I read that after careful mental noting of experience in mindfulness .One reaches a state of effortless effort and choiceless awareness .So I want clear out if awareness can direct itself without deciding or should it always be consciously directed ?.

For example what decides that now awareness has to be shifted from the breath to the body ?.If this decision is unconscious then it isn't wise .And if it's based only on information coming from the breath, then its not a well educated decision.

So shouldn't awareness be directed on "where should it be directed"?.

  • Are you asking about the doctrine of a specific school? You wrote, "I read that..." -- what are you reading?
    – ChrisW
    Apr 10, 2019 at 10:24
  • This may be a related topic (the question is about Zen, the accepted answer said it's general to Mahayana): Spontaneity in Zen
    – ChrisW
    Apr 10, 2019 at 10:26
  • No in Buddhism in general not a specific doctrine. Apr 10, 2019 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


Choiceless awareness is the awareness without "you"-the ego-self- involved(without your preferences, your life history, beliefs). You're fine with all of the options and you're in a total acceptence of whatever is the case. You're fine If "a" happens or "b" happens or "c" happens or none of them happens. And with that clear awareness you know what is the right thing to do. Without this clear awareness the choices would always be based on conditioning.

This kind of clear awareness is the continous experience in the high enlightenment stages, and it is temporary experiences for the good spiritual people. So it is better to not seek this kind of awareness because you can't immediately have this kind of awareness and live based on it but you can live in such a way(mindfully, spiritually) so you can temporarily have this kind of awareness time to time and eventually you can permanently have this awareness when you reach to the high enlightenment stages. And then even when you act based on your personal preferences, you would not act based on attachment or serious desires but kind of a "game". And you'll never attach to the form-ego reality again because you would have the permanent realization of the illusory nature of the self/ego which is not more real than a shadow.

  • Yes but my question is shouldn't there be some awareness on where awareness should go ?.Because if its spontaneous then its wise within the activity that I am aware of but going from one activity or one object to another doesn't seem educated unless awareness is directed to find out. Apr 11, 2019 at 8:52

If you get reasonably good at insight meditation, the mind will stop trying to fabricate a self or an entity from experiences and starts to see them for what they really are. The physical aspect and the mental aspect that bends towards it.

  • So you're trying to say that in insight meditation you are aware on more than once aspect of experience in the same moment .Which enables you to take a better decision? Apr 11, 2019 at 8:59
  • I think you're the closest to the answer but if you can elaborate. Apr 11, 2019 at 9:11
  • There is no 'you' in insight meditation. As the insight matures in the mind, the mental and physical aspects of experiences can clearly be observed. Apr 11, 2019 at 17:25
  • What is this 'insight meditation' all are speaking of? To my knowledge, Buddha rarely mentioned vipassana or samatha, let alone 'vipassana bhavana' or 'samatha bhavana'.
    – Val
    Apr 14, 2019 at 20:23
  • @Val there are probably several questions on this site answering your question. Repeating them here will only diverge the thread from OP's question Apr 14, 2019 at 21:33

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