Permalink for Comment #1377480731 by andrewrose

, comment by andrewrose
andrewrose @Hammy

Discriminating awareness is the clarity and power of our ability to discern distinctions. Superficial and automatic discrimination is often seen as the adversary of spiritual self-cultivation but it is also true that our own development depends on our ability to insightfully distinguish between more and less useful choices. Clarity on our values is the same as being better at comparing and contrasting elements of reality.

Our reactions are typically to a "mass" of some kind -- whether it is another person, an idea, a political party, an emotion. When we practice the analysis of any one of these entities into its constituent parts it is like chewing our food so that we can digest it.

Zen was anciently described "direct contemplation of the mind-essence". However a split exists within Zen about what the essence-of-mind is. Some people envision it as an empty spaciousness or background. It is the sky and the thoughts are the clouds. However from an operational standpoint the essence of mind is the root-activity of awareness. And that is discrimination. Awareness appears as a comparison or distinction. We only "know" by juxtaposition to a context or frame. Every act of consciousness is an experience of a relationship. Thus the contemplation of the mind-essence suggests meditative investigation into the very nature and act of the most primal differentiation.

Or in other words:

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