Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

Examine the Nature of Awareness is about turning your attention inwards to notice who is aware of your experience. When you try to catch yourself seeing or thinking or feeling, ‘you’ disappear. All you find is awareness itself.

When you’re distracted and your mind is filled with too many thoughts, it can be hard to concentrate. Instead of getting caught up in the noise, take a step back and focus on your awareness instead. This is a great way to clear your mind and turn your attention towards your writing rather than what’s distracting you. Your writing prompt this weekend is:

Write mindfully in your journal and watch how the words come into your awareness as you write them down. Do you decide what to say or do the words just appear?

More in the book: Free Your Pen: Mind Training for Writers


2 thoughts on “Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

  1. hi, Jessica,

    I appreciate your blog!

    I want to make a distinction between allowing “free association” and resting one’s mind in rigpa (pristine awareness, emptiness, shunyata, absolute truth, true nature of mind).

    The state of mind one gets into–like being in a trance or experiencing personal, transcendental openness–to allow for “free association,” or “automatic writing” or any of a dozen other situations to occur, is NOT the same as being in one of the states of being which are experiencing oneness itself, also known as “suchness,” “thusness” and “beingness.”

    Just as dzogchen practices are not the same as vipassana or shamatha practices, but one can be in those states/utilize those practices as routes to rigpa, meditations or states of openness/ spaciousness can be experienced either dually or as oneness.

    Many can confuse them.

    Best to you all,

    Sally Ember, Ed.D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – in lojong practice there’s a difference between examining the nature of awareness and resting in awareness. Slogan 3 asks you to look into awareness to see how it works in action, as it were. Then in slogan 5 you simply rest in awareness. Hopefully I made the distinction clear in the book, but thanks for mentioning it.



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