One simple step toward happiness every day for a year. Doesn't everyone want to be happy?
Join us on Facebook (more about these "Secrets")

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pay Attention

One of the prime "virtues" of Buddhism is called "mindfulness."

I used to tell my junior high students in America this story: A man came to an old master and asked what "the secret" was. The master picked up his brush and wrote: "Attention."

"OK," the guy said, "I'm paying attention. Now what's the secret?"

Again the master wrote: "Attention. Attention."

"'Attention'? That's it? I came all this way and all you give me is 'Attention'?"

A third time: "Attention. Attention. Attention."

The man slumps in defeat and asks, "What do you mean, 'Attention'?"

Then the master speaks for the first time: "How can you accomplish anything if you don't pay attention?"

And with that (after the groans) I would explain to my students that whatever the area of your life--school, work, family, romance--everything goes better if you just pay attention.

So take a little inventory. What are you neglecting? And why? Financial obligations? Things you should be doing for loved ones? Tasks at work?

Next, why are you ignoring them? What is the (imagined) benefit in letting them go?

The final step--after paying attention to an issue--is to do something about it.

So wake up. Be mindful. Pay attention.

You'll be happier.

No comments:

Post a Comment