Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paying Attention

In our group discussion of Thich Nhat Hahn's book, we talked about how paying non-judgmental attention to something—anything—always warms your heart to the object of your attention.

For example, if you begin to pay close attention to one baseball team, sooner or later you will become a fan of that team. (Years ago, my son did this with the Detroit Tigers when they were the worst team in baseball.)

But this heart-warming effect of clear-eyed attention works with even the most mundane object. A crumpled piece of paper will do.

One way to really pay attention to something is to draw a good picture of it.

Watch this video, and see how paying attention warms the heart, even to a crumpled up scrap of paper.

Now, imagine how you might benefit from paying attention to someone you love.


steven said...

dan! how are you brother! the quality of mindfulness and attention here is reminding of how easy it is to let the whole piece go. i'm deep in the return to school space and so much that i value is being sloughed off. thanks for this kind rejoinder. steven

Anonymous said...

I've done this with a blade of grass..which sounds hokey, except it works very well.~Mary

Dan Gurney said...

Hi steven. I'm well, thanks. Very busy and trying to devote more time to my actual world, allowing the blogging and screen time to languish. It's all good. I've been paddling a lot, a lot at night really nice!

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Frank and Mary. A blade of grass brims with mystery and magic. It's not hokey at all.

Jo said...

Thank you, Dan. What a great illustration of the power of mindfulness.

It's so nice to hear from you.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a cool video! I love that.

One thing I noticed is that he uses a Ticonderoga #1 pencil to do his drawing. My favorite brand!