Awake Up and Pay Attention

Awake Up and Pay Attention

5th August 2015

By Paul Lenda

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The past is but a fluttering memory, the future is still a magical mystery, and the present is the true moment of direct experience of this thing we call Life. If we position our awareness towards something with attention, and intention, we can greatly expand our understanding of it. By having our attention in focus, we are attending to reality with our awareness. We selectively narrow and focus our consciousness and receptivity deeply within the present moment to expand our understanding.

A Zen Understanding

To help illustrate attention, here is a fantastic zen understanding of it.


One day a man of the people said to the Zen Master Ikkyu, “Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?” Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word “Attention”. “Is that all?”, asked the man, “Will you not add something more?” Ikkyu then wrote twice: “Attention. Attention.” “Well”, remarked the man rather irritably, “I really don’t see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written”. Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times running: “Attention. Attention. Attention”. Half-angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean anyway?” … And Ikkyu answered gently: “Attention means attention.”

The Beautiful Neutrality of Attention

Attention is essentially a neutral experience. Attention has been described variously as intimidating, frightening, soothing, calming, nurturing, loving, irritating, and intrusive. Peoples’ interpretations of the attention others give to them represent presently experienced realities and simultaneously point back to internal object relations and their associated affects. The interaction between attention and inattention becomes a multidimensional matter with perceptual and emotional aspects. For example, we can pay attention to both states of attention and inattention although there is an implicit value skewed toward attention. The value of inattention remains underestimated. Attention and inattention have become polarized and conceptualized as two diametrically opposed points. Periods of inattention can leave the analyst feeling inadequate or guilty.

Another more productive way to think about attention and inattention may be to understand them as two points on one arc of an infinite circle with dimensions beyond our present capacity for perception. In this regard they can be viewed as complementary and interwoven with both diverging and converging qualities rather than as competing states. Clinical experiences demonstrate that non-judgmental attention to states of inattention, stupor, drowsiness, drifting, or preoccupations with nonessential matters along with associated affects can reveal a great deal of information about someone’s object world.

I will end this discussion with a poem by Thomas Allan Bateham on the topic of attention, written very simply in order to express the simplicity yet importance of focused awareness within our lives, to help our understanding of our inner reality as well as our outer reality.

Pay attention to what is said to you

What is going on around you

See what life brings to you day to day

Pay attention to what people say

Watch how they act

Listen to your gut

Pay attention as to not miss anything in this world

All I have to say…

Is awake up and pay attention.

Previous articles by Paul Lenda:

About the author:

Paul Lenda - bio

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, life coach and celebrator of life wishing to provide an integral role in the personal and collective social transformation of humanity. Paul has degrees in business and psychology, a decade of extensive spiritual practice, a drive for esoteric knowledge and a desire to see and understand the wider horizon of Reality. Paul has spoken at various shows, events and locations and his articles have been published in magazines and journals around the world. Paul’s words will stir up a spirit of action and change, make you question the way you think, and challenge your perception of reality.

From adolescence onward, Paul became an active seeker of everything that was never taught by the established educational systems. By doing so, and by filtering our “the noise”, Paul was able to develop an extensive knowledge base to which he also applied diligent personal practice, verifying what resonated as functional and effective in the evolution and elevation of consciousness. By focusing on maintaining balance in all aspects of his life, Paul offers an approach to conscious evolution that ensures there is harmony in your quest for healing and growth.

Paul also offers private sessions, usually via Skype, for those looking to consciously evolve from where they are to where they envision themselves to be.

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  • arcturus

    “Wake up.”