Sophrosyne

How do you want to live your life?

A little attention

on September 27, 2012

Today’s post is actually a reading from the mindfulness therapy course that I am currently attending. I find it extremely meaningful and I hope that you will reap the benefits of it as much as I did. It is by J Kornfield and C Feldman from the book: Soul Food

The secret of beginning a life of awareness and sensitvity lies in our willingness to pay attention. Our growth as conscious human beings is marked not so much by grand gestures as by extending loving attention to the minutest particulars of our lives. Every relationship, every thought, every gestures is blessed with meaning through the wholehearted attention we bring to it.

In the complexities of our minds and lives we easily forget the power of attention, yet without attention we live only on the surface of existence. It is just simple attention that allows us to listen truly to the song of a bird, to see deeply the glory of an autumn leaf, to touch the heart of another and be touched. We need to be fully awake in this moment if we are to receive and respond to the learning inherent in it.

We may think of our lives as an endless stretch of time that extends beyond the horizons. We are easily lost in the memories of our past and the fantasies of our future. We tell ourselves that we have time to postpone opening our hearts, to defer our quest for connectedness. But our lives are unpredictable and our days uncertain. We don’t know what time we will have. What other place can we begin to live with love and wisdom but here, what other time can we begin to open our hearts fully but now?

Attention is sensitivity, attention is connectedness. The attention we bring to this moment reveals both the joys and sorrows of our world. Wisdom inspires us not to retreat from this pain but to ask ourselves how we can participate in the healing of our earth, our communities, our world. We often discover that the greatest healing can lie within the smallest gestures: a loving touch, a caring word, the gift of a compassionate heart allow us to extend ourselves beyond the boundaries of our personal worlds.

Attention is also the vehicle that connects us with the changing rhythms of our own thoughts, feelings and yearnings. Learning to listen inwardly without judgement or resistence is to begin to understand ourselves – it is the source of wisdom. Such attention can begin only in this moment we find ourselves in.

Who can we love today? What have we neglected to bring attention to this moment in our lives? Are we truly listening, fully seeing? Is our heart open in this moment?

I sincerely hope that you are moved by this short excerpt; hopefully it is able to inspire you to take a different view on life. Your moment to make a difference to yourself and as a result people around you is now.

 

 


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