The key to existence
Sadhguru, Isha Foundation
A few years ago, I took a small group of people on a trek on a railway track between Subramanya and Mangalore in Karnataka. This stretch has over 300 bridges and 100 tunnels.You are practically either on a bridge or in a tunnel most of the time and it is an absolutely wonderful mountain.Some of the tunnels are over a kilometre long.Even in the day, it is pitch dark if you go in. You cannot see your own hand in front of you. After some time, you do not know whether your eyes are open or closed, it is that dark. Probably, most people have never been in a place like that – even starlight gives you some sense of vision. In the tunnels, there is absolutely no vision; it is pitch black. After some time you start wondering whether your eyes are closed or open because it does not make any difference.
I made them walk in those tunnels without torches. There could be a ditch, there could be an opening, there could be anything. And bats are flying all over – they do not see anything either but they are damn sure about where they are going. They are flying really close to you all over the place. Initially, people were scared but after some time, slowly they started walking and enjoying the whole experience. If you are in a place like that, your attention becomes really heightened. If you can keep your attention like this every moment of your life, then you will glow.
The very first step of even thinking spiritual came to you only because of a certain level of attention. If you pay much more attention to everything, above all if you heighten your ability to be attentive, that could be used in miraculous ways. But for this to happen, you have to pay a lot of attention. But you cannot pay a lot of attention to anything because you can only pay what you have. But in what you have also you save – that’s not okay. Whatever attention level you have right now is not all that is possible. There is more but that is still in an un-manifest state where you do not have access to it. But, at least, you must pay what you have.
Even with your mental attention, all of it is not there right now, please see. You are at different levels of attention at different times of your life. If you are doing your work, you are in one level of attention; if you are in meditation you are in a different level of attention; if you are eating something that you like very much, you are in a different level of attention; if you are watching a video or something that you like, you are in a different level of attention. Your levels of attention are different at different times, and whatever the peak attention that you have had in your life at any time, that is still not all of it. That is just a small part of it. You are capable of much more attention.
Suppose I leave you without a torch in the middle of the forest at night, when it is pitch dark, you will see that your level of attention will be different. When you face danger and hear wild animals but you cannot see anything, you will be in a different level of attention. If it is a question of life and death, you will become attentive in a completely different way.
It is only when you truly pay attention to your life that you see that you don’t know where it begins and where it ends. You are going about as if whatever you are doing is the be all and end all of life. The moment you pay a little attention, you understand. This is not it. If you bring this attention to a peak, if you learn to have a heightened sense of attention, then we can teach you methods as to what you must and what you should not attend to within yourself. If you become very attentive, we can look at how to make use of that attentiveness.
Ranked amongst the 50 most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian awards, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.