There is no I in Awareness

“Books about Buddhism always go on and on about ‘awareness’ and ‘mindfulness’.  But these ideas are easily misunderstood.  Being ‘mindful’ to most people, means bringing ‘me’ into the situation.  ‘I’ am mindfully reading this book.  This is a mistake…  In real mindfulness, book and reader disappear completely.  There is nothing to be aware of and no one to do it.  Awareness pervades everything, awareness itself is people and books, and the smell of burning tar, the songs of birds, and all the rest.”

— Brad Warner, from ‘Hardcore Zen’

Or as Chinese poet Li Po puts it:

“The birds have vanished in the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.”


About Kokuu

Novice Zen priest and haiku poet. I am a tea drinking father to three teenagers living in Kent, UK. I have a chronic illness and far too many books. Sometimes I grow plants.
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