In my last article, I spoke of the importance of "attention" in building the Kundalini Fire (fundamental life force) for personal and spiritual development.
Remember why it is crucial?
Because energy follows attention, and wherever your attention is at any moment, your energy will be there, also. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand and practice "present-centered attention" (or PCA).
What does "present-centered attention" mean? Is it a type of prayer, a meditation, mindfulness, or some other transformational technique?
The proper application of attention or as I call it, PCA (present-centered attention) is none of the above. In fact, it has nothing to do with the use of the mind or the instruments of the mind.
You may wonder now, “So, if PCA has nothing to do with the mind, then how do you do it?”
Well, that is just it you don't do it. It does you. You allow it to happen by giving up over and over! You could say it's a form of surrendering. You see, to be in the present moment, you can't be there or at least the "you" who you've come to identify yourself as can't be there.
The "you" who you've come to believe is you is a seeker -- a seeker of experiences. The pre-sent moment is what exits prior to the seeker and its seeking. It’s pre-sent or before. So, this seeker must go. The pre-sent moment is what exists when the seeker gives up, surrenders or collapses.
I like to refer to the seeker as the Bull$hit Artist, B$A for short, because it's insidious, constantly fooling us, like a con-artist!
The challenge is dismantling the B$A. The difficulty lies in the holographic nature of it all. The B$A is not separate from what it seeks. In fact, it is what it seeks. And since the B$A is built upon its past or past experiences, what it seeks in the imaginary future is really just projected memories. Therefore, any new experience in the imaginary future simply reinforces its existence and thus creates a perpetual feedback loop keeping it stuck in the past! It's similar to kicking a dog and getting bitten. Then turning around and kicking the dog for biting you, only to get bitten again. Each time, the kicks and the bites get harder and reinforce the cycle or madness. This is bull$hittin.
I dive into this deeper in our upcoming book, Shen Life. In it, I point out the importance of realizing the problem of seeking and the deeper implications of seeking before beginning the practice of "present-centered attention." The danger is an unchecked practice breeds a new and more insidious form of seeking– spiritual seeking.
Typically, meditation, prayer and other self-help techniques have an intention to get somewhere, or achieve something—to seek something in the imaginary future, like enlightenment, spirit, wealth, health, etc. In fact, the more intent the attempt to fix the B$A, make it better, or get something in the great out-there, the stronger it becomes. In PCA, nothing is sought, nothing is avoided nor resisted, not even pain, anguish, anger, loss, failure, or fear. All is welcome, good, bad, or whatever. Nothing is held onto, not even bliss, ecstasy nor delight. Attention is allowed to jump, hop, move, and do its thing. After all, it's the chronic fixation on experiences, internal and external, good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, that is the real problem. So, the key is to allow the chronic fixation to dislodge and run its course. All states are recognized as temporal, nothing to be loved or feared, just allowed to pass. Until, even attention itself relaxes. Here (a non-local "here"), Shen reveals itself as you.
Here's an exercise you can try.
Sit and watch how attention jumps from thoughts, to emotions, to sensations, to external phenomena, and so on. Just watch. Then, as it begins to slow down, watch "who" is doing the watching. And so on and so on and so on.
This can be exhausting!
Finally, after much watching, an "irritable discontent" ought to arise. Now you are getting somewhere. Simply, fall, sink, relax, let go, surrender, melt, or whatever into the irritable discontent, over and over and over and over until Shen reveals itself as You.
Shen can be likened to the Supreme Unknown, the Absolute, Undifferentiated Awareness, the Great Beyond, Ultimate Reality, or Absolute Freedom. It is here, Shen, which is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, where what is referred to as healing, transformation, and conscious evolution takes place.
Just to be clear, conscious evolution or healing doesn't happen in linear time as we think of it either. It’s more like a falling away of conditioned time that reveals what has always been there unchanged by time, the pre-sent moment, Shen.
Think of it like this… you are in a dark room, or at least you think it is dark. The truth is it is dark, because you have a bag on your head. It takes you a while to figure it out, since that bag has been on your head for years and you've become used to it. You grown so accustom to it that you think it is part of your being, who you are; hence the Bull$hit Artist. When you finally get it off, you realized that there was always light in the room, only the bag kept you in the dark. Now, during your struggle to figure it out, time passed. This is what is commonly referred to as the healing process, the removal of the bag, letting go of your personal story, your memories—bull$hittin’. However, in the big scheme of things, neither the bag (the B$A) nor your process (bull$hittin) did anything to change the absolute fact that the room was full of Light. The B$A and its B$ just obstructed your awareness of what was already present or pre-sent.
Once you understand seeking is the problem and it’s the B$A’s modus operandi, that is moving and jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof seeking one experience after another, like a junkie looking for the next fix, then you'll be ready to let it go; thereby, letting go of the B$A. Of course, this usually has to be realized over and over. Not until "frustrated incorporated" becomes your general experience will the "sense of urgency" be great enough to finish the job.
Remember, PCA is just a tool, and Shen Life is just a map, not the destination or territory. So, don’t fixate on these items, just discard them once the collapsing is done.
There you have it...now have fun!