Clear mind of awareness

“Let’s say we look at a mountain with normal awareness. Our mind is facing out and following our eyes to the mountain, and perhaps we’re thinking about the last time we saw this mountain, or any mountain, and who we were with at that time, or if the climate or time of day for seeing the mountain was better before or now, or if we are hungry or happy. Or think of the times when we use normal awareness to collect our keys and phones before leaving the house. We might notice that this process often includes anxiety about being late or about what route to take to an appointment, or we might fantasize about returning home before we have even left.

With meditative awareness, we try to remove these filters and reduce the projections. We face inward and recognize awareness as a quality of mind itself. When we look at the mountain, there is less mental traffic between us and the mountain, fewer concepts and ideas. We see things about the mountain that we had not noticed before: the way the ridges are outlined by the shape of the trees, the changes in vegetation, or the sky that surrounds the mountain. This clear mind of awareness is always with us, whether we recognize it or not. It coexists with confusion, and with the destructive emotions and cultural conditioning that shape our ways of seeing things. But when our perception shifts to meditative or steady awareness, it is no longer narrowed by memory and expectation; whatever we see, touch, taste, smell, or hear has greater clarity and sharpness, and enlivens our interactions”

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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