If we stop giving the mind attentional objects then it will tend to settle into its own non-conceptual, silent nature. It’s simply a case of remaining in an open and non-grasping posture.
The mind wants to settle, remaining always in a state of engagement is exhausting. Openness and non-grasping are a relief. But there are a couple of ways to look at this and approach it (although both resolve at the same place). The first is by the ‘action’ of noticing and releasing tensions in the body-mind. This is a result of a penetrating attention that actively works through and dissolves energetic densities and contractions as it finds them in the present moment experience.
The second way is more profound. It’s noticing the ever-present, non-grasping awareness that underlies and contextualises all energetic movements and phenomenal arisings. This is a more fundamental and powerful recognition. In a single stroke it transcends the problematic nature of embodied contraction and tensions, and at the same time begins the spontaneous process of natural releasing and the ultimate dissolution of embodied trauma and stress.
It’s the recognition of this foundational aspect of our nature that frees the human spirit from the burden of identity and activity and the affliction of embodied stress. Once known, awareness becomes the catalyst for freedom, while also being the goal and also the context in which any perceived process of liberation unfolds.
How this plays out in an individual can be seen as a function of bliss. At some point in the life of a person a dawning recognition can come that their essential nature is blissful, and on the basis of this the attention becomes attracted and inexorably drawn within to its own origin, where it finds rest and satisfaction.
It may be seen that suffering was only ever the result of the habitual narrowing of attention towards objects of awareness at the expense of the apprehension of ones boundless source. So at the heart of our experience is bliss, an ocean of it, but we miss it because we’re preoccupied with a limited view. Fortunately, because bliss is our essence, at some point its presence inevitably reveals itself to itself. We begin to remember who we are, what we are, the nature of our being. This is the dawning of the light of truth, we become the living memorial of the divine presence.
It may be that talk of bliss is alien. It may be that one’s attention is entirely caught up with the experience of suffering. This is a perfectly satisfactory starting point also. Suffering is a great teacher. It may be that the presence of suffering for so long can become the inspiration and incentive to seek out its extinction. This can be the birth of spiritual practice and seeking. And although in the end practice and seeking must both be dropped, in the beginning and along the way they serve to give purpose and focus attention in the right direction.
Bliss at the source, suffering at the outer edges as identification increases in narrower and more fragmentary ways. The primary injunction is just to turn the mind to its source. Stop chasing out, out into the world, turn the attention 180° where attention becomes awareness. Rest in your own silent, blissful nature, until it dawns that This is all that is.