Undivided Attention…

 In Reflections

“Attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to mindfulness.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn

An experience last night with one of my friend’s two dogs reminded me of the blessing of undivided attention.

Caring for Spot and Nugget at their home, I was puzzled why Nugget kept sitting by the back door yelping as if he wanted to go out. Pausing a video I was watching on my laptop, I got up again (and again) to let him out. He never went out.

Finally, I stopped the video and set aside the laptop. Nugget came running, hopped on the sofa and proceeded to give me his undivided, loving attention, as I gave him mine. Like so many things we do for another while thinking we’re giving to them, I was the one truly blessed by my decision to stop and focus on Nugget.
“Your attention determines the experiences you have,
and the experiences you have determine the life you live.”
―Thomas M. Sternes

Is there someone in your life deserving of your undivided attention today? Even if it’s only five minutes of focused listening to or gazing at with love, the gift you both give and receive from your attention is priceless.

May you shower your undivided attention on others. And may you be blessed by each attentive encounter in ways beyond your imagining.

No Need to Hurry

“It may sound paradoxical, but however tight our schedule, however many things clamor to be done, we don’t need to hurry. If we can keep our mind calm and go about our business with undivided attention, we will not only accomplish more but we’ll do a better job – and find ourselves more patient, more at peace.”
—Eknath Easwaran

Attending to the Divine

“Solitude begins with a time and place for God, and him alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that he is actively present in our lives—healing, teaching, and guiding — we need to set aside a time and space to give him our undivided attention.”
—Henri Nouwen


A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.

No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.

This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,

His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.

We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.

The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.

— Naomi Shihab Nye, from Red Suitcase.

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