Four Gears of Open Awareness
Four Gears of Open Awareness-guided practice
- Open awareness, related to the primary sensory organ*
- Disengaging one's attention from internal objects such as thought and emotion, as well as from external objects perceived through the senses (eyes) and
- Resting as non-three-dimensional open space
- Awareness being aware of itself, without a self-entity
- Recognition of oneself as conscious awareness, both through sudden awakening (cessation, nirodha) and mind purification (vipashyana, also known as gradual enlightenment) =>
- Cuts down all sense of localisation as a self located in space and time, deconstruction of the self =>
- Calming of the mind (shamatha) =>
- Experiential understanding of both mindfulness (intention) and open awareness (attention)
This can be called the first gear, the first and foremost step, of awareness training.
*Eyes are the primary sensory organ of man. This practice is known as ati yoga, Ati-meditation, Space Gazing or open awareness meditation in Open Heart-teachings and by same or similar names in other advanced teachings.
- Open awareness centered at the heart
Open awareness recognised through the primary sense organ (eyes) is connected with the heart/chest area of man. This connection is revealed through training in open awareness meditation. This is subtle connection of the energy body (skt. amrita nadi, tib. kati, engl. chrystal channel), not related to common human emotions, although open awareness centered at the heart gives self-cognisant awareness a flavour of warm heartfulness. In the heart open awareness becomes embodied as love and compassion.
This can be called the second gear of awareness training.
- Open awareness embodied by the whole bodymind
When the recognition of the natural state takes place properly and one trains in it, open awareness not only comes to encompass the abstract mind and it's various aspects, but also penetrates the flesh of the body. The self-created mind of man becomes replaced with the ”spirit of God” which is free and open but also free of freedom, openness and divinity.
This can be called the third gear of awareness training.
- Open awareness in action
Here, open awareness is fully embodied and presented through action, speech and thought, and also through non-action, non-speech and non-thought. Here further training of awareness looses it's meaning. Compassionate action, both in it's peaceful and wrathful forms, is naturally delivered. This is the stage of the mahasiddhas* or buddhas. When open awareness is embodied in full bloom like this, all beings in all forms reap subtle nondual benefits from it as the presence of a mahasiddha reverberates through all realms** simultaneously. The wow to become a buddha, a fully enlightened being for the sake of all beings has been fulfilled and hence is forgotten.
This can be called the fourth gear and final stage of awareness training.
**All realms refer to 21 main realms related to the subtle body of man, that is, chakras. See a diagram of these centers here.
The above mapping is one way to explain the aspects and stages of the path of awareness training. This training can be pursued by anyone. It is recommended to be conducted in the guidance of a master (here referring to a mahasiddha) or at least with a person who has attained the level of a bodhisattva.
All should remember that open awareness is the enlightened mind of all beings. Potentially this can be attained by all men who receive valid instruction and who have correct compassionate motivation.
This instruction should not be kept from sincere, honest and open hearted seekers who wish to blow out the flame of their dualistic ignorance and embody their natural, truthful, original mind among men and other beings. This is their right.
It should be kept in mind that this knowledge is not the property of any person, any sect or a group. In case a known dishonest or a morally corrupt person seeks to receive instruction from a teacher, the teacher should make sure that the relationship is based on honesty and mutual trust. If this requirement is not met the teacher is allowed to refrain from giving guidance to such person.
May all beings realise their freedom.
Thank you for reading.
- Baba Kim Katami, 4/2016