In "The Sublime Attitudes" the word "release" appears multiple times.

What is meant by "awareness-release"?
What is meant by "release of awareness"?
Do both have the same meaning?

Do they mean escape? As in, from becoming aware, I am released (from something).
Do they mean potential attention (awareness), become manifest?
Both, neither?

Twice in the sutta the translator uses the phrase "no higher release" (without the word awareness). Is this significant?


  • what is the sublime attitudes text? is it theravada?
    – user24442
    Dec 15, 2022 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


There's a different translation of this sutta available on SuttaCentral.

There you can enable a line by line Pali transliteration and find the word used in the original text.

That word is 'cetovimutti', a synonym of Enlightenment or Liberation that's usually translated as liberation of heart or release of awareness or deliverance of mind etc. Here 'ceto' is 'citta', the mind-heart-consciousness, and 'vimutti' is 'vimukti' - liberation, independence, emancipation etc.

This refers to the culmination of the Buddhist path that follows the ending of defilements (greed, aversion, delusion) and transcendence of any and all conceptual ground.


If you'd like a Zen perspective, then I wrote you this little koan within a koan to capture the essence of awareness release...

A zen student came to visit his master with an answer to the koan, 'what is the box that captures all space?"

The student walked into the master's room, and the master said, "close the door", to which the student immediately replied with, "you mean seal the hole in the wall?"

They both looked at each other and laughed!

In that moment, the student became a zen master.

If you’re that way inclined, it's about looking at the nature of space, but looking so deeply with a zen-like attitude, that space is seen as a perception, leading to the One space as having no dimensions at all. In all the ways it is seen to be captured, typically rooms, it is the same One space no matter where you are.

This could be understood as awareness release and in many Zen traditions, the infamous circular paint stroke is synonymous with awareness release. It is called Enso. In fact, the Shinjinmei text describes it as a circle like vast space, lacking nothing, nothing in excess.

I could go on and on with zen stuff, but zen is better as a short, sharp shock.


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