Relaxed Attention, Free Attention and The Sleeping State


Relaxed Attention, Free Attention and The Sleeping State

Adi Da Samraj, a talk, 1990

You must go beyond the limitations… of the interior. Ultimately you must go beyond bare attention, which is the state in sleep.”

Beezone edit


DEVOTEE: When You were talking about it, at one point You were describing being able to know that you’re in the Witness-Position instead of being deluded or deceived by merely observing it.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Right. Mm-hm.

DEVOTEE: You described one of the ways of knowing that when You were describing something about coming out of the sleep state, or being sort of half in the sleep and walking state.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Well, I was talking about sometimes when people are sleeping, and if they get up the next morning, they say they slept soundly, but were available to be aware of things in their physical environment at the same time. When they are sleeping you can ask them a question, they’ll just answer you right back. But if nobody had said anything to them during their sleep when they woke up the next morning they wouldn’t realize the awareness of their physical environment while sleeping.


ADI DA SAMRAJ: So you can presume, in other words, that you’re in one state when you’re really in another. So just simply relaxed attention, not really going anywhere, can feel something like the Witness. But its actually a point of concentration. The Witness is not a point of concentration. It stands Prior to the body-mind, Prior to attention itself. If you notice the act of attention, you feel where you are. So effectively, then, the way to the “Perfect Practice” is through the sleep state. You must go beyond the limitations of the waking state and the limitations of the interior. Ultimately you must go beyond bare attention, which is the state in sleep.

And another thing we discussed last evening is that, paradoxically, you are in all three states when you’re in the waking state. At the same time you’re physically aware, aware of physical relations and such, there’s an interior process, not just intentional thinking, but also the kind of reverie that goes on. The same time you’re looking at Me, sometimes images arise, there are thoughts. So there’s a kind of dream life that you participate in simultaneous with the waking state. But also you’re asleep all the time. Instead of putting your attention now on thoughts or physical sensations and so forth, just relax into the attentive state without thinking or noticing. Well, notice that you’re already in that state behind the thinking, reverie, dreaming, physical stuff. You see? You’re just bare attention without any objects at all. That’s the sleep state. Its a zone you’re already in. So the body-mind comfortably returns to it. Its part of the body-mind event, but it also proves that you’re not just the physical and the mental. Even without them you are there.

But the Witness is not like that deep sleep, bare attention state. Its Prior to it. Its not a state of concentration. Bare attention is still a state of concentration, even though its diffuse. So you have to get beyond sleep, or you may imagine you’ve Realized the Truth. So you can’t just be bare attention, dissociated and, therefore, feeling detached. I mean, you can do this, but it is not Ultimate Realization. It is still self-contraction. Its not Free. Its relaxed, but its not Free.

So the “Perfect Practice” begins beyond that, the one who is the mere Witness of that -attention, that concentration, even the simple feeling of relatedness. Its all the same. Or the feeling of separateness, its all the same point. Its the point of attention. And if it gets associated with objects, mental, physical, whatever, then it is further colored by that association.

DEVOTEE: Beloved, while you’re talking I can feel moments of not feeling associated with attention, then finding myself, just in the next moment, there’s something that I’m noticing again.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, typically attention will connect with something. But if you become disposed meditatively, in Communion with Me, then you can feel this simple, bare attention, and that it’s a constant. And when you just feel that, its sleep. So you don’t go unconscious to go to sleep. But you refer to it when you get up. You seem to refer to it like it is, because its no-body consciousness. It’s not unconsciousness, but it’s still a point, still a separate presumption. It’s the root of it. You’re the Witness of that. You’re the One in whom it is arising. You’re not in this position. You’re merely the Witness.

The quote I put in front of The Mummery is about how the Shakti reveals Herself by dying. Its part of the mystery of this mummery play. That’s what it’s about. It is about, therefore, the Shakti, not merely being Maya, or illusion, but moving in the body-mind, functioning in the Circle, generating this and that in the Circle, but not showing you the Truth of Herself. She is giving you what you want, so to speak, and is showing you things with which you are already familiar in some basic sense. Instead of being preoccupied with that, alive, in other words, being that play of forms and such, she dies. She becomes extinct. This means the Shakti, instead of moving, Stands in the Native Position.

You’ve seen, no doubt, images of a female figure standing in one or another mode on top of a male figure who is prone and apparently looks like a corpse, apparently is dead, and take this to mean, on the base of fundamental Being, Consciousness Itself, which has no motion, there is the Shakti doing all the doings, taking on all forms. In the passage I just referred to, which is associated with The Mummery, the Shakti is shown dying. And what does She reveal? Siva-by submission, by yielding all position.

DEVOTEE: Would You call Her Hridaya-Shakti then?

ADI DA SAMRAJ: In that Realization, in that death or submission beyond the body-mind to be nothing but the inherent Radiance, Love-Bliss, of the Divine Self-Condition, otherwise called Siva, in that submission the two are One, not merely Siva-Shakti, two coupled, but beyond, One, just One. That’s what’s suggested in that quote in The Mummery. You see? [pause]

And there was a vision in that likeness associated with that Union Sign in the days before the Final Event in the Vedanta Temple, but beyond “difference”, Ultimately. Less easy to make sculptural sense out of that esoteric notion. So I don’t recall ever seeing a representation of it.

DEVOTEE: There was probably not a lot of the seventh stage art.

ADI DA SAMRAJ: No. But anyway the passage I just referred to is from the Yoga Vasistha, so it appears in literary form. I don’t recall when I located that text, but it wasn’t at the time I wrote The Mummery. I didn’t give it the title The Mummery until some years later. There’s another quote, a simple quote, associated with it originally because I hadn’t found anything uniquely significant that would illuminate the readers understanding of the text. So it was even some time later than that I added that quote.

DEVOTEE: It was here at the Mountain Of Attention in 1974 or 1975, wasn’t it?

ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, originally it was a quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam: “The sun, fire, knowers of truth, the devotee, ether, air, water, earth, the body, and all creatures these are the objects, the symbols wherein to worship Me.” All creatures. Also the sun even, and fire, and ether, air, water, and earth, even the body, apart from your contraction. All are worshipping, all are living the Contemplative life principally, and handling their business as a secondary association of that.

So the reason I placed that there, it has some reference to what the book is about. All these relations, contacts, even fish, just the whole adventure that Raymond Darling displays-are used by him as objects, symbols, means, in other words, of Divine Realization.


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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us”
Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, 128-133

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