THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE PATH OF YOUR AWARENESS AS NATURAL LIBERATION
Dudjom Rinpoche would say: Know the one thing that frees everything, your own awareness.
It is also important to know the difference between your mind and your awareness. Your mind is your thoughts, your affects, your sensations, your fantasies, and your memory. Your mind is your ego and it is really good to have one. You, the essential you, is awareness; the innermost awareness that is within your mind and your body and the mind-body continuum. Primordial awareness is your basic self, your subjectivity, your awareness. Awareness is non conceptual knowingness…the knowingness of knowingness within yourself as yourself and your knowingness of knowingness within others, and within the world. Awareness is direct and not always mediated through the mind although it can be. Mind is really important, and awareness is really really important. You really want to know the difference because in that sense of difference lays mastery, esoteric mastery. If you only know your mind, only conceptualize your mind: your thoughts, affects, sensations, memories, fantasy, desire, you have a great skill but you must go further.
It is useful to free yourself from you mind temporarily, to suspend your mind just a bit to actually know this awareness. As you focus within awareness as awareness on awareness you will experience space or openness, or even at moments a void, vast and space without reference, sky-like space or even nothingness as no thingness or emptiness. Initially, this is not always easy, but to have this base of spaciousness as your self is so freeing, and un-containing. This experience of spaciousness becomes the base of your experience, base of arising thoughts, feelings, sensations, memory, fantasy and the base of the dissolving of experience. This base of awareness is your essential self. We might even consider that you are a place, the place of awareness in time and space. Awareness is not a thought, or affect, or sensation, or memory, or fantasy. Awareness is a place. For you to be aware of the place of awareness is to be grounded in awareness. Awareness, the space of awareness is ground, is place.
This place that you are, this ground that you are is unbound and is actually a field. It is not a thing, or little entity. This field goes beyond the body boundaries, that is so amazing. Its horizons can extend and extend, your base, this original ground is actually infinite in its horizons and even multi-dimensional. This space, this openness, this non conceptual knowingness is also light, or luminous, namely, it illuminates itself and illuminates your experience. Light or illuminosity is another way of speaking about knowing, consciousness. Knowingness is openness.
This space is a sense of potentialities. There are no fixations in this space, it is unformulated spaciousness. To remain in this place of awareness is to experience potential in an un-fixated way. This unformulatedness, or unfixatedness is both great and scary. And this awareness is also energy, energy arises and emanates from within this place, this space, this essential you is more you than your thoughts, sensations, memories and fantasy, more essential than your affective states, more essential than your history, your story. Your story, your history , this narrative is actually experienced from within this place of awareness, of openness, energy, and light.
This spaciousness is the path of natural liberation. Liberation is not a function as some would think of having a perfect mind, perfect thoughts, perfect feelings, memories, sensations. Liberation is not simply a moral issue, an issue of conscience, of being better, gooder, smarter. Religion can be really useful and fun, but liberation is not limited to religious framing. Liberation can take place within religions, but liberation is the very nature of awareness and is independent of religion.
To live within the place of awareness, to experience the unfolding experiences of your life, is the method of liberation, natural liberation. Liberation is the embodiment of awareness, the heart essence. You get a glimpse and then you habituate the experience. You liberate through experience. Liberate means becoming free, unbound, untied, locked down,
There are many methods. I will describe one method by guru rinpoche, Padmashambhava.
Do not think or focus on the past experience, do not live in the past, and do not think about the future, do not live in the future, no repetitious remembering and no obsessional futuring, such framing takes you out of awareness. Sometimes within awareness the past may manifest and even at times the sense of the future may manifest, but being in your mind about the past and being in your mind about the future, takes you out of potential space, dharmakaya. Do not focus on past thoughts, or chase after the future. Stay within the sense of awareness and experience the arising of everything within this awareness field, remain in the place of awareness. And experience not only the arising but the dissolving of experience-becoming an expert and master of arising and dissolving, appearing and disappearing of phenomena. Become a master of the arising of affects, arising of sensations, arising of memory, arising of fantasy, arising of conceptualizations and the dissolving of sensations, dissolving of memory, dissolving of fantasy, dissolving of affective states. Living in a spacious awareness field is very very lucky.
By being in indeterminate space everything is possible; do not conceptualize desire as hope or hopelessness. Live in awareness, the place of awareness which is unfixated, unformulated, less organized by your mind, that moment, that duration is dharmakaya, or that moment is timeless awareness, self liberated awareness in time. This timeless awareness will in time illuminate your mind your thoughts, your affective states, even your memory, enhancing your sensations, enhancing your feelings……
Equally important, there is past, present and future, through the present we experience the 4th time, timeless awareness, you will stabilize in timeless awareness. Within awareness you will not internalize other peoples’ affective states- this is also liberation. You will know what is happening within and without, but in knowingness you will be free of the internalization of other people’s affective states- then you will have uncluttered inner space-the space is actually your own continuum.
Finally this awareness is not uni-dimensional. It is actually multidimensional and as you live in awareness ,this place of awareness, the dimensions reveal themselves to you, you will experience the dimension of pure potentiality, the archetypical dimension of energies, luminous vortexes, symbolic elaboration of powers or shakties of awareness field and you will experience nirmanakaya as luminous flesh, luminous earth.
Written by: Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D.
Edited by: Skip Ellis, MSW