The Practice of Inner Attention

The Practice of inner attention 

NOTE: Everything hinges on inner attention.

The 'Law of Spiritual Practice'

Every time the speed of computers doubles... the complexity of the world doubles.
When the complexity of the world doubles... the world get doubly 'serious'.
When the world gets doubly 'serious'... it requires some 'serious attention'.
Every time the number of 'serious' practitioners doubles... the world gets less 'serious'.
When society is completely 'serious'... inner attention will be a given.
When inner attention is a given... we'll all be minding our own business.
When we're all minding our own business... smiles will be on the house.
When smiles are on the house... the world will be smiling on its Self.


 This blog is a practice that can be practiced. 

It begins with the willingness to contemplate a new view of reality as having an infinite source... including the waves that compose the thoughts in ones mind.  This is done by learning to turn the mind within by learning to turn inner attention 'in'... toward its infinite source... while maintaining outer attention on outer things.   This leads to a greater appreciation of paradoxical reality.

This practice of  inner attention breaks lock on the thoughts in the back of the mind which help to form the impression of a separate person.  Being willing to consider that we are more than 'just' a separate person is part of the practice.   The reason this is important is because when we see that the seeker is the 'separate' person... the person will never look the same.  It will lose some of it's attraction... IE the attraction of our inner attention... because it occurs to us that anything that is seeking its 'self' can't possibly 'be' our 'Self'.

This leads to discovery of impersonal awareness that is detached and  distinct  from the effect of consciousness... which is that which is paying attention to the body and the person and the personal.   This leads to an ability to honor the personal while being aware of the impersonal.  So we have 'a life' now... IE: we are living in two worlds now... the impersonal and the personal... simultaneously.   So we're 'seeing' the world from 'both sides now'.   So we now 'understand' the personal from the simultaneous standpoint of impersonal awareness... because the personal is now in perspective.
  This promotes a feeling of inner independence... and an appreciation for the second level of paradox... IE: the paradox of impersonal awareness co-existing with the person and the personal.

 Once we are adept at distinguishing and directing this inner attention and are comfortable with being detached from the personal we can then re-direct inner attention onto outer attention.   This leads to glimpses of 'Self Recognition'. 

 It's experienced as 'you' seeing 'you'... or what is known as 'seeing' the seer'... and it's recognized as 'I am that which is 'seeing'.

That's why it's described as 'closer than close'.

In a sense... once we're comfortable with the practice of Self Recognition, it could be said that the individual has 'solved' 92% of the problem.

However the interesting aspect of the practice of inner attention is that it is not a strictly linear practice aimed at a single conclusion.  There are several practices that can appeal to a variety of  individuals who are on different spiritual paths... it all depends on their greatest motivation.   For instance those who find the practice of being a 'World Mind' ground or 'World Mind' shunt to the ground of reality might appeal to those of a more Bhakti nature... otherwise known as the path of Selfless Devotion... as their practice would be motivated by the Greater World good as well as their own.   Its then intuitively known by the seeker that they are now no longer a part of the problem of the insanity of the world... they are now part of the solution... by 'doing their part' to contribute to the sanity of the world... or World Mind... which is satisfying in itself.

For those of a more individualistic motivation the practice of Self Recognition may hold the most attraction.   Even the practice of 'gazing' at infinity in space could be considered an individualistic practice in that it can produce a powerful experience of ones own individual awareness.   Yet even that practice can lead to a sort of Bhakti realization in that it becomes obvious as ones awareness becomes more apparent it has an effect on those around us. 

So the practice is 'flexible'... it's adaptive... not static or bent in a single direction.  The individual can take the practice in the direction they are most naturally headed.   Only in the 'end' does it all seem to come to the same place.   But how we get there does matter as on an individual and  'personal' level we are all wired for our own unique path to 'that same place'.


The Paradox of having a 'Field Day' with 'others'

NOTE:  Being 'in' is just contemplating mind returning to the source... in the back of your mind... as you go about your 'business'.

If we can contemplate mind manifesting then we can contemplate mind returning to the source.

A 'Field Day' can be practiced without necessarily extending ones awareness outward.   A 'Field Day' can be any day when an individual gathers with 'others' to practice inner attention or impersonal attention (Beginners Mind)... or to contemplate their 'Self' Interest... while going about their business.   Perhaps they are gathered at a home to help prepare a meal together.  And perhaps there are chores around the house that need 'doing'... a lawn to be mowed... a garden to be weeded... vegetables to be picked... animals to be tended to.  
 The point is that any time you are contemplating mind returning the source you are generating a field of awareness and to do that intentionally with 'others'  is rewarding and validating as well as any field generated in the presence of an 'other' field will have a multiplying effect which will be obvious.
Also what you'll discover is that as you practice you'll find yourself doing chores spontaneously without having to be told to do them... it'll just happen naturally without necessarily having to be told to do them.  You're 'Self Organizing'.  And perhaps you'll find yourself doing them without anyone else even knowing about it.  Thus it evolves into a practice of what amounts to 'anonymously paying forward'.   You're 'paying forward' to your community of 'others' while paying inner attention to mind returning to the source.  

IE: you're 'grounded'.

 Once you notice this you'll realize that paying inner attention actually leads to spontaneous acts of paying forward to the community.  

It's a paradox.

So having a 'Field Day' with others is practicing the paradox of inner attention which leads to outer action.

You'll also intuitively see that there are times when we need to focus all of our attention exclusively on outer tasks - its just common sense - like when tending a stove... or when using tools etc.   But now our outer attention will be more complete as we are not so concerned with inner attention as we are comfortable with our ability to turn it 'in' at will.  

Focused outer attention is part of the practice... because focused outer attention is a sign of confidence in our ability to focus inner attention... at will.   It's a paradox.

So there are times when outer attention needs to be the focus and less demanding times when inner attention can be contemplating mind returning to the source.
As you learn to work with this you'll develop the intuitive ability to spontaneously move inner attention at will when needed - like an attention muscle... no one will have to tell you this... it'll just happen naturally as common sense will be your guide.

Any time you generate a field of awareness with others it promotes 'Self Organizing' and spontaneous 'paying forward'.   This is how you know you're 'in' the field.   So it's self validating.

'Self Organizing' is always a sign of higher awareness.   It's a sign of a 'society' - no matter what the size - that's in a 'State of Quality'.

Once you learn to do this intentionally then you can take this knowledge with you as you go about life... 'practicing' 'Quality of life'.   

It's a practice.


But don't take this individuals word for it.  Try the practice yourself and 'see'.   The practices are repeatable so repeated practice makes this 'recognition' easier to 'see' and promotes confidence in the practice... which motivates us to practice it more as we get more and more comfortable with it.   So success with the practice leads to more success with the practice.  No one will have to tell you that... because it'll just happen naturally.

The whole process can be summed up by the following...

"Giving attention to attention, aware of being aware.  Affectionate awareness is the crucial factor that brings Reality into focus".

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj...  from 'I am That'


NOTE: Inner attention on the infinite can lead to an experience of 'Depth of Field'. which is an ability to extend ones awareness out towards infinity.  This can lead to 'inner absorption' of inner attention which is blissful.   The individual 'sees' all that was once 'outer' as inside ones field of awareness... thus a feeling that all is inside ones Self.


NOTE: For more on how to practice deconstructive inner attention in the form of writing or art see this blogs page on...

The Continuous Koan


NOTE: If at any point in the practice you get stuck just circle back to the beginning steps and work you way back from there.   Everything hinges on the ability to first distinguish and then direct this inner attention.  But this requires practice and practice requires repetition.   Reading a portion of the blog daily or as often as possible is a useful practice to help  reinforce the 'view'.

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