without judging or criticising, but just noticing - Ajahn Sumedho

"...without judging or criticising, but just noticing, 'It's like this', accepting, allowing things to be what they are, rather than always trying to change or control them.."

With sakkaya-ditthi, self-view, we're always judging our lust, and our anger, hatred, aversion and fear, and making them very personal. But now we can look at them for what they are. They're energies, they're a part of being human, of having a human body and being in a sensitive and vulnerable space. We begin to see and understand the nature of lust, greed, anger, hatred and delusion, because we have taken the sakkaya-ditthi, the self-view out of it, the attachment to it on a personal level. We see that these energies arise and cease according to conditions. They are not a personal identity. Our refuge is in awareness rather than in judging these energies that we're experiencing..They arise and cease just like everything else. Anger and hatred arise and cease. When the conditions for anger arise, it's like this; likewise fear, the primal emotion of the animal realm. But the awareness of lust and greed, the awareness of anger, the awareness of hatred and fear, that is your refuge. Your refuge is in the awareness.

Avijja is the Pali word for spiritual ignorance. It means not knowing the Four Noble Truths. In the investigation of the Four Noble Truths, avijja ceases. Awareness, the awakened state, takes you out of ignorance immediately, if you'll trust it. As soon as you are aware, ignorance is gone. So then, when ignorance arises, you can be aware of it as something coming and going, rather than taking it personally or assuming that you're always ignorant until you become enlightened. If you're always operating from the assumption that 'I'm ignorant and I've got to practise in order to get rid of ignorance,' then grasp that assumption, you're stuck with that until you see through the grasping of that view.

So I encourage you to develop this simple immanent ability. It doesn't seem like anything. It's not an attainment. Maybe you conceive of it as an attainment, and so think you can't do it. But even if you can't do it, be aware of the view that you can't do it. Trust in whatever is going on. So I recommend that you trust in the immediacy, to give enough attention, which is not an aggressive wilfulness, but a relaxed openness, a listening and a resting. More and more through practice you recognise it, rather than pass it by or overlook it all the time.

By Ven. Ajahn Sumedho