The Costs (and Benefits) of Paying Attention

"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." --Thich Nhat Hahn

Sounds like a simple gift to give, doesn't it? Then why is it so rare?

We tend to think that being in the same room with someone is the same as being present with them. It's like being in class when the teacher calls roll... if you're in the room, the correct response is "present" or "here." But are you really?

Truly being present is so much more than being there physically. More than being present with, it's about being present to. It's about paying attention. It's about hearing and seeing the other as if for the very first time. And it's costly. Maybe that's why it's called paying attention.

What does it cost? You may have to let go of your own agenda, your preconceived notions, your ideas, your plans, your need to control or fix or change anything. 

Who needs your full presence today?

"In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet." --Albert Schweitzer