The easiest way for me to think of "the endowment" is as a gift that allows people to experience a radical shift in perspective - but that only can be accomplished, in my opinion, if people learn to see the presentation of the endowment figuratively and symbolically. I like to phrase it in terms of a grand morality play - with a model of casting that allows each and every participant to be the central actor in the play and incredible screenwriting that allows ME to improvise and roam around the stage each time it plays out around me.
I can't really explain that adequately, but I liken it to Nephi asking about his father's vision and getting transported mentally / spiritually into his own vision that, really, was RADICALLY different than Lehi's. He wanted to understand the things of God, but he conflated that with the things of Lehi's experience with God - so the Lord showed him something totally different that was his own experience with God.
When I sit in an endowment session, my "focus" is on what God will show me for the next couple of hours. The atmosphere / setting / imagery / etc. of the "play" puts me in the mood to open my mind and heart and "reach out" for what is floating around me at the moment. I don't really listen much to the actual words of the presentation anymore; rather, I send out feelers and see what gift I am given that day - what understanding with which I am endowed during that short time.
I'm not trying to memorize words anymore, like I did when I was younger.
I'm trying to experience God.