Relaxed Attention, Free Attention and The
Adi Da Samraj, a talk, 1992
“You must go beyond the limitations…
of the interior. Ultimately you must go beyond bare
attention, which is the state in sleep.”
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
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
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
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
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
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.