Choiceless Awareness

by Ram
(India)

Question:

Hi Adam,

I would like to know what you think on “choiceless awareness”, as has been suggested by Jiddu Krishnamurti, as the only option we have.

It is keeping a moment to moment awareness of our mind, thoughts and habits without having a judgement of whether they are good or bad. That the mind is conditioned from the past (a mechanical device), and in the present we have no choice but to just be aware of our mind activities.

But my doubts are that the mind might be having some way of escaping certain situations out of fear or something, and habitually we tend to follow it or engage in some other habits to avoid painful emotions - so just being aware of this habit without any choice and repeating them - will it help in removal of such habits and to do what is required in any situations irrespective of mind conditioning?

Choiceless Awareness is best I guess, since it's seeing what is exactly there. If fear/jealousy is there, seeing it clearly without choice and not disliking or hiding it.

One of the problems when we try to accept the conditioned fear is that the mind tells you that you won’t be able to do anything in certain situations, and you will just have to sit and accept it.

Also a problem is when our mind turns this into a technique or concept, we tend to fall in the same mind traps. These truthful ways also tend to become mind burdens sometimes.

I would very much like to know your experiences or opinions on choiceless awareness.

Response:

Hello, yes I agree with a lot of what you say, that once the mind forms a belief/concepts/technique around choiceless awareness, then more mind-stuff results.

Choicelessness takes away the option of resistance. We are used to choosing which experiences we like and don’t like, want or don’t want, and this choosing operates particularly in the midst of any experience that is deemed undesirable. Then the mind wishes it could escape through choice, but its method of resistance is ineffective in escape.

It highlights the delay of choice - that the idea of choice hides the fact that the present experience already is as it is. The choice of “I do or do not want this experience” is often futile, since it just makes discomfort seem more significant than it really is.

However, if some mental/emotional experience comes up, one may feel they have a choice. They may say “I will no longer support this”, and they may find themselves actively giving up some behaviour. This can happen, so I wouldn’t say there are any strict rules. Whatever feels easier, whatever feels natural, whatever feels good, go with that.

We are very used to giving the transient nature of our experience great importance. For a while, the sensations and thoughts of the mind seem very important. But they are only important when we assume that they are important. An absence of choice means you are no longer interested in manipulating how you feel or trying to create a certain state of mind. It helps to withdraw focus from the fleeting, so that the timeless aspect of all experience is felt.

Yet, if there is an aim to use “choiceless awareness” as a practice to “experience the timeless” or “be enlightened”, or to “dissolve the mind” then it is pointless, because the mind and its time-bound nature have taken over. There is no aim, no goal, nothing to find. If choicelessness becomes a means to an end, then it will likely end in frustration.

I would not say that the specifics of what you describe are our “only option”, although choicelessness can help a great deal. Another sage such as Nisargadatta Maharaj would advise an awareness of natural presence, the feeling of existence, the sense “I AM”, which although involves choicelessness, would not be so mind-orientated, it is more beingness - orientated. Perhaps they are two aspects of the same thing. Both are choiceless, the first seems to be in the direction of thoughts and feelings, the second is in the direction of, and merging with, existence itself.

Without the burden of choice, you become unpredictable in your activity. Even you do not know what you will do next. No label can stick, no outcome can be predicted. Existence becomes completely spontaneous, but extremely intelligent. It is not something the mind can understand, there is now space for a deeper intelligence to emerge more fully into one’s activities. Although you will not even feel as if the activities can really be called your own. The mind will appear to be in opposition of this, or perhaps sometimes support and pretend it understands, but you can just forget both aspects of the play, don’t ask anything from the movement of thought.

All of your doubts you mentioned are based on choice, on choosing which habits are favourable, which are not favourable, which state is the right state to have, which state is wrong, that avoidance is bad and non-avoidance is good. Choicelessness is the absence of deciding about any of this. Even choosing to be choiceless is still a choice!

If I said choiceless awareness will get rid of your habits you think are bad, then you will be waiting for them to leave. Don’t wait for anything to leave. Let everything stay if it wants.

Awareness is naturally choiceless. It is not something to be “practiced” from an individual standpoint. It already is. The individual who tries to practice awareness, is just another appearance within awareness.

I don’t know how useful the answer will be for you, but thanks for getting in touch,

If this or anything else creates extra concepts for you, then forget about it. No need to pass it on to your mind.

Adam

Comments for Choiceless Awareness

(from previous website)

Oct 21, 2014
Acceptance or Resistance
by: Ram

(I wrote this question) 

Mind brings up thoughts especially negative / thoughts we try to avoid in past , some thoughts are acceptable, some creates resistance and some have very higher resistance ,sane way seems to be just be aware and allow acceptance/resistance to be as such right ?


Oct 21, 2014
Comment NEW
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com

Right


Oct 21, 2014
Thanks NEW
by: Ram

Adam very thanks for spending your time and for answering 


Oct 21, 2014
Simple NEW
by: Ram

It seems so simple to be in peace untill the self/ego overtakes awareness which had occurred many many times.


Oct 21, 2014
I feel I would find it frustrating to be in your shoes. Perhaps I should ask how to make the fleeting moments of your truth sticking my mind throughout my busy day??? NEW
by: Deborah Kerr

Ooppps😀 not re-typing it.