Attention

May 25, 2013 Comments Off on Attention

Step One: Attention

The grand old man of the East who ordained me, Jnanaguru Yoganathan, Yogaswami of Jaffna, used to say time and time again, “It was all finished long ago.” It’s finished already. The whole mind is finished, all complete, in all stages of manifestation. Man’s individual awareness flows through the mind as the traveler trods the globe.

Now we come to the real study, and this applies right to you and to you personally: the five steps on the path of enlightenment. What are they? Attention, concentration, meditation, contemplation and Self Realization. Those are the five steps that awareness has to flow through, almost gaining strength each time, on the path to enlightenment. When we first start, awareness is flowing through many areas of the mind. And if it is a mature awareness, we will say it’s a great big ball of light, flowing through the mind. And if it’s not a mature awareness, it’s like a little ping-pong ball, bouncing around. The little ping-pong ball awareness is not going to walk the path of enlightenment, so to speak. It’s going to bobble around in the instinctive mind, incarnation after incarnation, until it grows to a great big ball, like a great big beach ball. Then finally it will have enough experiences flowing through the mind to turn in on itself. When this happens, certain faculties come into being. One of them is willpower. And we learn to hold attention. We learn to hold awareness at attention. Awareness: attention!

What is attention? Attention is the first of the five steps on the path, that is, holding awareness steady, centralized in only one area of the mind, and the area that we choose it to be in, not the area that someone else has chosen it to be in. Our awareness is moved around by other people through the mind at such a fast rate that we think we are moving awareness ourself, so to speak. That’s a funny way to talk because I’m saying we move awareness as if awareness is something else other than us. But awareness and energy and willpower are all the same thing. So, we will just call it awareness from here on out. When other people move awareness through one area or another, we call that distraction, or worldly distractions. The mission is to move awareness yourself. How do you learn to do that? Holding it at attention.

How does attention work? Attention is awareness poised like a hummingbird over a flower. It doesn’t move. The flower doesn’t move, and awareness becomes aware of the flower–poised. The entire nerve system of the physical body and the functions of breath have to be at a certain rhythm in order for awareness to remain poised like a hummingbird over a flower. Now, since the physical body and our breath have never really been disciplined in any way, we have to begin by breathing rhythmically and diaphragmatically, so that we breathe out the same number of counts as we breathe in. After we do this over a long period of time–and you can start now–then the body becomes trained, the external nerve system become trained, responds, and awareness is held at attention. – Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami,from:Merging with Siva

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