Paying Attention
December 16, 2012, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Quotes

This is from an article on Jan Frazier’s web site with the same title. Here is a link to the entire article:

“Paying attention to what’s happening right now, inside and outside yourself, within the field of your awareness (without regard for whether you like it or wish it were otherwise), is important not just because it attunes you to reality (which is momentary and immediate, and all you’ve ever got). It’s important because attention is the doorway to sensing what you deeply are — which has nothing whatever to do with the “content” of the moment. It’s just that by putting attention on what’s here right now, including whatever is going on within (thought, emotion, physical sensation), you engage that faculty that is your deep nature, outside of thought. You have opened the door to a deeper kind of encounter than what thought has access to.

When you instead engage the faculty of thought by entering into its current production — that is, when you engage with the mind-made movie du jour as if it were reality — your attention is being spent on something that is not real. You are missing reality because you’re believing the thought stream that’s distracting you from the immediate, the physical, the perceivable. You cannot sense what you deeply are when you are “living” inside your head, because all that’s engaged is thought (and whatever emotions it brings to life).

However (and this is significant), when you are giving attention to the phenomenon of thought — that is, when you notice that you are thinking — and this is very different from occupying the thought as if it were real — then attention has been engaged. Which is why there’s no point in trying to stop or counter a particular bunch of thoughts, because when you do that, you have gotten into the ring with the thoughts themselves, as if their content were the important thing. The important thing is to see that you are thinking, and that the thoughts are productions of your mind, not reality itself. When you are able to see this, then the thoughts can go on muttering to themselves, and you won’t get caught in them. You can shift your attention to what your body is doing, or what it’s feeling like, or what’s going on around you. Or if you do get re-involved in the thoughts, you can just look once again at the fact that you are thinking, and feel what it feels like to have attention be on the phenomenon itself, and how that differs from entering into the apparent reality of the thoughts.”

~Jan Frazier

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