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Choiceless Awareness
Krishnamurti / Jiddu Krishnamurthy

To suspend judgment is difficult. To do so voluntarily, as a witness to one’s own thoughts, is the ‘methodless method’ called ‘mindfulness’ or ‘choiceless awareness’ that is used to achieve a meditative state. Choiceless Awareness is the closest there is to the stereotypical and uninformed impression that meditation is relaxation and letting go and doing nothing. Popularized by Jiddu Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher and educator, it is the state of being fully aware of the moment without awareness being focussed on any physical or mental image/object/meditation object. It is the state of pure contemplation.

Step 1:
Remind yourself that you exist here and now.

Nobody can live in the past or the future, even though your existence in this world is the sum total of many aspects of reality and experience such as physical makeup, your cultural, social and educational background, thought, emotion, future ambitions etc. The attempt should be to accept life as it exists in the present moment - no matter how banal or stressful, it is all that you have.

Step 2:
Be aware of the activities going on in and around you in the moment.
From obvious and hidden bodily processes to the numerous physical, chemical and biological changes that are occurring simultaneously in the world outside your skin, observe everything.

Step 3:
Start doing everything with awareness.
This may be distracting to do, as it is recommended to be remembered while doing the most mundane, routine things, such as drinking water or walking, such as what you experience when you swallow or how your hands move while you walk.

source . www.copperwiki.org


For a friend with problems.

To suspend judgment is difficult.

I think this is where in haiku the problem with personification comes in ... when we do NOT suspend judgement ...


Here is some advise on suspending judgement
from Isabelle Prondzynski for the haijin of Kenya.

I shall concentrate on just one thing, which is observation. The haiku poet (in Japanese : haijin) just stands back and observes. There is no judgement -- the poet does not tell the reader whether something is nice or awful, but describes accurately what is there, leaving the feelings to the reader.

For instance :

scorching son
and running cloud
bad morning

Here, we have a good observation (scorching sun and running cloud) followed by a judgment (bad morning). As the reader is not given any clue, she or he cannot know why the morning is bad. There is heat and there is running -- so perhaps the morning is bad because someone has
run away in a fit of hot anger? It is better to say so, for instance :

scorching sun
and running cloud --
my wife left me

It is for the reader to judge that this is indeed a bad morning.

dark clouds
moving to west

Here too, the haijin is making a judgement, stating that the clouds are moving uncertainly. My response would be, how does he know? What has he observed? Could it be this :

dark clouds
moving to the west --
first raindrops

The next one is this :

cold weather
over mountain tops --
too humid

The "too humid" is a judgement. Let the reader judge. The haijin will give the reader the facts.

cold weather
on the mountain tops --
falling mist

And here, we get into a judgement praising something nice :

a bright glow
of the flowers abroad
pleasant sight

This too needs to be said through observation rather than judgement :

bright glow
of the flowers outdoors --
my smiling face

And here is a sad one :

children eating
dusty cabbage leaves
sad morning

The reader does not know where the sadness is coming from. Is it the cabbage leaves? Too dusty or too few? Is it another problem which the children are experiencing? Is it a problem which the writer is experiencing? The haijin has to make sure that the reader can understand. Haiku is constantly asking us to look, listen, smell, touch and taste :

children eating
dusty cabbage leaves --
funeral day

It is a funeral day. No one is looking after the children. They eat what they can find. It is a sad day, and now we know why.

Observation is needed here too :

Soweto weather
and poverty together
may God help

The statement here is general. What a haiku needs is a keen observation of a small and particular scene, which makes the reader understand that there is a general point to be made too.

chilly morning
people wear sweater
feeling cold

This haijin has assumed that the people are feeling cold, but that is his own judgement, and he may not be right! The observation could be like this :

chilly morning --
my brother is racing around
with his new sweater

Greetings to you all, Isabelle.


. . . Read my Haiku Archives 2009


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