It is very easy for you to get lost in the mental world, on that journey from mind to world, to "your" world. However, when you are in Satsang there is a very great facility to stay in the present, to stay now, here, without these fluctuations of the mind, without these daydreams.
The mind works like this: either you go into the past or you go into the future. The egoic mind does not know the now, it does not know this moment, this instant. It has no interest in this instant. The interest that the egoic mind has in this instant is to turn it into something that it can remember, or something that it has a goal to obtain. In other words, this moment is interesting for it to get things in the future or for it later remember this same moment in the past.
Have you ever noticed that when we are together in Satsang, when I look at you, I provoke a "stop" there in your mind and I bring you back to this present moment? Therein, there is this Emptyness, this silent Space of the ego's absence. The energy of the Silence, of this Presence, brings you to this moment, which is the moment of pure attention, of unclouded attention, of the attention free from the clouds of the past or the future.
So, here it is very easy, because you are in your place, at home. You are out of the ego, out of time, out of the problems that ego knows. But when you leave, when you keep away a little, the common world of the ego, the world of the mind, returns.
Then, these entering and exiting of this state are what the ego knows. In these entering and exiting it has a remembrance of what it has been and that something has been lacking for it, but there is in you a clear inner impression that this absence of the person is this Space of Silence, Joy, Bliss and Freedom. This is very easy here, presently.
The Presence of the Guru is like a bomb of Consciousness. When He arrives, you stand in front of this bomb, there it explodes and you are brought into that Space. These face-to-face encounters have this power: the power to put the machine, there, in a condition to access this Natural State of disidentification of mind and body.
So when you sit here, or whenever you are with me, obey what is intuitive there, what is already natural. Consciousness is meeting itself - by not to use the expression looking for itself. Therefore, it is intuitive, it is natural, there, you seek the Darsham, seek that Guru's gaze. So, there is this access to this Space, which is not a space, which is That which contains all spaces.
The most important thing in Satsang is not the master's speech, but it is the power of the Presence here. It is not what he says, it is what he Is. Just as, for you, the most important question is not the questions you have, but the sensitivity to the Silence you already bring there. This is what answers all the questions or ends with all the questions, because that is what exterminates the questioner. The great power of Satsang is in the gaze of the Guru. There is the Presence, there is the Grace, there is the access to this Space. It is much simpler for you to observe the restless movements of the mind here, in presencial Satsang. It is much easier.
Attention is this careful, patient, dedicated observation that makes you observe all this external and internal movement without getting lost in it. I see you getting lost in what the eyes are seeing, and when you get lost, you identify yourself with the story that your brain tells you. The brain always tells a story about what it hears, about what it sees. So you look at something and the brain tells a story. You do not stand in the look, in the state of Mindfulness, of pure Consciousness.
It works like this: you look at this object and the brain, in its habit, already begins to classify, to imagine, to label, to give names... It is fast! The movement of the brain, by practice, is associative, then one thought arises and triggers another, which triggers another ...
Annamalai Swami said: "If the thinker withdraws his attention from the arising thoughts or challenges them before they have the opportunity to develop, the thoughts will all starve. You challenge them by repeating for yourself several times[...]" Therein, the technique of Ramana comes in: "[...] who am I? Who is the person who is having these thoughts?"
My tip is still more direct: you should not ask, but look. Just look, and you'll be back to the witness's place. Just look is enough. There is no thought, and when there is no thought, you stand before of this unmeasured Space, immeasurable. This is Meditation!
*Stretch transcribed from a presential meeting at Ramanshram Gualberto
In the city of Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, on August 2016