Friday, September 25, 2009

Daily Quote, Friday September 25, 2009.

Good morning here; still no sign of daybreak!

Here is today's quote:

The state of attention.

One begins to discover that in the state of attention, complete attention, there is not the observer, with its old conditioning as the conscious as well as the unconscious. In that state of attention, the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. The brain cells, though they may react, no longer function psychologically, within a pattern; they become extraordinarily quiet psychologically.

Talks in Europe, 1967

Here is my reflection.

It is only through self-observation, which is also self-awareness - since doing and understanding are inseparable when one is truly serious about what one is doing - that the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. Otherwise, the mind is 'made' quiet through the so-called techniques of meditation: watching a flame, the breath. None of these make the mind quite. Instead, they require effort, which is what concentration is. It is the effort to narrow the mind, or distract it, so that it goes to sleep. In this effort there is the desire for the mind to be quite, and this desire, of course, is what thought has created. So in the 'meditation of techniques' - which is also traditional meditation teaching - the mind is incredibly active. It is working - furiously - towards an objective, a desire, a result. Such a mind is tied to its old conditioning, and is perpetuating and deepening it.

But with total attention to oneslf, with attention to all that I've been talking about here with regard to self-awareness, the mind becomes silent without effort. You have observed that negative quality in yourself, the conditioning taht you have grown up with, and that is its own benediction. The benediction is that the self-awareness opens the space for the stillness to be revealed. So in true meditation, the mind has this wonderfully expansive quality; it doesn't narrow. A mind that is expansive in this way is not taking in more and more experience, not profiting from the meditation. Instead, it simply has no resistance to the observed, so that the observed is no longer the observed. Therefore, to experience stillness is to experience love: you feel the observer as yourself.

Best wishes