Are you aware of the Beloved’s presence, of Self’s radiance?
I’m mostly aware of my absence from that.
OK, an absence from presence; then how can any connection or contact be made?
First, let me say I think any focus is significant, be it on impersonal Self or the Beloved’s name or image. And this applies no matter how halfhearted or mechanical an effort, although you likely get what you pay for. For even if we employ our imagination for this, such an action isn’t imaginary.
Then what would you call wholehearted?
If not 100%, then at least 51% of our attention. If an open heart is truly involved, it’s always 100%, though that can’t take place when ego-mind is fully in charge.
And when it is?
Then spiritual practice becomes a joke. Then higher influences are invoked to reinforce or enhance who we think we are, a spirit guide or Santa Claus figure at our beck and call, or so imagined.
But isn’t ego-mind usually in control? Is that what you mean by aware of your absence?
Well, that’s true enough, but, ego-mind’s barriers notwithstanding, that’s not reason enough to give up or reject the possibility of real inner contact.
What do you mean exactly by inner contact?
Whether our intention and inspiration is 1% or 100%, with persistence a new center of awareness receptive to higher influences can be created.
And what do you mean by higher influences?
Goes back to your first question----the radiance of Self, the presence of the Beloved. If this dispels what’s false, if it contains the fire that melts the virtual structure of what we think we are and embodies the knowledge that erodes our desperate attachment to the ego-mind, then a deeper condition of truth is revealed.