Attention and Adulthood

“It is said in zen that you must keep your attention even if you are alone in a dark room when nobody can see you, because you can see you. That is the most important one. It really doesn’t matter what your teacher thinks of you or your friends think of you. It’s nice if they think well of you, but is not the crucial thing. The crucial thing is to go into your own heart and make the practice truly and deeply and utterly your own.”

Golden Wind Teisho, John Tarrant

The more I learn about metaphysics, the more I realize that attention is the key to what we experience. It is not about other people’s opinions but about what you yourself have verified. When you know what you have experienced, disagreement is irrelevant and even funny. After all, what is this need of this other person to convince you that you haven’t really experienced something? They don’t just want to control what you think, but also your most personal, indisputable experiences. That’s just sad.

Part of having integrity, in my opinion, is to stand by one’s experiences, not allowing oneself to be dissuaded from what one has seen, felt, or heard for oneself. No one else has to agree. We are all on a journey and everyone is at a different spot.

I have no interest in persuading anyone of anything. That is part of what makes me an adult: I can have my opinions and stand alone when need be. Children need the agreement of authority figures.


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About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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