A John began by instructing me to sit cross-legged on the ground, while he stuffed some straw just under the tip of my tailbone, but not too much – he cautioned that too much straw would surely cause my legs to fall sleep. Then he tucked my left heel between my legs and placed my right foot on top of my left calf while pushing both my knees down so that they remained on the ground, locking my legs in place and straightening my back into, what he said, was the correct posture for doing the inner work. legenday
He then addressed Savaka, “Without the restraints of a physical body, you will, of course, be interested in only the mental aspects, which I will explain in detail later.” lgdsilicone
I glanced at my painful legs, wrapped up like a pretzel; I would never be able to stay in this position. Surprisingly, however, I remained steady for a few minutes before moving. A John reassured me that I would slowly get used to the position, and kindly suggested that I merely lay my legs out in front with my ankles crossed in whatever manner was comfortable for the time being.
“Now for the mental aspects,” he said, as he lit a candle and placed it on a nearby rock. “The following procedures are for the king and his human body, and for you, Savaka, I will give you specialized information later.” These instructions will suffice to move both of you very close to the key – if they are followed precisely.”
He then looked at me and said, “Breathe through your nose and notice the air touching the inside of your nostrils or on the rim of your nose. Focus on the exact spot where you feel this. As your breath strikes this region, detect the sensation or feeling and remain focused on it. Pay undivided attention to this area and never move away from it. Do not create an image in your mind of the spot you are focusing on, focus on the actual area and the feeling, especially the feeling, of your breath touching it. Each time your breath comes in, establish the spot anew, and watch it as if for the first time.” rajafantasy
I tried what a John suggested and could feel the area in my nose when inhaling, but lost it when I breathed out.
“Of course you can’t feel it,” said a John when I mentioned this. “The air has nothing to strike on the way out. You must establish the spot during the in-breath and then remember its location when you breathe out. Then re-establish it on the in-breath. Please try again. Oh, and two more things; I want you to stretch your neck up as you relax your shoulders, and tuck your chin in slightly, then breathe in normally when you inhale, but make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation. Your strength and power to concentrate increases with the out breath.”
He had me practice until I was able to remain concentrated on the spot. “You will be able to focus this way for just a short period of time,” he continued, “before your untrained mind jumps around and begins thinking of many things. Sometimes you will become lost in thought for twenty minutes or more before you remember what it is you are supposed to be doing, which is concentrating on the feeling of your breath. Only then will you come back. yateartificialgrass
“This first stage of concentration involves applying attention. Here, you direct your mind to a certain concentration object, in this case the feeling of your breath in your nose, just as you would direct a hammer toward a bell and then you strike it. You strike the bell; you strike the object with your mind’s attention. It rings for a while, which means that you maintain undivided attention on the object, and then the bell stops ringing, meaning that you lost your attention as your mind drifted here and there. Then you must strike it again repeatedly to reestablish your attention.
“Let me assure you that this back and forth is normal for someone new to the inner work. A beginner must constantly battle with his or her mind to remain concentrated, for you see, the mind is accustomed to daydreaming and entertaining itself with the past or future and is not at all interested in being restrained from this activity with the inner work. Therefore, it will be an on-going struggle to bring your mind back repeatedly to the spot in your nose.
“Remember these three important things: One: stay on the spot where your breath touches the inside of your nose, and if your attention strays, come back to it immediately. Two: always be completely ‘in the moment’ and see everything as if for the first time. Three: watch the spot in your nose as you would watch a knife in the hand of an enemy, with the utmost attention.” bbcforbes
A John then directed his attention to Savaka, “Because you are an immaterial being without senses of touch, taste or smell, you cannot use the feeling of the breath as a concentration point, you must use mental awareness by watching thoughts. Here you will see thoughts as merely passing phenomenon, as if you were perched in a tree watching water buffalo coming up the trail, passing below, and finally continuing down the trail until they are out of sight. Just as you would not jump from the tree onto the backs of these water buffalo, you should not let thoughts carry you away either. Simply watch each thought until it disappears on its own, always being cautious not to lose your awareness that you are watching each thought. Just being aware that a thought is present is usually enough to dissolve it. If you are not fully conscious of your thoughts, however, you will become caught up them and taken for a ride.”
“What if I am so good at this that there are no thoughts?” she asked.
“Then be completely in each moment and concentrate on the blank screen of the mind where thoughts appear. Be very observant and watch carefully, however, for you must be always prepared to ambush the first thought that dares to appear. Be careful, because subtle thoughts are very clever. They hide. ‘I’m waiting to ambush a thought!” is a good example of a clever, subtle thought. Since they can become exceptionally fine and seemingly non-existent when they know they are being observed, you must try with great effort to discern these extremely refined and incredibly subtle levels of thought, for these are the subliminal undercurrents of your loud, everyday mind.”