There is so much going on now in the world that is all competing for our attention. Everywhere you look, someone is trying to grab your attention. Whether in advertising, the “news”, or just in relationships with friends and family. Artists, musicians, writers, teachers, all trying to get our attention to hear or see their latest offering. Attention Deficit Disorder is a big thing now. It’s safe to say we are in a crisis of attention. Attention has become a real issue, and a very precious commodity. We seem to have the sense that if we can’t get people’s attention we won’t survive. I guess presumably we have the idea that if we can get people to “pay attention”, then maybe we will get them to pay money for whatever it is we are trying to sell. And the very idea of “paying” attention, in itself, is worth investigating. As is the whole notion of “working for a living”, paying to exist, so to speak.
The dance goes on and on. And finally it begins to feel like an all-out assault. Everywhere you go, there’s someone trying to sell you something, whether it is a product, or just their personality (ego). But we never stop and try to understand what attention is. Why do we perceive it to be such an important commodity? Where does it originate? How does it work? Why are we so much more focused on “getting” the attention of others, rather than taking responsibility for our own? It’s almost as if the only way we know we really exist is through the attention of others. It is like checking in the mirror, to make sure you are still there, rather than knowing directly.
Let’s begin to take responsibility for our attention. Let’s sit quietly and inquire into the phenomenon of attention.
I found some very important instruction in the process called Atma Nadi Yoga, which was taught and transmitted by the American master Adi Da Samraj. I had the good fortune a spend some time in person with him, and through that relationship i found the instruction awakening in my being by demonstration. That is, the process started happening naturally, just as a result of being in his company for a while. This is how transmission of instruction works. The Amrita Nadi was originally mentioned in a few places in texts from Indian sages as well, the most notable of those being Sri Ramana Maharshi. Please bear in mind that these great masters have elaborated much more detailed descriptions of the process, and that i am writing about it to the best of my ability from my own understanding, as it has been manifesting in my life.
If we trace attention back to its source, we will see that it arises in the heart, not the head. And specifically, it arises in the right side of the heart, just a little to the right of the breastbone. The teachings refer to this as Hridayam, the spiritual heart. The corresponding point in the physical heart is the sino-atrial node, where the electrical impulse for the heartbeat originates. But don’t take my word for it, experiment for yourself, see if this is true for you. My experience, if you could call it an experience, is that the the five senses all originate in this place in the heart, which by the way, is NOT the heart chakra.
from Ramana Maharshi:
“1. “That the physical heart is on the left it cannot be denied.
But the heart of which I speak is not physical and is only on the right side. It is my experience, no authority is required by me. Still you can find confirmation of it in a
Malayali Ayurvedic book and in Sita Upanishad.”
Note: This is an authoritative statement on Bhagavan’s own experience, which in its practical aspect is of no help to the meditator. The locus of the Heart, whether to the right or to the left, need not worry us, because when one is in it, that is, in samadhi, not only the chest but the body and the whole world disappear. When dhyana matures, the Heart automatically reveals itself without any special effort to seek its corresponding place in the physical body.
Many people don’t notice it right away, in fact most don’t notice it at all. Perhaps this is because it is not something that can be the focus of attention, so it cannot be “perceived” as such, in the way we are accustomed to knowing something. It cannot be known in that way. So if you are still in the seeking game, it will elude you completely. You have to have arrived at the understanding that seeking is suffering, and is not the Way. Bliss and eternity cannot be the goal of a search. Because eternity is what we are already.
The process of Atma Nadi Yoga involves, quite simply, allowing attention to fall back into its source at the right side of the heart, and and then transcending attention altogether. Then you will see, that indeed, attention is A TENSION. It is the root sense of self contraction that arises at the heart, and like a knot, it turns pure infinite directionless consciousness into having a quality of being more like a searchlight, a focused beam. Like taking the water of a lake and forcing it through a hose. Then it has direction and distance, i.e. time and space. The more you explore the mechanism of attention, the more you will see that it is really by this process that we are bound into the 3D time space “reality”. In fact, each of us creates the 3D reality in precisely this way. We are bound into “the matrix” by attention…by a tension, unless and until we become masters of attention. It is not that we cannot use it, but we mustn’t be fixated or bound by it.
The process of relinquishing attention into source consciousness IS the process of surrender. It IS the process of the drop dissolving into the ocean. It is the process of the dissolution of the sense of separation, and until this process is complete within us, we will continue feeling a sense of alienation on some level, however subtle and subliminal, which brings all its baggage in, loneliness, fear, craving, seeking. Attention is always “outer” directed, but what we don’t notice, is that the sense of “outer vs. inner” is actually created moment to moment, by attention itself. That is why seeking is suffering. The search in the seeming outer world (or the seeming inner world as well) always reinforces the sense of separation and contraction, even when the desired goal is attained. The process is so engrained that a new object to desire or fear will immediately be created, and the process will begin all over again.
This is the psychology behind the terrorist theater that we are constantly being subjected to. Always have the elusive boogeyman out there to be afraid of, and our attention will be fascinated by and fastened into the 3D matrix, and we remain divorced from our true power as real-time here-now Divinity itself. So we are prisoners, and the chains are our attention. We are the jailer ourselves. And our friends and the people we associate with also help reinforce our imprisonment. This is why choosing friends carefully becomes more and more important in the process of liberation.
The good news is that, we have the key to the jail cell. And it is hidden in our attention. We have to learn the knack of retrieving our attention from where it is fixated, taking responsibility for it, and relinquishing it back to Source. Then we are instantly free again, here now, wherever we are.
Then there is no more tension, no more sense of separation. We ARE the Source consciousness itself, and it is in this “asana” where true creativity begins. BE Consciousness, and all creation arises spontaneously.
So, when sitting quietly, just become aware of the movement of attention, whether inside or outside, and gently bring it back to its root at the eternal heart. Allow it to fall back, No need to DO anything. Simply let it go. As you relax into the present, and become more and more present and aware, you will find that attention slowly relaxes and falls back into the heart. The point at the right side of the heart is like a well into Infinity. SImply rest and release attention there.
Do not invert it, however, don’t start “paying” attention to that point in the heart. That would be like trying to see your eyeballs. It’s impossible. That strategy from the 3D time-space paradigm will not work in this process. In fact, it is the exact opposite of what is needed. Simply witness the entire body mind and the experience it is having, and allow the root contraction of attention to dissolve there, at the heart-root. This is doorway to Self. You will find that as you get the knack of it, a current of bliss starts to arise there, or perhaps better said, you begin to become aware of the bliss that is always arising there. This is the Amrita Nadi, or Atma Nadi (the Nerve of Bliss/Immortality). Bliss has a natural grace to it, like a kind of gravity that pulls upwards. But it will only happen when you have released all seeking for it. It arises in the complete cessation of activity, when the “doer” ceases to exist.
The bliss then rises up through and beyond the head and beyond the crown to Infinity. When it happens, it is obvious, undeniable. It is as obvious as the sun, rising in the morning and moving to high overhead at noon. The mind is simply outshone. No more need to try and stop the mind, it simply becomes irrelevant. This gives a completely new meaning to the rising of kundalini. There is no effort in it whatsoever. In fact it only happens when all effort stops. The bliss current naturally activates the crown, but it is a different crown than the crown chakra. It is above the top of the head, and in fact, is not in the realm of time and space at all. This current becomes almost like the filament in a lightbulb. As it heats up, it glows, more and more, until it becomes spherical, centerless and boundless, like a transcendental Sun, illuminating and dissolving heart, head, and eventually the whole body, from the eternal beyond, which is even more here and now than the present moment.
So Amrita Nadi lifts us out of the wheel of karma, time, death and birth. All these things are embodied in the chakra system, the wheel of time, which goes down the front of the body and up the spine. Efforts in this system are all involved with some movement of attention, some kind of seeking, trying to get somewhere, high or low. The transcendental kundalini of Amrita Nadi is of a completely different flavor. It can produce many effects and processes in the traditional chakra system, but only as a side effect, a kind of purification that naturally happens when the body is suffused by the transcendental Organic Light (to use a term coined by the Gnostic scholar John Lash). This is the “unbroken” Light, which does not have any opposite darkness, because it exists only in the non-dual domain of the acausal Divine. All the light we see in this world is set over against shadows, and depends on being reflected on a surface to be seen. The Organic Light is self-existing, without opposite, and remains uncreated, and so, indestructible.
The Divine is not the “creator” God. Consider this for a moment. The God that ‘creates’ something would have to live in the world of cause and effect, or duality. How could it be otherwise? And if that is the case, then this creator God would not be the Ultimate, would it? All that we see is not created, it arises spontaneously in our perception, as a result of our attention, which really is just a tension. Release this tension, and the illusion of this world will fall away. Not that it will cease to exist, but it will regain its luminosity (not that it ever lost it) , and cease to have any binding power. The “creator” God that we have been conditioned to pray to, and give our energy/attention to, is an impostor, whose purpose is to keep us bound through our attention, in the time/space prison, and enslaved to his purposes. I believe we should be questioning very carefully what and who we mean when we use the word “God”. People presume that we’re all talking about the same thing, but do we know that for sure?
We have become so used to this process of attention, though, that it has become like a cramped muscle, very difficult to release on our own. This cramped muscle is ego. It will take some very precise inquiry into how attention functions, before it will begin to release. But it is also such a simple process, that if you are ready, (the big “if”) simply having it demonstrated, in silence, by someone who is embodying it will be enough for the process to begin. Remember, it is effortless, so nothing can be “done” about it. All that is needed is merely witnessing, without any judgement or wishing it to change. Just sense your totality, reflect on it as if in a mirror. This is the key to transformation.
Please bear in mind that this is my humble attempt to describe something that is really indescribable. Words exist in a context of duality. At some point we are reduced to simply sharing silence. But i write this, just in case it may spark something for you. My description pales in comparison with the instruction of the sages on the matter. Also, the process has a beginning, but no ending. At some point you cross the threshold, the point of no return, but from then on, the journey is an infinite unfolding.
Kit Walker ©2014
the following link contains a collection of quotes from Ramana Maharshi on the subject of Amrita Nadi.
this link contains some quotes from Adi Da about Amrita Nadi:
I have created an album of music for deep meditation, made specifically for the contemplation of amrita nadi.
it can be found at the following link:
5 thoughts on “Attention is a tension ~ amrita nadi and the asana of conscious creation”
Thank you, una maravilla !
Thank you for sharing your insights. Namaskar!
Kit, thank you for this eloquent description of Amrita Nadi. Today, on Adi Da’s birthday – somehow Amrita Nadi arose with force in my body. I am not a formal Adi Da devotee, but this experience has led me to realize that in my heart I already am his. Gratitude.
thank you Christopher, and so glad to hear your news!