What is pure attention?

Duly noted. (I guess this is progress of a kind).

How can you practice something about which you say, “there’s no practice”?

It’s difficult to practice it because mind often want to do something since we live so long with thought.

There’s no stopping the ongoing, incessant stream of consciousness, but when attended to, this movement slows down and lengthens the time lapse between two thoughts.

But this is just a better way of living with oneself than ignoring or escaping the stream of consciousness, and it’s done while going about one’s business without making it a formal practice with rules, rituals, and hierarchy.

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I like how K sometimes speaks about being aware while sitting on a bus, riding in a car or sitting round a table. I don’t imagine that K sat on a bus many times, but that’s beside the point.

I’m not sure that pure awareness only lasts for two seconds, does it? It’s certainly something brief in my experience, however. Have you ever looked at someone’s face and seen it more clearly than ever before? Maybe only for a few seconds. That quality of seeing something familiar as if it’s new to you. Have you ever experienced that, even if only fleetingly?

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I think just by giving more attention than we usually do is a start. For example, I might have a conversation with someone I know but listen more carefully, be more attentive and communicate more than I normally do. Not a huge step, but even by doing this, there may be some sort of change and freshness in a set dynamic.

Actually James, you seem to read all the contributions here with great attention. That in itself seems significant in my mind.

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Yes. Of course, the normal Krishnamurti conditioning response would be

“But isn’t that a form of effort? Haven’t you made attention into a goal? Isn’t there a motive in paying attention? And when you say ‘more’, isn’t this a form of comparison, wanting something in the future that isn’t here presently?”

These are the kind of intellectual puzzles that we seem to throw at the suggestion.

However, when Krishnamurti asks his audience to listen, to pay attention, to look at a tree, to look at one’s wife or partner or friend without an image, isn’t this [‘this’ being what you have said] exactly what he is asking us to do?

He is asking us whether we can listen to someone in a way that we weren’t previously disposed to listen to them. He is asking us to look at a tree, or a cloud, or a flower, or a bird, or at another person, in a way that one wasn’t previously disposed to do so.

Which requires a quality of interest, energy, application, testing it out.

Sometimes Krishnamurti would say that one has to “work like hell” to perceive the world anew. Obviously, this seems to be at odds with what he said about effortless seeing, but I don’t think he meant them to be two different kinds of seeing. Awareness, seeing, requires work - the work of attention - but the seeing itself is natural, without conflict. Obviously seeing cannot be forced. But trying to solve this puzzle intellectually from outside the provenance of actual seeing and aware-ing always gets us lost in complications of the intellect.

Whereas just experimenting with listening to someone whom I have been in the habit of not really listening to before, can itself bring about a quality of attention.

Which means that one sees the value of listening, of seeing. The seeing of the value of seeing awakens naturally ‘more’ seeing!!!

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I think what you are trying to imply is that one who observes his mind and action without any judgement, realises more and more with time?

K says about what he can do, We listen to his teaching for so long time. He says that there is no method, there is no practice. I think it’s completely right. However, K is enlightened being and I am not. In Zen, It has a metaphor : I’m like a fish in river, the fish only knows environment water it lives, how struggling it is, it’s always wet in water. While a dragon can both be in the water and fly on the sky. I’m like fish so I need suitable things I can do so I can fly like the dragon . Since I can not enlighten immediately like K, I need practice. I say it’s a practice because in that practice what I do is knowing clearly( but not activate to know), I have timetable for it, to make it the thing I do rather than the thing I understand. But in that practice, there’re no appearance of doing something , I don’t follow thought, I don’t neglect or ignore it. So it’s not a practice
Thought come and go. Thought is afraid of knowing clearly. If thought is “no stopping the ongoing, incessant stream of consciousness”, is that thought can’t catch up with this state, pure attention?

Thought is just a mechanical process. It doesn’t have feelings that determine its behavior. The brain’s psychological conditioning triggers emotional reactions expressed as thoughts, words and images.

Thought is not the problem - it’s the instrument of communication that the psychologically conditioned brain uses to express itself.

We’re inclined to shoot the messenger when it tells us what we need to know about ourselves.

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