A year and half ago, we began discovering our five common senses and more of the range of each from the course -and thus automated and unconscious- to the middling sensations provided by the senses such as the taste of one’s interests or choices of friends or movies, to the subtle such as pervasive simplicity -the one taste- of phenomena in general.
We then added the common mind, colloquially referred to as the sixth sense. Point of interest is that, the daily mind is basically a catch-all repository for all of the sensory, thus data, input constantly flowing into it. The senses are neutral; they do not name or label, cannot reject or dismiss, nor can the five senses in their range adopt any particular experience more than another experience. The senses are completely neutral. The common, unaware mind is where name, label, preference, aversion, selfing, and all emotional and seemingly mental process associated with one’s living arise from. We explored this. Each person discovered what he/she/they did.
One thing that we discovered is that Presence (Awareness, buddha nature, bodhichitta, essence of Being, and various terms from traditions) was already present and abiding. Repeating: it was already present. Intrinsic Presence/Intrinsic Awareness is like the sky – already and always present. Everything else going on or through our emotion-mind complex is like the clouds: arising, seemingly causative, seemingly conditioning, but completely temporary. The sky abides, the clouds don’t. Presence abides; moods, cravings, happiness, love, anger, etc. don’t. They change. They pass. They come again.
We have gained confidence in Presence through our meditative practice and through observing ourselves through each day. Moment by moment is either Present Moment Awareness -with any/all of its qualities or it is “distracted, mindless confusion.” Then, Presence (Awareness) is clouded; it is obscured. The choice is ours: mindfulness or mindlessness.
We have discovered that this is true, that Presence is one’s choice. Noticing the usually not noticed, one is already aware, mindful. That recognition is a self-recognition in the moment. It is Awareness.
As we continue to build upon this training, Awareness is more frequently “in its seat.” Robotic habits of consciousness are being noticed, the noticing itself is transformative, and unconsciousness is flawlessly maturing into conscious awareness moment by moment. Yeah! Such is the Path of Awareness.