Tuesday, November 13, 2012

generous attention

I don't have new insights into life to share.
In fact, lately I've had more questions than anything that may be remotely disguised as an insight.
But I suppose those must come first.
And then sometimes said questions might even lead me to an insight.
Though I often exist in a particular question for a while. Feel the tension of it.

What have you been paying attention to lately?

Is it your face?
Your Facebook?
Maybe... your successes?
Your worries?
Your kids, I suppose?
(The ones you have or the ones you wish you had?)
Your to do-list? Or your to-don't?
Your guilt? How to avoid future shame?
Your checkbook?
Your mid-section?
Your god? No... your goddess?

Are you all the way awake or only half?

Have you paid attention to another human recently?

And I mean fully paid attention to: locked eye contact, lost track of time, forgot about your long list of concerns and needs, and listened with your heart and not your mind: without responses from your ego, without judgment from your vast experience, without comparisons from your recent readings?
That kind.

Has anyone paid that kind to you lately?

(And by you, I mean me. And by me, I sometimes mean I, depending on each individual sentence, you know. Of course you do.)

Sometimes I have to sign out before I can sign in.

A long time ago, Simone Weil said that "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
(Thanks to a recent Canadian sermon for that one.)

Things rare and pure are usually expensive, yes?

What sort of expense does attention incur?

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