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Developing attention

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In this technique, firstly you have to develop attention. You have to develop a sort of attentive attitude, only then will this technique become possible, so then wherever your attention alights you can experience – you can experience yourself. Just by looking at a flower you can experience yourself. Then looking at a flower is not looking at the flower only, but at the looker also – but only if you know the secret of attention.

You also look at a flower, and you may think you are looking at the flower, but you have started thinking about the flower, and the flower is missed. You are no more there, you have gone somewhere else, you have moved away. By attention is meant that when you are looking at a flower, you are looking at a flower and not doing anything else – as if the mind has stopped, as if now there is no thinking and only a simple experience of the flower there....

Attention means a silent alertness with no thoughts interfering. Develop it. You can develop it only by doing it; there is no other way. Do it more and you will develop it. Doing anything, being anywhere, try to develop it.

You are traveling in a car, or in a train. What are you doing there? Try to develop attention; don't waste time. For half an hour you will be in a train: develop attention. Just be there. Don't think. Look at someone, look at the train or look outside, but be the look, don't think anything. Stop thinking. Be there and look. Your look will become direct, penetrating, and from everywhere your look will be reflected back and you will become aware of the looker.

You are not aware of yourself because there is a wall. When you look at a flower, first your thoughts change your look; they give their own color. Then that look goes to the flower. It comes back, but then again your thoughts give it a different color. And when it comes back it never finds you there. You have moved somewhere else, you are not there.

Every look comes back; everything is reflected, responsed, but you are not there to receive it. So be there to receive it. The whole day you can try it on many things, and by and by you will develop attentiveness. With that attentiveness do this:

Then look anywhere, but simply look. The attention has alighted – and you will experience yourself. But the first requirement is to have the capacity to be attentive. And you can practise it. There is no need for it to take some extra time.

Whatsoever you are doing – eating, taking a bath, standing under a shower – just be attentive. But what is the problem? The problem is that we do everything with the mind, and we are planning continuously for the future. You may be travelling in a train, but your mind may be arranging other journeys; programming, planning. Stop this.

One Zen monk, Bokuju, has said, 'This is the only meditation I know. While I eat, I eat. While I walk, I walk. And while I feel sleepy, I sleep. Whatsoever happens, happens. I never interfere.'

That's all there is – don't interfere. And whatsoever happens, allow it to happen; you be simply there. That will give you attentiveness. And when you have attention, this technique is just in your hand....

Just remember yourself.

There is a deep reason because of which this technique can be helpful. You can throw a ball and hit the wall – the ball will come back. When you look at a flower or at a face, a certain energy is being thrown – your look is energy. And you are not aware that when you look, you are investing some energy, you are throwing some energy. A certain quantity of your energy, of your life energy, is being thrown. That's why you feel exhausted after looking in the street the whole day: people passing, advertisements, the crowd, the shops. Looking at everything you feel exhausted and then you want to close your eyes to relax. What has happened? Why are you feeling so exhausted? You have been throwing energy.

Buddha and Mahavir both insisted that their monks should not look too much; they must concentrate on the ground. Buddha says that you can only look up to four feet ahead. Don't look anywhere. Just look on the path where you are moving. To look four feet ahead is enough, because when you have moved four feet, again you will be looking four feet ahead. Don't look more than that, because you are not to waste energy unnecessarily.     

— Osho

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