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Bill Danosky
04-01-2005, 08:40 AM
What does self awareness mean to you?

senshincenter
04-01-2005, 08:45 AM
To be cultivating an intimate relationship with Truth (with a capital "T").

Eric Webber
04-01-2005, 10:08 AM
Having a true and clear perception of myself in relation to others and the world around me, how I am influenced by others, and how I influence others in return.

Anders Bjonback
04-01-2005, 10:45 AM
It means that, like a flame that illuminates itself, the mind is conscious of itself. The self-aware mind is a subject that is debated about by Buddhists.
Take this example from a text, the Bodhicharyavatara, which refutes the Mind Only school, which believes that whatever we see is none other than the mind or substratum of consciousness itself, onto which we impose the duality of subject and object:

But if the mirage is the mind itself,
What, then is perceived by what?
The Guardian of the World [the Buddha] himself has said
That mind cannot be seen by mind.

In Just the same way, he has said,
The sword's edge cannot cut the sword.
'But,' you say, 'it's like the flame
That perfectly illuminates itself.'

The flame, in fact, can never light itself.
And why? Because the darkness never dims it!
'The blueness of a blue thing,' you will say,
'Depends, unlike a crystal, on no other thing.

'Likewise some perceptions
Come from other things, while some do not.'
But what is blue has never of itself imposed
A blueness on its non-blue self.

The phrase 'the lamp illuminates itself'
The mind can know and formulate.
But what is there to know and say
That 'mind is self-illuminating'

The mind, indeede, is never seen by anyone.
And, therefore, whether it can know, or cannot know itself
Is, like the beauty of a barren woman's daughter,
The subject of a pointless conversation.

'But if,' you ask, 'the mind is not self-knowing,
How does it remember what it knew?'
We say tht like the poison of the water rat,
It's from the link with outer things that memory occurs.

'In certain cases,' you will say, 'the mind
Can see the minds of others, how then not itself?'
But through the application of a magic balm,
The eye may see the treasure, but the salve it does not see.

bryce_montgomery
04-01-2005, 11:15 AM
What self?

Bryce

Kevin Leavitt
04-01-2005, 11:33 AM
to me it is more about the awareness of the world around you. Self only comes into play as how your actions influence or impact the world.

SeiserL
04-01-2005, 11:47 AM
IMHO, to be conscious that the learned mental construct of ego is more about my parents and culture than about me personally. Not identifying with my identity.

Anders Bjonback
04-01-2005, 11:38 PM
IMHO, to be conscious that the learned mental construct of ego is more about my parents and culture than about me personally. Not identifying with my identity.

that's a much better answer than mine

Don_Modesto
04-02-2005, 08:23 AM
What self?

LOL.

(Who's laughing?)

JAHsattva
04-04-2005, 01:27 PM
being responsible for your every action.

Mark Bilson
04-11-2005, 11:49 PM
To be self aware means that you have been awakened to the fact that there is no self, no "you".

Mark Bilson
www.roleystoneaiki.com

RonRagusa
04-12-2005, 04:13 AM
LOL.

(Who's laughing?)

That's funny. :)

Ketsan
04-12-2005, 04:18 AM
Being aware of your own thoughts, feelings and actions and also your motivations for them.

Adrian Price
04-12-2005, 05:42 AM
To know that the person looking back at you in the mirror, is someone you like and and would feel priveledged to call a friend.

bryce_montgomery
04-12-2005, 08:54 AM
To be self aware means that you have been awakened to the fact that there is no self, no "you".

Mark Bilson

Thanks Mark.

Bryce

AaronFrancher
04-12-2005, 09:08 PM
Self awareness is a natural trait that can be honed and sharpened in order to 'sense' things what may affect you. In that, if it doesn't belong there, it may or may not stay there for very long. Such as a person's presence, or a sudden shifting in the enviroment/within our own bodies. Naturally, It allows a person to react to whatever happens and maybe intercept the occurance before it's complete. (probably badly worded...but i'm kind of busy at the moment)

Yokaze
04-12-2005, 10:29 PM
To be able to examine your thoughts, actions and emotions in an objective way, and make decisions in this way.

Aiki.Ronin
04-14-2005, 10:41 AM
To look up from one's feet to see the road ahead.

To look up from one's feet to see the world behind.

To look at one's feet and know they are one's feet.

John Boswell
04-14-2005, 01:06 PM
To be self aware means that you have been awakened to the fact that there is no self, no "you".

Mark Bilson
www.roleystoneaiki.com

Could you explain this? or link me to where you got this?

Thanks

Mark Bilson
04-14-2005, 07:42 PM
John,
My own personal experience. It is the result of my search for the essence of Aikido: Takemusu Aiki.

Cheers
Mark Bilson
http://www.roleystoneaiki.com

Devin McDowell
04-15-2005, 03:14 PM
Could you explain this? or link me to where you got this?

Thanks
It sounds like the buddhist view of the self, something non-existant.

John Boswell
04-15-2005, 03:50 PM
It sounds like the buddhist view of the self, something non-existant.

Interesting.

Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that self-awareness is the very opposite of "no self" = Self.

Not saying anyone is right or wrong, just what I have found.

WHEN I found it is rather interesting, and very personal. I can't go into details, but I will say that I was contemplating the completion of a task. Many others before me, that had finished this same task, often shared that they had found "their true self" and finally knew who they were... what they were. But when I finished, I felt no such thing... and it slapped everything I held to be true right in the face.

I was firmly grounded in the idea (and this is going to sound trite) that," I am a nice guy." That's it. That's me. But... I started out this journey already knowing that!

So... if I already knew it, who and what I was, what was I supposed to gain from my recent experience? What was I supposed to take away from all of this?

Acknowledgement.

While I sat and pouted and pondered, I was told by a very powerful friend... that I was right. I knew it all along.

" I am a nice guy." Didn't have to be any more complicated than that. And oh my GOD what a relief it was!! It truly was.

SO... now that I've befuddled and confused the hell out of everything here on this thread, I can grant that you believe one thing: " No self " At the same time, I would contend that knowledge of " Self " is self awareness. Not the body... Not the mind... JUST You, and not the baggage that human beings have been dragging along for eons.

Self Awareness is ... Awareness of Self.

Sounds simple... but it is anything but that.

2 more cents... :D

SeiserL
04-16-2005, 01:26 PM
Okay, but which "self" are you aware of? The physical self or body? The mental psychological self, or mind? The social self, or role? Or the spiritual self?

Mark Bilson
04-16-2005, 06:43 PM
Lyn
There is only 1 True Self and it is beyond thought, ego, beliefs and philosophy. It cannot be realised through or by the mind.

Cheers

Mark Bilson
http://www.roleystoneaiki.com

SeiserL
04-17-2005, 10:50 AM
There is only 1 True Self and it is beyond thought, ego, beliefs and philosophy. It cannot be realised through or by the mind.
And which is the self that thinks they know this and by what means do they think they know it? As long is there is self, there is separation. LOL (just messing with ya)

Pauliina Lievonen
04-17-2005, 11:33 AM
Okay, but which "self" are you aware of? The physical self or body? The mental psychological self, or mind? The social self, or role? Or the spiritual self?

There's a quote by Walter Carrington, an Alexander teacher trained by F.M.Alexander (an A.T: "shihan" I like to think :) ) that I love, and couldn't find now, where he's talking about your Self and then clarifies that he means the physical, spiritual, emotional, mental and whatever else you want to include into it self. :D

So I'd like to think that self awareness is awareness of myself as a whole. That includes a whole lotta stuff...

kvaak
Pauliina

Mark Bilson
04-17-2005, 07:54 PM
Lynn
Self is all there is. No seperation, only connection. No duality only oneness.

Cheers
Mark Bilson
[URL=http://www.roleystoneaiki.com]

SeiserL
04-18-2005, 03:27 PM
Self is all there is. No seperation, only connection. No duality only oneness.
We may just be talking semantics here, but IMHO, self implies a separation or distinction from other, or a duality. Even awareness implies a separation of one who is aware and what one is aware of.

Mark Bilson
04-18-2005, 10:37 PM
Lynn,
Your starting point originates with dualistic thought patterns from a position of imagined seperation. There is no "other". Only conscious awareness. This is the essence of Aikido. Understand this essence and you will be transformed. O'Sensei said to Robert Nadeau "if you knew what I knew you would be as good as me in 3 months". Aiki is a state of consciousness. An awareness that is beyond mind and thought.......

"I asked questions to myself and then understood. I have the universe inside me. Everything is in me. I am the universe itself so there is no me. Moreover, since I am the universe there is only me and no other" O'Sensei (Takemusu Aiki: Aikido journal #116)

In that realm of consciousness there is no such thing as an attack or defence, winning or losing, only harmony with what is. No duality, no seperation, only connection.

Cheers
Mark Bilson
www.roleystoneaiki.com

RonRagusa
04-19-2005, 08:04 PM
...self implies a separation or distinction from other, or a duality. Even awareness implies a separation of one who is aware and what one is aware of.
Is an eddy in the river or of the river? Is it distinguished from the river in any fundamental way other than my perception of it? If the configuration of the river changes and the eddy disappears has something been taken from the river; is the river lessened by the disappearance of the eddy? I am like that eddy; a temporary arrangement of matter/energy of the continuum. I come into existence and, after a time, cease to be and become another arrangement. The universe is not increased by my appearance nor lessened by my absence.

Self awareness allows me to ponder the larger totality of being around me but in no way separates me from it. For there to be a real distinction a boundary must exist. Where is the boundary that separates me from the universe? Can it be perceived, measured, touched or otherwise empirically proved? Does it have an effect on my surroundings so that it's existence may be inferred from the measurable behavior of other objects? If not then the implication of a "separation or distinction from other" cannot be a boundary in actuality. It must arise from something else.

The equating of self awareness and separation is learned. I have to be taught to differentiate myself from the universe, to individualize. Having learned this lesson has led to my perceived isolation from the universe. The road of Aikido is my path to reintegration with the universe.

All that makes me "me" is drawn to and concentrated at my center. The study of Aikido has taught me this on both intellectual and visceral levels. The truth of this can be felt on the mat during practice when the duality of uke and nage merge to unity.

Self awareness gives me the ability to choose how I will view my own existence in relation to the universe. I can opt to be integrated or separated. The important point is that the option is mine to choose.

SeiserL
04-20-2005, 08:07 AM
Is an eddy in the river or of the river?
But is an eddy aware that its an eddy?

I agree with all that has been said about the importance of self-awareness and the benefits of it.

All I am saying is notice in all of our posts how many "I", "me", "it", and "self" are used as separate distinctions. IMHO, in finding the "true self" we lose the "self".

Words are never very adequate for this subject. My hunch is we are all saying the same thing, but what we are saying does not lend itself to words.

Thank you all for the stimulating discussion.

John Boswell
04-21-2005, 11:06 AM
But is an eddy aware that its an eddy?

I agree with all that has been said about the importance of self-awareness and the benefits of it.

All I am saying is notice in all of our posts how many "I", "me", "it", and "self" are used as separate distinctions. IMHO, in finding the "true self" we lose the "self".

Words are never very adequate for this subject. My hunch is we are all saying the same thing, but what we are saying does not lend itself to words.

Thank you all for the stimulating discussion.

It was an interesting quote, earlier, about what O'Sensei said to Robert Nadeau Sensei. I'm going to think on that.

As for your point, Lynn, of "I" , "me" , "it" and "self" all being seperate and distinct, I can see how perhaps others might be doing such. But "I" believe in "my" own case... when "I" am refereing to "me"... it's just me.

The mind controls the body and gets it to do what we want it to. Through voluntary and involuntary actions, I'm typing right now, reading and comprehending what is on the screen and hitting the "backspace" button whenever my body gets off the tracks from my thoughts. Thoughts are the concepts that my mind reads and interpretes and deals with them however is appropriate.

The problem is the relation of Self with the Mind and Body. See, "I" know what the technique is that I want to do. I've done them a number of times before. Not a problem. But now, the mind is trying to process this thought of a technique. If Sensei shows us a whole new way of doing a technique (and that has been happening a lot here lately) then my mind has to rework that concept and communicate it to the body to move. Now THERE is a really BIG problem...

My body sucks! LOL :p My knees are in poor shape, I'm recovering from a shoulder injury, I'm over-weight and have zero endurance... lots of problems. So now I have this broken body telling my mind all the problems it is having, the mind trying to re-grasp how the hell to do Ikkyo as it is no longer what it was 8 months ago... and ME, "Self" watching this symphony of chaos go straight to hell!

There is only one Self: it is Me, it is I and it is the being talking to you right this moment. The problem is everything Self has to communicate THROUGH to get Self's thoughts onto the keyboard in order to communicate MY thoughts.

True Self = One Self

But True Self has to communicate via imperfect tools (i.e. Mind and Body) and there in lies the confusion and problem)

In the movie, Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, one of the characters said "No mind"... that is what he was refering to: blow off all the garbage the mind and body are telling you and just DO it.

Easier said than done. ;)

SeiserL
04-21-2005, 10:27 PM
In the movie, Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, one of the characters said "No mind"... that is what he was refering to: blow off all the garbage the mind and body are telling you and just DO it. Easier said than done. ;)
No mind, no self?
No mind, true self?

John Boswell
04-22-2005, 03:12 PM
No mind, True Self.

That's how I see it. Can you agree that You are not your body? and not the mind? That which is left is You... true self. That's the "soul" or "spirit" that we are all trying to reach and act from soley (souly? ;))

Anyhow... 2 more cents!
(I'm goin' broke!) :D

RonRagusa
04-22-2005, 03:21 PM
I am more
than what I am.
There is something that is me
that is not made of me
but exists
beyond the limits of my being.

SeiserL
04-22-2005, 09:12 PM
I am not my body.
I am not my mind.
I am not.

RonRagusa
04-22-2005, 09:29 PM
I am not my body.
I am not my mind.
I am not.
You are not.
I am.
Together
are we not
two sides of the same coin?
And is this not
how Aiki arises?

John Boswell
04-23-2005, 08:50 AM
I am not my body.
I am not my mind.
I am not.

I finally realized why I have such an issue with statements such as this. "I am not." seems to communicate a devaluization of self, that we are nothing and worthy of nothing and have the value... of nothing. But there is a value to Life, so I fight back. But the Void that O'Sensei speaks of blending with... that is the "nothing" to which we all are "not."

Hard to explain, but I think I understand better what you are saying.

SeiserL
04-23-2005, 06:50 PM
But the Void that O'Sensei speaks of blending with... that is the "nothing" to which we all are "not."
Nothing, void?
No thing, without separate distinction?

bryce_montgomery
04-26-2005, 09:30 AM
I finally realized why I have such an issue with statements such as this. "I am not." seems to communicate a devaluization of self, that we are nothing and worthy of nothing and have the value... of nothing. But there is a value to Life, so I fight back. But the Void that O'Sensei speaks of blending with... that is the "nothing" to which we all are "not."

Hard to explain, but I think I understand better what you are saying.

If everything is nothing...doesn't that make nothing, everything...and therefore very important?...

Bryce

John Boswell
04-26-2005, 12:25 PM
If everything is nothing...doesn't that make nothing, everything...and therefore very important?...

Bryce

HA HA! Very interesting, Mr. Montgomery! :D

But doesn't that also mean that nothing is important, therefore everything is unimportant?!

Anyone else feel like they are climbing up M.C. Eischer's stairs? http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/recogn-bmp/LW435.jpg

MikeLogan
04-26-2005, 01:31 PM
Just to chime in with my bit of the "OM"

the line that is in my head right now says:

To be aware of the world must originate from some singular point, one's self

The next thought:

Perhaps to be actively aware of your self may be to ignore aspects of the world normally observed in a fully aware state?

And the last thought:

To be aware of the self at the cost of being aware of the world in any way may (or must?) detract from the aforementioned locus of the self.

So what I am seeing is that the self exists to its fullest extent when it is aware of more than itself, and to focus on the self may deflate the truest existence of that self.

This is not to say that being aware of one's intelligence is opposed to this, that is a step in the right direction. While many of us may be aware of our being in the world, not many of us participate fully on a round the clock basis. I sure don't, but I'm trying. :p

Nice thread!

michael

MikeLogan
04-26-2005, 01:36 PM
Oh, and while the idea behind "No Mind" in Last Samurai may be easier thought than done, if I ever hear someone say that to me on the mat again, I may very well lose my mind, and my membership in one fell swoop...

wahoo,

michael.

bryce_montgomery
04-27-2005, 11:20 AM
HA HA! Very interesting, Mr. Montgomery! :D

But doesn't that also mean that nothing is important, therefore everything is unimportant?!

Anyone else feel like they are climbing up M.C. Eischer's stairs? http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/recogn-bmp/LW435.jpg

And everything is unimportant while nothing is important, making everything and nothing the same thing..."One with the universe"...

And yeah, the stairs keep getting longer...and more screwed up...

Bryce

malc anderson
05-07-2005, 04:16 AM
Hi ya Every One, what a lot of different and yet similar ideas have been put forward. To me self-awareness is to shut down all physical and mental processes to experience the silence that is not quiet, to see with the eyes closed the inner light, the essence of all to experience KENSHO. Only when one has experienced this, can one KNOW what we are. Then self-awareness becomes the practice of being conscious of that inner experience and not the humdrum thoughts that pepper us all day long. It’s not to be found in any religious or philosophical treatise just as a road sign pointing to a destination is not the destination it self. It is not only to be found by MA practitioners but any one who has breath and a longing to know, they could be and are blind, deaf, dumb, wheel chair bound, one arm, no arms,etc, because Kensho is beyond the physical world. The door way lies inside. As Socrates said ‘Know thy self ‘

‘Foster and polish the Warrior Spirit while serving in the world. Illuminate the path according to your INNER LIGHT.’ All the best Malc

feck
05-09-2005, 04:05 PM
Too be still in any given moment..., and know, that your there.

feck

Mark Uttech
06-04-2005, 03:43 PM
When you become self-aware, you will stop slamming doors.

John Boswell
06-07-2005, 03:40 PM
When you become self-aware, you will stop slamming doors.

I like it. :cool: