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MIDL 43/52: Remembering Awareness

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In MIDL Mindfulness Training 43/52 you change your focus from experiences that arise within the field of awareness, to the observation of awareness itself. To do this you withdraw your attention from external objects and become mindful of mindfulness itself by focussing on 'remembering to remember awareness'. Whenever you become distracted during mindfulness meditation it is because you have literally 'forgotten' what you are aware of. This gap of forgetting is then filled by your mind with your habitual patterns. To establish mindfulness 'remembering to remember' is cultivated. Submit Your Question

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Remembering Awareness

Your Question: Is This remembering of awareness the Same as “seeing” my focus. Sometimes steady And Sometimes all over. And is This “seeing” a state of mindfull(ness)

Stephen Procter: Awareness is the knowing quality present with any sense experience.

Awareness itself has a centre of focus, it can be wide or it can be narrow in the same way that eyesight has a centre of focus which can be wide or narrow. We can call this focus of awareness: attention.

Remembering awareness is the effort to remember where the present centre of attention is focused. This may be towards your chosen meditation object but this also may also be towards the verbal commentary or fantasy within your mind when attention has wandered. The centre of attention can shift habitually without us even noticing.

Mindfulness is the remembering to remember the awareness of the present experience.


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Remembering to Remember

Your Question: This last one about remembering remembering is quite difficult to understand. It takes a genuine effort to follow, understand and implement. I’m working on it with positivity. As in the past, efforts towards good things take time and don’t come always so easy.

Stephen Procter: In this mindfulness training the attention turns from being mindful of the object of meditation to being mindful of the experience of mindfulness itself. Another way of putting it is that your attention turns from observing external objects to observing the observing itself. This is a necessary step in mindfulness meditation.

The aspect of observing the effort to 'remember to remember' is the key here. While practicing mindfulness meditation we are always dealing with 'remembering' and 'forgetting'. For example we sit down in meditation and remember what we are experiencing now:

The experience of our body as it sits, the flow of the breath as it comes in and out. Occasional sounds, thoughts coming and going, the slight feeling of sleepiness. And then suddenly we realise that we have been completely lost within a memory of what happened yesterday for the past 5 minutes, totally enchanted by it. We literally had 'forgotten' our body, 'forgotten' the breath and even forgotten that we were meditating. This can even happen in a room full of people, we forget where we are and what we are doing, habit takes over.

This coming back to our experience of now, after being lost within the memory, is the arising of mindfulness. You sat down in meditation and were 'remembering' what you were doing, being continuously mindful of it, then you then forgot what you where doing and slipped into habitual thinking. Mindfulness arose within your mind pulling you out of the memory and you suddenly remembered what it was you were doing again. "I am sitting here meditating in this room".

This training of putting effort towards 'remembering to remember' your experience of now creates a continuity of mindfulness that increases the clarity of the transitions between 'remembering' and 'forgetting' as well increasing the continuity of mindfulness thereby lowering the periods of forgetting during seated meditation and daily life. The training itself is simply holding 'remembering' in mind.


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Stephen Procter:


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