In today’s meditation practice we had the instruction to relax first and then to evoke into our imagination a problem, particularly a problem that causes pain and suffering, whether for us or someone else. Did anyone solve their problem in meditation today? I did not give you that practice expecting that anyone would solve their problem. Did anyone find that when they began to imagine that problem that their mind was filled with thoughts? How about filled with emotions? How about tension in the body or discomfort and agitation? Did you want to run screaming out of here?
The reason we did that practice today is to discover why we cannot solve our problems. It is because of our mind. We see the problem. It is very easy to identify and recognize where we have problems, because they are accompanied by pain. This is inevitable. This is how nature works. Where we have a problem there is suffering, whether our own suffering or someone elses. The reason we cannot solve those problems is because we do not know how to use the faculties of consciousness.
Because of our conditioning, when we look at a problem, we react to it. Our mind justifies ourselves. We repeat our point of view, our perspective, our rights, we go over our traumas or how we were wronged and justified in what we did etc. etc.
The Three Traitors
In Christianity that tendency is symbolized by a figure named Pontius Pilate, who was very intelligent, very clever, and very smart. He always washes his hands of the crimes that he facilitates. Our intellect does that. This way that we think and the way that we utilize reasoning is our traitor. It betrays our consciousness, which in the gospel is represented by Christ who is sent to the slaughter by Pilate.
This happens because the Christ is delivered to the Romans by Caiaphas, the high priest. Caiaphas is the believer, the noble priest who seems to radiate so much goodness, so much gentleness, so much love, and so much humility, but is actually the executioner of the soul. Caiaphas is the one that sends the soul to Pilate to be judged and crucified. That symbolizes our the traitor in our heart, which is emotions, attachments and desires that process through us emotionally.
In meditation today, when we visualized a problem, many thoughts appeared; did you notice that they are the same thoughts that we always have about the problem? And then emotions are there, pain, resentment, pride, anger, and the envy that we feel. All of those emotions attached to that problem are Caiaphas. The believer, the “noble” and “holy one” is a liar!
These emotions are lies because they are rooted in desire, fear, anger, pride, envy, gluttony, and greed, and all of those qualities that none of us want to admit that we have.
In all of our problems, we only want to see ourselves as the virtuous one, the holy one, the priest or the priestess (Caiaphas). We only want to see ourselves as the smart one, the intelligent one (Pilate). We do not realize that in fact that these images of ourselves are flawed. These figures are traitors. They are not virtuous. Instead, they are the cause of our suffering.
How did all that happen in the gospel? Does anyone know? Who let all of that happen? Judas.
Judas is the one who betrays Jesus, and starts that process. Who is Judas symbolically speaking? It is all the energy that we have in us. It is our life force. It is the vitality that we get from divinity to be alive. Divinity gives us that energy, but we utilize all of our vitality and all of our energy for our desires. We convert it into a traitor.
Contemplate as a scientist the context of our lives. Observe yourself the way a scientist would. For example: here is an organism, and it was born at this time, and lives in this period of time, eating and consuming and acting, all these little things that this organism does, but let us put all that in a chart and analyze how it spent all of its time and energy. Where did it get spent? On what? If you put it in a chart, 99% or more of all that time and energy was spent on desires. How much was spent on spirituality, on developing the consciousness and awakening, on meditation? In the context of your entire lifetime, if you look at it in hard facts, the factual, honest results are not beautiful. We all think we are spiritual people, but the truth is even if you look at the context of a single day, how much of that time did you really seriously invest into your soul? It is that you will keep when you die. Nothing else will be with you. All the other things that you are putting time and energy into you will lose.
How much of our time goes to TV, internet, chit chat, gossip, Facebook, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, chasing girls, chasing boys — whatever it is we do — compared to how much time was spent developing the consciousness, your inherent nature? The consciousness survives death.
I think you will find the facts very distressing. That is why we did that exercise in meditation today. It is not an easy exercise. It is not easy to be honest with oneself.
Five Centers / Three Brains
When we visualize a problem and maintain a continuity of awareness of that visualization, how is the intellect reacting? With thoughts? How is the emotional brain reacting? With feelings? How is the body reacting? With impulses?
The body does not want to sit there and look at our problems. It wants to go out and do things. It wants to go shopping and eat and go to yoga class or wherever. It wants to enjoy itself and feel sensations that it likes.
Our emotional center wants to feel emotions that it likes. It does not want to look at our problems. It does not want us to see our own culpability.
The intellect certainly does not want to look at our problems because it is everybody else’s fault. “Our problems are not our fault!” so says the intellect.
Thus, this practice is not easy.
The only part of us that can make it work is the consciousness. But in us, it is weak. It does not have much power to observe a problem and understand a problem without the interference of the body, emotion, or intellect.
But it can be done! That is the purpose of meditation.
We have given thirteen lectures already, so that you can understand all of the little details that lead you up to the ability to sit, relax, close your eyes, visualize a problem and comprehend it. The purpose is not to think about it, to not rationalize it, to not reason about it or justify it with the intellect. Neither is it to sit and stew in the emotions of it, or deal with the frustrations and agitations of the body in relation to that problem. Instead it is to have the consciousness cut into the heart of that problem and see it for what it really is, thereby dissolving the pain. When you really comprehend a problem, it stops hurting because you understand it. The knot becomes untied. The cage is shattered and what was trapped in it is free.
The problems we need to solve are described by a lot of technical terms, but the one that I like the most is samsara. The word literally means “circling.” It literally means “to repeat.”
That is all our problems do. Our problems repeat and repeat and repeat. They are mechanical knots. They are places where energy is trapped and where the trauma repeats because it is a machine and it does not know how to do anything else. And in case you did not notice, if we have an unsolved problem, it does no good to keep repeating our reactions to it. Yet that is what we do. Not only do our problems repeat, our responses repeat too. Yet, our responses are not solving the problems. It is all just circling, repeating.
What is anger? It is samsara. It is circling because of a desire that is frustrated. And because it is frustrated it lashes out with violence. But when you comprehend the desire that is trapped there and you see its futility and its’ suffering and pain and you understand the real truth about that desire, it evaporates, and so does the anger, and so does the circling. That samsara is shattered. That is why we use the word nirvana; which means “cessation, ending, to finish.”
Nirvana does not mean heaven. It means cessation. That means the circle has stopped.
The problem only repeats. Anger only repeats. Pride only repeats. Every ego repeats. Lust repeats and repeats and repeats. That is all it can do. It cannot love. Anger cannot love, pride cannot love, and envy cannot love. They only repeat themselves, and only care about themselves. Lust only wants to repeat sensations. It does not care what that costs you. It does not care about the suffering it creates. It only cares about repeating.
That is why we did that exercise today. I gave the instruction to relax and observe the problem. You visualize it, maintaining awareness of how thought, emotion and body will attempt to interfere, but while you are observing this image of the problem, you watch for something new.
The purpose of meditation is to cut through the illusion of things and to see the things we did not see before, to see the reality. We do not see the reality because of our samsaric, repetitive tendencies. The way we think is mechanical and it repeats. The way we feel is mechanical and it repeats. The sensations in the body are mechanical and it also repeats. We have conditioned ourselves to that.
To meditate, we have to free ourselves from that. We have to look at things as if we have never seen them before. This is a new way of looking, not just in the meditation practice, but all day long.
When we talk about self-observation, mindfulness, watchfulness and vigilance, all those technical terms are about that, which is learning to look without the mechanicity of looking. To look as though you have never been here before. You do not know any of these people, or any of these places, or who you are, but to look with a fresh perspective.
In that looking anew, you might find something new.
In meditation, that newness is what we are seeking. Not to just repeat the old, but to look at things fresh. That is how we discover truth and reality. That is also why we study the Tree of life.
Tree of Life
This symbol maps everything that exists outside of us. It also maps what we are on every level. We do not know who we are. This is a significant part of the reason why we suffer. We are grasping at an identity that does not exist. The name that we have, the memories that we have, are tastes, our politics, our music, our food - all of that is a lovely little cage that we have made for ourselves that has no fundamental reality!
You will discover that if you are honest with yourself. When meditating on your experiences, you will ask, “who was I really, then?” This teaching helps us to start peeling away these illusory layers that we believe are real so we can start getting to the reality. Who are we really and what are these problems really and how do I fundamentally change, but not just on the surface, but changing fundamentally, deeply, permanently?
This image shows in a graphic way in a vertical form how everything comes into being, everything that is right now is suspended in a kind of space.
We perceive forms, things, people and what we call reality. Even our modern science recognizes that what we are seeing is not real, and spirituality has been saying that for thousand of years. We need to learn to actually see that, not only in our daily lives, but in meditation.
What we are perceiving is not reality. We need to break that condition, that habit, that repeating samsaric perspective that assumes what we see is real, because it is not! Having that question with yourself, that inquisitive perspective looking for newness, begins with that. We need a new attitude that says, “The way I see is not reality. I need to see this in a new way. I need to look at people and see them for who they are, not for the veil that I put there, with a name and memories and my interpretation of them, but to actually look into the soul of the person and actually see them.” That is a great place to start, and do the same in the mirror! We need to see ourselves for what we really are, to look into the soul, not at the surface.
This map is like layers and layers that get more and more subtle. It is arranged in a vertical way to help us understand it, but it is not vertical in nature.
Let me try to explain what that means. We can all agree that we are in our physical body. We are utilizing our physicality, even though we are not very aware of it. Our physicality is represented by the sphere Malkuth; which is the lowest of the ten spheres. The physical body has volume and three dimensions. It is has a volume to it. It has density and mass and weight. Within it is the energy that lets it be alive.
When you feel energetic or when you feel tired - these are two polar differences in your energy level that cannot be measured with an instrument. But you feel it. Isn’t that true? You feel tired and drowsy or you feel bright and active. That energetic quality is Yesod, the next sphere. It is just more subtle. Physicality is the third dimension, and Yesod is the fourth dimension. We sense Yesod, but we cannot necessarily measure it with and instrument.
So here and now we can perceive the body, its energy, and we can also perceive our emotions and our thoughts. They are not physical. They are more subtle then our physicality and our energy. They are Hod, emotion, and Netzach, thought. They are more subtle, but still here and now within.
Everyone here is having emotions and thoughts to some degree or another, but know one else can see them. You cannot prove to me what you are thinking or what you are feeling, but you can sense it. Your consciousness can perceive and understand physicality, energy, emotion, and thought. Those are in the third dimension, fourth dimension and fifth dimension.
You may not have realized it, but you are a multidimensional person that is experiencing multidimensions right now! Thoughts and emotions are real, but you cannot measure them. You can measure their impact on physicality. A doctor can measure the electrical impulses that thoughts and emotions produce on the body and the nervous system, but that is not the thought or emotion itself. It is just its’ trace, its’ footprint.
When we meditate, we put the body to rest and make the energy still. We also want to make emotion and thought serene and at rest. What we want to utilize in meditation is our consciousness. Specifically in the beginning it is willpower. It is the will to pay attention and not be distracted. That is Tiphereth, the next sphere.
Tiphereth is a Hebrew word that means “beauty.” The consciousness is the most beautiful thing that we have. Our body might be beautiful briefly, but it fades and dies. Our energy fluctuates, and thoughts and emotions are unfortunately not very nice most of the time, since they are mostly selfish.
The consciousness when it is free and not conditioned by these lower elements is exceptionally beautiful! It is where we find all of our virtues like our altruism, our capacity for incredible love and sacrifice, our generosity, patience, and our zeal. Those qualities are related to the consciousness, with the soul. They are our true nature. Our reality begins there.
We only have the physical body for a few years. The body is energized by Yesod. These two die. It dies and we lose it and we cannot keep it. You already see thoughts and emotions just come and go. These are also not fundamentally real, all of this is illusory. When you start tasting something real is with the consciousness.
The point here is as you withdraw from the more dense aspects that we can perceive right now, and you get into those that seem more subtle to us, you are are actually getting into things that are more and more real, that have more longevity and are more reliable and have more truth. In these upper levels, most of us have no idea how to understand any of this because we have no memories of ever experiencing them: our Divine Soul (Geburah), and our Spirit (Chesed).
The upper Trinity; which is within us and has many names in different religions such as:
- Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
- Kether, Chokmah, Binah
- Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya
There are different names in different traditions, but for us they are just concepts because we do not experience them. That is because our will, our consciousness is identified with thoughts, emotions, energy and physical sensations, and has become corrupted by desire and thus we only experience the circling and repeating of our desires on a daily basis. We want more money, more sex, more power, more recognition, more fame, more popularity, or whatever it is we are chasing. We are always chasing and never satisfied and never content. That is our condition and that is why we cannot meditate and that is why we cannot solve our problems. When we sit to meditate the mind is constantly running, thinking, thinking, thinking, emotions are churning, the body is not settled it is not still, it is agitated etc. and that is our problem in synthesis. We need to know how to change that.
The way we do it is by learning the science that we have been explaining in this course. Even if it has other names, what we are talking about here are fundamental practical ways to cut through our mechanical tendencies in order to be able to understand our problems and change them.
In the course up until now, what we need is comprehension and understanding. That is a conscious quality.
The intellect cannot comprehend, it can only compare. The intellect is a dumb machine. It can store data. It can compare data. It can say “this is like that” and it tries to draw conclusions from those comparisons, but it is always stumbles over itself because no matter how clever the intellect is in crafting its point of view there will always be an equally valid and opposing view, thus it will never resolve any problem. That is why our political systems fail. That is why our philosophical systems always fail. That is why religions are failing nowadays because everyone is trying to make them logical. Religion is not logical. It is mystical. It uses a different type of intelligence.
Emotion also cannot solve our problems. Neither can energy or physicality. None of those lower aspects of ourselves can solve our problems. Only the consciousness can.
Comprehension / Conscious Knowledge
In the previous lectures, we culminated in the last lecture on how to meditate on something in order to gain insight into that thing. The point of that was to be able to have the ability to succeed in the practice we are doing today. We want to sit in meditation, visualize an image, and receive something new: an answer, an insight, an understanding.
We want to solve our problems. To do that, we need new information. We need to see what we have not seen.
To do that, we need to master this equation:
Concentration + Imagination = Meditation
First is the ability to concentrate on one thing and not be distracted.
Next you need the ability to perceive an image in your minds eye. This is imagination.
When imagination and concentration are combined and strong, you can access the actual state of meditation. That is a state of consciousness. It is a state of experience and state of perception in which you see not with your physical senses, but with your consciousness, and you understand what you see.
To reach that requires skill. You need to know how to relax the body, emotion and intellect so they all become still and calm and do not condition your perception, distract you, or pull you back in thinking, emotions, and sensations. When not distracted by your environment, not distracted by your body, not distracted by thoughts or emotions, you can visualize what you are concentrating on with serenity. That is how you access real comprehension.
Comprehension has many qualities and levels. It really just means to understand. For example, I hope in these concepts that you are starting to understand something new, and that is comprehension, even if it is only in the intellectual level. But conscious comprehension is when you understand in such a way that your life will not be the same. It is when you learn something that strikes you so deeply that you are changed. That is real comprehension.
For example, when you discover that your anger and the words that you speak deeply wounds someone that you love, you will comprehend that anger must die. You will understand that anger is a sin, that defect is a problem. And then to comprehend that anger and eliminate it takes patience.
The defect itself does not get eliminated just because we know it is a defect. It is still there. It also does not go away if we ignore it. In fact it will get stronger. Likewise, when the addict understands that they are an addict, it does not change the addiction. It is another thing to eliminate the addiction. Anger is an addiction and so are lust, pride and envy. They are all addictions that we have and to see the problem is a kind of comprehension.
To comprehend that problem so that it no longer causes suffering is a great work. It can be done and it has been done! That is our purpose, to do that!
If you are taking this kind of work seriously, and observing yourself during the day, and you are meditating daily trying to comprehend, but trying to understand not only how to practice this science, but also to understand yourself, if you are doing this the right way then you will start comprehending immediately simply because you are using the consciousness. That is, really observing. Really paying attention, really separating the perceiver from the perceived. You no longer are being a machine that is caught in the repeating cycles of your everyday existence. Instead you are becoming conscious of yourself. That immediately begins the process of comprehension. It is only relative to the power of your perception.
If you are only being mindful in the course of your daily life, but not meditating deeply, then your comprehension will be limited to what you perceive. If you only perceive physical things, then your comprehension will be limited to that sphere.
If you really want to comprehend the roots of suffering, then you have to perceive those roots, and those roots are not in the physical world. They are inside of you! We need meditation to see that. To see that, we need to shut off the physical senses and look with our internal senses, and perceive the roots of suffering so we can understand them. Those roots are deep inside of us. That is why we need this process.
Imagination is what opens those doors to let us see inside.
The step of imagination implies that we have already established the preliminaries: we already know how to relax the body. We already know how to concentrate ourselves very thoroughly. We are already conserving energy in order to fuel the consciousness because it needs a lot of energy to awaken. If we are wasting energy with all of our old habits we will never learn to meditate.
Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition
This first step, imagination, takes an incredible amount of energy. To accumulate energy, we must stop our bad habits. We start conserving energy and directing it into our spiritual life, into the consciousness, in order to fuel it. We also adopt new practices like: mantras, prayers, runes and rites, consuming blessed food (eucharist), walks in nature, listening to beautiful music, looking at beautiful art, reading beautiful writings to inspire and cultivate a quality of spirituality in our lives and to discard the materialism that society wants us to follow. In that way, we work intensely to develop imagination.
What is imagination? It is to see with your minds eye. Real imagination is not vague, unclear, uncertain. Rather, it is to see images internally with perfect clarity, for as long as you wish.
You start developing imagination by paying attention to the present moment, being here and now. and observing life as it is. When you are doing that, you stop fantasizing.
If you pay attention to yourself, you spend a lot of your day daydreaming, fantasizing and thinking about things that do not exist. You are living in illusions! All day long you are imagining conversations. You imagine scenes and dramas that play out in your head, and every instant of that is wasted energy! It is all lies. When you stop that habit, but instead begin to pay attention to the reality of the moment, being here and now, not only are you conserving energy, but you are being aware of what is actually happening.
Then, in the evening when you do your retrospection practice to recall what happened during the day, you can visualize it easily because all day long you actually observed it consciously. All of this together develops imagination very robustly.
We need the ability to look at memory and see it exactly as it happened, without any interference of a desire, any thought or emotion.
Let us say for example that in the practice we did today, observing a problem, you are observing that image, you are visualizing and remembering, you are seeing it and it is sustained there in your imagination, and then some new image comes, something that you have never seen before or something unexpected. That is inspiration! That is not produced by the intellect or emotion. It is something different.
Inspiration is the second step. We want to see something new, and not see the same thing again and again.
When you understand those new things that you see, that is the third step: intuition, comprehension.
Lets talk about these in detail so we can make them really clear.
Imagination / Clairvoyance: “Clear Seeing”
The first step is to see things clearly.
You probably heard this unfortunate word “clairvoyance.” I call this word unfortunate because it has been misused and intensely abused. Clairvoyance is a French word and it means “clear seeing.” All it means is to be able to imagine something clearly. That is all. Every single living thing has clairvoyance: imagination, that is all. It has levels.
If you observe yourself very honestly you will see that most of what you imagine is related to your desires. Desires are easy to imagine. That is because so much of our consciousness is trapped in desires.
Clairvoyance has two primary types: positive and negative. Previously, we talked about five specific kinds and you can go back and listen to that lecture to study those in detail.
Negative imagination / clairvoyance is fantasy, daydreaming, our tendency to imagine things as our desires want to see them. Most of what we imagine and we have going on in our heads is rooted in our desires, things we want and things we do not want. It is all about me, myself, my conveniences, my comforts, my interests and my desires. That means most of what we use our imagination for is related to what we call subconsciousness, unconsciousness, and infraconsciousness: all the submerged levels of our mind that we do not like to admit that we have.
When we meditate, that is also what happens. We trying to focus on something, and what is coming into our mind as images is all of that habitual mechanical pride, envy, greed, and gluttony. That is negative clairvoyance, imagination that is negative. That is what most of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many meditators believe that whatever they see in “meditation” must be “positive,” thus they believe whatever they “see” is positive, real, and trustworthy. Obviously, that is wrong.
In today’s practice we visualized a problem. When we are able to hold onto that, the mind will throw at us all of its desires to try to distract us. It will try to throw all of its’ justification, the traumas, the pains we suffered, and all of the reasons why this problem is not our fault. All of these images come into the mind.
If your concentration is strong, you can easily recognize those things for what they are and hold fast to that original image. With patience and the serenity eventually that noise will become silent, and you will be able to visualize that scene that you want to understand steadily, easily. At some point when you are not desiring or craving it, you will realize you are seeing something new. It will not emerge when you are desiring it or when you are craving it. It will only happen with serenity, acceptance and peacefulness, with no craving or no aversion either. When you are very centered, very relaxed, with penetrating concentration, then this new thing will emerge, something unexpected that happens through positive imagination.
Imagination and concentration are unified, and that state of meditation opens like a flower, and that new image emerges. That is when you experience the second aspect, which is inspiration.
“Immediate influence of God or a god,” from Latin Inspirare to “breathe upon”
That is where we receive the breath of God, the breath of divinity. It is not a physical breath, but it is an expression an influence of divinity.
Let me point out something that is exceedingly interesting about that. I explained already that when we are meditating properly, we put these lower aspects on the Tree of Life into a state of serenity, meaning physicality (Malkuth) is at rest and relaxed, energy (Yesod) is at rest and stilled, same with emotion (Hod) and thought (Netzach): still and passive. What should be active in meditation should be consciousness (Tiphereth), which is concentration. Where then is the visualized image on the Tree of Life? If concentration / willpower is related with Tiphereth, then where is the image? You are projecting the image in your minds eye, in your imagination. The projector is the consciousness, which is Tiphereth. But where is the image coming from?
If the image is from desires, defects, vices, egos, then that is obviously coming from the shadow of the tree (subconsciousness). You are supposedly meditating, but you are actually visualizing lust, anger or pride, thus the source of that image is coming from your submerged mind. That is your desires, traumas, pains, sufferings and all of that. If that image is not coming from there, but is inspiration from divinity, then it is coming from Geburah.
In the Bible, that is called Neshamah. That word means “breath, soul.”
The Spirit (Chesed) breathes (Geburah) life into the soul (Tiphereth). That is what happens in meditation. When we get a vision or something new, that breath of that new thing infuses inspiration into the Soul. That is very inspiring to the Soul. You have seen something that you never expected. It is something that gives you inspiration. We meditate to receive that.
This whole study, the Tree of Life, the whole science of it, is called Kabbalah, and its root word is kabel; which is “to receive.” The point of kabbalah and meditation is to have the ability to receive inspiration through visions, through dreams; to see new things and wondrous things.
When you have quieted the circling, mechanical tendencies of all of the desires that afflict you, and you have placed your consciousness in exactly the right position to be patient and observe the thing you want to understand, and you wait and wait... at a certain moment, when the conditions are exactly right, the inner world opens up and you will receive that inspiration, but you will not understand it. You will become bewildered, because you are seeing something that the terrestrial aspect of ourselves (personality) is not equipped to understand yet. You see symbols, visions, in the same languages you receive in your dreams. They are hard to understand because we do not bother to learn the language. It is a language, and it can be learned. That is why we are here: to learn it.
“Insight, direct or immediate cognition, spiritual perception”
Intuition is where you understand what you see. This is comprehension.
This third aspect, the third step, does not have anything to do with the intellect. You cannot get it out of a book, and you cannot get it from any other person.
When you receive a vision that is flowing from Geburah into your perception, what is the first impulse that every meditator has? They want to run to their friends and say “I saw this vision and I saw this and that and what does it mean?” or they run to their teacher or run to the internet and start looking at websites and we start looking up all these symbols the same way we do with all of our dreams. What happens from all that? You get confused, because none of them agree with each other. As I said, the intellect can only compare sensory data. Dream dictionaries are useless.
You will learn how to understand your experiences intuitively by paying attention to what you are seeing. Not by going outside and talking to other people or studying dream dictionaries or going to your friends. Those will not help. They will make it worse.
Guidelines for Interpretation
1. only allow facts; no speculation or guessing
2. relate to facts of physical circumstances
3. consider the laws of nature: cause and effect, numbers (mathematics), context, symbolism
4. guidance of main scriptures and highest teachers (Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc)
So, to solve a probem, you need to see it in a new way. The only way you can truly do that is to receive inspiration from divinity, and the only way to receive that is through meditation.
The first is everyday work on your self-observation. Meditation is impossible without this. This means that in everything you do make the effort to be here and now. Be present and watch yourself, and learn about what is happening in you psychologically in relation to what you are doing physically. Be aware of what you are doing. Be mindful of what you are doing. Concentrate on what you are doing.
It is also important to stop daydreaming and fantasizing. Become aware of these habits, and stop them.
Practice the meditative retrospection. Visualize everything that you experience throughout the day. The purpose of that is not only to expand your awareness of the actual content of your life so that you become more in tune with what is actually happening in your life, but also so that you can start to understand it and make better use of it.
When you start to really pay attention to your day in the first step, and in the end of the day you review that, you will start to discover patterns, tendencies and behaviors that before you ignored. When you start to see those things, those start to show you why you suffer and then you can start changing really in a fundamental way.
Retrospection and self-observation work together to create a dynamic in your life to point out those places where suffering starts and suffering is propagated, so that you can change them. These practices are really important if you really want to change.
Thirdly after you do the retrospection, pick an event and reflect on it. Relax physically, energetically, emotionally and intellectually. Make yourself very serene and visualize that event, the facts of it only, not your speculations of it but the actual facts. Select some scene, some image and just concentrate on that. Do not speculate about it. Do not guess why things are that way. Do not justify it. Do not explain it intellectually, but just observe it and wait and be patient for new insight to emerge on its own.
Spend some time just observing that event. This give your consciousness a chance to see that event without the body, energy, emotion or intellect interfering. That is the purpose.
It does not sound like anything is happening, but in fact that is where all this effort will pay off. All of the effort that you make all day long will start to bear fruit in that simple observation, in the simple facts that you observe. I cannot emphasize that enough. Facts only, do not speculate!
Fourth, make some notes and keep a diary. Write down what you experience, what you see, what is happening, and keep track of it. Every once in a while read back through and see what you are learning and that in turn will teach you new things.