This is the January 15th thought for the day from modern day mystic Eknath Easwaran. I thought it fit Valentine’s Day very well too. The pink trees picture has nothing to do with parrots or one-pointed attention, but I do love it! Thank you to Blue Pueblo via the Green Renaissance Facebook page.
When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. . . . One should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself. – Ashvaghosha
There is a close connection between deep concentration and love, and with the practice of one-pointed attention we can greatly increase the precious capacity to remain loving and loyal no matter what the vicissitudes or circumstances we encounter.
We can practice this one-pointedness throughout the day by doing one thing at a time, and giving our full attention to whatever we are doing. While having breakfast, for example, we can give our complete attention to the food and not to the newspaper. If we are listening to a friend, even if a parrot flies down and perches on his head, we should not get excited, point to the parrot, and burst out, “Excuse me for interrupting, but there’s a bird on your head.” We should be able to concentrate so hard on what our friend is saying that we can tell this urge, “Don’t distract me. Afterwards, I’ll tell him about the parrot.”