Attention the Other Co-Conspirator

Intention is critical to practice (see two posts ago) 

But there is a second…. ATTENTION.

We have talked about a key shift in transformative practice is a shift in perspective.

A shift in what you pay attention to.  An ability to realize you have a head talk going on. Call it ego, the old man, the flesh.   An ability to realize your self conversation defines your reality far more than you circumstances is critical to transformation.  What does Jesus say…

Matt. 6.22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

What we see is what creates head space egoic talk.  That is what in turn defines how we view the world.  We live into these stories whether we realize it or not.  Think about it…we start telling ourselves stories about tomorrow’s meeting, concern, conflict situation.  We then head into that the situation with the scenario rehearsed.  Our brain then helps us recreate that scenario and then we have a self fulfilling prophecy and don’t know why.

What we see and what we see with our minds eye is key to our formation.  This is why Paul prayed for our enlightenment (that the eyes of your hear might be enlightened Eph.1) and that we not be conformed by what we see in the world but be transformed by telling ourself a different head space story (Romans 12)

Attention is all about what you pay attention to… if you pay attention at all.

I think this is the big learning for me.  I have never until recently really placed my attention or intended my attention to do anything.  It was all 100% autopilot.

moving  from blindness to seeing,

from autopilot to intentional

from sleeping to awake

from hypnotized to aware.

I have quoted to you from Charles Tart the psychologist before but allow me to do it again

· The path that interests me most, personally and professionally is what you might call the path of awareness.  It’s based on the assumption that in ordinary consciousness a great deal of what happens is automatized.  Ordinary consciousness is only sort or semi-consciousness, and there is a mechanical nature to it.  Whereas if you being to apply to it various kinds of mindfulness practices that give you insights into the way the mind functions as well as certain concentrative abilities—this can speed insights and enable you to focus your attention in a particular direction.

In this regard when we are talking about attention we are really talking about awareness.

Intention and attention … intention purpose and focus with awareness and sensitivity these are the first two keys to us moving into the arena of transformation.

Intention and Attention are really about living more fully more deeply.

If you really bring your intention and attention to larger blocks of your day you can’t help but have a richer, fuller, more somatically aware, emotionally nuanced, day. 



5 Responses to “Attention the Other Co-Conspirator”

  1. A clinical psychologist, I invented a simple electronic tool that’s designed to give users a way to monitor and control their own awareness. It’s called a MotivAider (

  2. I think I’m not sure how to practice attention. Is it possible to multitask and still be mindful? In praxis, what do you do with your head in the minute by minute, hour by hour?

  3. the goal i think cathy is whether or not you know what you are doing with your head minute by minute. We day dream 4-6 hours a day, largely constructing a world that the ego/false self lives in. Most of that day dreaming is an artificial view of how things really are, but it is the view or perspective we DO indeed have, it is just constructed from our self talk. The contemplatives talk (and Merton is probably the best contemporary on this) about the active life the contemplative life and the active contemplative life. Your world and my world are the third. How do we go about doing our lives (active/marketplace/ministry) from a base of awareness and contemplation. Not sitting around being monastics in a monastary by fully engaged in the world contemplatives. More is forthcoming…

  4. […] a couple of these to clarify in your mind what these three are. Intention also here and attention here and […]

  5. Ever wondered how to use death as an advisor?…

    There is a free useful app for this. No ads, no upselling, no malware, no catch. If it helps you, great….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: