Don’t Pay Attention, Just Be Attentive
Q: How to deal with giving attention to everything but at the same time having the control on what to attend to without attending to unnecessary details?
Sadhguru: You do not have to give attention to anything or everything. There is no such thing. This is the fallacy of modern psychology that they have told you, that you can pay attention to this or that. I do not pay attention to anything. I am just attentive. Everything that is there naturally comes into my attention. When you wake up in the morning, do you pay attention and see if the sun has come up or not? No. You are awake, sun comes into you. Everything that is there comes into you because you are alert.
Do not think in terms of paying attention. This is all textbook nonsense. They told you, you must pay attention to the textbook. I paid attention to the textbook. I paid a lot of attention, but nothing happened. Because I paid attention, I did not read. They gave me a textbook. I found a small speck on the page, and I just sat with this for the entire two hours. Well, that is not what they wanted me to do. They wanted me to shift attention from one alphabet to next, one word to next, one sentence to next - they should have told me. They said “Pay attention.” I paid attention.
Do not pay attention to anything. There is a way of heightening the level of attention that you are in right now. If you become far more attentive, everything is in your attention. If you try to pay attention to this and that, you will just lose your mind. If you sit here, you should not pay attention to me. You must just be attentive. If you are simply attentive, not just my words will fall into your ears - much more will happen. Because people are paying attention to the words and they think they will miss it, they want to write it down. You will know nothing like this. You will not know life like this. You may pass an examination at the most. But the greatest beings on the planet that you worship never passed an examination. You never heard of Krishna going to write an examination. You never heard of Gautama Buddha going to an examination. You never heard of Jesus going to an examination. But you worship them simply because they became attentive to life in such a way that they perceived more than you perceive, that is all. I also went to an examination and never wrote anything.
The Mirror of Mind
Attention is not about something; it is the way you are. You simply raise your attention levels, not about something. Now everything will come into your purview naturally. If you try to attend to this and that, you will miss everything because there is too much happening in the existence. Nobody can pay attention to all those things. Mind is like a mirror. If you pay attention to something, you try to catch one thing. You will become a grimy mirror which will be useless after some time. It will become more of a nuisance than a help, which is what has happened to most minds.
If your mind becomes like a clean mirror, you do not have to make an effort to reflect. Everything that is there will naturally reflect in the mirror. Do not focus on attending to this and that - just focus on polishing the mirror. Lifetimes of grime are there. If you polish it really shiny and clean, now the entire cosmos will reflect in this. How can it escape? If you hold a mirror, can the sky escape? No, it has to reflect. So, do not try to pay attention to anything. But there is a way to work on your attention so that it can be enhanced to higher and higher levels. If you become super attentive, now everything is in your purview - it cannot be missed.
Editor’s Note: In "Mind Is Your Business," Sadhguru explains that only if we make it “our business” to transform this uncoordinated mess into a well-coordinated symphony, will we be able to use the mind, rather than be used by it. Download Now!