the art of directing attention

How to Stay on Track in 2013


“To be right, we must do one of two things: either we must learn to have God in our work and hold fast to him there, or we must give up our work altogether. Since, however, we cannot live without activities that are both human and various, we must learn to keep God in everything we do, and whatever the job or place, keep on with him, letting nothing stand in our way.”
Meister Eckhart


We can train our attention wherever we are, whatever we are doing. The benefits are well worth the discipline.

Everybody knows what it is like to share the highway with a bad driver. He is driving along in the lane next to you and suddenly, without warning, he wanders into your lane. Then, with equal abruptness, he realizes what he has done and overreacts – first with the brake, then with the accelerator – and darts back into his own lane. He’s an accident waiting to happen.

If we could only see it, everything in life suffers like this when attention wanders. A mind that darts from subject to subject is out of control, and the person who follows its whims weaves through life, running into difficult situations and colliding with other people. But the mind that is steady stays in its own lane. It cannot be swept away by an impulsive desire or fear; it cannot be haunted by an unpleasant memory or by anxiety about the future. There is no skill more worth learning than the art of directing attention as we choose.

~ Eknath Eswaran

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