Divided And Undivided Attention

If our attention, awareness, consciousness is always looking for something special, then we are being divided or separated from our own pure attention, pure awareness, pure consciousness. This is duality. We have lost the plot by becoming either attached or averse to appearances: that divides being into ‘me’ and ‘it’. It’s a separation. Divided attention means being separated from the reality that is pure attention, pure awareness, pure consciousness. That’s the something special that we’re always looking for!

Undivided attention, awareness, consciousness means that we (attention, awareness, consciousness) are not separate from that which arises within our attention, awareness, consciousness. This is therefore non-duality. Undivided attention is the unity of the two truths – relative and absolute. We are never lost.

To put it another way, we are pure atmosphere. We walk around as pure atmosphere that is aware and conscious: a spiritual atmosphere, perfect inner peace. When something appears within this perfect atmosphere, it is acknowledged that something has appeared within this perfect atmosphere and pure awareness remains in this perfect atmosphere, undivided and undisturbed.

If, on the other hand, we react to these appearances, then we become divided – our attention, awareness, consciousness becomes involved and caught by these appearances – and we lose consciousness! Watching A Bruce Lee movie, we become Bruce Lee … and we have lost the plot … again 😉

The point is that, by chasing after the exotic, we lose that which is already perfect and undivided.

This simple truth is within our own language and culture. We can acknowledge, experience and realise it directly.

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  1. tony says:

    Undivided attention is what shamata (watching the breath) meditation practice is all about.
    We apply discipline or effort to arrive at the effortlessness of just being, which leads us onto vipashana – insight meditation of awareness.

    When we were young at school the teacher would say, “I want your undivided attention,” so that our mind wouldn’t wander off. This was usually directed at me, as I was a bit of a doodler!

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