Saturday, May 19, 2007

Giving Attention

Today, the subject of giving attention came up. For one who has often patted herself on the back for multi-tasking, this is like entering new country. The real giving of my attention - to some thing or to some one - really touches me and I've become more aware of what it takes to do that over the past several months.

Giving attention requires me to lay aside judgments and criticisms. I can see that any thoughts about another that I hold while considering them is me giving my attention not to the person or thing, but to my thoughts. Giving attention touches me only when I open the whole of me to the whole of the one I am giving attention to. In the experience of this wholeness, whatever might have given rise to some kind of assessment is seen in its context - in the context of the whole of what receives my full attention. In that context, it is always small, often vanishingly small.

What replaces the act of looking with my mind is much more than its opposite, looking-for-what's-right. There is a mental, emotional and physical restfulness I experience in contemplating something or someone with full attention - even when they are not present. When we are physically proximate, we likely each experience this, even though a person can block out their awareness of that. And from my end, with that restfulness comes delight and enjoyment.

In beginning to integrate what Bruce Lipton has to say in The Biology of Belief - I've just finished my first listen to the 8+ hour lecture - I'm finding myself more able to tune into to subtleties within my body that accurately tell me what is really going on. There is a resonance that I cannot deny.

I'm seeing in me and in others, how much we really are dominated by the mindless tapes triggered from our past, and how that affects our entire world. I hadn't realized, prior to Lipton, how we took in, unfiltered and unedited, so much belief, before we were 7 years old, nor how powerful that subconsciousness is compared to our conscious mind. That is so worth knowing. And worth integrating.

We are not our tapes! We are not our beliefs. We have a conscious mind that can exercise choice. I love it. It is so worth living for.


Stonedragon66 said...

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryo Suzuki-Roshi

I'd be curious about this experience from a place other than the intellect - there is distinct contradiction in the intellectual dissection of a process aiming to give the intellect a rest :)

Barbara Ashley Phillips said...

stonedragon66 - you are sooooo percerptive. I'm not sure how to integrate intellect with the ways of being. It is a resource of my being. Habitually, my intellect has been founded in my self, not my being.

I think the resonance of intellect being founded in being is the lack of momentum. And this has momentum, doesn't it? Good food for though.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Books, Movies, Audios, Websites and Other Good Stuff

  • The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler - fastcinating insights into how to get economics back on track. Read it. Share it.
  • RAven's End by Ben Gadd - for adults and children - a fantasy set in the Canadian Rockies full of lore of the mountains and what lives there.
  • The Third Ear - On Listening to the World by Joachim-Ernst Berendt - giving us back listening and its power to reconnect us to the world.
  • As It Is In Heaven - Movie from Sweden, 2004 - perhaps the greatest movie of the human spirit that I have ever seen. So true to real life and so prophetic. It came to my attention as I've been re-discovering my own improvisational voice - the kind we all have whether we "can sing" or not. So rich and so healing.
  • Theory U by Otto Scharmer - An advanced handbook of public and group conversation that comes from a very deep place. It is refreshing in its authenticity and profound in its import: Leading from the Future as It Emerges.
  • His Dark Materials - The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, Oxford professor - epic fantasy of two pre-adolescent children as they explore parallel universes and engage goodness and what we call evil. Available in audio also. This makes great reading for all ages and is far deeper and more satisfying than Harry Potter. See
  • Lives of Others - movie - beautifully crafted story of being alive in a climate of fear and how even the most hardened can be touched by love of life.
  • Parrots of Telegraph Hill - documentary movie and subtle love story about a street guy, the parrots he cared for, and more
  • The Danish Poet - a short movie (great animation) on where we come from
  • The Biology of Belief - Bruce Lipton Ph.D. - Exposing false but deeply held assumptions about the nature of reality - cellular, animal and human - Lipton reveals how deeply embedded in our world view and the way we live is the belief in Newtonian physics and what has become known as Darwinism. He shows parallels between life at the cellular level and at all other levels and how much we can rejoice in our prospects, once we embrace the wisdom of our cells. Available in 3.5 hour audio and 8+ hour audio at Anyone want to form a book club on this one?
  • The Upside of Down - Thomas Homer-Dixon - How we can prepare to bring about constructive change when the destructive forces around us create an opening