With reference to a reply that I had written to an earlier comment quoting pages 584-5 of Happiness and the Art of Being, last week the following anonymous comment was posted on one of my recent articles, Making effort to pay attention to our mind is being attentive only to our essential self:
When once one has the intensity, there is no question of doing meditation or vichara in short periods with various intervals or going in for long ardous sessions as time itself is a subsequent factor having no relevance to our essential being of, “I AM”, unless one does some yoga exercise.Yes, time is a phenomenon that appears to exist only when our mind is active — that is, when it is attending to anything other than itself — so when we are wholly absorbed in self-attentiveness time is truly non-existent. Therefore, all questions and concern about time exist for us only when our love to abide in our natural state of clear thought-free self-conscious being is not yet sufficiently intense for us to remain without ever being distracted from it.
However, since most of us do not yet have sufficiently intense love to be able to abide thus without being repeatedly distracted by our viṣaya vāsanas — our desires to think of things other than ourself — it is necessary for us to try to spend as much time as possible without being distracted from our self-attentiveness.
Of course, this does not mean that we should watch the clock while practising self-attentiveness, or that we should try to measure the time that we spend being self-attentive, because any such effort would be useless and would only distract our attention away from ourself. All it means is that we should repeatedly and persistently try to be self-attentive whenever our mind is not wholly absorbed in any mundane activity that requires our full attention.
By such repeated and persistent practice of self-attentiveness we will gradually weaken our viṣaya vāsanas and increase our sat-vāsana — our love just to be — and thus we will gain a steadily increasing ability to remain undistracted by thoughts about anything other than ourself. But so long as we are still in this stage of abhyāsa or practice and have not yet attained our real state of sadā-apramāda — eternal self-vigilance — time does appear to be real, so we must aim to spend as much time as possible absorbed in self-attentiveness, vigilantly avoiding pramāda or self-negligence.
Only when — by repeated and persistent practice of such vigilant self-attentiveness — we have finally cultivated sufficiently intense love to be able to subside and merge forever in the clear light of true self-knowledge will we actually experience the complete non-existence of time.