Our attention is the vehicle of our consciousness. It represents and manifests the states of our consciousness. These states include the states of deep sleep, waking, regular existence, and the higher state of consciousness that we reach during Sahaja meditation. In that higher state, we perceive the spiritual realm of the universe by connecting our spiritual being to the all-pervading energy of the universe.
Most other forms of meditation result in benefits, with the attention being in the lower and regular state of consciousness. Sahaja distinguishes itself by lifting our attention to the higher spiritual realm, also referred to as the Collective UnConscious by renowned psychologists like Carl Jung.
This makes monitoring and managing our attention the most important aspect of our meditation practice. And this is not just during each meditation session but the entire time that we’re awake. Focusing on our attention and controlling it is vital for a meditator; even though in Sahaja, a large part is done spontaneously by the power of the rising Kundalini energy.
Real meditation requires good attentional control.
“Pay attention,” as our teachers in school used to say. That’s what’s necessary for a good meditation – steady and focused attention. Not only should we focus our attention on the moment and on specific parts of our subtle energy system (our chakras and energy channels) during our meditation, we should also be monitoring and regulating it carefully it regularly even while not meditating.
Our attentional control and meditation success are interdependent. Better attention control gives better meditation and vice versa. It is a spiraling effect, and we can go upward or downward on the spiral depending on the focus, perseverance and consistency in our meditation routine.
Problems with attentional control can hinder precise movement into the meditative state. It can cause oscillations between our usual cognitive state and the higher state of consciousness. These oscillations or fluctuations are why we keep getting thoughts intermittently when we meditate when we’re supposed to feel complete inner silence. Many meditators report that staying consistently in the Thoughtless Awareness state is their primary challenge with meditation.
Our attention can be steadied gradually over time, aided by the practice of Sahaja meditation. In turn, that can make the Sahaja meditation experience even more profound.
Where we focus our attention when we’re not meditating also matters.
Our thoughts are ripples or disturbances in our attention arising from our involvement and indulgences. Leading an everyday life means that we need to be involved in many things, but the excessive focus on certain things or our attachments can cause these ripples to rise in our attention. Memories from the past or thoughts about the future can distract our attention and come back during our meditation. Focusing on negative news or in general, anything negative can also disturb the balance of our attention. Overindulgence in trivial or material things can also cause this. In general, our attention can swing from emotional to cognitive activity back and forth, leaving very little gap in between for it to relax and enjoy the stillness or silence within us.
The remedy is that we control our attention to largely focus on positive things, events and pursuits in life. We should regulate our attention through our introspection when we find ourselves focusing excessively on something. Where we direct our eyes are also extremely crucial since a lot of the negativity in our attention enters through our eyes and then affects our Agnya chakra. Quickly detaching ourselves from non-essential things and events can also help greatly.
Longer and deeper meditation sessions
While our attentional control can give us a great experience during our meditation, consistency in our meditation routine and having longer meditation sessions to allow the Kundalini energy to clear out chakras results in a better state of our chakras. These, in turn, can result in a stronger connection to the higher state and stabilize our attention. The stabilized and steadier attention then leads progressively to even deeper meditation. The positive upward spiraling effect in our lives then begins.
Collective meditation sessions recharge and refine our attention quickly.
It’s evident that left to ourselves, we’re likely to do more of the same things that cause our attention to deteriorate rather than improve. Watching Netflix or catching up on the troubling news all around us comes much easier than exploring spirituality. Making collective meditation sessions a priority and attending as many as you can, recharges, refreshes and refocuses your attention and redirects it more towards higher purpose and spirituality in life. Putting collective meditation sessions into your weekly schedule helps maintain your priorities in life.
The use of Nature in clearing the attention
Being outdoors with Nature, especially sitting on the earth with eyes on the expansive skies, is a great way to clear our attention and chakras. In general, if our attention had a greater proportion of exposure to Nature and natural things compared with screen time and artificial things, it ends up being invigorated.
The role of the liver
The liver is the seat of our attention, in addition to being the most crucial organ for filtering toxins and removing heat from our blood. When the liver gets heated or overworked (not just due to a poor diet or physiological health, but also poor attentional control), we begin to have wobbly and unsteady attention. Regular meditation stabilizes our attention, eliminates fear, anxiety, worries and therefore causes fewer thoughts, helping ease the pressure on the liver and attention. Cooling down the liver using meditation and using ice packs helps the liver greatly. Eating the right foods – limiting foods like red meat and other hard to digest, unnatural or highly processed foods or toxins in the food can put less pressure on our liver and improve our attention. Exercise caution about mental exhaustion and overthinking – these can again overheat your liver.
Finally, good quality and rest and sleep also help significantly in stabilizing the attention.
Our attention and, particularly, enlightened attention achieved through spiritual meditation techniques can be the greatest asset in our lives. It is central to our meditation practice and our overall well being. Nurturing it can make a big difference in the quality of our lives.