Yes, nice observation.This focusing-of-attention-thing is simply always "on". So, naming it is pointless. It is simply a descriptive term for noticing a thought. And noticing is a property of thought, so it is all one thing - just thought..or sensation.
This is an excellent observation, and yes, it’s very relevant to seeing through the self illusion. Since it’s not just simply seeing that there is no self, but rather seeing how the illusion itself is fabricated. And it is exactly how you described it.This appears to create a duality. But looking more closely at this...the breathing movements which are outside awareness are actually just movements and not being sensed in the current moment. So the truth is that they are NOT sensations...until they are! I'm not sure that this line of inquiry is helping with the primary objective here: to realise that self is illusory / non-separate.
Have a you had a general anaesthesia before? I've had. And what I saw was very surprising. That although during sleep there is a sense of time passing, but whit anesthesia there is none. It’s literally as if this organism has been turned off and then back on. And not time lapse between the two. Nothing. Since there were no me generated during that time. And this brought about a big relief. That there is no point of fearing death. There is nothing to fear. There is nothing to die.There is a growing realisation that there is nothing left if all thoughts and sensations are gone. This must be true: if there is no separate self then what can be left once the thoughts are sensations are removed? Like in deep sleep, or general anaesthesia.
Let’s see what happens here. You’ve had a glimpse how things actually are, that there is no personal, separate self. But after this glimpse this seeing is being interpreted through the lens and belief systems of a personal me / self.This leads to somewhat negative thoughts. If there is nothing left, then there is no separate "beingness"; nothing special about life outside everyday experiences. I realise this must be true, but it seems rather depressing, and it may be hindering my progress. I have read that this realisation can also be liberating / freeing, but I'm not seeing that currently.
The me is always in the quest of wanting to be special, thus gaining some acknowledgement from others, thus gaining some pleasant experiences, meaning pleasant sensations in the body. The me wants to be special, good, better than others, be loved, accepted, admired. This is a built-in mechanism in the dream of me.
And if the seeing of no self is being interpreted through the worldview of me, then the conclusion can be that it’s depressing, why living at all, what for all of this, etc.
But look at this from a different angle. The self is always striving, always seeking, never fully content with what is, always wants something else than what is here right now, wanting to be become this or that, since it’s always perceiving itself as someone not good enough, always lacking something. It’s in constant search and seeking, never ending seeking and striving. And this is suffering. Never being fully content with what IS, always wanting something else IS suffering.
If you look at it from a different angle, you can realize that seeing that the center of this constant seeking ‘energy’ is simply not there. And discovering this can be a relief, for some, a huge relief.
So, let’s look for this me, who took on itself the seeing of no-self.
What is it that could be depressed?
What does depression could happen to?
What is it feeling depressed?
And most importantly, what is it that is stating that “it seems rather depressing”?
Where is the unhappy one?
Is there an actual me outside of the story of me being depressed an unhappy?
Is there an actual me outside of the dream of seeking and striving and being discontent?
Or is this just a momentary state, a momentary emotion coming and going by itself, without actually happening to anyone? Just free-floating without actually being anchored to a person, a self?