Wednesday, January 06, 2010

a more complete attention

"A different quality of attention" is a perfect way to describe how I enter 2010.  This bit from Sharon Salzburg describes why:
Mindfulness enables us to cultivate a different quality of attention, one where we relate to what we see before us not just as an echo of the past, or a foreshadowing of the future, but more as it is right now.

Making the effort to truly see someone doesn’t mean we never respond or react or take very strong action to try to settle the matter of dinner. We can and do attempt to restore a failing marriage, protest loud cell phones in public places, or try, with everything in us, to rectify injustice. But we can do it from a place that allows people to be as textured as they are, and that admits our feelings to be as varied and flowing as they are. A place open to surprises. A place that listens, that lets the world come alive.

--Sharon Salzburg, Winter 2009 Tricycle daily dharma

An interesting way to approach relationships- with my spouse, my daughters, my parents, my online friends, strangers on the street.

Maybe especially with online friendships, it's so important to listen and to never ever assume that an email or post has a "tone"-- it's so easy to assume something sounds angry, or curt, when the writer doesn't intend that.  I never read anything into emails!  Life is much clearer this way, when you let people articulate their feelings and listen with mindfulness.