In the most simple way, it is seeing clearly that we are never separate from life, from source. And in this seeing you recognize that you are life itself. You may call it life, source, oneness it simply does not matter, it has no names. It is seeing life beyond personal perspective. And then what you see is Truth as it always and already is.
It is the underlying power that causes experiencing. You are looking at something but your attention is involved in listening to someone, in this example even if seeing is happening but it’s not been registered in mind as an experience because of lack of attention. So effectively you will only listen because you are absent from looking. So attention is synonyms to myself, the self that we are generally aware of. You are present where your attention is.
How does it affect our life?
Generally our life is nothing but collection of experiences, until we know the experiencer, our true self. Any experience touched by your attention, is added to the pool of your experiences. So effectively your life is created by the movements of attention and it would be very significant to have some understanding of the power of attention.
So, is it possible to control my attention?
Attention is triggered by our interests. Our attention goes to the objects/experiences that we are interested in. And by purifying your interests or desires you can effectively control your attention. Desires can be purified by exposing them under the light of your introspection. When a desire is exposed, the non-essential part of it falls away and only essential desire remains. So if you want to control attention, go deep into your desires.
True power of attention
The power of attention is not limited to experiencing the objective reality. By objective reality I mean anything that can be experienced. The true power of attention lies in moving towards the source of attention, that is it’s real power. When the attention moves out from the source, experiences happen. But when attention comes to the source of attention, then recognition happens, recognition of truth, recognition of our true self.
How we are missing this moment?
We are missing this moment by not being present in it fully. This is mainly because of our constant engagement in our mind, either in memory or in imaginations. And this is not accidental that most of us are continually engaged in our mind, there must be some significant reason behind it. The reason is that we are taking ourself to be someone existing in mind only, so we need to constantly refer to the mind. This way mind is our world and we rarely experience the reality of life, which is essentially outside of the mind. Mind is capable of storing only image of the real experience, it does not have capacity of experiencing it. So normally what we call our experience is going through the image of the real experience in the mind, we are never face to face with life.
Real life is most dangerous place and most safe too. Dangerous because everything is changing constantly so you cannot hold on to anything; safe because the one who is seeing everything changing is always constant. This seer of everything, your true self, is the only constant thing in life. But because we are not able to see the unchanging seer in the constantly changing life, we become afraid of real life and afraid of any type of changes. This constant seer is always present and can be discovered in the present moment.
How to come back to this moment?
One clue is that find out what is constant in you. This is common sense that to experience changes there need to be someone constant who is not changing. So if you find what is in you that does not change in any situation, you will reach to your true self.
Another clue is that find out who is the experiencer of everything. Through this exercise your attention will move from the ever changing life to the never changing seer of it. The experiencer of life is one so it doesn’t matter which experience you choose, you will essentially reach to the same experiencer.
– Asking yourself ‘who am I?’
– Asking yourself ‘what am I?’
– Asking yourself ‘do I exist?’
– Finding the one who is suffering
– Finding the experiencer
– Finding the receiver of all experiences
If this method is not practiced correctly, it may becomes a mental process and may result in stress. Here are some pointers to help using this method effectively. Don’t use all the pointers at a time, choose correct ones based on the version of self-enquiry you are practicing.
Sensing yourself, not seeing yourself
It is almost like using your power of sensing/feeling when you are in a dark room where there is no way to see anything directly. So put your efforts in sensing or feeling. If you try to see yourself in the conventional way, mind will divide itself into two parts, one the seer and other the seen. And it will create lot of stress.
Bring your attention at the place, where you are seeing from
When we start asking questions about self, mind starts giving answers in different forms, like thoughts, feelings, experiences etc. And it can keep you engaged for long time. To avoid such things, don’t focus on what you see but focus on the place from where the seeing is taking place. You may feel some restlessness but if you continually keep your focus on this place from where the seeing is taking place, very soon you will start relaxing in your true self.
Focus on the sense of existence within the body-mind
There is a natural sense of existence within each one of us. Just focus on this sense of existence. Just feel it and keep feeling it, very soon it will start giving beautiful results. You will start feeling naturally relaxed and happy, without any efforts at your end. But don’t try to see this sense of existence otherwise it may become very stressful.
Don’t s —-
Don’t try to ‘see’ yourself. What you see will automatically make it seen and you the seer
So it means you can never see yourself in a conventional way because whatever you can see will move you one step deeper than what you are seeing. But there is a natural awareness of the self that arises effortlessly once you are relaxed in the true self.
Don’t try to search yourself rather explore yourself
The fact that you are interested in knowing yourself is enough evidence that you already are. You don’t have to create yourself or grow yourself. Your true self is already present within, you just need to explore it.
Don’t think or imagine about yourself
Thinking and imagining about something is always ‘About’ something, its not that thing itself. Its like word Mango, which tells you a lot about a fruit but still its not the fruit itself and cannot give you taste of Mango. And here also we are trying to know the thinker and so we cannot know it within the box of thinking. The thinker is always outside the scope of thinking.
Don’t bother about mind being present or absent, empty or full, mind or no-mind.
Just don’t mind. These are all just words at this point of time, when you are trying to know yourself. And when you know yourself, then also they are just words. But if you start caring about such concepts then your mind can keep you busy for long and away from self discovery.