Many people wonder why they cannot go deep within themselves. They talk about going deep by following the eye, or asking I am, or saying I-I to oneself over and over again, and they feel they are going deep until something happens. The energy leads. The I disappears. They lose focus or become distracted.
The surprising thing is that beginners filled with enthusiasm, filled with energy, and filled with the promise of prompt enlightenment, can go very deep. They have just started spirituality, they have just started spiritual practices and spiritual methods. They have no experience with them or how fast they should go, and they can often go very deep, deeper than they will be able to go again for years because they are haunted by their own mind’s inability to stay focused, and return of desires to accomplish things in the world, or to know about the world.
The latter are called “Vasanas.” These are the ingrained habits of the mind and body, strongly held beliefs and concepts concerning the world or one’s own self, strong desires to complete some task in the world. These ultimately betray our ability to go deep. As long as you focus on the world, or concepts about the world, you cannot get to the ultimate simplicity of complete emptiness. Without complete emptiness you cannot go very deep into yourself. That emptiness has to permeate all layers of yourself and allows access without blockage to awareness of yourself.
There is no way around these Vasanas, other than to continue practice in an energetic and persistent way, focusing on the I-sense, the I-am, looking for the origin of the I-thought, etc. Just looking within is also good enough. Turning your attention an inward vision torture heart, and then feeling the I am within your heart, feeling your sense of existence and of being, is enough.
The world will always be trying to drag you out and to have you participate, just like Don Corleone lamented when he said, “I keep trying to get out, but they keep pulling me back in.” The world in your attachment to the world, your desires, your fears, your concepts and your teachings, draw you away from having no mind and the emptiness. In spirituality you have to become completely stupid, completely naïve, completely empty, not filled with knowledge, understanding, and especially not filled with truth, because truths of the world, and truths of spirituality will never let you free. Only becoming like a child, an infant, knowing nothing, can help you win that state of purity required in order to see emptiness and nothingness.