In our meditation, we find a thought crosses our mind, and before we know it, we have forgotten we are meditating and we are busy thinking. We’ve forgotten to count our breaths, or to stay in the moment, or to separate ourselves into observer and observed. The process usually starts with a thought that captures our attention. We would say that we become “identified” in other words our identity is lost, for a moment, in the thought. We become the thought. If we don’t immediately catch ourselves, we will start to elaborate on the thought because we find it fascinating. Before too long, we are completely lost, or as we would say, the consciousness has gone to sleep. We are no longer aware of what we are doing. One thought leads to another in a long string of associated thoughts and the awareness of our practice is gone. Its gone until something give us a conscious shock – perhaps a bell, or a nodding off, or another thought about the practice comes along.
Below is another excerpt from a talk by Samael Aun Weor which describes how this phenomena not only happens in meditation, but in our daily life. We often walk around with our consciousness relatively asleep, due to identification and fascination.
The practice of paying attention to Subject, Object and Location, described below, can help us to stay in the moment and not get lost in identification, fascination and sleep of the consciousness, either in meditation, or in our daily life.
I hope this is helpful.
“CONSCIOUS ATTENTION excludes that which is called IDENTIFICATION. When we identify ourselves with persons, with things, with ideas, FASCINATION arrives and the latter produces the SLEEP of CONSCIOUSNESS.
We must know how to pay attention without identification. When we pay attention to something or someone and we forget ourselves, the result is FASCINATION and the SLEEP of the CONSCIOUSNESS.
Carefully observe a movie goer.
He is asleep, he ignores everything, he ignores himself, he is hollow. He seems to be a somnambulist. He dreams with the movie that he is watching, he dreams with the hero of the movie.
Attention divided into three parts: SUBJECT, OBJECT and PLACE, is in fact, CONSCIOUS ATTENTION.
When we do not commit the error of identifying ourselves with persons, with things or ideas, we save creative energy and we precipitate in ourselves the awakening of Consciousness.
The man who forgets himself before a person who insults him, identifies himself with him, he becomes fascinated, he falls into the sleep of unconsciousness and then he hurts or kills and inevitably goes to prison.
He who does not let himself be FASCINATED with the person who insults him, he who does not identify himself with him, who does not forget himself, and who knows how to pay CONSCIOUS ATTENTION, would be incapable of giving any importance to the words of the insulter, or would be incapable of wounding or killing.
All the errors that the human being commits in life are due to forgetting himself, to becoming identified, becoming fascinated and falling into sleep.
We have to awaken, friends, and learn to live alert from moment to moment, from instant to instant.
The action of always dividing attention into three parts cannot be delayed.
First: SUBJECT Second: OBJECT Third: LOCATION
SUBJECT: Do not forget ourselves. Watch ourselves at each second, at each moment. This implies a state of alertness in relation to our thoughts, gestures, actions, emotions, habits, words and so on.
OBJECT: Minute observation of all those objects or representations that reach the mind through the senses. Never become identified with things, because in this manner one falls into fascination and into the sleep of the Consciousness.
LOCATION: Daily observation of our house, of our bedroom, as if it was something new; asking ourselves daily: Why have I arrived at this place? At this market? In this office? In this temple? etc., etc.“
“This triple set of attention is then a complete exercise to auto-discover ourselves and to awaken consciousness.”