When the impact of consciousness opens the ability to feel, and what is felt enters into the place of occurrence of consciousness, then the mind remains waking up or falling asleep even as the place of occurrence of consciousness shifts.
A friend writes, “It’s the shift part that in my understanding is more flow than what shift implies as a jolt or abrupt change.”
My use of shift (as in jolt or abrupt change) is intentional, even though in my practice it’s the absorption and ease I so often seek. Absorption and ease lends a feeling of continuity, but for me there’s a moment where I have to experience the mind of zazen, in contrast to my mind sitting zazen, and the mind of zazen can shift around without continuity. At least for me.
If I relinquish volition in action of the body while conscious and upright, and I accept that without volition I am falling, then I experience action out of the location of consciousness (and consciousness as singular with respect to location). In order to accept the feeling of falling without taking action, my state of mind must be literally like that of waking up or falling asleep; there’s a disconnect in those states between the occurrence of consciousness and physical action. If I attend to where consciousness is taking place, I can enter a state like that of waking up or falling asleep fairly readily.
A lot of folks have talked about the mind resting at the tan-t’ien, and they seem to be able to realize that mind pretty easily, so maybe a lot of folks skip the part I find so necessary. I don’t know. Resting in location for me is not resting at all, and yet it is effortless. If I find continuity, it is because what I feel starts to feed back into the location of consciousness; that’s what that sentence was about, but this is not really something I can do either.