Attention. Concentration. Mindfulness. Consciousness. Watchfulness.

God's Shams of Tabriz says
to the heart bud,
"If your eyes are opened,
you'll see the things worth seeing."

Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.93.

You must awake others and make them arise and be alert. If you are always alert, this will be of great benefit to you. You will achieve happiness and you will be saved from the calamities which are coming very soon. Teachings of Babaji, P.53.

So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. (...) you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:42,44

Many times before I have told you that you must be very alert and observe the rules of the ashram. The life of the ashram must be guided by alertness and attention. I do not like careless people. It is your duty to bring alertness, promptness and attentiveness into your lives. Teachings of Babaji, P.53.

You should be awake and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

You must make every effort to become alert. Wherever you live, there you must be alert. Babaji will give His Blessings from here but you must be very alert everywhere. Teachings of Babaji, P.62.

(...) Awake! Arise! Go and learn from the wise! Become brave karma-yogis of the Lord! (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.64.

Only those who are very alert and careful can be successful in their life. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.109.

Mindfulness is the way to the deathless, inattentiveness the way to death. Those who are diligently attentive do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already. Dhammapada, a collection of sayings attributed to Buddha, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.104.

Parable About Ten Bridesmaids

(…) Be very attentive these days.  Our Lady of Medjugorie, June 23, 1982. Words from Heaven, P.129.

Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to him, being attentive to him, requires a lot of courage and know-how.  This discipline of listening and of attention is a very high form of ascetic discipline, a rather difficult one to maintain.  In fact, there are lots of people who do not have the strength nor the grace to maintain this kind of discipline for very long.  Doubtless when a person is clearly not able to do this, maybe he shouldn't try.  Our asceticism will consist in discovering to what extent
each one of us can simply remain quiet in passive attention to God and to what extend we do need some activity, some work that does not completely interfere with this but which relaxes us and takes us away from mere concentration. Merton, Thomas.  Contemplation in a World of Action. P. 246. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

The ideal disposition for the divine encounter is the gathering together of one's whole being in silent and alert attentiveness.  The practice of interior silence produces gradually what the voice in the vision produced instantly:  the capacity to listen.  It withdraws the false self from its self-centeredness and allows the true self to emerge into our awareness.  Keating, Thomas.  The Mystery of Christ. P. 45. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

We must become accustomed as we pray to stay alert for indications of that divine life which is hidden from us.  To watch out for them is well on the way to intercept the outpouring of this life and let it flood into our minds and souls.  That is all that God expects from us: a humble attention to the mysterious things he accomplishes in the universe and in human souls. Raguin, Yves.  How To Pray Today. P.18. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn  <>

If you want great wealth, and that which lasts forever, wake up! If you want to shine with the love of the Beloved, wake up! You've slept a hundreds nights, and what has it brought you? For your Self, for your God, wake up! Wake up! Sleep no more. Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), a Sufi, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.328.

The mystic path is about letting go of the conflict between ourselves and what is....It requires that we be present to what's happening at each moment of our lives.....To do that is to live without any regrets from the past or worries about the future.....What's most important is that we live each moment in awareness (...). Grant, Terence. The Silence of Unknowing: The Key to the Spiritual Life. PP. 5-6. Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Ann Potschka  <>

To be able to concentrate is essential for spiritual progress; without concentration you shall never find God. (...) As soon as your consciousness is right, God is there. He isn't hiding from you; you are hiding from Him. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.166.

One's first concentration should be on union with God. Every day as you go through various earthly situations, mentally practice your oneness with God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.243.

The first state of concentration is to able to see in your mind's eye anything that you wish. (...) As you continue to practice visualization you will find that your thoughts become materialized. The cosmic law will so arrange it that whatsoever you are thinking of will be produced in actuality, if you command it to be so. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.243.

Nothing worthwhile may be gained without effort and without concentration. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.243.

In the Hebrew tradition, petitionary prayer is discouraged during Sabbath time. We focus our heart not on what we need, but rather on what we have. When we are attentive and awake, a single breath can fill us to overflowing. The touch of a loved one, a particular angle of sunlight can bring delight to our hearts. The simple gesture of someone's hand resting in our own, a taste of honey, or a strain of melody can give birth to quiet satisfaction, a sense of enough. Wayne Muller, Sabbath, P.201.

Concentration is the essence of all knowledge; nothing can be done without it. Ninety per cent of this thought-force is wasted by the ordinary human being, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.196.

Existence has no morality as such - it is amoral. For existence there is nothing wrong and nothing right. Only one thing is right - your being alert and conscious. Then you are blissful. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.122.

(...) if you cac be silent, and if you can transcend mind and your consciousness can grow, it does not matter what you are doing; your actions are not counted at all, only your consciousness. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.123.

You become more conscious, and your actions will change - that is absolutely simple and scientific. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.124.

As your consciousness becomes more settled, all your life patterns change. What religions have called sin will disappear from your life, and what they have called virtue will automatically flow from your being, from your actions. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.124.

Just as a farmer cannot feel confident about the crop growing in his fields, because he does not know what will happen to it before it is stored away in his granary, so a man should not leave his heart unguarded so long as he still has breath in his nostrils. Up to his last breath he cannot know what passion will attack him; (...) but should at every moment pray to God for His help and mercy. St. Isaiah the Solitary (died in Gaza in 491 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.25.

Watchfulness is a spiritual method which, if sedulously practised over a long period, completely frees us with God's help from impassioned thoughts, impassioned words and evil actions. It leads, in as far as it is possible, to a sure knowledge of the inapprehensible God, and helps us to penetrate the divine and hidden mysteries. St. Hesyhios the Priest (8th or 9th Century), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.162.

Attentiveness is the heart's stillness, unbroken by any thought. In this stillness the heart breathes and invokes, endlessly and without ceasing, only Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and Himself God. St. Hesyhios the Priest (8th or 9th Century), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.163.

Much water makes up the sea. But extreme watchfulness and the Prayer of Jesus Christ, undistracted by thoughts, are the necessary basis for inner vigilance and unfathomable stillness of soul, for the deeps of secret and singular contemplation, for the humility that knows and assesses, for rectitude and love. This watchfulness and this Prayer must be intense, concentrated and unremitting. St. Hesyhios the Priest (8th or 9th Century), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.164.

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God. St. Thalassios the Libyan (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.308.

If you possibly can, sleep only after reciting the psalms and after inward meditation. Don't be caught off guard, letting your mind admit strange thoughts; but lie down meditating on the thought of your prayer, so that when you sleep it may be conjoined with you and when you awake it may  commune with you (cf. Prov. 6:22). Abba Philimon (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.348.

Strive to keep your mind undistracted, always being attentive to your inner thoughts. (...) Think that you are standing in heaven, and that in the company of the holy angels you are meeting God and receiving Him in your heart. Prepare yourself with great awe and trembling, lest you mingle with the holy powers unworthily. Abba Philimon (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.351.

There is just one method which is obligatory for all: to stand with the attention in the heart. All other things are beside the point and do not lead to the heart of the matter. Theophane the Recluse, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.110.

I find myself asking what am I getting out of this retreat, but I realized today that this is the wrong question. This retreat is not for me, but for him. It is to give him, at least for this little while, the fullest attention and love that I can, freed as I am from many other cares and concerns that ordinarily clutter my life (...). Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.120.

We ought to be always awaiting his coming. I do think this necessarily refers to the last coming – general or particular – but the daily visits of grace and Presence, many of which we probably miss because we are not attentive, do not hear the knock (…). Such constant attentiveness as the underlying attitude to all we do as we go about the daily tasks or even as we sleep – “I sleep, but my heart watches” – can only come from very real love and the desire it engenders to see the beloved and not to miss his least visit. (…). Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.255.

Be alert. Question, observe, investigate, learn all you can about confusion, how it operates, what it does to you and others. By being clear about confusion you become clear of confusion. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.19-20.


Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertence, are never justified. Seek a clear mind and a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, enquiring into the real nature of yourself. This is the only way to peace. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.22.


Last updated: 2013/05/20

See the related subjects: Awareness, Contemplation, Discipline, Meditation, Mind