Just be aware

Acharn Sujin reminded us time and again: "Just be aware of any reality which appears." We were wondering whether this could be applied at any time. Awareness of the present moment is so difficult and would it therefore not be better to develop first other kinds of kusala and later on satipatthana? We are always trying to judge what we should or shouldn’t do. We want to make good use of our life and we are trying to reach conclusions about the way we spend it. Bhante Dhammadharo said:
“Why does one judge whether one spends one’s life well? Really, it should be: ‘Am I learning about myself?’ If one always thinks in ‘wholes’ and of ‘the whole situation’ one has an image or picture of how one should be living. This is unrealistic and it takes us away from knowing this moment. This way of thinking is unavoidable, we can’t help it, but it is good to know we are doing it and we should realize that it is only nama. We always want to come to conclusions about ourselves, about what we are doing, by thinking, and we forget sati. Sati is the opposite of this clinging to reach conclusions.”
When we hear the words, "Just be aware" it may seem like an over- simplification of life, but in fact it is the answer to all our problems and worries about how we should be living. A moment of right understanding of the reality which appears is more effective than all our planning and thinking because then detachment from the self is being developed. We may hear the words "Just be aware", but if there is no "follow up" we cannot find out whether or not it is true that satipatthana conditions one to think more often of others and to be less selfish. It will take a long time of developing satipatthana before there can be detachment from the self. However, those who have attained enlightenment have proven that right understanding conditions all kinds of kusala. The sotapanna has eradicated the wrong view of self and also all stinginess. He has pure generosity without any notion of self who is generous. In order to attain enlightenment he had to develop the perfection of dana and all the other perfections along with satipatthana.

Topic 247