‘Phenomenology of Mind Awareness’

by meditative - February 7th, 2015

Freedom lies in how we see things…

Remove the process of ‘identification’, and the energy of conditions experienced by the mind is diffused. In general, the core of what we experience has an inherent ‘hollowness’ that only takes shape as a mental formation with the attention and energy we give to it. In our practice of mindfulness, we examine our mental activities simply as phenomenology of mind- arising and passing with unconditional opening and acknowledgment. In this space of openness, identification with the object of our attention cannot coexist with a genuine awareness of it. Mind states are simply objects of attention absent of a (real) direct connection embedded in our sense of “self”, and our storyline of cognition.

The real liberating change experienced here is how we relate to our own states of mind- both in their impermanent and impersonal nature. Objects and events experienced directly in awareness have no real associative measure with regards to a separate “self”- they are sensed and perceived as they are. In this process of awakening, we see the images and projections of “self” as just that- separate from the direct experience of mind- and born of ego, and not necessarily of reality.

When a sense of “self” is constructed and perceived through the psyche (i.e. ego), we have a tendency to over-identify with the conditions creating it. Seeing states of mind simply as events of consciousness can liberate us from the conditional entanglements manifested and sustained by our ego-driven habits. With practice, the meditator and the observer ultimately falls away, and there is just awareness. There is no longer a vehicle for observing and seeing- it’s just observing and seeing. We, like the events within and around us are a contiguous process- arising and passing as in the same stream of reality. Reflect for a moment on a very telling Chinese poem from Li Po.


The birds have vanished into the sky,

And now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,

Until only the mountain remains.


The absence of a separate “self” leaves the canvas of awareness “empty” to behold the wonderment of truly seeing and being one with the unfolding experience- a palpable and contiguous process. Everything is interrelated, and we’re all conditions for one another. Look deeply into the mental formations of the world and see how they have manifested in the collective mind-body of our species, our environment, and our planet as a whole.

Seeing the impersonal and impermanent nature of events arising in and passing out of our awareness is a radical shift in consciousness. We have been conditioned to identify, label, and assimilate conditions into the construct of our ego-based “self”.

Thinking and notions of “self” are not necessarily the culprit of our suffering, but it is our attachment to the images they create that often underlies the distortion between the reality of our being and the cognition of our being. The phenomenology of ‘clear seeing’– events & objects of awareness- attunes & refines our inner capacity for observing & examining the dynamic nature of changing mind states without the personal attachment.