Phap Hien was a Vietnamese Zen master. He lived in the late 5th century and early the 6th century. When he was a young monk at the Phap Van Temple he met Vinitaruci (?-594) who was one of the successors of Seng-tsan, the Third Patriarch...
CHOICE & CHOICELESS AWARENESS
When one comes into being on this earth, he is already in condition. Whatever he got in hand he might think that his choice at will. Is this correct? The d.o.m. doubts this.
On the other hand, when does one have to make a choice?
He got to do so when there are at least two things, two objects or more... that he thinks that this one is better than that one or this one is more beautiful than that one. And he likes this one more than that one, he dislikes that one because it is uglier or worse than this one, at least according to his own standard but usually he got it from others or from tradition.
In short, a choice is a comparison between two or more against each other, and comparison is one of the activities of the self in confusion. Hence, it is always conditioned, not of freedom.
If it is so, can man un-condition himself when he lives on this earth?
Awareness is a state of the mind that is aware of things and beings around him, meanwhile, 'choice-less' implies 'without choice', without comparison, without liking or disliking, without love or hate,... without any standard set up for anything that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch or think. This state of mind is very dynamic, sensitive, new and fresh, not limited by anything we perceive, it contacts things directly.
Choice-less awareness or attention should not be mistaken for concentration.
Awareness perceives beautiful things as well as ugly things but does not possess any or throw it away.
With awareness, one can see a lot of 'new' things along the road he walks everyday but he did not see when was not aware of them. It comes to things or beings with care and leaves them without bondage.
Also, it is like when one looks at a great green forest or a vastly blue ocean or an immensely blue sky...he appreciates deeply their beauty but does not even think of taking it home for himself.
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