we are intertwined is non dual ontological vibration that everyone communicate through. This vibration is the wild region of being from which everyone has originated or are ceaselessly originating from within. The childhood experience of gnosis is never completely liquidated and may be used in the re-experiencing of direct perception. The feeling of inseparability is present before the age of three and can be reincarnated experientially.
Merleau Ponty suggests that the Phenomenology of awareness gives rise to a phenomenology of the invisible becoming visible.
Husserl Early Phenomenology
1. Through phenomenology Husserl studied the conditions of possibility of appearance of phenomena; this form of understanding leads to idealism, and the solipsism of the self contained mind alone. This idealism emphasizes the contributions of mind alone to knowing and amplifies the split between subject and object actuality.
2. Husserl’s early understanding of the epoché (suspension of judgment) helped him gaze into the phenomena in a manner that was freer from the view of cultural prejudice. The view of early phenomenology was not simply the experiential articulating of our experience of appearance but the attempt to understand the conditions of the possibility of appearance of phenomena.
3. Husserl in his phenomenology focused on appearance of phenomena and he understood that no appearance is independent and self sufficient. Appearance refers to something other than itself. Every appearance is characterized by self other structure; appearance is an appearance of something for someone, appearance is relational. Similar to Buddhism, he understood the interdependency and interpenetration of phenomena.
4. Appearance of phenomena has horizons which are the range of limits imposed by the reference of appearance to the context of other appearances. There are many different views of the same phenomena. Our experience of phenomena of appearance is organized by our awareness of the horizon of various views of the phenomena. Early phenomenology of Husserl was a phenomenology of mind alone viewing how appearance of phenomena comes to be conceptualized and represented or constituted.
5. There is the subject for whom the appearance is given and for who the appearance appears. As St. Thomas Aquinas the medieval theologian would say “Quid quid recepitur ad modem recipientis recipitur.” (Whatever is received is received according to the mind of the receiver.) These appearances of subjectivity of ones own subjectivity is radically different than the appearance of an external phenomenon. This appearance of subjectivity to subjectivity may have a self other structure; the subject manifesting itself to itself as subject, is very different then phenomena external to subjectivity manifesting to subjectivity. The issue of whether there is a self object structure in this phenomenology of self appearance depends on what is meant by subjectivity and what kind of phenomenology is being used. Subjectivity identified with mind alone can be limited to the mind and contained within the mental function of thinking and to the realm of the conceptual representation. In this early phenomenology of Husserl, Husserl used the language the noetic noematic mind structure and this cognitive framing limits subjectivity to being a structure of mind. Subjectivity as mind is contained within the noetic noematic structure of apprehending and conceptualizing the object of appearance. This noetic noematic structuring of experience will be a self other structure. The self other structure happens whether the object is phenomena outside of subjectivity or whether subjectivity itself is the object of noetic noematic cognitive structure. This noetic noematic structure results in subjectivity becoming objectified. Amazingly in subjectivity becoming objectified the essence of subjectivity disappears.
Later Phenomenologies of Heidegger, Merleau Ponty and Husserl
6. In Heideggerian phenomenology as well as the work of Merleau Ponty and later Husserl, the mind is differentiated from our awareness. In Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism awareness is differentiated from the mind. In this context mind means the functions of thinking, feeling, sensing, remembering, and fantasy. In these functions, phenomenology’s suspension (epoché) becomes the suspension of the mind, and what remains is awareness. This shifting from mind into awareness allows awareness to become aware of awareness itself and consequently to know and perceive itself directly which is from inside to inside. This shifting from mind into awareness also allows awareness to be present to phenomena in a direct and most immediate manner. This openness of awareness experiences the givenness of phenomena in a preconceptual and non-conceptual manner. When the person’s sense of subjectivity is no longer located within their mind alone, then the sense of subjectivity can be located within awareness itself as awareness itself. Because and within this awareness state a profoundly different kind knowingness can manifest within us. This kind of experiential perception takes knowingness outside of the noetic noematic cognitive structure and places phenomenological knowingness within the realm of the direct perception of awareness. This direct perception is pre-reflective and non-conceptual knowingness.
7. What is most amazing as one enters this awareness of awareness continuum, awareness begins to manifest as a field. In this unconcealment the great qualities of the field of awareness become apparent. The field quality is a signature of later phenomenologies of Heidegger, Merleau Ponty as well as later Husserl. Again, it is also of great interest that in the tradition of Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism the awareness field (dbying) becomes felt and the qualities of the field manifest. There is this shift from mind to awareness of awareness in the meditation practioner. When the field manifests in meditation, the power and expanse of meditation is felt and the power of extension within the field can be used. In this experiential view of the phenomenology of the awareness field, the phenomenon of the field begins to show itself experientially.
8. There are many qualities of the field. The most fundamental quality is openness, or spaciousness or emptiness, or no thingness. The field is luminous or light or radiance or clarity. The field is energy and is the very life force of phenomena. The field is multidimensional and infinite in its horizon. There is the primary or primordial dimension of formlessness or pure potentiality; there is the apparitional dimension of the field as archetypical energies and configurations manifesting continuously; and there are fields of the flesh, to use Merleau Ponty’s metaphor, which is the appearance of the phenomena of the world. In Dzogchen language the dimension of pure potentiality is dharmakaya, the dimensions of the apparition of archetypical energies is sambhogakaya, and the flesh dimension of the world is nirmanakaya.
9. The field is self arising. The self arising of the field of awareness allows the field to permeate and manifest both subject and the otherness. The field in its self arising manifests both subject and otherness. The field arising manifests both awakened awareness and awakened phenomena. The possibility arises to experience within the duality of singular phenomena and within the appearance of individual phenomena, the non-duality of indivisibility between phenomena and the field of awareness. There is one awareness field manifesting all the differentiated beings and within all the differentiated beings is the same awareness field.
10. In the unfolding of these later phenomenologies the field of awareness is experienced as the field of Being. As Merleau Ponty declares in the unfinished text, “The Visible and the Invisible”, the field of Being manifests both the subject and the object. Everyone shares the same flesh. The flesh is the medium of the field. In this experiential understanding, subjectivity appears to itself directly and immediately without the mediation of mental cognition. The view of knowing conceptually from the reflective mind differs from the view of the non conceptual knowingness of awareness itself. Subjectivity, which is awareness, experiences its own self as the appearance of awareness. The appearance of subjectivity is not a self other structure. The self otherness structure involves objectification in which awareness or subjectivity disappears. The mind looking at mind, involves self other objectification. The mind looking at its self would involve self other objectification. The mind looking at the subject as mind and otherness as mind results in objectification.
11. Awareness as subjectivity can only be known experientially and directly. In mind alone phenomenology, the thought that is experienced is not the experience of knowingness but the thought of the experience of knowingness. To think subjectivity within mind alone is not to know subjectivity as awareness. This phenomenon of awareness can only be revealed experientially and then the experience can be languaged as thought, and conceptualized within thought. What is thought is the conceptualization of appearance of the experience of awareness of awareness.
12. There is a radical difference between the earlier Husserlian phenomenology of mind alone as reflective thinking that constitutes the appearance of objects as concepts and the phenomenology of subjectivity as awareness knowing itself directly and experientially. Within the phenomenology of awareness phenomena can be experienced and known directly and experientially.
Non Conceptual Direct Perception as Radical Difference
13. It is true that there is a difference between object manifestation and self manifestation. The radical difference within phenomenology’s is not the difference between object and self manifestation but rather the difference between representational conceptual knowing and the non-conceptual direct experiential knowingness of self and the knowingness of otherness. The knowing of phenomena whether as self appearance or as object appearance is known both directly and experientially.
14. The earlier Husserlian phenomenology was mind alone with its corresponding idealistic containment. The mind which can take itself as an object and the mind which takes itself as subject is an enclosed mind and enclosed subjectivity; enclosed in conceptualization. This earlier phenomenology studied the constitution of mental objects whether as subject or as object. This phenomenology was the mentalization of experience in dualistic appearance and situated in the land of ideation. This phenomenology was not the phenomena of awareness as subjectivity in non dualistic relatedness within world of dualistic phenomena.
15. The earlier phenomenology did not actually study the appearance of experience but of cognition about experience. This study was mind alone and contained within itself. The earlier phenomenology was a study of conceptualization or representational thinking. This is a limited view of knowingness and phenomenology. The earlier phenomenology of Husserl took place in the cognitive dimension of mental experience and not the direct perception of the experience of phenomena. Awareness within itself and within the world is the new phenomenology. This newer phenomenology was opened up by Heidegger as well as Merleau Ponty and the vast amount of unpublished papers by Husserl in the Louvain archives. The earlier phenomenology did not focus on awareness as field and the direct knowing of field of appearance.
16. This radical shift of experiencing awareness as field took place in Heidegger, later in the work Merleau Ponty and Husserl. The phenomenologist Sartre remained in mind alone and within the solipsism and idealistic framing of phenomenology. The self contained phenomenology of mind alone was over come by Heidegger, later Merleau Ponty and Husserl himself.
Reflective and Prereflective thinking
17. We may consider that Heidegger was the master of prereflective methodology and Merleau Ponty and Husserl’s initial methodology was reflective and evolved into prereflective methods.
18. There is a vast difference between reflective methodology and prereflective methodology both in the understanding of self-manifestation as well as other or object manifestation. This understanding will not only lead us to understand self-manifestation as subjectivity in and of itself but also self-manifestation within and through the other. The experience of self-manifestation of the other in the singular field of awareness is radically different then object manifestation as the other in the rational phenomenology of mind alone phenomenology. The doorway of the phenomenology of awareness opens to us the experience of non-duality within duality and duality within non-duality. Or as the Dakini said to Dudjom Lingpa, “You and I are indivisible.” There is actually a “you” and actually an “I” and there is the actuality of indivisibleness. Non duality becomes visible and experiential because the one field manifests the knower, the known and the process of knowingness. Within two there is indivisibly… As the Dzogchen tradition describes, there is awakened awareness and awakened phenomena.
19. Understanding self-manifestation of awareness opens the door way for a deeper and truer understanding of manifestation of the appearance of otherness as self. Both self-manifestation and object manifestation may be experienced from the mediated view by mind alone. In this view there is duality alone. From within the radical view of awareness knowing awareness within self and within the other there is non-duality within duality. This radical view takes place when awareness is experienced as field. Awareness is a field, vast and infinite in its horizons. This radical experience of awareness becoming aware of its own self as the great expanse radicalizes the experience of both self and world, subject and otherness. Knowingness as outside subject to outside object and knowingness as inside to inside is a radically different experience. The duality of experience is a natural manifestation of the differentiation of phenomena into singularity and individuality. The language of delusion of dualism as often used by Buddhist and Vedic thinkers negates the natural unfolding of recognizing non-duality within duality. This nihilistic language forecloses of the actuality of differentiated and individual appearance of a “me” and a “you”, within which and through which is non-duality of the pervasive and singular field of awareness. These eastern thinkers can only think non-duality because they foreclose the actuality of duality.
20. This arising of duality is both the biological and cultural natural unfolding of complexity of singularity and individuation. This capacity to experience the naturalness of openness of non-duality within the duality of appearance arises effortlessly when a person enters the awareness field. This radical opening from reflective mind to the immediacy of the prereflective awareness field opens for us within the natural duality of appearance and phenomena, the experience of non- duality inherent within and through phenomena. This is an experience of liberation and consolation of the highest aesthetic.
21. Moreover, and this is most important, within this differentiation of mind from awareness there must be in time a reintegration of mind within the awareness field. As mind is reintegrated within the field of awareness there will be simultaneously mediated and unmediated knowingness. One can experience both reflective and prereflective knowledge. One can experience both duality and non-duality within the same phenomenological event. Or as the Dakini said to Dudjom Lingpa, “You and I are indivisible.”
The Efforts of Michel Henry and Self-Manifestation
22. Self-manifestation has various manifestations from that of mind to that of awareness field. From the reintegration of mind within the awareness field view, there is the experience that I am the one experiencing the phenomena manifesting within the field. This occurs the moment one is acquainted with experience in the first person mode of givenness. It is possible to speak of self-manifestation the moment I am no longer simply mentally conscious of the foreign object, but through my experience of the givenness of object or phenomena or appearance as well. This is both reflective mediated and prereflective unmediated experience. Reflection is mental reflection upon the experience of the object. Prereflective is the experience of the givenness of the phenomena directly and experientially and non-conceptually. Conceptualization may follow after or even during the direct experience of the phenomena.
23. Michel Henry takes subjectivity to be absolute in the sense of being completely self sufficient in its radical interiority. This kind of self absorption unhappily arises from his misunderstanding the nature of awareness field as immanence. His narrow and contained understanding of immanence leads to Michel Henry having a contracted and solipsistic view of awareness. For Michel Henry this immanence of self manifestation is enclosed and highly contained within the body and is auto centric at best and ultimately autistic. For Michel Henry the sense of awareness manifest itself to itself without ever leaving itself, without extending itself, without producing or presupposing any kind of expansion or extension. The original self- manifestation of subjectivity excludes all kinds of exteriority and expansion beyond the body mind boundaries. For Michel Henry the immanence of awareness is bound within the body mind boundaries.
24. For Michel Henry you cannot approach absolute subjectivity as if it were merely another otherness. There is no otherness within the confines of absolute subjectivity. For Michel Henry absolute subjectivity does not reveal itself in the world. Within absolute subjectivity it is impossible to grasp categories or dimensions pertaining to the world. This is a unique form of immediate and non- transcending manifestation. The manifestation of subjectivity is not only utterly different from the visibility of worldly phenomena, it is elusive and excluding. There is always something that eludes visibility and touchability.
25. The essence of self-manifestation cannot appear in the visibility of worldly exteriority, and Michel Henry describes it as obscure and invisible. The self-manifestation of absolute subjectivity must be characterized as an invisible revelation. Michel Henry’s misunderstanding happens because his own experience of self manifestation was contained within self referential awareness. This contained awareness did not expand beyond the boundaries of mind and body. This self-manifestation of his awareness was relentlessly self referential and the field phenomena that is so unbound and uncontained did not manifest for Michel Henry. For Heidegger, Merleau Ponty as well as within Dzogchen the immanence of awareness is pervasive and within everything and everyone. Michel Henry misses the actuality of awareness and the boundaries of immanence were imprisoned. Within his solipsistic transcendental view, the nature of self-manifestation and infinite field of immanence is lost for Michel Henry. His view is not unlike the Buddhist Madhyamaka tradition, with its nihilistic orientation to world and to its own manifestation.
Unfolding Visibility and the Self-Manifestation of Self Recognition
26. This is an immanent revelation which is presence itself and this presence remains invisible and can become visible. Heidegger and Merleau Ponty open this dimension of awareness of unbound openness and unfolding visibility. Paul Ricoeur is also a master at bringing into clarity the unfolding of self recognition in human experience. Self-manifestation and self recognition is not a once and for all event but an ongoing existential and developmental task of being human and becoming human awareness which is awareness itself. The unfolding of phenomena and appearance of phenomena is the natural unfolding human task of experiencing the light of awareness within and through phenomena. Just like the baby learns to recognize the mother and the father and others in every unfolding depth and breath of self other recognition, the same baby can learn to experience the light of awareness within the mother and the father and within the others. The same baby experiences the indivisibleness with the mother and yet differentiatedness from the mother in the same duration. So the unfolding development task is the deepening of the basic truth of indivisibility and differentiatedness.
27. When thinkers invalidate appearance of phenomena as delusion, they easily fall into the self isolation of Michel Henry’s absolute containment within absolute subjectivity or they fall into fusion states of mind alone arising out of various forms of dissociation. These dissociative fusion states are in essence self imposed trance states. Truly speaking the world does become a dream and dissociative detachment saves them from the relational pain of suffering but not from the suffering of living in the vacuum. The dissociative vacuum is in fact empty as a vast hole is empty and is not the natural state of nothingness of the open unbound human awareness within the world which is also awareness itself.
28. Nothing will manifest itself unless it is encountered by a self manifesting of awareness. We can only be aware of phenomena, if the phenomena manifest within our field of awareness. There is a oneness between the knower and the known. Implicit in the heart of experience is the non-duality of the knower and the known, the indivisibility between Being and phenomena, the indivisibility between relative and ultimate truth.
29. It is only a self-manifesting subject which can be conscious of appearing phenomena, and it is only because we are already given and opened ourselves to phenomena that manifestation becomes possible. This early phenomenology is a mind to mind phenomenon. In mind to mind phenomena the realm of awareness as field is not yet opened. Thus duality dominates. This dualistic mind knowing itself dualistically and other objects dualistically is mediated by mind alone. Even the Intentionality of mind alone presupposes self awareness and even the self transcending that we encounter in intentionality is founded on the self support of subjective immanence, which is awareness as the field.
30. The phenomenology of self-manifestation is the opening into the possibility of manifestation of both self and otherness as self. Self-to- self indivisibility opens up the subtle action of the passing through of self to self beyond mind body boundaries. The manifestation of both self and object is on the level of mind is objectification. The self-to-self oneness and interpenetration is the true intersubjective relatedness that is life giving and the drama of creativity.
31. Prereflective non-objectifying self-awareness was implicit in early intentionality studies but awareness of mind alone knowledge is not deep or complete enough. Later phenomenologists understood that in the study of intentional and mind based phenomenology there was foreclosure of intersubjectivity as Sartre described relentlessly.
The unhappy but common view
32. There was for many as there is now the assumption that there is only one type of manifestation and only one type of phenomenology. That is to appear, to be given was always to be given as an object, whether as self or as otherness. This is an assumption behind the persistent attempt to interpret self-awareness or self-manifestation in terms of reflection. This is the model of mental intentionality and the compelling extremes of idealism and realism; the mind looking at mind as the object or looking as its own subjectivity as mind alone, the “I” as an idea. There is the enclosure of identification of the mind and subjectivity. The sense of subjectivity is located in the mind alone. Self-awareness has been misunderstood as the result of an objectifying, intentional activity and self-manifestation has been misunderstood as a special form of object manifestation, characterized by interiority being locked in.
33. As long as mind and awareness are thought to be identical such objectification and inner alienation is sustained. Once the difference between awareness of mind and awareness of awareness is clearly experienced then the radical field phenomena of awareness is opened and unbound by self other duality…The self-manifestation of subjectivity, the self-manifestation of awareness is an immediate, non-objectifying occurrence, and therefore best described as awareness becoming aware of awareness.
34. First there was phenomenology of mind, mind knowing mind. This was the phenomenology of being located in the mind as mind; hence the emphasis on mental intentionality. Then there was the shift to becoming aware of mind and this brought forth the transcendental view with its distant objectification. And then there was the great leap of awareness becoming aware of awareness and within that leap the field phenomena become apparent and the openness of direct perception becomes possible.
35. When we are in the field and we are aware of our experience of feelings and moods, pain, anxiety, happiness, this experience is held within the field. This vital knowing does not arise through an intentional act that we are immediately aware of; there is no distance or separation between feeling the experience and our awareness of the experience. The experience is given in and through the awareness field as experience and ultimately given through and held by the field of primordial awareness.
36. Everything has a certain feel, and what it feels like to experience these feelings, and so there is meaning and signification as to what is experienced. Awareness is the subjectivity in which the experience takes place. Awareness is a place.
37. Primordial self-awareness is self-manifestation; awareness knowing awareness from within, immanent knowingness without the transcendental gap. This is a direct and immediate self awareness…direct knowing of knowingness. Self awareness can be purely interior and a self sufficient event involving no distance. Awareness is immediacy. Awareness can be an event which is beyond the felt horizon. Self-manifestation of subjectivity reveals itself to itself directly and with complete immediacy. Within this paradoxical awareness, the field manifests beyond reference and yet within its multidimensionality is within reference of otherness.
Timeless Awareness and Time
38. Self-manifestation is both temporal and atemporal in the vast realm of immanence. Self-manifestation as timeless awareness is atemporal and is within the timeless realm of immanence. Timeless awareness as immanence manifests in time and is time. Time itself manifests within timeless awareness as timeless awareness manifest within time. The field of immanence is inclusive of time and timelessness. All manifestation is ultimately self-manifestation, the self-manifestation of primordial awareness. The actuality of phenomena is the self-manifestation of primordial awareness. There is no real difference whatsoever between primordial awareness and the self manifested phenomena. To touch the phenomena is to touch primordial awareness.
The Beingness of Being
39. Awareness in becoming aware of awareness reveals the innermost actuality of awareness and the emerging sense of presence of awareness with its innate oneness within the beingness of Being itself as beings. This awareness of Being is the oneness of radical immanence. This immanence is not the immanence of a self contained subjectivity or self contained mind that is often so preoccupying to phenomenologist such as Michel Henry. This immanence of awareness is openness and ultimately infinitely unbound. The awareness field can not be contained within the mind body continuum but the focus within the field expands naturally into infinite horizons beyond mind body continuum and otherness itself.
Pure presence, presence as pure awareness, pure potentiality is without no reference. Being as source is without reference and is beyond the containment of reference and is infinite its horizons and unfolds into otherness and beyond all otherness.
40. Husserl could not conceive of pre-reflective self-awareness as truly immanent, and non- referential in self-manifestation. Husserl presents self-awareness as the givenness in inner time consciousness. This givenness becomes caught up in retention protention framing of time consciousness. The givenness of awareness is not actually contained between now and not now.
41. Time consciousness is the primary self-objectification of awareness according to Husserl…Where the source of self manifestation is timeless awareness there is no reification and objectification. This openness is the most fundamental source of manifestation and since it is no thing, anything and everything can arise from it. This is the true phenomenology of the invisible becoming visible. The manifestation of primordial awareness as non-dual subjectivity is the experience of timeless awareness in time. This manifestation of timelessness within time as non-dual subjectivity brings forth dualistic self other manifestation or self other appearance. This is a natural arising of duality within the appearance of phenomena. This innermost non-dual awareness is neither contained nor bound within duality of the appearance of self and other.
42. EmBodied life is awareness embodied and the body is the medium of the field. The body can become an intentional object but in essence the medium of the body is the embodiment of the awareness field in space and time as the luminous flesh. Awareness can become aware of its own self within its own self. The pre-reflective self- awareness is not the result of our own achievement, but is the given state and in becoming aware of this givenness is to experience self origination. The original self experience is not something we ourselves bring about; rather it is a primordial givenness of primordial awareness as primordial awareness. This primordial ground or base can be experienced when awareness focuses within awareness on awareness itself. Personal awareness ultimately is ground awareness. This movement of self recognition is wherein the field dimension opens and become visible. The true invisibility and true concealment is our own awareness as field which is the unfolding process of beingness of Being revealing and concealing within us as us.
43. The movement from visibility to invisibility is phenomenologically motivated. The desire to know our own awareness is ultimately the desire to know awareness itself within self and the otherness of the world. This vast surge to know awareness within our self and within phenomena is the surge of primordial awareness itself to know itself in infinite forms and conduits.
Appearance of the Manifestation of Being
44. For Heidegger, the very essence of phenomenology is to disclose what remains hidden from view namely, Being, the beingness of being. The phenomenology of the unapparent is the phenomenology of the translucent becoming apparent. The natural unfolding of the transparency of appearance is in essence the translucidity of Being manifesting and shining forth as phenomena and through phenomena. The nocturnal source of light is beyond mind as objectifying mind, linguistic mind. Phenomena interpenetrate phenomena as light penetrating light and phenomena infuses phenomena as light infuses light.
45. The experience of immanence goes beyond object fixation and the objectified and reified representationalized and conceptualized mind. Such a mind is concrete, operational, and dense. To enter into the world of knowingness experiencing knowingness is to go through the doorway of phenomena into the experience of Beingness manifesting being as beings. Awareness is awakened and phenomena are awakened and so awakened awareness meets awaked awareness through and within phenomena. The descriptions of self and other are identical in the nature and within the light of awareness.
46. Subjectively and otherness both belong to the singular ontological dimension of Being which is no thing and from this no thing everything and anything arises and manifests. The knowing of subjectivity of the other requires that one is in the dimension of subjectivity and within this inter-subjectivity indivisibility becomes visible; direct knowing takes place inside to inside. The non-mediated indivisibility becomes apparent. The invisible manifests itself in a radically different way than the visible. The invisibility of Being does not remain forever hidden but unfolds non-conceptually within subjectivity and the circumstances surrounding subjectivity. In essence, subjectivity is no thingness manifesting as no thingness within the mind body continuum and as the mind body continuum. No thingness as subjectivity manifesting within the thingness of body mind continuum. In true intersubjective states no thingness experiences no thingness in mutual recognition and the direct sense of indivisibleness.
47. The old phenomenology of intentionality and object manifestation is a surface phenomenology. The sublime act of becoming aware of awareness is completely natural and open to everyone. It is amazing that in becoming aware of awareness the light of awareness pervades everything and everyone everywhere.
Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
I find this light by first quieting my mind, by using the cranial vault technique that is found in the skillful means handbook and is taught on site and online by Rudy and Sharon Bauer. This is one of the methods I use. You may have your own way that guides you into meditation, the expansive and vast space of openness or pure consciousness within. Using a mantra like Guru Om, or the Boddhichitta Mantra, for example, can effortless lead one into the state of meditation. Another effective means is to “Identify with the Guru” (teacher, master) that Swami Muktananda teaches in "The Play of Consciousness." You can use this technique with any human being with whom you feel represents the embodiment of divinity for you, ie., from any religious or spiritual tradition. Nature is also very conducive to finding stillness or a peaceful place in which to meditate.
The following is an experience, and is not meant to be a technique. I’m just describing what happens for me and where I am now in my practice. My meditation practice has evolved over the course of the past 38 years. The health and life challenges I've had have at times been the catalyst, the beneficiary, as well as the motivation, behind the discipline and committment to continue on during times of difficulty. It definitely has brought comfort, clarity, and inspiration during times when hardship and aloneness were front and center in my life.
My personal and spiritual evolution greets me when I sit to meditate. Everything I’ve been through is present; the path I’ve taken, although invisible in the present, unfolds. My body is my ship and I navigate using the winds and my intuition to guide me. There is no part of me that is not involved in this inner pilgrimage. I am grateful for the steps and the grace, the difficult times and struggles, the tears of pain and tears of joy, that have brought me here, now.
After finding a meditative place of openness and stillness, I begin the process of refining my attunement to bliss, consciousness and knowledge, Satchitananda, or simply put, pure light. This light is deeply penetrating and all encompassing. It is within me and all around me. It is everywhere and is the source of all. It is the spanda, the shiva lingam. the buddha nature, the holy spirit. It’s the energy of pure creativity, or the sunlight of one’s spirit. It is a continual and eternal combustion of Shiva and Shakti, in yogic terms, the divine union of the male and female; Samatrabhadri and Samatrabhadra, or Vajrasatva. It is givenness. It is a movable feast; nurturing, sustaining, completing; recreating, birthing and destroying, all contained within the vase of my body. Ultimately, when all is said and done, this light is nothing, save the essence and wellspring of pure compassion.
In the most subtle and most infinitesimal movement, I lean a little forward, a little backward, like the distance between two specks of dust, as I investigate a deeper alignment of my relationship to this divine light, or the source of my own true Self, i.e.., the Self that existed before I entered this world. I move to merge completely, to fully unite with my own inherent divinity. This is the space of the heart essence, the pure and vital essence of the heart. Here, I find the opening and then explore a little further into the soft center, the soft column of radiant and luminous light moving down into the earth through the perineum and up through the crown center and beyond, this ever expanding experience of a realm of light, of sambhogakaya, or Crystalline Light. As I continue to align myself using grace and self effort skillful means, I open and surrender and soften into this light, and allow it to infuse me on it's own accord. I surrender bit by bit, this individual identity of me, myself, and mine. Then, in a magically timeless moment, I am fully engulfed by this light, as a combustion of humanity and divinity occurs. I remember Swami Muktananda saying as he guided us into meditation once, "Go ahead, lose yourself. I will find you." It is like an ambrosia filled fountain of the most pristine and divine love in which I am simmering and floating. It is elemental, like air, like ether, like space, but I am earth, I am sound and water, and I am connected with all elements within my body.
There is no endpoint to this pure potential space. One can only become more and more infused, and this play is seen, this Play of Consciousness, embodied, ever openning , as the whole world, as Nirmanakaya, and finally as the all embraced, pure space of Dharmakaya, of God. As a great being I know said, “Buddhahood is the whole world”. ”God Dwells with you as you”, Muktananda , or as Jesus Christ said, “ I and my Father are one” and "Never be afraid to be alone, for I will always be with you". "The Heart is the Hub of all Sacred Places, Go there and roam." Bhagawan Nityananda.
Oneness. This is an invitation to bathe in this fountain of love, this exquisite Crystalline Light of the Heart. My path to enlightenment in this lifetime is my life as it presents itself to me. The truth of my life, like the planet Saturn which beckons one to use the reality of one’s own life to focus on the highest truth, leads me home. Sometimes, it’s eating an ice cream cone sitting on a park bench on a gorgeous summer day. And, sometimes, it’s taking whatever else life has in store. Possibly, Realization doesn’t wait for a sunny day.
written by Karen Ferguson
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Everything is method!!! Method to refine our cosmosal view of reality. That view is like a lens on a camera. It limits what we see. The view that everything is made up of reality, or actuality, or being, is the view we are striving for. That is, all methods are designed to attain the view or lens that sees the truth of what is and our perception of the truth of what is , is determined by the lens we use.
Here's the view. Everything is made of the divine bliss that creates and energizes everything. Nothing is left out and everything is made up of, or permeated with, divine bliss. When we see that, there is no place to go, nothing to do, just be what we are. Be awareness that sees and acts from this view.. Just be being. This view is very natural and can be attained by everyone of us regardless of our circumstances ( Karma) . We are already ( and have always been) it . When I say attained I mean we are able to open our individual subjectivity (lens) to the fullness of the view that all is divine bliss. We are able to see it within time at this moment. We may not be able to see it in the next moment but that does not mean it is not there. It just means it is hidden in time at that moment from the view of our particular lens.
One more thought to carry the lens metaphor a little further. My wife Carol uses a new process in her photography called HDR. It takes 3 shots for each photograph . One with much light, one with medium light and one with very little light. It then merges all three to create the photograph. (they look great, more like a painting). One effective method for attaining the full view is , like HDR does, to look or gaze with a combined lens that includes and merges the three levels of being simultaltaneously ( the dharmakaya, the sambhogakaya and the nirmanakaya). I like to call this the 3kaya gaze. Lama Wangdor calls it the svabhavikaya, the fourth kaya.
Written by Tom Walsh
Monday, September 10, 2012
Friday night in July, I was outdoors listening to a neo soul concert. The lead singer’s grandfather had died that day. She dedicated her next song to him and began singing a lovely song she had written years earlier when her mother and grandmother had died (close together). “You’re in paradise” she sang with deep love and connection.
Well, her grandfather had died from a slow deteriorating illness and when I tuned in to him, he was not in paradise. He was surrounded by thick energy and murky colors and was only vaguely aware that he had died. As her song reached him, amplified by an audience of 2,500 people, his murky energy field was gradually surrounded by this light from her and by her love. The warmth, light and love in her energy field begin to shift the thick energy and murky colors of his energy field. As his energy began to clear and turn more transparent, he emerged from the thick cloud and saw clearly that he had died. Surrounded by her love and light, he awoke to the clear radiant light that is available at death and his face shown in radiant glory. My heart burst open and tears flowed from my eyes, yes, indeed, he was now in paradise.
Mary Kay Parkinson
Friday, August 24, 2012
Beginning of The Washington Siddha Meditation Center
It was the summer of 1976 and we were at the Deville Hotel in SouthFallsburg,New York. It was the week after the Bhakti intensive which was so moving for so many people as Baba spoke about his love of Bhagavan Nityananda and his pain at the loss of his beloved Guru.
We had asked Baba’s secretary if we could speak to Baba about the opening of a Siddha Meditation Center in Washington DC. She told she would let us know if such a meeting was possible. After a few days the message came that a meeting was possible with Baba at 2 pm that afternoon.( We were told about the possible meeting at about 1:30 that day) The meeting was to be held in field in Deville Hotel. We remember running and running and trying to gather all the Washington people to be there on time. Some of the people who were there were: Jorge, Arturo, Alexandra, and Muktabi as well as Sharon and Rudy.
We ran across the field and there in the middle field was Swami Muktananda and Malti his translator. We ran to Baba and knelt before him and asked Baba could we have a meditation center in Washington DC. He paused for long, long endless time. And then he said..Do you see that pony over there.? And there not too far away was this beautiful little pony standing quietly. And then Baba said “The pony is very small and yet filled with great Love. Many people will benefit from the presence of the center. The center will be like that small and yet filled with love and that it would last for a long time”.The energy at that moment was so beneficent and with that we thanked Baba and returned to Washington and so the center was created in love and through love.
Sharon and Rudy Bauer
August 22, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Standing still, like a flamingo in a shallow pool, gazing down at a quiet reflection of space, my mind finds repose. Fullly present, embodied in the flesh, fully contained, I now take my seat. As I sit, peace finds me. I recognize it as myself and bow to it.
I find my old friend once again. Take a seat beside me and rest awhile. I will take over from here, peace says.
As a child skips down the sidewalk, fully focused on perfecting the hop in the middle, a shift occurs, a natural extention into space, and the child takes flight. When the mind is satisfied that the hop is quite fine, and the rhythm has reached an easy cadence, the real skipping can begin. Like a smooth stone skipping over the water, the motion itself is the doer. The stone rides on the motion, on the momentum. Inside the whirl that propels the child, fully engaged in the act of skipping, is a point of stillness from which all movement arises. The child knows this point well, seeks it, and finds it over and over again. This point is pure potential space, the bliss of freedom , the spirit of creativity or life itself. Herein is the spanda, the now and the how. Finding this point is how one can take flight into this creative momentum. Releasing into the moment, stepping into this void, one can extend into awareness and fly.
A child twirls for the sheer joy of embodying energy, this vortex within. It is the ecstatic dance of the Sufi. Tiny little beings of light, twirling to find this free space inside that extends into the still point, the pure point of potential, the blue bindu. Consciousness from which all arises, like a wheel spinning out of control, spinning off in all directions, sparking billions of universes within universes, from here to infinity.
What is seen is seen as light. Sambogakaya light. Jewels raining down into tiny, open eyes, drinking in the nectar of love and compassion. These eyes blend into one. The eye of God, the eye of wisdom, the eye of the divine.
Once opened, this eye of divinity shines forth onto the world of appearances, revealing the space of oneness. The truth of equality vision, the ultimate realization that God dwells within you as you. Once again, Muktananda, the bliss of freedom, extending this freedom into nirmanakaya, the day to day experience in and of the world. Dharmakaya is the still point. There is a verse in the Bible about becoming a child again to enter the kingdom of heaven, here on earth. Children sit naturally in meditation, if given enough time to be alone. They are natural yogis. Watch them skip down the street.
Written by Karen Ferguson
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
At sunrise, the absence of activity on the beach is a natural time for meditation or gazing. It is pure dharmakaya. Nothingness. Emptiness. But, full of life. So soft, these sweet smelling breezes, ocean sounds, all the senses mingling, sand beneath, water all around, and sky above. Nothing to cling to...nothing to abide by, nowhere to go. Just sitting and embodying everything at once as the mind’s boundaries merge with the limitless scene extending in all directions. There is a support that is so gentle but so strong, to go inside, suspend the mind and glide on the light of the dawn. It is so easy to drink in the nature of compassion here. It is on my face as this gentle wind brushes through waves, through the wings of the single sea bird flying in to catch the first bite of the day, through the toes resting in the cool sand. The reflection of the water is in my soul which is oceanic this morning. My soul is full of this water which rocks me and lulls me into a certain atmospheric peace with beauty as it’s essence. My eyes are soft and drop to the ground gathering diamonds in the sand. Wherever my eyes go, there is a piece of God’s body, standing naked in the pastel hued expanse. Wet, soft, breeze, warm, lovely, ocean, sand, shells, sky, and all the unseen life in the ocean and in the sand is the appearance. Where I sit amidst this pristine golden light, I am a reflection of love, reflecting love. An endless circle of reflections, a mandala of this moment, stretches out beyond my toes, into the space where the sea meets the sky.
As the moments pass, more activity appears on this scene..and the sound of OM is taken deeper into my being. Resonating in the cave of my heart, the music of the day begins from this primal note.
written by Karen Ferguson
Thursday, June 14, 2012
1. My first meditation teacher, Swami Muktananda, would say meditation teaches meditation….so let ‘s begin with a brief meditation…..since meditation teaches meditation.
Close your eyes and focus within…resting in awareness. I will give you meditation instructions by Dudjom Rinpoche who was a great Dzogchen Tibetan master .His instructions are so simple and yet contain everything.
By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open, natural state, we obtain the blessing of aimless self liberation of whatever arises.
2. I am going to read you a poem. It is called The Song of Awareness…do not worry about the words…let them be in the background of your meditative awareness.
Song of Awareness
I pay homage to the Enlightened Ones of the three times… the past, the present and the future
Who abide in the vastness of the ocean of enlightenment, which is consciousness itself
The qualities of those who practice awareness cannot be measured.
Whoever is able to become aware of the nature of their own awareness, even only for one moment, is so fortunate and on the way to becoming liberated… once they taste the experience of their own consciousness, they can never go back, never again close up so completely… so darkly.
Therefore, experience your awareness in its essence. True enlightenment lies in the essence of your own awareness.
If even for an instant one sees, glimpses, the essence of one’s own awareness field
It is like meeting all of the Enlightened Ones of the three times.
So… who can say you do not know this experience….
It is the same consciousness that thinks, remembers and feels
Just like the miracle of the moon appearing in several bowls of water
Any thought, of all the thoughts that arise, is not something other than that single primordial all encompassing awareness field… so infinite in its horizon
That single state is beyond the limits of a center and its related directions
It is beyond arising, beyond interruptions; it is beyond coming and going, beyond appearing and disappearing
The essence, self originated from the very beginning, is completely pure… completely untouched
The awareness, which is like the sky has no base or root, it is completely pervasive… completely vast
This awareness field is the source of both transmigration and enlightenment
To be in this awareness is beyond the mind, and so it is very difficult to express in words
If one wants to explain it, it is like an endless ocean of knowledge
Pure from the very beginning, it is beyond names and explanations
Yet there are unending names and explanations pointing to it
Whomever has not experienced this primordial awareness may think, may really think that each of the innumerable names defines something different and
That all of the scriptures are marvelous, but some are really better than others
If one were to spend their entire life writing, this great subject would not be exhausted and will never be exhausted
This naked state is the clarity and the light of one’s own awareness
Knowing this, tasting this experience, out of oneness one knows the whole of existence and is intimately connected to everyone and everything….out of oneness
Just like the eagle, King of the birds, leaves all the mountains below
When it flies into the sky…the wide open sky
If you can realize the knowledge of your own awareness field, there is nothing else to meditate on, nothing else to do
If one can come to know this experience precisely, knowing this everything becomes
liberated….every thought, every experience, every condition
This all happens in the context of your own life and your own situation… Just As It Is!
Then whatever of the various visions and experiences manifested by your own mind arise
It is like the trail of a bird flying in the sky, or drawing on the water with your finger tips
Without any goal, without any aim, without any target, in the great all pervading limitless state
Remain in the Great Joy, which is liberation from the beginning, beyond transmigration and beyond enlightenment
In that nature of the awareness field, which is innate dharmakaya
Remain in sky –like awareness… remain in luminous spaciousness which has no root and no base
Remain in that nature of the awareness, which is uninterrupted sambhogakaya… that is the experience of the qualities and dimensions of the field of consciousness experienced as the Divine Deities and Divine Dakinis
Remain in the condition of clarity which is the wisdom of recognition of your own state, your own state of being…your own light
Remain in the nature of unfolding awareness which is nirmanakaya, which is this awareness field manifesting in different forms…..including your own form, your own mind, your own body, your own situation, your own karma
Remain in the condition of the great vastness of all-pervading space….extending the horizons
Remain in the luminous clarity that is beyond thoughts and affects and fantasy
Remain purposeless in the completely pure condition…so subtle …so present…so simple …so silent
Remain in this space of self liberation where there is no dualism of transmigration and enlightenment…..remain in this space life after life …death after death
Remain in this space beyond observer and observed, beyond subject and beyond otherness
Remain in the Oneness of the energy field
Remaining in the condition where there is no doubt
Through the power of this text, the Song of the awareness field as the nature of Existence, may all beings obtain the benefit of natural enlightenment
The meditation practice of becoming aware of awareness is found in many traditions, including Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism as well as western Phenomenology. Namkai Norbu, a contemporary master, says Dzogchen does not belong to any religion, it is the very nature of human awareness to become aware of its own self (both within our self and within the self of others) This naturalistic and experiential understanding is expressed By Dudjom Rinpoche this way although hundreds of thousands of explanations are given, there is only one thing to be understood; know the one thing that liberates everything…awareness itself, your true nature.
4. To become aware of awareness you must suspend your mind a little and free your awareness to rest within its own self…Often we are located in our mind so we pause or suspend our mind or a function of the mind in order to refocus awareness within awareness itself. When you begin to become aware of your own awareness, you may experience and discover that your mind is not your awareness; there is a difference between being in your mind and being within awareness. Awareness is not a thought; awareness is not an affect, or a sensation. Awareness is not a fantasy or a memory, but rather awareness is simply open knowingness….a non conceptual knowingness…a gaze of direct perception, gnosis.
5. Often our first step is to shift out of our analytic mind, and by suspending being located in the mind or specific function of the mind, we can become aware of our mind. We gaze at thoughts, gaze at feelings, gaze at sensations, gaze at memory, gaze at otherness, and the world. At this moment we are experientially near, closer to experience, to the felt sense. We are not in the mind but are aware of the mind .This very powerful practice is the basis of many experiential therapies and meditations.
6. But if you wish in time you can make one more suspension, you suspend your awareness of the mind and objects of the mind, and turn your gaze back on itself, you gaze into the gaze...You gaze into awareness itself. And in so doing, you enter into awareness and even become awareness itself, you embody awareness...In gazing into awareness, the qualities of awareness begin to manifest; including the quality of
spaciousness or openness or emptiness, the quality of the energy or qi or shakti, vibrancy, the quality of the light - clarity, radiance, lucidity, the quality of oneness, the oneness of the field, the oneness of great compassion. As the qualities of awareness manifest , you may discover that this awareness is a field and awareness has field characteristics, it opens and closes, contracts and expands, it has depth and breath, and goes beyond the body. It fills the in between.
7. This awareness field has power. The first power of the awareness field is that it becomes the base of your experience, rather then the mind or even a particular function of the mind. The awareness field and the qualities of the awareness field spaciousness, energy, lucidity and oneness become the base of our experience…the container. The mind and the functions of mind can be integrated into this base of awareness, this base of oneness. And so our mind begins to experience itself in the oneness of the field, and the functions of the mind are infused by the awareness field. You begin to live in and through the field. This is a Path of natural liberation.
8. The second power of the field is that a person can more easily dissolve negative states of mind and negative states of experience into the awareness field. The field has a metabolizing or dissolving capacity or assimilation of experience. This allows a person to enter into various experiences and metabolize them. When one has little awareness, the metabolizing capacity is greatly limited and one lives with much unresolved experience and much unresolved unformulated experience. Unthought but known.
9. A third power of the awareness field is the field can become not only the base within a person; the field can become a base between two people or even a group of people. When the field of awareness is between two people, the field gives a base and support for the relatedness of the two people. The field assists by providing base and support for conflict resolution, the dissolving of negative states of mind, and just as important, the offering of potential space for new experience, new views and new contactfulness. In essence, the awareness field is potential, potential space.
10. A fourth power of the awareness field is awareness can be given or extended or transmitted. There is great statement by the ancient Buddhist master, Bodhidharma, who says, “beyond words and letters, there is a transmission that does not belong to any tradition, it is the very nature of human awareness, and that is the Buddha.” Human beings consistently and relentlessly transmit their minds to each other, from person, to person, from generation to generation, from group to group. Human beings are also able to transmit their own awareness field to each other…This is the great compassion.
11. The great compassion or the bodhichitta, is not simply sympathy, or simply empathy or the internalization of others pain and suffering, but is our capacity to transmit or
extend the inner heart essence which is light, and energy, the pure love of awareness itself. This capacity of extension or extending into others and into this world, both to those whom we love and those whom we do not love is the power of healing and transformation. The bliss of compassion dissolves suffering.
12. The source of primordial awareness is within the human heart. This extension brings forth the bodhichitta (compassion) within ourselves and within others. In meditation when people extend the field to each other, the field grows in intensity and in light. Two awarenesses are really better then one and the field is never bound by locality.
13. Let us practice extensions…..the art of the inner heart essence.
14. I would like to describe one more important and mysterious quality about the nature of becoming aware of awareness. Primordial awareness is ultimately our personal awareness. As Husserl said, “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure consciousness and the doorway is our own subjectivity.” As you and I experience the innate dimension of the awareness field, we will find that we are both in duration (in time) and at the same time (timeless). The primordial innate awareness field is both in time and also in timelessness. Awareness is in duration and is in timelessness. We can experience timeless awareness.
15. When you and I are in the field, deeply in the field of awareness, we can experience both duration time and within the background of the meditation field is this vast unbound timelessness, pure presence, timeless awareness without reference without boundaries, infinite in its horizon. This experience can be stunning and not easy to hold.
16. This sense of timelessness is an unbound stillness and this timelessness can infuse our sense of time…from the immediacy of the moment, to the immediacy of a day, to the immediacy of a year, to the immediacy of a life time. Timelessness is the base and source. Within this timelessness of our own awareness is a grounded stability and grounded continuity of awareness through time.
17. This timeless awareness provides for the person a large and vast universal sense of ones being in the world, a world that is both in duration and beyond duration. Timeless awareness opens for the person the sense of unbound potential space of manifestations ready to come forth….timelessly.
This timelessness is the state of potential spaciousness that opens up possibilities of manifestation for bringing forth that which has not yet come forth in duration. Timelessness is the state of potential space, the unbound voidness of creativeness. Being in timeless awareness helps dissolve the fear of death, the fear of annihilation anxiety and the fear deprivation anxiety.
Let us meditate and discover this timeless dimension of our own beingness.
Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by: Mimi Malfitano
1. Welcome to our study of the phenomenology of awareness and the power of the awareness field. Edmund Husserl, who was the father of phenomenology, would always say at the beginning of each lecture… “What is the wonder of all wonders? Pure consciousness; and the doorway is our own subjectivity.”
2. As we know from our last meeting, phenomenology influenced both western philosophy and western psychotherapy. Western phenomenology is very similar in both view and method to Dzogchen meditation which is a form of eastern meditative practice. Both phenomenology and Dzogchen are interested in the power of becoming aware of awareness itself…where the object of awareness becomes its own self. Moreover, in both phenomenology and Dzogchen, when one becomes aware of ones own awareness, the person experiences that their mind is not their awareness, awareness is not a thought, or affect, or sensation, or fantasy or even memory, but rather awareness is simply open knowingness….a non conceptual knowingness….a gaze of direct perception. And if one is able to stay with this knowingness of knowingness there appears the next discovery…when one becomes awareness of awareness itself. This awareness is a field……this field goes beyond the body boundaries…goes beyond the mind.
2b. The methods of both western phenomenology and Dzogchen are similar in that both at times use the epoché or the reduction or to use English “suspension “……suspension of the mind as method of entering into awareness field. What does one do…One shifts out of the analytic mind, thinking about the problem by suspending the mind or suspending being in the mind or mind functions….after making the suspension one is then in the awareness state (mindfulness) and one can be aware of the mind functions by gazing at thoughts, gazing at feelings, gazing at sensation, gazing at memory or gazing at the outside, gazing at otherness…the environment…the world. A person is experientially near, or experientially closer to the experience. This is very powerful and is the basis of experiential psychotherapies…
2c. Then if one wishes, or if one desires, the person can make one more reduction, or one more suspension and one suspends the inside and outside, one suspends their awareness of objects of mind or objects outside the mind, one suspends everything and one turns the gaze back on itself, one gazes into the gaze…one gazes into awareness itself...and in doing so one enters into awareness and even becomes awareness itself…in gazing into awareness the qualities of awareness begin to manifest…including spaciousness, energy, light and oneness….the oneness of the field…One discovers that this awareness has field characteristics, opens and closes, contracts and expands, it has depth and breath and the perception of this field can be extended and extended and this field is completely multidimensional. Ultimately, this field is direct perception, perception of the manifestations of awareness…manifestation in ones own self, manifestation in the other and also the manifestation of the field of awareness in this world.
3. This field has great power. The first power of the awareness field is that it becomes the base of experience, rather then our mind or a particular function of the mind. The awareness field and the qualities of the awareness field which are spaciousness, energy, lucidity and oneness become the base of our experience, and the mind and functions of the mind can be integrated into this base of oneness. Thus the mind or ego begins to experience itself in the oneness of the field, and the functions of the mind become infused by awareness field. One begins to live in and through the field.
4. The second power is that besides having the power to integrate ones mind functions in the awareness field, a person can more easily dissolve negative states of mind and negative states of experience into the awareness field. The field has a metabolizing or dissolving capacity or assimilating. This allows one to enter into various experiences and metabolize them…when one has little awareness, the metabolizing capacity is greatly limited and one begins to live with much unresolved experience and much unresolved unformulated experience.
5. The third power of the awareness field is that the field can become not only a base within a person; the field can become a base between two persons, or even a group of persons. When the field is between persons then the field gives both a base and support to the relatedness of the two people. The field assists by providing a base and support for conflict resolution, the dissolving of negative states of mind, and just as important and just as necessary. the offering of potential space for new experience and new views, new contactfulness. Without this newly formulated base, then the base between the two people will be the mind of each, or the group minds of the groups of people. The dilemma is that it is the mind itself of one or both parties is the problem. One mind talking to another mind and each mind with their own different and difficult generational fields behind each mind, often has no base other then some intention often implicit in the speaking.
6. The forth wonderful power of the awareness field is as one becomes aware of awareness and becomes more skillful in becoming aware of awareness one begins to completely embody the awareness field. In the beginning, one learns to hold the awareness field, or then enters into the awareness field and then one becomes the awareness field…aham ah I am becoming what I am. In embodying awareness, one begins to truly embody direct perception and direct experience of the immanence (a permanent abiding within; indwelling) of ones own beingness of being.
7. This sense of the immanence of the beingness of one’s own being is a source of great pleasure and happiness. We might say that this sense of the beingness of one’s own being is the sense of self. As one feels the ongoing continuity of beingness…this ongoing continuity of beingness protects one from fragmentation, protects one from states of psychological collapse and even the profound and ever present fear of death lessens….coming and going, absence and separation, oneness and separateness no longer have the same existential drama and trauma that these experiences once invoked. As the sense of the beingness of one’s own being grows, the sense of the beingness of being in others becomes more apparent, more visible, more real, more present. And so, oneness and a sense of the non-duality of the beingness of being begins to arise slowly but surely.
8. This subtle and initially implicit sense of oneness is not a function of sameness in the sense of likes and dislikes, same beliefs or disbeliefs, same tribe or same customs, the sameness of history or the sameness of attraction, but this sense of subtle oneness reflects the oneness of the beingness of being….that the same beingness of being is within all beings….all of the beings that one sees, and can touch.
9. As this oneness of beingness of being arises, the knowledge that awareness and beingness are in some way the same phenomena….knowingness and beingness are in oneness, are oneness. This experience, this awareness, is beingness and beingness is awareness becoming vivid, even for the most ordinary of persons. A great freedom and completeness arises from within as one realizes out of one’s own experience that one’s own awareness, one’s own consciousness is the beingness of being itself…and in these moments one becomes much less of a psychological person and more of a cosmological human being…the view and experience becomes much wider and has much more depth and breath then that of our own historically based psychological or mental viewpoint.
10. So we have spoken about the nature of the awareness field, the powers of the awareness field and some ways of entering into the awareness field. We have spoken about the importance of spaciousness, open spaciousness, the usefulness of the energy, and the necessity of lucidity and innate luminosity. We have emphasized the power of oneness of the field, oneness of body, oneness between therapist and client, oneness between couples, oneness within a group, oneness within conflict…within ones self or between others. We have spoken about the power of direct perception, knowing awareness in one’s self, knowing awareness within the other and even knowing awareness or consciousness within the phenomenal world.
11. I would like to describe one more important and mysterious quality about the nature of primordial awareness. As you and I experience the innate dimension of the awareness field, we will find that it is both in duration (in time) and at the same time (timeless). The primordial innate awareness field is both in time and also timelessness. Awareness is in duration and is in timelessness…we may speak about timeless awareness.
12. When you and I are in the field, deeply in the field of awareness, we can experience both duration and within the background of this vast unbound awareness timelessness, an eternal presence. The same description can be said of our awareness counterpart which is the beingness of one’s being…in experiencing the beingness of one’s being, one will feel both the time bound quality, the here and now quality in duration and also one can feel the unbound timeless quality of the beingness of one’s own being.
13. This sense of timelessness is an unbound stillness and this timelessness can infuse our sense of time….from the immediacy of the moment, to the immediacy of a day, to the immediacy of a year, to the immediacy of a life time. Timelessness is the base and the source…Within this timelessness of our own awareness is a grounded stability and grounded continuity of oneness.
14. This timeless awareness provides for the person a large and vast universal sense of ones being in the world, a world that itself is both in duration and beyond duration…timeless awareness opens for the person the sense of unbound potential space of manifestations ready to come forth…forever and forever and ever manifesting.
12. This timelessness provides the sense of this unbound potential spaciousness that opens up possibilities of manifestation, for bringing forth that which has not yet come forth into duration. This dimension is of the utmost importance in healing events and experience. This is not a mental hope. A hope based on probability and improbability. This timelessness is the state of potential space itself...it is the dharmakaya…the unbound voidness of creativeness.
14. You and I are in time, we are in duration and yet the beingness of our being is timelessness…time and timelessness are that close…they are in oneness…just as the nirmanakaya dimension is in oneness with the dharmakaya.
15. Time does not exist separately from beings…from entities…you are time, and I am a time…the manifestation of beingness becoming particular beings in time…unmanifested beingness is timelessness. Timelessness is completely immanent in all of us and is manifest in all of us as time. Time is the manifestation of timelessness. Time is the manifestation of awareness, the bringing forth of awareness in time…
16. The Dzogchen understanding of the three kayas brings forth some understanding for us…the knowing of awareness or consciousness or gnosis has three dimensions….from the unmanifest to the manifest…from timelessness into time, from no appearance to appearance of phenomena.
17. First dimension is pure knowingness without appearance, pure consciousness, the void, the unmanifest, potential space ready to bring forth itself….the second dimension, the manifestation of energy and light and the configuration of vortexes, and spiraling, luminous creative energy, this is the dimension of the cosmological archetypes, and then the third dimension, the manifestation of earth, embodiment, humans and human minds and generational fields. Timelessness infuses all the dimensions of awareness both the unmanifest and the manifest. There is no fragmentation within timelessness; there is stability and continuity of beingness.
18. The more the innate sense of timelessness is lost and disturbed then duration itself fragments more and more, splitting within splitting, part breaking into more and more parts, oneness of experience dissolving. The mind itself without the base of awareness field becomes more and more fragmented, and the innate continuity of persons and relatedness itself breaks into bits and bittles.
19. Working within the Field of Awareness in Psychotherapy and Consultation:
How to create a first phenomenological reduction
The required necessity of the therapist being in the state (awareness) and in being in the (awareness) field
Different positions for different experience
How to create the second phenomenological reduction
As a person has entered into the awareness of awareness itself and the field phenomena has manifested itself (spaciousness, energy, lucidity, and oneness) the next step is to have the person explore and articulate their experience of being in the field. This representation of experience of the field allows the experience to be entrained and remembered and even brought forth more easily and consistently…this articulation of the field begins to teach integration of the different ego functions or mind functions in the field. One will discover the difference of being in the mind, being in the awareness state, and being in the awareness field. This step of integrating the mind functions into the awareness field dissolves some primary dissociative experience and the bringing of the mind into the oneness of the field allows one to think, feel, remember, and have imagination and sensation in and through the field of spaciousness, energy and lucidity. Also a more pervasive sense of oneness pervades the body and mind.
There will be a co-emergence of the field between the two people and the corresponding experiential base that this provides for participates in individual, couple and group psychotherapy.
This co-emergence means that the more I am in the field the more you may experience the field out of resonance. And the more you are in the field the more I will be in the field…as we both are in the field, the experience of the field will be amplified. If you are in the field and have a strong field, the co-emergence of the field may be limited by the limitations of the other who is in the field.
The capacity to extend the field is most important for the therapist and the capacity to resonate to the other is equally important. The more one can sense the field in the other, the more probable the field will emerge in the other. The sense of recognition is most important.
Recognition is not simply a cognitive experience but is somatic and is a function of resonance which is a feeling, although not an affect…a bhave…
In certain situations, and everything does depend on the situation and ones own skills and capacities, one may utilize the body to help bring forth the field, and often using the hand can be most effective...however, one’s own body must be activated by one’s field …the activation of the field pulls forth the field.
One must have a sense of activation and pacification or how to intensify and pacify the field so that the experience is assimilated and usable.
12. For some, simply entering the field is enough and then one can integrate the mind functions in order to work within the field experientially…namely by focusing in and articulating experience of the difficulty or problem or goal… a narrative of the situation. Then one can work by amplifying the experience of the narrative in the field in an experiential manner. Sometimes having discussions in the field is extremely powerful ….the more one is skillful in being in the field and invoking the field then the less one has to work in a formal manner…everything becomes naturalistic.
13. By being in the field the intensity of the field brings forth both problematic experience and resources to solve the experience. We focus in a solution oriented manner and a resource oriented manner with the sense of the field which is the beingness of being becoming manifest as powerful source. Yes, two people can participate in the beingness of being…that is intimacy.
14. The sense of intimacy is the sense of inside to inside, of knowingness in a relatively direct manner and even unknowingness in a direct manner…both knowingness and unknowingness are both manifestations of awareness and can be known directly…inside to inside.
15. One will work with the different dimensions of the field, in other words, spaciousness, energy and lucidity of the experience unfolding.
16. For some, one will work with being in the intensity of the field and embodying of the field in different degrees and dimensions of embodiment. The embodiment of the field becomes more and more subtle…the energy proceeds from gross until luminosity.
17. We do not worry about the chakras or the mythology of the energy channels…rather we focus on the expansion, stability, intensity of the field of luminosity….light becoming flesh.
18. Not everyone can enter the field but will primarily work in the awareness state which is classical experiential psychotherapy.
19. Dissolving of negative experience is the bringing of the negative states into the awareness field…sometimes amplifying them…EMDR and other methods can be utilized…presenting a narrative in a strong field is working within luminosity and dedensifies the reified narrative. The strength of the field is in metabolistic function….the dissolving of energy cathexis (charging an idea or emotion into significance) to stories, memories and narratives.
20. The potential spaciousness of the field is completely excellent for the manifestation of new stories, narratives and actions.
21. There is a polarity of the unfolding of the light and the falling away of darkness. The falling away of darkness does involve the falling away of representations of oneself and others, and the falling away of connectedness to context that reflects darkness. This is very painful and so one may not want to move. This does not mean leaving everyone physically but there is a psychic transformation wherein you and the other no longer share the same psyche or the same beingness of being. The other may be family, groups, etc.
Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by: Mimi Malfitano