Spirituality Magazine

Recognize #15

By Hanumandass @HanumanDass

Recognize #15

Purple Thistle: Distractingly beautiful yet stingingly painful.

(Plant ID care of 1LEFT, Thanks friend!)

Today let’s look at a very common coping mechanism that keeps us from recognizing our essential nature as nondual Awareness. What I’m talking about is distraction. Generally we think of a distraction as something that averts our attention from one thing to another. Usually this means the object distracting us is less desirable in some way but we can’t help but shift our attention to it. If you’ve ever attempted to write a report with the television on or at a computer with a web browser minimized you know what distraction is capable of!

When we are engaged in the recognition of Awareness distraction is a worthy adversary. Recognition is turning your attention inward focusing on what witnesses the mind, senses, and body. The mind however will use various tools such as distraction to keep your attention focused outward. The mind wants your awareness centered on its thought world, its senses, and the objects of its experience. The mind wants you to believe it’s you. In other words when “I” arises the thinking mind wants to claim that sense of knowledge and existence for itself. Of course if we’ve tasted the recognition of Awareness we know this to be false.

“I” is the primordial thought, the reflection of Awareness “thinking” of itself. God looked in the mirror, BAM! we have creation!

I am is the sense or seeing that you are beingness and knowingness, it’s a non-conceptual abiding in your true nature. I am is seeing and knowing that you exist and know without the thought arising to a thinking “I”. See what your mind thinks about that! But the mind will respond, “No “I” is who all these thoughts belong too, right here in this head that’s attached to this body. All these experiences and adventures are happening to me!”


But the fact is we can’t help but continue to fall into the trap of another clever distraction, in fact we love them. The mind has been playing this trick on us since we had our first thought. What were you 2 years old when your first thought popped up? Maybe 3? I can’t remember my first thought…what does that say about me? Why can’t I think of the thought I originally had? If I’m an individual person shouldn’t I remember when I began to think? That’s sort of depressing.

Sorry…got distracted.

Anyway, to keep this outward focus going the mind presents a never-ending stream of objects flowing through the mind to keep you in a state of distracted-ness. If the mind begins to get bored then it looks to the apparently exterior world for a new object to perceive, understand, and eventually possess or reject. Of course keep in mind this is what the minds job is…to perceive and process data it receives, make judgments, and focus the attention on a particular object in which to concentrate its efforts.

If for nothing else the mind has kept us from getting the short end of the stick in natural selection, whatever that is. Mind is very useful for an apparently thinking person in an apparent thought world. Perhaps distraction functions to shift mental attention to another object when weariness sets in, like when we over-think how we will pay our bills and suddenly we get distracted by “What’s on TV tonight?” and we enjoy the break from those serious pressing thoughts that engender such anxiety, worry, and fear.

But for the serious, focused, concentrated investigation of Awareness distraction simply won’t do any good. For if we continue to remain distracted by all the stuff we find by looking outward we will never uncover the infinite expanse that lies just a thoughtless thought away behind the mind. The mind speaks the language of form and will never think anything special of something that eludes thought. Mind can’t even call Awareness a “something” so it would rather think about something meaningful like what I can get out of liberation. If I can’t have it, touch it, and pet it, (pretty kitty!) I don’t want it. Thankfully you can’t have it anyway!

So as you reflect on what I’ve said – did it all make sense? – consider the ways in which you succumb to distraction. Don’t worry about how you were supposed to be blogging but you ended up reading my post. I don’t mean that kind of distraction. Rather, how have you invested so much interest in the mind and its play things? Why is it so easy to cling to mind stuff, desires, objects, experiences? Is it not because all these things reinforce the belief, the idea, that you are a separate person? What is a distraction with out a someone to be distracted?

What if you were to rise above the influence for just a moment and turn inward. Try to recognize what lies beyond who you think yourself to be. Beyond distraction, beyond the mind, beyond whatever beyond means.

P.S. Whatever you do, don’t hover your mouse over the picture at the top of this post!

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