I was in my meditation class. My mentor always tells me; pay attention. Paying attention to what? I wondered. He wouldn’t say one more word. What did it mean? I was also wondering, am I not paying attention then?
I began by paying attention
When I was born, I was paying attention to everything and everyone. I did nothing but that. Being attentive was my all day activity. I did not have a reason. I just paid attention. Then, came my mother. She was the one person I knew in my heart. Yet, I did not know her physically, as a person. So, I was attentive to her too! And she said something to me. I was being attentive. I would always hear the word; Repeat. After I had heard it several times, and with her hand gestures, I realised that she wanted me to do as she was doing. Be it talking, walking, eating, drinking water or whatever, she would ask me to Repeat. When ever I’d pay attention, the people around me would do these funny faces, make gestures. I guessed they wall wanted me to repeat.
I learnt to repeat
As I grew, I began to pay attention and repeated. With every single day passing, I learnt to repeat what I was paying attention to. I grasped as others did. They clapped. I repeated that too. It didn’t matter why they were clapping or who they were clapping at. I just did what they did. The more I repeated, the more claps came, until a phase came, where, I was less attentive and more repetitive. Everybody around me went about doing their things. No one clapped anymore. Now they felt assured, that I had become like them. As for me, I no longer remember paying attention.
Why am I here?
The basic question is; Who am I? why am I here? Am I here to live a life? Why? I mean, what for must I live a life? These fundamental questions are the ones that needs discovering. Mark my words. The fundamental questions of Who am I? what must I live a life for?, do not require an answer. These questions require me to discover. The answer will emerge from my discovering.
Our lives, rather my life, is a life of discovery. So must yours be! But why?
Wouldn’t you want to know who you are? what did you come to this place for? To this place called earth? Wouldn’t you want to know why you are working? What made you grow up to who you are today? And, wouldn’t you want to reclaim your freedom?
Are you happy being you?
Most of us are being the repetition. We are what we repeat. I went to school because everyone else went. I went to college because I am repeating what someone else did. Even if I did not repeat, I was told by my parents to repeat what others were doing. If I did not pay attention to what others were doing, then, my parents would tell me; Look at Naresh, see how well he has scored in his exams, or may be about his job, or something else. You are always asked to pay attention only so that you can repeat.
When parents ask you to repeat, children feel annoyed and frustrated. They don’t want to. But, parents are fearful of what they don’t know. They never discovered what they are here for! They are just repeating. What’s funny is that you don’t even know what you are repeating.
Repetition creates a habit. And when the habit forms, you just repeat the habit day after day. It becomes the new you. You no longer pay attention. You just have to repeat. And you feel that’s normal. You believe that’s the perfect way to live! And everyone is caught in their habit. Some habits are good. But mostly, habits are social. You repeat what society repeats. It’s like a factory manufacturing several of the same kind.
Religion is based on Repetition
All religions are based on repetitions. Any some of it is for your benefit. The mantras and chants which are essentially vibrations, are good repetitions. Discipline itself is based on repeating the same thing at the same time everyday. Discipline is good. In fact, the word discipline, means to pay attention to what you are repeating. It’s meant to discover.
Unconscious Repetition can become the root cause of all illnesses
Are you happy being you? Are you happy being the repetition?
The root cause of all illnesses is embeded in unconscious repetition. When you do something only because others are doing, you stop paying attention. You are now a slave of the mind. You go on and on, you don’t pay attention to what the body is experiencing, what is manifesting as a consequence of this unconscious repetition! How on earth then do you expect only medicines to cure you?
This repetition business is so tricky that, when my mentor asked me to pay attention, I say to myself – Pay attention. And that becomes another repetition. Gosh! This repetition is so powerful that it won’t let you pay attention.
When you decide to be well, the first step you must get involved in, is what you came here for – pay attention.
What am I here for?
I came to this place to be. I had forgotten to pay attention in another lifetime and instead chose to repeat. And I believed that repetition was the way to be. While repeating, I forgot to pay attention to my repetition. I believed that, there was nothing for me in what I was doing! I was repeating for repetition’s sake. Then, the belief that I had to do something for me! But repeating is all that I remembered. So, I began repeating more than anyone else I knew.
But, repetition took my happiness away from me. Then, I thought to myself. If I repeat even more, may be I will get back my happiness. The body and mind owned the repetition. The body died repeating. I believed that I was the body.
So, in this life, I have come to pay attention, to be aware, just like it all started, in every single life of mine, yours and everyone else’s. While the body burns, erasing the karma it accumulated, I will simply pay attention. This is meditation. This is being You. The Real You.
I am seeing clearly now
Finally, clarity has awakened in me. I realise now, that I simply have to pay attention. It is not directed towards anything. Just be awareness. That’s the mantra. And to be, is what life is all about. Nothing else matters.
— Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy