Pay Attention

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Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the moment and without judgment.  This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity and acceptance of the present moment reality. – Jon Kabat-Zinn


As tradition dictates, upon entering his Zen master’s house, the disciple left his shoes and umbrella outside.

“I saw through the window that you were arriving,” said the master. “Did you leave your shoes to the right or the left of the umbrella?”

“I haven’t the least idea. But what does that matter? I was thinking of the secret of Zen!”

“If you don’t pay attention in life, you will never learn anything. Communicate with life, pay each moment the attention it deserves – that is the only secret of Zen.”


Often in life we only pay attention when something screams at us, but for me, it’s the whispers of nature, the quiet moments, the silence, that I discover a voice within, that leads me to my next step in the right direction.

Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness. ~ Mary Oliver


27 thoughts on “Pay Attention

  1. So easy to get caught up in the rush of the day and miss A LOT. I used to make a three-hour drive on a weekly basis and found that I would get to my destination and have literally no recollection of the drive. It. Was. Weird. (not to mention a bit unnerving.) Thx for the gentle reminder, Karen!

    1. Wow! it can happen Lori and it is unnerving to realise we have lost that time, unaware. As I say every week, it’s a practice, practice, practice. Have a beautiful and focused day Lori! Thankyou 💕

  2. It is (soul built out of attentiveness), agreed with M.O., that wise, wise woman. I’ve always been attuned to the silence and what emerges from it. Loud noises may startle some, but still they live among them. I am one who cannot. Good post, Karen. Aloha.

  3. Attention to details is what I’m supposed to master at work. 🙂
    Anyhoo, I just had my credential as an advocate for sexual assault victims. One of the things I’ve learn on training to be one is that having to pay attention to what exactly what the victims are saying. I cannot include my personal opinion or judgment when I’m listening to them. Most of us are so caught up with what we have to do next continually that the very moment, the now, slips away fast past us that we don’t get to focus on it.

    1. Congrats on your new credentials Rommel. That is such important work to be doing and essential for you to be present with these people. We learn to listen and know what to do next when we are in this moment. Good luck with it all. 😀

  4. thank you so much for sharing these Karen…….. I’m going to work on upping my ‘moments’ I’d love to be at 10 per day.
    1 will do to start. 🙂 lovely post! cheers, Debi

  5. “Communicate with life, pay each moment the attention it deserves.” This line really stood out for me because we do have a relationship with life. Each moment deserves our attention.

    Then I love this line that you wrote –
    ” it’s the whispers of nature, the quiet moments, the silence, that I discover a voice within, that leads me to my next step in the right direction.” The world is loud, especially now. It’s the silence…that inner voice that taps me on the shoulder and asks for attention, especially “the whispers of nature.” Listening is a good skill to have. Practice makes it more obvious. Thank you Karen.
    Much love,

    1. To make space for that tapping on the shoulder is the gift Mary. I know you allow that in your beautiful world. We all deserve to receive that. Much love 💚

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