Friday, March 4, 2016

Embodying the "Context" of Awareness & Holding the "Contents" Lightly

     Everything & everyone we perceive, including all our self-concepts, worldviews, opinions, other thoughts (including our incessant self-talk), feelings & emotions, including our hopes, dreams, fears & anxieties, can all be understood as "contents" of awareness
     All of these phenomena are conditioned - dependent on previous causes & conditions in order to arise & have the specific features that they have. All of these phenomena also exist and cease, according to causes & conditions. 
     If you invested all your savings in Apple, your investment would minimally impact the value of the stock. However, just about any event in the world, from China's or the US' or the world's economy, work conditions in China & around the world, the emotions of investors ("bearish" or "bullish"), cost / availability of raw materials, shipping costs / conditions, to the personality / ethics / stage presence of Apple's CEO ie pretty well everything affects the sales & profitability of Apple products, and thus your life savings are another example of conditioned phenomena. And as such, regardless of how much time & effort you expended researching Apple, Sony might suddenly introduce a product that makes Apple products obsolete, and before you realize it, your life savings are decimated.
     Since there are unimaginably high numbers of phenomena, all of which are interdependent, it is not practically possible to predict, much less control, conditioned phenomena. 
     We can observe how phenomena constantly change, including our own and our loved ones' aging, sickness & death. 
     From our common (egoic) perspective, all of this is at best unsatisfactory & stressful, giving rise to existential angst and almost constant dysfunctional thought, speech & behaviour. See:!Over-Thinking/c17jj/56d1b4a90cf24bcda4779079 From the perspective of Buddhist psychology, most of this is unnecessary suffering.
     During meditation, we gently, repeatedly step back from attempting to control various "contents" of awareness, and learn to rest in, & operate from, the "context" of awareness: the timeless peace & clarity of spacious awareness itself.


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