“The Torque of Attention” From The Brightening Way Talk Series
Author(s): Adi Da Samraj
THE “BRIGHTENING” WAY TALK SERIES
The Yajna Discourses of Santosha Adi Da (1995-1996)
Volume 1, Number 8
The Torque of Attention
A Gathering “Consideration” with Beloved Adi Da Samraj in the Manner of Flowers on January 13, 1996
ADI DA SAMRAJ: In The Dawn Horse Testament I describe the stages in terms of fundamental organs or centers associated with each stage, and also including then the first three stages of life in their natural development. In the fifth stage, for instance, the brain core, the Ajna door to the crown and so on.
The frontal Yoga is associated with the left side of the heart, but also the middle.
The Spiritual practice is founded on hearing, and therefore the process is always about direct ego-transcendence, rather than seeking or otherwise clinging to phenomenal appearances, even the kind of things that are generated by Spiritual “conductivity”.
Each devotee is different. The mechanics are set up differently, and so on, so there will be some people who will show evidence of more involvement in the effects of My Spiritual Transmission, and some more of those developments in the body-mind may occur then.
Generally speaking though, or in the general case, even though there are various kinds of effects in the body-mind that would be experienced. It is generally the case with devotees that there’s some of that, but its not cultivated, its not the purpose of the practice. Always in every moment it is direct transcendence of egoity in Communion with Me, rather than focusing on the effects. That’s the sadhana.
The Spiritual process then is basically finding Me, recognizing Me Spiritually-being, through the hearing exercise and Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, altogether fully entered into Communion with Me, not fascinated with effects and so forth, although some things are purified and there are some noticings.
So the Spiritual process is really this: See Me, and take up the “Perfect Practice”.
You see, its very direct. If you are entered into direct locating of Me, Communion with Me, rather than registering the effects, you find you are drawn to My Position, you are Attracted into My Position. Not just standing off and getting Shined on. You are Absorbed in Me. You become right-heart directed, spontaneously.
That being the case, then, speaking generally of devotees, the process is a simple one. Some purifications, some this and that, but fundamentally it is a matter of simply relaxing, balancing, opening to some degree, as necessary, purifying the Circle, rather than developing it, rather than dwelling on any center and so forth as a fixed intention of practice. There is simply this Attractedness into Samadhi, Spiritual Communion with Me, founded on self-transcendence through hearing.
There will be Yogic signs in the body, since there is that Force associated with the practice and you are breathing Me.
As My devotee you’re here to exercise your discrimination, you see. “What is fruitful, what is Happiness, what is the Way that supports it, that serves its Realization? Is this a wrong course or right course? Is this distraction, is this something to follow?” Its always discrimination, always a profound sensitivity to the self-contraction and its effects, and the whole mechanism of bondage. Sensitivity to all that is fundamental to the Way of the Heart.
So if you wanted all kinds of Yogic signs, body signs, psychic signs of a Spiritual nature, all that – well, this is of course possible. There’s many requirements even to do that – ultimately requires someone exceptional for all of that to be developed fully, and exceptional Grace, or Transmission altogether. But it would take a lot of time, you would be totally occupied with it – which is making use of the ego-method, indulging in experience. Fundamentally its not any different indulging in experience in the subtler domain of possible experience than it is in the gross. Yes, different objects, but its the same bondage, its the same structure of bondage. You see how readily you’ve all not only gotten bound in the gross dimension of existence, but have even continued to develop it further in My Company, become distracted by all kinds of things, essentially gross, over the years. And you see how years later you’re still working on the same foundation.
Well, the same kind of thing happens when the subtler dimension of experience is opened and magnified hugely. An intense desiring motive occurs there, a kind of subtler counter-part to lust, you see. Its very distracting. You get distracted by pleasurable associations in the physical – what makes you think you wouldn’t likewise be distracted in the subtle? The subtle is basically the subtle side, the energy side, of the senses, and of the faculties generally. So its still about the same structure of existence, it’s just on a subtler, so to speak more interior, level of it. And certainly while alive there’s still some physical associations.
There are, therefore, pleasures associated with the subtle tour of body-mind, but you feel the same as you do in the gross tour. I mean, you have extraordinary days where you feel extraordinarily well in the gross dimension. So there are those days in the subtle search, where you have a good day, you know? [laughter]
DEVOTEE: A good trip today.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Yes, some really delightful visions and you feel good, and you go into Samadhis perhaps a little bit. But the next day, you’re in there grinding away at it, trying to get up enough Shakti to even make your breath even. [laughter]
So in other words you’re always working on the mechanism, on its limitations, you’re always possessed by your search, your dis-ease then. And sometimes there are breakthroughs, but they’re always temporary. Altogether the course is another version of struggle like what you do in the gross play of the world. And, yes, there are high attainments in it certainly – they are not eternal. But there are such things, other planes. There is transition to such planes – while alive and after death. This is certainly possible, but it is not that the Truth has been Realized. Its temporary, as I said. It has certain kinds of limitations of its own. Its still fundamentally rooted in the dis-ease of the ego, which must constantly be gone beyond. Contemplative states are achieved, this and that is achieved, as a temporary matter.
But all of the beings there, thus more sensitized, long for release in their celestial palaces. They are like brides in a tower, waiting for the Prince. Therefore, they don’t exactly luxuriate in their situation. Their motion toward Contemplation is profound, a profound tapas. Even having done what was necessary to achieve a plane of delights, their longing is so profound, its all ashes in their mouth. It’s all nothing to them, you see. It’s only to those who have not yet arrived that this looks like paradise. When you get there so unsheathed, so sensitized to the Divine Potential -and yet still sitting on that knot of separateness? So its in those high planes where the greatest longing is, and the least distractedness. Whereas from the lower dimensional point of view you think, if you could only get into that situation – you know, like politicians say, “If you could just give people food and housing and so forth, then they will live the happy life,” and so on. More is required.
It’s when you actually get into such a situation that that’s not enough. And there’s great striving there. It’s not automatic that they go to God-Realization always. And some just descend again. It’s too close and too agonizing perhaps. So these are not final attainments. The planes themselves pass, and change all the while, and the Realization is not satisfactory yet. High, but not finished.
Well, what’s the difference between that and, while alive, Realizing conditional Nirvikalpa Samadhi and seeing that it is not finished? You see, it is the same state -achieved temporarily there as it might be achieved temporarily, and on and on again, through effort elsewhere. So all of the wisdom is potential in the human situation. You need not go elsewhere to Realize it. Of course, many do, even using subtle means, serve their purposes in the gross plane, and others serve them in the subtle plane. These are karmic entities doing karmic things. All in need, all seeking. All the planes are dual, made of opposites. They all have their limitations.
So the Way is to Realize the Truth of the world, the Truth of the conditional domain, the Cosmic Domain – rather than commit yourselves to the Cosmic Domain itself. You’re associated with conditional things, therefore you’re in exactly the right position. You can use those things as means of God-Realization. You need not look for other things. Instead of seeking, you should put your place in order where you are, and enter into this heart-seriousness, going beyond egoity, with Me.
Until you find out and Realize that Truth, you’re subject to many illusions and less-than-Truth motives, and you are easily stimulated by all kinds of means. Those who Realize greatly are capable of one-pointed concentration. They are immovable, fundamentally. They don’t suffer that distractedness that constantly draws the apparent being into entanglements, adventures without a great end.
Distraction is bewilderment, you see? This is why it is, in the traditions, called “Maya” and such – even called a place of evil in some traditions. Its constantly about bondage. You’re bewildered, can’t figure it out, it always ends in death – every cycle. It’s possible to become so absorbed in your desiring in the indulgences, that you cease to be serious altogether, for a time, and become more and more profoundly degraded, hardly even noticing it.
All desire is seeking. Just as you’ve discovered about the motions of mind in our conversations here, how they distract you from the Witness and so on. Yes, there are thoughts in life, but there’s a lot of action, and action is associated with thinking, but through the medium of desire – or desire is even the leading force in it and mind or thoughts play around it. So you also must notice then how the mechanism of desire binds you, dislocates you from the fundamental Position.
So any indulgence in the motion of attention exploits the same mechanism of dislocation from the Source-Position.
In general, the traditional practices involve the controlling of attention, controlling of all motion from the Source, away from the Source, however that is conceived. Since it’s all one mechanism, various traditions engage in their pursuits by exploiting one or the other of the leading faculties – and thereby hope to control the rest. I’ve talked to you about the four principle faculties to constantly be turning to Me, forgetting content and feeling beyond it in Communion with Me: The body, everything called emotion, the mind, which is epitomized as attention, and the breath. All the traditional Yogas include approaches that exploit one or the other of those, or perhaps a combination of them sometimes, in order to control all of them. It’s generally felt if you can control one, you do in fact effectively control the others. So there are many Yogas which exploit one or another of these capabilities associated with these faculties. But, of course, that also tends to become a dead end in itself and develops modifications which then themselves become the basis for seeking.
So in this Way that I have given you, the faculties – the content of the faculties, the functioning of the faculties in the context of the body-mind – are all simply turned to Me, rather than exploiting the content and so on. In each moment of Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, you’re turning these faculties to Me instead, surrendering through these faculties, forgetting the content of the faculties, the distractions of body, emotion, mind, and breath. And, in that forgetting, Contemplating Me, entering into fullest Contemplation or profound absorptive Contemplation. And by disregarding the content, you weaken it, you are less bound to it. It progressively relaxes, its purified, disappears from non-use – because its part of that Law I’ve told you about, whatever you meditate on you become. But if you cease to look on that which you’ve become, turn the faculties in Communion beyond, then the meditation keeping it in place relaxes. You achieve wholeness, or another kind of wholeness or structural arrangement, not requiring those things which you’re disregarding. And you find a fullness and well-being in that new adjustment, which hasn’t made use of these binding qualities, and that’s how they become thoroughly obsolete.
Its only in your emptiness or dis-ease that you meditate on things, so to speak – desire them or not seek them and so forth, and become entangled in them. But if you can forget about them long enough to establish a new wholeness, a wholeness that doesn’t include those aberrating factors, then they’re truly obsolete, because you already have that fullness which you otherwise would look to achieve by those involvements. So you don’t need them. They’re not a need in you. They’re not about desiring.
That’s what happens when it gets fully that way, but even in the meantime there are degrees of purification and relaxation of the binding tendencies, and you enjoy more discrimination about them and discipline is effective more readily, simply. Eventually its not a struggle at all. But when there is this true, fully established equanimity, there’s also great concentration, freedom of energy and attention, and the previous adaptations that were binding have been made obsolete by non-use, through discipline, through Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga, all of it. So you are full, whole, not seeking, the body-mind in a state of equanimity. You see how you’ve become disentangled. So that’s what the original period of the process is about. And as it moves into the Spiritual dimension of the exercise, it Realizes Spiritual equanimity, a fullness unagitated.
And that fullness, of course, is especially magnified in the profoundest exercise, in meditation and so on. But when you’ve entered into that sphere of equanimity – no longer agitated such that your practice is undermined – its then that you are presenting yourself, or established in equanimity and in Communion with Me, such that energy and attention can become directly focused in the right side of the heart. Attention not agitated, attention can be transcended directly.
If attention is simply moving about, you’re always noticing its objects. But if that fitfulness relaxes, you can be sensitive to attention itself, because it’s steady and doesn’t just jump to objects. It has a certain kind of equanimity itself, such that attention can be comprehended. And it’s the last thing in the space – everything is epitomized as attention. When it is found in the Self-Condition, in Consciousness Itself, its something like the hearing matter. You’re in the position of that first contraction. In fact it is the hearing matter, but exercised at this later stage. Its like the original hearing understanding, because you suddenly grasp it – the self-contraction and the ability to feel beyond it.
So in this noticing and equanimity, this noticing of attention is the first stroke, really. It is the feeling of relatedness, the feeling of separateness. It is the root-disturbance, but you’re feeling beyond it. But yet you notice this is a sensation in the midst of Consciousness Itself, an apparition there. Suddenly you become aware of the Self-Field in Which that primary thought or gesture is arising. So this shift, in other words, is from being identified with attention, by focusing on it, to being identified with the Consciousness in Which its appearing.
So that is the basic event in which there is a transition to the Witness-Position. Its not that it’s just an idea you study in My Teaching, and someday it happens. This is the process, you see. It is simply a matter of suddenly Realizing that attention – yes, anything arising – is simply within the sphere of Consciousness, and that That’s Where you are. That’s What you are. You have yet to Realize altogether What it is, but its clear that That is the Position in every moment of experiencing. And all experiencing is of fundamentally the same nature – whether its gross, at the level of the body and its relations, or deeply interior, or at the level of attention itself.
Instead of that fitful re-identification with attention and the whole cycle that goes beyond it, there’s an inherent dwelling in the Position of Consciousness Prior to all of that. And whenever attention and all of its following reappears, the state of Consciousness Itself is clearly the case. Every moment then becomes, so to speak, meditation on this Sphere that is Consciousness, this Depth, this Condition which you’re always in. But you are, like a child pressing its face in the window looking into a house, all kinds of absorbed in the sensations of all of this entanglement, and never feel, enter into, profound identification with the State you’re already in.
So Realizing the Witness is, just at that moment, just beginning, like taking your face off the window. You sort of stand back. Its there, but you’re not dwelling on it, not attached to it through the mechanism of attention. And from then you enter deeply into the feeling acceptance of that Well, that Domain, in which I am Non-separately There, Attractive to you, drawing you into that Depth. That’s the Nature of the Spiritual process of the “Perfect Practice”. And I am that Very Consciousness Itself, which you’ve Realized non-“differently”, by Standing in My Place -i n the Transcendental Position Prior to the body-mind.
So that’s the nature of the Way of the Heart. The question that was asked about developmental signs in the body-mind, including the very organs of the body-mind and such, well, I’ve essentially covered it, and this is in My Teaching already. But it is entirely secondary. Its not cultivated in the Way of the Heart. Its not the goal of the Way of the Heart. So its really about different matters than the Way of the Heart, at least in its fundamental nature, is about.
I mean, you could get a bunch of body-building magazines and see the results and the physiques of the people shown there and decide to start engaging in an intensive program of body-building so that you can get to look like that. There’s a lot of development of organs in that. [soft laughter] But you’d have to almost entirely devote your life to it – to do it like it looks in the magazines, you see. And what’s – [Beloved chuckles.] what difference does it make anyway? [laughter] It’s just something to do, you see. Well, the same with the possible desiring and choosing of things subtler than the gross world, or the gross entanglements of the body. Its the same motive, same mechanism, you see?
You could, by a long course of discipline and preparation and so forth, if you found the right contacts, put the body in a position to be steadily conducting an immense cosmic force, and you could develop every function, every center, every potential for vision and experiencing, potentially. And it would be very difficult, but you could choose to devote your existence to that. And having done so, it doesn’t make any difference. So what? Its just like doing body-building. Maybe you can amuse yourself with it for a while, but it doesn’t change anything to do it or achieve it, you see. It doesn’t change anything fundamental or profound.
So Spiritual experiences are superficial, like body-building, and they’re based on the glorification of the ego, the separate person. Its not easy to do, and even if you do it, things quickly start falling apart again. If you don’t keep lifting those weights, the body loses its definition. You’ve got to keep pressing on those subtle exercises there, you know, to develop otherwise. And there’s only a relatively small likelihood of any great achievement with it anyway. Just like very few really develop their physique good enough to get in the magazines.
But you have to be really serious about your bondage and the course beyond it and so forth – be really full of the true signs of this Way – to be that direct and clear about it such that you waste no time in the side-shows, gross or subtle. If everyone gets distracted in this or that or the other way through their desiring, in this Way you must practice for real and gain the discrimination and the capability and the Grace of Contemplation to release your search.
You see, there is a certain amount of fun and pleasure in conditional domains. One can enjoy, up to a point-never utterly beyond fear and anxiety and limitation and mortality. [laughter] But you can be amused and take pleasure in various kinds of self-indulgence and so forth. This is why you must exercise yourself more profoundly from the center, at the center, and with real discrimination, real self-understanding -because you can be very easily seduced by your entanglements and associations, and lose the thread.
But you also must understand this is not an ascetical Way that just mechanically dissociates from pleasure or pain. We’ve compared this Way to the Tantric tradition – could compare it to other traditions too that have, not an ascetical approach, that just cut things away, but an approach full of wisdom and discrimination, that, even while associated with such things, conforms them to the Greater Purpose.
“The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us” Tripura Rahasya, Chap XX, 128-133