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Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

I began this week with a question: when I pay attention to my heart, I choose to_________________________.  I have many thanks to those who risked commenting on this question. I loved reading each of your responses.

The question originated in a desire to move attention from what is often a visual experience toward an experience of listening.  And, not listening to just anything but to what our hearts wish to say to us.  If you are like me, this isn’t something that happens often.  My attention is often visual, often intellectual.  This has its place, but so does heart listening.

We have the privilege of listening or choosing to not listen.  We have the privilege of paying attention or choosing to not pay attention.  We have the option of listening to our heart, listening to a creative source, or shutting it out.  Which do you choose?  Why do you choose it?  How is paying attention with your heart part of your creativity, your spirituality?

I am suggesting two practices today.

In the first, I invite you to simply sit in a quiet space and listen to your heart for five to fifteen minutes.  If you find it helpful during this quiet time, place one hand or both hands on your heart. Invite your heart to speak to you.  What does it say?  What do you imagine it saying?  How does it feel to pay attention in this way?  Please use your journals to write down anything that emerges from this reflection.

In the second, I invite you to find one heart centered action that you can take today.  It may be something that responds to a favorite cause, an individual in need, or whomever your heart sends your way.  The world has always needed heart centered creative action.  What is one thing you can do?

With much love,

Meghan

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Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

Today it is Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

Also, in the Christian liturgical calendar it is AshWednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent.

Valentine’s Day is filled with the symbol of hearts, candy, flowers and expectations. 💝

Ash Wednesday’s symbol is not the heart, rather dust, which is a reminder of our mortality. The day ushers in a season of penitence and self examination.

What, if anything, do these have in common?

I wonder if one connection between them is paying attention, paying attention not to hearts, but rather to listening to our hearts. It may mean listening to the wisdom of our individual hearts rather than of our individual intellect. It may mean a movement from a visual apprehension of what is, and instead listening to what our hearts may wish to share with us.

So today, what does your heart wish for you to pay attention?Perhaps it is love. Perhaps it is love grounded in an awareness of mortality. What do you think? Pay attention.

With much love,

Meghan

Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

Whew! What a week! A good one in so many ways.

Tonight I am watching the opening of the Olympic Games. I love watching all of the athletes entering the Olympic venue in South Korea. I imagine that most of them may extraordinary athletic ability and potential. This ability has been honed for them by endless hours of practice, focus, dedication and paying attention to details that only those familiar with the sport might notice.

If you, like me, are entranced with the Olympics, I encourage you to watch it. I invite you to mentally note and journal about what you see. How does watching make you feel? What does your experience of watching inform you about paying attention?

Warmly,

Meghan

Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

Do you find paying attention challenging? I certainly do.

I hesitate in writing this blog post, as I don’t want to add a “should” to lives that are fragmented and all too busy, including my own. With all that we do during a day, the challenge of paying attention to anything, especially our spiritual life, is a beyond what we can achieve as a person or community.

The reflections this month are not a judgement, rather an delightful opportunity to reflect on attention and the many places and things to which our attention is called throughout our day. My hope is that together we might see attention as an invitation.

To what does attention invite us?

I wonder if the invitation to pay attention calls us to this particular moment, with all its confusion, messiness and imperfection. The invitation is to simply see this moment, to gently witness it, rather than striving to fix it.

It is also quite likely in accepting the invitation to pay attention that we will see beauty, tenderness and joy in ourselves, in our daily lives and in the world around us. It’s there, if we pay attention.

What do you think?

❤️

Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

Paying Attention is challenging, isn’t it. The felt demands of our lives, the romance of technology as well as physical and spiritual exhaustion often mean that generous attention is not given to anything, including ourselves.

This month we will focus on choosing to practice the art of attention. I invite you to join me in this space of wonder, in becoming aware of our senses, and where our attention may be calling us.

Today, I invite you to join me in a practice that I learned from a too brief study of ethnographic research.

You will need a pencil or pen and a notepad. Find yourself a space where there is activity going on around you that you can safely observe. Set a timer for five minutes and write down everything that you notice. The goal is not to interpret, rather write what you observe. When the alarm goes off, stop. The next day, do it again and the day after that. Once you have these observations, allow yourself to read what you have written. What do you notice about what you see and the process of seeing? To what are you paying attention?

Please know that I pray for all of my readers. I invite you to pray for Earthenware Ministry. Your comments are read, and are welcomed.

Warmly,

Meghan