It was a lovely evening, the sky was clear and in spite of city light, the stars were brilliant; though the tower was flooded with light from all sides, one could see the distant horizon and down below patches of light were on the river; though there was the everlasting roar of traffic, it was a peaceful evening. Meditation crept on one like a wave covering the sands. It was not a meditation which the brain could capture in its net of memory; it was something to which the total brain yielded without any resistance. It was a meditation that went far beyond any formula, method; method and formula and repetition destroy meditation. In its movement it took everything in, the stars, the noise, the quiet and the stretch of water. But there was no meditator; the meditator, the observer must cease for meditation to be. The breaking up of the meditator is also meditation; but when the meditator ceases then there’s an altogether different meditation.
It was very early in the morning; Orion was coming up over the horizon and the Pleiades were nearly overhead. The roar of the city had quietened and at that hour there were no lights in any of the windows and there was a pleasant, cool breeze. In complete attention there is no experiencing. In inattention, there is; it is this inattention that gathers experience, multiplying memory, building up walls of resistance; it is this inattention that builds up the self-centred activities. Inattention is concentration, which is exclusion, a cutting off; concentration knows distraction and the endless conflict of control and discipline. In the state of inattention, every response to any challenge is inadequate; this inadequacy is experience. Experience makes for insensitivity; dulls the mechanism of thought; thickens the walls of memory, and habit, routine, becoming the norm. Experience, inattention, is not liberating. Inattention is slow decay.
In complete attention there is no experiencing; there’s no centre which experiences, nor a periphery within which experience can take place. Attention is not concentration which is narrowing, limiting. Total attention includes, never excludes.*[…]
The purity of the otherness is its immense and impenetrable strength. And it was there with extraordinary stillness this morning.
*addendum: continuing from the above below (where the faint trace of the via negativa lies)