Be Here Now [VIII]

Q.: I still have doubts whether one can do anything to be aware.

Bhikkhu: We cannot control anything. You cannot control seeing or hearing. You don't know what you are going to hear next, or whether you are even going to hear. Could one become blind and deaf now? We can't control anything in life. Could one make oneself angry now? If so, it is because there are conditions for it. If somebody would tell others that they should be angry now, perhaps not everybody could be angry. They might try, but it might not be possible. Some people may just laugh, others may be aware. It is not only awareness you can't control. We cannot even control wrong practice. One may take wrong practice for the right practice, and one would like to have more of it than conditions allow. We can't control anything. But with right understanding there can be more awareness. If we listen to true Dhamma in the right way, over and over again, with right attention, and learn to be aware little by little, right understanding develops.

There are ways for everything to happen by conditions. We are more familiar with attachment or anger. But who is familiar with awareness yet? It has to be developed. It is easy to have attachment, but it is difficult to be aware, awareness is not the object of attachment.

Whenever awareness arises it is being developed. Right understanding develops little by little, when there is infinite patience. You can't be patient because you want to be, but with right understanding patience will take care of itself, when the right conditions are present, and not when the right conditions are not present. If there are not the right conditions for awareness that explains why we do not have awareness. And if there are the right conditions that explains why there is awareness. We should never forget that awareness is not self, we should not take the credit for it. If we are attached to awareness and think that we made it arise, then there is no end to our troubles, no end to the cycle of birth and death. Awareness is anatta. It is of no use to be attached to it, cling to it or to be proud of ourselves for having awareness. One has to be aware of awareness too.

Topic 54