Re: Self-Enquiry vs Open Awareness confusion
One must ask why attention to this 'I' is suggested? Well the second part of your question assists with an entry point to this whole matter.
Originally Posted by IntenseEffort
Finding what comes before I
When one arises from sleep , just before awaking there is a moment ( or moments pending the aspirant) when there is no 'I' nor is there sleep. This in-between/junction (saṁdhi1) time is the moment of pure awareness, some call 4th turīya (caturtha2). After this junction one comes to being awake and the 1st thing to rise is 'I'. The first thing that begins is 'I' for the day, before anything else.
So two things are occurring with this inspection of 'I'... one, you will come to find that 'I' cannot be found definitively. Second, you (your awareness) is inward facing and traveling closer and closer to pure awareness (turīya). We wish to be inward facing as a practice. We wish to come familuar with turīya and make this our 'normal' frame of reference. So, practicing this silence in the A.M. when one awakes, to experience ( not look) for this turīya, is a reasonable start. This turīya will be found between sleep then wake, between wake and sleep and between dream and sleep. It is there all the time, but is quite delicate, very simple and nothing that one grabs at. It is behind 'I'. Yet if you chase after it, the chase is being done with 'I' and therefore will keep this 4th aloof.
If you spend time with rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi's book, 'Talks with rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi' he reveals why this practice is done.
Remember, all practices are to remove obstacles or blemishes to one's Self. That is all that needs to be done. Self is there all the time, it never takes a vacation. It is not 'gained' as that is your Being already.
1. saṁdhi - a conjunction or transition from one to the other
2. caturtha - the 4th or 4th part; I use 'part' loosely, as it is not fractionated.
because you are identical with śiva