Everyone knows the saying that water dropping constantly wears away the stone. However, if we try to track the process in real time, the changes will not be noticeable immediately. What we see is water drops breaking on the stone one by one. Brief observation would suggest the converse, that water is less powerful than stone. However, if water continues to drip, it will win over the rock’s hardness eventually. A similar thing happens when we expend effort to become aware. In the beginning, we have very little energy free for attention, are distracted easily, fall asleep, and forget about our goal. We are struggling to hold our attention free from identification and to remain open to body sensations, which make this work appear to be too difficult to do. This conclusion is an illusion and arouses skepticism that all of our efforts will turn to dust like water drops hitting the rock of unconsciousness helplessly. For a long time, nothing seems to be happening; however, the process plays on behind the scenes, concealed from us by our strong emotional and mental reactions. Sooner or later, a moment inevitably comes when the results of our efforts become so obvious that they can no longer be ignored.
Comment. Awareness increases in steps—every practitioner knows this. You carry on your efforts and they may appear to be totally fruitless for quite some time, because after balancing in awareness for a certain period, you unavoidably fall and forget. This can go on for weeks and months, but with persistent aspiration and consistent efforts, the results will come, and one day you realize suddenly that a certain degree of presence has been established in you and losing it is no longer possible, not even during occasional “unconscious setbacks”. Staying at this level of presence in oneself can take some time, but eventually another change occurs, and you notice unexpectedly that your self-awareness has increased even more and you are now able to see and sense things of a more subtle quality in yourself. This step-wise progress continues until your awareness and presence in yourself become complete at last.
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With respect to body awareness, first you see enhancement in the body’s sensitivity and in the later stage, you achieve the complete and permanent presence of attention in your body. This occurs abruptly, as if someone turned on the light in a dark room, and everything in it comes into view. Vague shapes and blurry silhouettes are revealed now as objects accessible for perception. From that moment on, body awareness becomes constant and effortless, representing a new level of one’s being. Once reached, this state cannot be lost. It can only grow deeper in concert with the increase in awareness.