I need to thank Katherine Rand for bringing this awesome pearl from J. Krishnamurti under the light:
You cannot keep a mechanism working at full speed all the time; it would break up; it must slow down, have rest. Similarly, we cannot maintain total awareness all the time. How can we? To be aware from moment to moment is enough. If one is totally aware for a minute or two and then relaxes, and in that relaxation spontaneously observes the operations of one’s own mind, one will discover much more in that spontaneity than in the effort to watch continuously. You can observe yourself effortlessly, easily, when you are walking, talking, reading - at every moment. Only then will you find out that the mind is capable of freeing itself from all the things it has known and experienced, and it is in freedom alone that it can discover what is true ~ J. Krishnamurti, Fourth Public Talk, Brussels, June 23rd, 1956 ~To be contrasted with U. Pandita's diktat of unbroken continuity:
Persevering continuity of mindfulness is the third essential factor in developing the controlling faculties. One should try to be with the moment as much as possible, moment after moment, without any breaks in between. In this way mindfulness can be established, and its momentum can increase . . . Apart from the hours of sleeping, yogis on retreat should be continuously mindful. Continuity should be so strong, in fact, that there is no time at all for reflection, no hesitation, no thinking, no reasoning, no comparing of one's experiences with the things one has read about meditation — just time enough to apply this bare awareness.
Often, I have considered taking up U. Pandita's challenge. Come June every year, the Burmese master travels to the Tathagata Center, only a few miles from where I live, to give a one-month retreat. I fantasize about a month of 'unbroken continuity' under his guidance. And end up not registering . . . Part of me used to feel that I was not up to the task for U Pandita's mindfulness bootcamp.
Now, I realize how much ego was tied up in my fantasy. Less spectacular, and more real is Krishnamurti's idea of relaxed awareness infused with wise reflection. That, I can do, . . . and already do.