Why Is Paying Attention So Important?

by meditative - May 11th, 2016

Be Aware & Be Amazed!

Attention or awareness is the essence of our practice, because every moment in life is absolute in itself. No two contiguous moments are the same. That’s all there is. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is nothing but “this”. So when we don’t pay attention to each little “this”, we miss details and qualities of our ever flowing and changing moments. Experiences slip by because they are riddled and obscured by our personal priorities- by our streams of thoughts and emotions. We forget to be present, and the space for directly experiencing reality often becomes filled with discursive “mental chatter”. Focused, concentrated attention disallows our mind’s “reverie” from taking front and center stage. We remain attentive to reality as it is right now. In our awareness practice, we notice how our thoughts affect the sensations in our body- and how they affect our behaviors. We are capable of taking it all in, with an intention to pay deliberate attention- and with an open invitation to receive and accept over and over again.

With this intention to pay attention, we are no longer the “center” of our experience in the here and now. We are part of this observational process…  this moment-to-moment awareness… seeing and sensing the subtleties arising in mind and body with clarity and precision. In awareness, we do not get “stuck” in our observation, because we witness these phenomenological arisings or events nonjudgmentally as they are. We explore all our happenings with curiosity, equanimity, and openhearted acceptance regardless of content as they may ultimately manifest as insight to help us to better understand, discern, and to liberate ourselves from a limiting process of self-identification.

Awareness teaches us that our events of mind are simply that. We are not what we experience, but our experience is of interest. Our thoughts and our feelings are made up. They are subordinate to the reality of what is happening and what we are directly experiencing. More often than not our “mental chatter” gets in the way of the flow of information from our direct experience. We cannot possibly know the truth if we are constantly caught up in the flow of our minds- nor can we effectively regulate the flow of information for contextual discernment with this obscurity and confusion of mind. Awareness is the antidote to our obscurity, confusion, and ignorance of mind.

Into awareness, we practice again and again working with our conditioned patterns of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations- exploring & examining the boundless nature of our mind. With a daily regimen, we transcend the limits of our patterns to refine our open awareness, and our ability to freely and deliberately pay attention. To truly be aware is to be amazed at what our direct experiences may hold. In the purity of awareness, we are revealed a higher order of consciousness for learning, understanding, growing, healing, and transforming our lives. Practice and discover this truth for yourself…