How often do you give attention to where you focus your attention? How often do you practice self observation and Self Remembering? How often are you present, attentive and focusing on where you are, how you are and who you truly are from an inner perspective? How aware are you of simply being on ‘remote control’ out of habitual and conditioned patterns of behavior? These and other ultimate questions ask us if we truly want deep love, joy, peace, vitality and abundance in our lives. Attention to our attention is key because we actually do create our own realities. What do you spend most of your time thinking about, acting upon and creating?
Before I spent a winter in the Rocky Mountains in a primitive cabin at eleven thousand feet in solitude and silence I was scattered, giving attention to whatever came in from the outside world. During this ‘stilling time,’ something changed within that shifted my perspective. Sitting with the silence of the trees, the wind, the snow, the sun, the sky, the stars, the mountains, the fire in the stove and my many little unexamined selves gave me the opportunity to ‘listen’ and ‘attend’ to an inner world I barely knew. When I walked off that mountain, the attention I gave Inner Being was increased. It however took decades to fully integrate into my daily life.
Learning how to remain within the formless Inner Self while going out into the world of form is a practice that calls attention to Life itself. As it has been said by many in a variety of ways: ‘Energy flows where Attention goes.’ For most of us, most of the time, Life’s energy appears only to flow from the outside in. The reality is that it flows in both directions, from the inside out and the outside in. The Life Source, Energy of Being is everywhere flowing in, around and through us. We breathe it, eat it, drink it, take it in through our pores, through our five senses and beyond. Giving significant and constant attention to this phenomenon changes who we are.
I’m pointing to an awareness, a consciousness, a shared experience, a communication through a silent inner knowing of the interconnectedness of All Being. I’m talking about appreciating what you have and helping to make it grow; allowing it to expand within you, thus creating a felt sense of being an integral part of a greater whole. If it’s true that the Universe is Holographic, then the Whole is greater than the sum of its parts and, each part contains the Whole. Sit with this for awhile as well as the possibility that the center of this Whole is everywhere while its circumference is nowhere. . . How does this resonate with you? What difference might it make?
The insight I’m sharing here is that the ‘treasure’ that most of us spend our lives seeking ‘out there’ is actually within us. I’m recalling a teaching of the Christ that says “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” What I discovered on the mountain and in subsequent life experiences is that the true treasure of Life resides in the flow of energy that permeates the whole of creation. When we give attention to this reality we become Co-creators, Co-laborers, and Co-operators with the Generative Operating Design of the Universe. As we give attention to aligning with the DNA of creation, we participate in its fullness of life, death and new arisings.
Could you say that Nature is generous? If so, could you agree that attention, focus, and creation might be the greatest forms of generosity? Think for a moment on the desires of your heart. What do they include and how much attention do give them on any given day? Picture who and what you say you love and note how much attention you give them daily. Even closer to home, look at how much attention you give to your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. What kind of results are you having here? Is what you’re defining as ‘treasure’ truly that or just a substitute for what is ultimately meaningful and life giving?
By giving attention to living in the mystery and meaning of Life, our souls thrive and as our souls thrive, everything else thrives. We stop depreciating and start appreciating all that is, even the contrasts that seem to be negative. The reality is that everything can be used for good. The contrasts and friction we experience help us see that we’re all interconnected with everything. We’re all part of the same Infinite Whole and as we give attention to this, we begin to have greater compassion and care for it all. Our hearts expand, our love expands and our lives expand. To quote Meryl Streep: “Use Your Heart to Create Art.” Attend to the Art of Life!
- For the next month when you awaken, spend some of your time simply sitting in the stillness of the morning. Give attention to the inner chatter without judging it. Simply let it come and let it go. Give thanks for the attention and awareness you experience. Then give thanks for each breath and listen to the silence that’s always present. Practice staying within while going out.
- Also in this next month when you lay down for sleep, give attention and thanks for three things you experienced during your day. Re-experience the challenges, the subtle teachings of the moments. Give attention to what you consider treasures and how they resonate with your heart and not. Give appreciation for it all and attend to the thoughts that show up. Rest easy.
- As you walk through your days, give attention to your heart space and the kind of Art you’re creating. How does it resonate with your Inner Being? Take ‘stilling’ breaks throughout your day to check in with your feelings, your inner guidance system. Notice how you’re reacting, resisting, and retaining energy that causes negative and positive emotions. Give attention to the energy that’s flowing in, around and through you. Attend to your breath and smile awhile.