February 3


Today's Quotation:

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes we forget to pay close attention, and because we're not doing so, we forget what we're missing.  Paying close attention to anything in our lives helps to remind us of the beauty and wonder of this world, two elements of our lives that thoroughly enrich our experience here.  But only if we allow it to, and we can allow it to only by paying attention to it.

Perhaps it's a question of semantics:  we say that we're "paying" attention, and the word "pay" to us indicates some sort of cost, some sort of sacrifice.  Miller's words are "gives close attention," an idea that implies that there's no payment involved, just free will.

In either case, it's important that we stop sometimes and examine things on a different level than that on which we normally see them.  If we don't do so, everything remains "normal," and that would be sad, indeed.

Have you ever counted the number of petals in a rose?  Have you ever watched an ant drag something much larger than itself towards home?  Have you ever watched a bee gather pollen on its hind legs?  When was the last time that you looked very closely at a piece of fruit that you were eating, noticing the incredible complexity of it?  When was the last time that you actually spent time staring into a pond, noticing all the life that was there for you to see?

Even sitting still on a lawn can open up to you a whole new world, if you look long enough and closely enough.  There is a great deal of life available to you in such a place, but we usually miss it as we walk quickly over it.  Once I taught in a building that had a tree growing right next to it, so from our third-floor window we had a great view of the top of the tree and all the bugs and birds that lived there or were stopping by for visits.  That close view taught me a lot about the tops of trees, and I can't look at trees in exactly the same way any more.

Stop today and look.  Learn.  Appreciate.  See.  Touch.  Feel.  Looking closely is nothing more than using our powers of observation, a gift that we were given that we let lie unused far too often.  Miller's right--if we do this, the world becomes an awesome, incredible place.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What kinds of things are in your life that you think you could look at more closely?

2.  Remember back to a time when you looked at something closely that you normally took for granted.  What did you learn?

3.  What does Miller mean by "a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself"?

For further thought:

A greater poverty than that caused by lack of money is the poverty of unawareness.  Men and women go about the world unaware of the beauty, the goodness, and the glories in it.  Their souls are poor.  It is better to have a poor pocketbook than to suffer from a poor soul.

Jerry Fleishman

more thoughts and ideas on awareness



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