Friday, July 3, 2009

Hold Your Attention Sir!

Disconcerting dynamic of our current times: We've been accustomed to blurb like living. Where our attention is only capable of accepting seconds worth of clips. All popular media is designed around this frame. Whether its news, music, TV, or any other medium, it is all compressed around a tight, minimal attention style.

Perhaps our need for streamlining and efficacy has gotten the best of us. As we've seemed to embed into our day to day an inability to focus, pay attention, remain silent. We are educating ourselves into natural states of attention deficit!

It was said Bodhidharma spent 9 years in a cave, meditating, listening to the ants scream.

Giving himself the time

to unfold

Wall Gazing

and yet we bombard ourselves with enough static and noise to fill a lifetime of unfulfillment. We create urgency and hurry that drive us deeper into urgency and hurry that drive us deeper into...

Note how we actively seek out continual distractions. Note how quickly we end one task and look for another to fill the space. Note how we cannot simply walk and contemplate without dialing a friend or playing a tune. Have you ever seen anyone simply standing on the street thinking? I mean one who wasn’t homeless. It is not an easy thing to be solely with oneself, yet it is a glorious experience and an exercise in conversation with your soul. The silence may seem like a threatening place, but it is from where you spring forth. You need to go to the point of discomfort, delve into it and find there your revelation; Because it is in the engagement with your shadow, your silent self, that your nature, purpose, and actions can be revealed. Besides, staring at the sun will make you blind. Next time, notice how shadows bring out the beauty and nuance of an object.

Some of us happen to be quite uncomfortable with silence. Silence as reminder of our impending death; as time wasted in a “go get em’” world. If you’re not busy you must be doing something wrong. If the phone doesn’t ring you’re a loser. If you don’t have any emails this morning, other than spam, you don’t have a life. We long for constant validation and wallow in the implications of its repression. Hence silence is proof of failure. Inaction is an example of weakness. Not having validation is a clear sign that we are both unworthy and unwanted.

Let's re-evaluate the implications of silence: Embrace the silence that comes to you; better yet, actively look for moments of nothingness. Pure untouched emptiness. We have super saturated our lives with the constant noise, static, gibberish of the everyday in order to avoid the obvious. Have you noticed how quickly you fill your life with things “to do” from the moment you awake till the moment you sleep? Its no wonder you feel the overwhelming anxiety of not having “enough hours in the day”, when in reality, you are merely filling the voids in your life in order to avoid your responsibilities to yourself.

Pay attention. Its right there in front of you. You may be exhilarated to know that its coming. That its here. But do not confuse that with fear. Know that your task is to polish the mirror of your soul so that you may know, live and understand. And that, my friend is nothing to be afraid of, but rather, it is something to revere. It is the thing you have been waiting for.

Looking back at you.



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