The mere act of trying to hold the mind to a single point, an act with which higher forms of meditation begin, teaches the beginner in a radically concrete and experiential way that he or she has little or no control over the mental flow. All attentional training starts with this failure. This is the first great step in the work of objectifying the mental flow, that is, of seeing it not as something that ‘I’ am doing but something that is simply happening. Without this realization no progress can be made, for one must first know one is in prison in order to work intelligently to escape. Thus, when the Christian is asked to concentrate his attention solely upon God, when the Muslim attempts to link his attention solely to the names of God, when the Tibetan Buddhist attempts with massive attention to construct elaborate images of Tara on the screen of consciousness, the first lesson these practitioners learn is that they cannot do it. Ordinary mentation is freshly understood to be foreign to the deepest reality of one’s being. The more regularly this is seen the clearer it becomes that one is not one’s thoughts, and the more profoundly one understands the distinction between consciousness as such and the contents of consciousness. De-automatization, then, describes an essential aspect of the process of spiritual liberation, the freeing of oneself from bondage to the false self. It names, furthermore, a gradual, long-term process of transformation, a process within which discrete mystical experiences reach fruition and without which they are destined to fade into ineffectual memories…..Philip Novak
remember that the false self, the ego, is vital….it is not the goal to eradicate the ego, but to balance……to reach into the deeper space of soul…to know one’s Source….transformation links ordinary life to an intention of prayer or contemplation….a merging of being and knowing…..
The Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba often said to his disciples, ‘Don’t throw anyone out of your heart.’ Not throwing anyone out of our hearts means not separating our selves. The receptive quality of openheartedness allows every experience to enter us, to touch us. Love allows us to be touched by the wind and the sun, by other people, and by each part of ourselves, by the trees and the birds and all of nature. From this receptivity can come an outflow of energy that is appropriate and responsive to each experience, rather than reactive. Going from the ego center to the zero center means seeing things as they are without an artificial separation. We see how essenceless, ephemeral, and insubstantial all conditioned existence is. Because we do not isolate out a part of the dream and say, ‘this is the real me,’ because we are not deluded, we can move freely and unafraid through our lives……..J. Goldstein & J. Kornfield
Starlight asks Non-Being
Master, are you or are you not?
Since he received no answer whatever
Starlight set himself to watch for Non-Being.
He waited to see if Non-Being
Would put in an appearance.
He kept his gaze fixed on the deep void
Hoping to catch a glimpse of Non-Being.
All day long he looked and he saw nothing.
He listened, but heard nothing.
He reached out to grasp and grasped nothing.
Then Starlight exclaimed at last,
This is it, this is the furthest yet
Who can reach it?
I can comprehend the absence of being
But who can comprehend the absence of nothing?
If now, on top of all this,
Who can comprehend it?