Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What can one do to nourish attention?


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Mon, 20 Mar 2017 #1
Thumb_001 Sean Hen Spain 587 posts in this forum Offline

Hello everybody. A short video (sixteen and a half minutes) in which Krishnamurti addresses the question "What can one do to noursish attention?". You can find the video here. Any thoughts about this?

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Mon, 20 Mar 2017 #2
Thumb_profiel Wim Opdam Belgium 1046 posts in this forum Offline

Hi Sean,

Thanks for this link and for those who don't have acces to video here is the corresponding text:

Second public question and answer meeeing, Ojai, May 1982

"I wonder if we can go into the question together: what do we mean by attention? What is the difference between awareness, concentration, and attention? Could we go into that together? To be aware; as one is sitting under these beautiful trees on a lovely morning, nice and cool, not too hot, one is aware of that woodpecker pecking away, one is aware of the green lawn, the beautiful trees and sunlight, the spotted light, and if you are looking from that direction you are aware of those mountains. How does one look at them? How do you look at this marvellous sight? The beauty of this place. What does it mean to you? Do you observe it, aware of it without any choice, without any desire, urge, just to observe the extraordinary beauty of the land. And when you observe so easily, aware of all this - the light and the shade, the branches, the darkness of the trunks and the light on the leaf, and the extension of this marvellous earth - how does one react to all that? What is the feeling behind that awareness? Is it that beauty of that land and the hills and the shadows, is it related to our life, is it part of our life, or it is there to be observed - if you are a poet, you write about it, if you are an artist you paint it, or if you are good at conversation or description you put it into words. But this beauty, this awareness of this, what is its relationship to one's life? That's part of awareness, the awareness of the external and the awareness of one's own reactions to the external, and to be aware of the movement of this. As you are sitting there, are you aware of the colours of the shirts or robes or whatever the ladies wear, are you aware of all that?

Or when we are aware is there always a choice? 'I prefer this land to another land', 'I prefer this valley to other valleys', so there is always memory and choice operating. And can one be aware without any choice at all, just to be aware of the extraordinary sense of the blue sky, the blue sky through the leaves, and just move with it all. And is one aware of one's reactions, and when one is aware of one's reactions is there a preference? One more desirable than the other, one is more urgent than the other, one is more continuous, habitual, and so on; and so from the outer move to the inner - you understand what I am saying? - so that there is no division between the outer and the inner; it's like a tide going out and coming in. That's an awareness of this world outside of us and an awareness of the world deep inside of us, conscious as well as the unconscious. When one is really deeply conscious or aware, there is no remnant or hidden unconscious movement. I don't know if you have gone through all this, if you have done it, not merely listened do a lot of words. So awareness is this movement of the outer and the inner and discover for oneself whether there is division between the outer and the inner. Of course there is a division between the tree and myself - I am not the tree, I hope. But in observing that thing which we call 'tree', to discover our reactions to it, how we react to beauty, to ugliness, to brutality, to violence, to competition and quietness and so on.

And what do we mean by concentration? Because they are all related: awareness, concentration, andattention. What is concentration? To concentrate upon a page, upon a picture, to concentrate all one's energy on a particular point. In that concentration is there not the effort to concentrate? Whereas - effort to concentrate, that is, you are trying to read a particular page and out of the window you see a marvellous light on a flower and your thought wanders off to that, but then you try then to pull that thought back and concentrate on something. So there is this constant struggle to focus one's energy, visual and so on, so there is a resistance, a struggle, and all the time trying to focus on a particular point. Are we meeting? This is right, isn't it, when we talk about attention, about concentration.

The questioner asks, attention happens occasionally and how is one to nourish that attention so that it is continuous, not haphazard? So we are asking: what is attention, to attend? Are you interested in the question? To attend. To attend to that woodpecker. Did you listen to that woodpecker? There it is!

In concentration there is always the one who tries to concentrate, and in that concentration there is an effort and control. So there is a controller and a controlled in concentration. I hope you see this for yourself. There is the controller who is trying to focus his thought on a particular subject, but thought is all the time moving, wandering around, and so he tries to control it and in that control there is a form of resistance. There is a division between the controller and the controlled. And so there is an effort, a sense of division. Where there is division there must be conflict between the controller and the controlled. That is generally what we call concentration. Now is there in attention this division? You follow? The controller trying to attend and therefore there is a division between the thought that says, I must attend, I must learn how to sustain attention or nourish it. I hope you are following all this. So is there in attention a centre from which you attend, or when you listen to that woodpecker, you are listening.

So is there in attention an entity who is attending or there is only attention? Which means attending with your listening, perception, seeing and giving all your energy to attend to something. Are you listening attentively now? Listening to the speaker, what he is saying about attention. Are you actually listening? And when you really listen, there is no centre as the 'me' who is listening. You are following this? Is this right? Whereas there is always a centre in concentration. We are saying attention has no centre and therefore extensive. And it cannot be nourished - you attend if you are listening, if there is an intensity, you can't - it is attending. Is this fairly clear? May we go?

So, really, awareness without choice, a choiceless awareness, and concentration, and this sense of extensive, vast attention. Attention has no periphery, whereas concentration has - it is limited."

Truth will unfold itself for those who enquire their own actions and only to them and for them and to or for no one else.

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