Types of awareness

05 Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of a series of teachings given during a retreat based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice given at Sravasti Abbey.

  • Remembering the kindness of those who harm us
  • Seven types of awareness
  • Reliable cognizers and unreliable awarenesses
  • Four types of reliable cognizers from Chandrakirti

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 05: Types of awareness (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Why is it important to recognize the kindness of others, particularly those who have harmed you? Spend some time with this: bring to mind people with whom you disagree or are angry, people who have harmed you or others in the world. In what ways have you benefited from their kindness? How does training your mind to think in this way benefit you and others? How does it help you grow in your spiritual practice?
  2. What is the purpose of learning epistemology and logical reasoning in Buddhist practice?
  3. What are the seven types of awareness? Make examples of each.
  4. As you go about your day, observe the world around you: What is a direct perceiver? What is an inference? What is a subsequent cognizer? What is correct assumption? What is inattentive awareness? What is deluded doubt? What is wrong consciousness? Pay attention to how these types of awareness influence how you experience the world as you practice identifying them.
  5. What are the four types of reliable cognizers? Make examples of each.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.