Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paying With Our Attention

Many times in meditation practice, there is an instruction to "pay attention to the feeling of the breath." Richard C. Miller, one of my early and most influential teachers used to say, "devote attention to the breath." I personally have always liked this instruction. It raises attention to the breath to the level of a devotional practice, and one way of showing devotion is through the process of making an offering or sacrifice. Thus, we "pay" with our attention as the breath offers itself up as the sacrificial object.

No use of energy goes unrewarded. Through our diligent payment of attention to the breath, we receive mindfulness of the present moment in return. 

Paying attention is a very powerful tool to help us manifest our desires. Whatever we pay attention to will grow and thrive. When we pay attention to what needs to be done moment-to-moment, we can create anything we want in our lives. This manifestation may not come right away, or it may come in an instant, but if we pay attention to our paying attention, this act of devotion and sacrifice will bear fruit when the season is right.
Some offer their wealth as a sacrifice, or their suffering, or the fruits of their yoga practices. Others who tend toward austerity and extreme vows, offer the fruits and the knowledge of sacred study as their sacrifice.
Among those primarily interested in control of the life force...(pranayama), some offer the out breath as a sacrifice to the in breath, and the in breath to the out breath. ~ From The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda (IV: 28-29)

No comments:

Post a Comment