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#9 The underlying perceptual mechanics of meditation: Values, attention and specific intentions.

Now that we have made our meta-intentions explicit in relation to the practice of Infinite Worth Meditation, we need to develop a clear understanding of the extremely important relationship between our inner presence of values and our outwardly projected ‘attention’. This relationship is poorly understood in the world of the modern human and, although, the relationship between attention and values existent within all forms of life has been explored to a degree in various biological / scientific fields, it has been a pattern expressed throughout the kingdom of life that has not been revered with much significance. This relationship is central to practices related to Infinite Worth Meditation.

By analysing how inner values essentially control the direction of an organism’s attention, we open up insights towards the underlying perceptual mechanics that occur during meditation. This gives us the knowledge that helps us more accurately structure meditation practice based on specific intentions that align with the meta-intention previously outlined and the power of knowing how values and attention work together to create the experience of life.

The nature of your ‘attention’ is, again, an aspect of life that is massively taken for granted in relation to its life transforming powers. In fact, I would argue that your attention is the most powerful aspect of your life, which acts as the entry point to knowing yourself as an ‘infinite being’. Your attention is the pointy tip of your consciousness that unfolds 'new and fresh' information in the present moment, which is inseparately connected to and continually ‘feeds’ the ancient juggernaut of consciousness / memory that you already are. Upon close inspection, your attention is a direct reflection of our identity as a being of ‘pure consciousness’, as paying attention to something is to be ‘purely conscious’ of it. Your continually self-generating perception is layered with memories of the past and thoughts of the future, however, your attention is always completely silent and perpetually fixed on the present moment, as it’s only simple yet profound job is to ‘observe and unfold’ possibilities that make up your perception.

Your attention acts as the point of consciousness that can’t ever take itself away from the present moment and, therefore, is immensely powerful, as it is this point of consciousness that potentiality passes through to become actualised. In other words, attention is the tip of your ever-growing perception, where potential information is collapsed and turned into reality as actualised memory-based information. Your attention is also an extremely ‘free’ aspect of your perception, as, although there are natural boundaries that define your whole embodied perception, the freedom for your attention to explore and unfold further possibilities within those boundaries is limitless. Your attention has the freedom to explore your inner and outer experience of life equally and, given that we self-evidently are constantly creating a perception made up of an increasingly near infinite many differentiated pieces of information / possibility, attention therefore has the power to explore the ever-present field of infinite dimensionality unfolding and enfolding around you and within you. This freedom that your attention represents again implies its inherent capacity to be a transformative presence that can completely take one off or put one on the pathway to full Self-realisation.

You can notice the purity and perfection of your attention when you stop and try to pay attention to your attention. Your experience immediately becomes enveloped by silence, which is the experience of pure consciousness. Such experiences remind us of our true identity as reality creating agents of pure consciousness and represent the experiential states we want to explore more deeply during meditation. Another way to notice the pristine silence and unspoken power of your attention is to notice that, in order to ‘have thoughts’ you must firstly be aware of them, that is you must direct your attention to your thoughts in order to experience them. This mechanical technicality of ‘perception’ is rarely noticed by individuals, as we often have thoughts and / or generate imagination without questioning why they are taking centre stage of one’s attention. In order to experience ‘thought’ one must be directing their attention towards those thoughts. This implies that there is a ‘choice’ occurring in the background of perception on levels of our sub-conscious or even more deeply in our unconscious.

This ‘silent choice’ is a value driven action, as we can see the value us humans often place on our own self-generated thoughts, as a source of authority and truth, often trumps many other aspects of our current perception we produce. Here we can see that you are in fact far more in control of your life than you know. A common way people find themselves ‘out of control’ with their circumstances in life is when their attention is controlled by choices and, thus, values they are not aware of. The meditative technique I've developed, called ‘conscious discernment’, acts to highlight values, beliefs, choices and ‘attentional direction’ that do not align with the balance of individual and collective values life requires in order to unfold its true potential.

What we must be aware of though is it is the direction of your attention that illuminates the various aspect of both your ‘inner and outer’ experience. These various aspects of experience can be very noisy and action-packed, especially our inner self-talk (thoughts) and imagination, however the purely conscious beam of attention that is being directed towards such noise and movement is, itself, silent and calm. Your attention is directly linked to the source of your perfect nature and is always present waiting to be understood for the perfect reality creating functionality it truly is. Being able to consciously direct your attention, aligned with your deeply ordered intentions of developing authentic Self-love for life as a whole, towards particular aspects your experience of the present moment is the key to unfolding a life aligned with your highest potential. If you can control your attention, you can control the unfolding of your life.

In order to become masters of your own attention, and thus life, which relates to our specific intentions to be discussed further in paragraphs to come, an understanding of how values influence the direction of attention is crucial. A fundamental understanding that most individuals are not aware of is that your attention is completely controlled by inwardly constructed values. This is true throughout the kingdom of life and is a core functional feature of how pure consciousness unfolds reality. All living organisms are purely conscious of the present moment, that is to say all life ‘pays attention’ to the continually changing perception of their immediate environmental surroundings, which is obviously an essential act for ‘life’ to continually engage in, in order to be aware of opportunities and threats that promote or threaten the foundational life need to fulfill the core biological values (Haladjian, 2017). As a result, the attentional patterns present in all living organisms are heavily influenced by ancestral priorities (New, Cosmides, Tooby & Ohman, 2007).

In other words, the direction individual organisms aim their attention is determined by the ever-present emotional memory of biological values past down genetically from previous generations. Such values shape the emotional signalling stimulated by the occurrence of desirable and non-desirable informational patterns that unfold in one’s external field of perception. The subsequent emotional signalling forces attention to external information that is most valuable, which could be in the form of a threat or opportunity, which readies the individual to act in line with the best possible response based on memory, to uphold the biological values of life. This universal self-evident direct relationship between values and attention expressed by all life becomes even clearer when we consider that even single-celled organisms can “cognitively read their environment, analyze the received information and then execute the necessary action to continue their survival” (Shanta, 2015).

Another way to consider the need for life to operate on the control values have over attention is to remember the fact that, as an embodied creature of consciousness, we are always facing and in touch with the ‘outer’ chaotic perpetually changing field of infinitely differentiated information (world). If life organisms didn’t have an internally emotionally constructed value system to perceive this information through, then every organism would be frozen, bombarded with an infinite sea of complex / chaotic information with no internal signalling to help one discern a certain direction to take through the infinite differentiation of outer possibility. However, by perceiving the world through a memory-frame of ‘values’, organisms are able to focus their behaviour towards particular goals determined by the natural biological value to survive and evolve individually and collectively into the future.

With a pre-existing emotional value system, when one’s attention notices informational patterns of the ‘outer’ that are associated with a past experience which promoted or threatened such values (ie the experience of eating desirable food or being chased by a predator), then positive / negative emotions will begin firing (memory), encouraging the individual towards a particular behavioural response related to past successes and failures stored in the individual / collective memory. With some exceptions expressed by self-conscious life, these responses are not choices consciously made of course, but are determined by the universal memory of life values we are all embodied representations of.

The way in which values and attention build the experience of life reached an unprecedented level of complexity when creatures began evolving on our planet possessing self-consciousness, that is, being aware of not just the external informational field that the senses interact with but also that such senses make up a body which houses a subjective feeling of ‘self’ and that this ‘self’ experiences an internal informational field of physical sensations, emotions, and, with the evolution of modern humans, articulated thought within the boundary of one’s body. This type of self-consciousness evolved nested within the larger body of memory it is an outgrowth of; pure consciousness. Therefore, you as an individual represents this history of ‘consciousness’, where the biological memory of ‘what’ you are is fundamentally controlled by the purely conscious value system that is only concerned about the expansion of experience and possibility via the unfolding of your potentiality to promote the survival and evolution of our specie group and life more broadly speaking.

Remember, pure consciousness is driven only by the love of its own creation and will never stop in doing its best to fulfill its unbounded potential. It is this love-driven presence that is at your centre. The ‘real’ you we might say. Thus, the pure consciousness you are currently experiencing through is actually loving the unfoldment of the present moment, as it is the possibilities you bring forth into existence, because of your existence, that consciousness infinitely values. This purity of values you are ‘of’ also recognises, on levels we generally are not consciously aware of, that all other forms of life and, thus, humans you interact with are all varying representations of the same ‘beingness’. Pure consciousness only perceives Self in all possibilities it creates through experience.

When we direct and concentrate our attention consciously and exclusively to the outer unfolding world through our bodily senses for extended periods during meditation practice, an unmistakable feeling of wholesomeness (inseparability between the ‘inner and outer’) is directly communicated from our nature, which reinforces the understanding that paying attention in this direction is highly valued from the silent perspective of ‘pure consciousness’. This outwardly directed attention is held with the upmost of value by pure consciousness because pure consciousness recognises itself as the outer. From this silent perceptual position of being purely conscious of the outer unfolding world around us, duality collapses into the wholesome unifying experience of ‘non-duality’, where the boundary of what you previously defined yourself to be dissolves into the entirety of your whole perception.

This emotionally profound experience of ‘non-duality’, that we seek in meditative practices, is an indication that you are perceiving in-line with your nature, as you begin to recognise your true Self at the centre of all ‘inner and outer’ ‘actualised and potential’ possibilities / information that that make up your perception of life. Our attentive awareness literally collapses separation between the inner and outer environments, allowing the conscious noticing of an unbroken pattern of informational reciprocity you share with the world around you. Though, with sustained practice of paying attention to the 'outer' via your naturally outwardly beaming channels of attention (senses), you realise you don’t just ‘share’ this information of the outer world but that it is essentially a part of ‘what you are’ as much as this body is. That is, you realise that this body and the outer universe reciprocate dependently between one another, which essentially renders there being ‘no separation’ between these seemingly divided aspects of reality.

This experience of 'pure silent experience' is your conscious mind waking up to (remembering) the deeper aspects of your identity as the transcendent purely conscious presence of ‘Self-love’, which exists behind, but also wholeheartedly pervades throughout, all perceptions of life. All I am trying to make clear is that if we can recognise this extremely deep and significant relationship between values and attention, we can then approach our meditative experience with clear strong intentions rooted in the truth of what you are. This gives us the best opportunity to align our conscious values with our timeless purely conscious values, via the conscious directing of our attention to certain aspects of experience, so that we experience and develop an identity aligned with knowledge of your infinite nature. The hope in this blog was to develop an understanding of the ancient relationship between the emotional memory of values and attention that ‘life itself’ has depended on for the ongoing creation and exponential growth of various life-experiences and possibilities.

Therefore, it is our specific intention during meditation to consciously direct our attention to the continual ‘external unfoldment’ of the present moment from a point of pure silent consciousness, by valuing the creation of reality the five senses of our body are continuously collapsing into actuality from potentiality. By consciously paying attention to our bodily senses, that are only able to pay attention to the unfoldment of the present moment, we align the impersonal ancient value system of pure consciousness with our personal value system to create the required conditions for an emotional experience of silence, stillness and deep alignment. This is the process of remembering our true Self.

From this position of mental silence, we can, with increasing ease, consciously discern the subtle involuntary movements of our attention in order to highlight the sub-conscious / unconscious motivations of our shallower ‘ego values’ that interfere with our meditative intentions to align with deeper universal values of ‘life itself’. I call this heightened level of awareness ‘conscious discernment’. Thus, we must understand that this is another specific intention aligned with all previous intentions; to notice when our attention gets hijacked by shallower personal value systems against our conscious will to value the ‘outer’ impersonal possibilities of our perception. Upon the realisation of noticing our attention being controlled by shallow personal values, it becomes easy to ‘consciously choose’ to refocus our attention in the intended Self-aligned direction. Developing an awareness of our attention is key in controlling it towards aspects of our experience we desire to highlight, in order to transform, deepen and expand our identity towards its true nature.

Reference List

- Haladjian, HH 2017, ‘Consciousness in Other Animals’, Psychology Today, viewed 15th December 2018,

- New, J, Cosmides, L & Tooby, J 2007, ‘Category-specific Attention for Animals Reflects Anceastral Priorities, Not Expertise’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Oct 16; 104(42); 16598-16603.

- Shanta, BN 2015, ‘Life and Consciousness- The Vedāntic View’, Communicative & Integrative Biology’, 8(5): e1085138

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(16) #9 Perceptual mechanics of meditation - YouTube

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