Once a person becomes able to divide his attention, and directs a major portion of it toward himself, his attention begins to shift inward. This makes sense: There is no outward place for it to grow. Sometimes one develops such a phenomenon as ‘super-hearing’, or altered visual perception (the so-called 3D vision, one that novice seekers often interpret as a special achievement) but these are of little significance and value. The moment comes when inputs from all sensory receptors become available for the seeker’s attention: He perceives consciously everything he sees and hears, is aware of any scents and tactile sensations, for example, the warmth-cold sensation—simultaneously. Simultaneous perception of all stimuli among the sense organs is an outcome of the expanded scope of attention and enhanced awareness. Once this state is achieved, you have reached the ceiling. I used to have a friend who practiced the hearing meditation. He developed an ability to detect a plane flying in the sky several minutes before people near him could hear or see it. Such a skill could be practical during air raids in a time of war. However, in ordinary life, it is more a bizarre trick that can work to impress a girl on the first date. The same is true for augmented visual ability, such as that to see auras and the like. Such abilities may be of use at times, yet come with such a strong temptation to brag about the newly acquired skills that they cause more harm and setback than improvement in spiritual growth. In all of the time that I have been working on myself, I have experienced more than one such breakthrough of perception, but now, looking back, I can’t say that it facilitated my progress along the Path in any radical way. So, don’t let yourself become exhilarated by gathering too much external information. It’s the things that happen inside you that matter most.
At first, your attention will be attracted by most “bulky” things: repressed anger or fear or bodily tensions that have become too pressing to be ignored further. Then, as you continue to make progress in your work, working through major tensions, among other things, your perception will grow more subtle. You will begin to discern more delicate emotions and deep-seated desires. As your awareness grows and non-identification improves, you will find that the ideas that underlie your conditioning are revealed.
Eliminating tensions and automatic mental and emotional reactions coupled with continuous inner witnessing create the environment in which a person enters within himself suddenly.
I must say that for quite some time, I myself regarded the precepts of the mystics—who emphasized that one needs to go within and that everything important is there—as a symbol, a beautiful figure of speech, or metaphor. It didn’t occur to me that the instruction was to be followed verbatim, by directing all of the power of my attention inside myself, basically within the body. This should not be confused with concentrated attention on, say, chakras: One has to be looking inside oneself explicitly. Imagine my surprise when, at a certain moment, the invisible inner barrier disappeared and I saw boundless spaces. The vision was so impressive that the beauty of the expanses in the outside world (seas, mountains, etc.) from that moment on ceased to look as impressive as before.
That discovery helped me come to know the Heart in the sense that mystics of all times relate to it, and become aware of the bonding with the Creator that is hidden in every human being.