Giving attention is a very basic form of love, which is obvious everywhere, and a way that love can be expressed very simply in the world. What you give your attention to is what you love. If you are giving your attention to the egoic mind, then you are loving that and joining with that. If you are giving your attention to others, then you are loving them and joining with them. Asking yourself, What am I giving my attention to? can be an excellent spiritual practice, and it will help you train yourself away from the habit of identifying with the egoic mind.

Giving your attention to others is often at odds with giving your attention to your mind because the mind is not interested in others. It’s only interested in itself, its thoughts, its opinions, and its perceptions. To give your attention to others is a gift of love because to do this, you must override the ego’s tendency to give attention to itself and its needs. It takes some effort to overcome the programming to be self-focused and to become more other-focused. When we do this, we are choosing love and expressing love in a most basic and simple way.

Giving attention to someone can be a powerful force for good. When you give attention to someone, you are channeling love energy to them, regardless of how you might feel about them from the level of your personality. The choice to give attention to others is a loving choice. It connects them with the love energy that is their nature and yours, and that is a gift. This all happens on very subtle levels, but it is still felt by people, who welcome attention and are often deeply touched by someone paying attention to them. Giving people attention is a way of acknowledging your Oneness with them, and it helps catalyze the experience of Oneness, however subtle it might be.

Giving others attention causes them to experience love, and that comes back to you and goes out to others as well, so giving your attention to others is ultimately much more rewarding than giving your attention to the mind. Everyone wants love more than anything else because being in touch with your true nature is satisfying, unlike the other things the ego tries to attain, which bring only fleeting satisfaction. That is why giving attention to others becomes easier the more it is practiced.

Giving attention is equally rewarding when you give it to whatever you are doing. The egoic mind draws you into its unreal world of thought. It entices you to pay attention to it with juicy thoughts about the past and fantasies about the future and thoughts that build up the ego and sense of being special (which often involve tearing others down). Giving your attention, instead, to whatever is going on in the moment is an act of loving life rather than rejecting it by escaping into the mental world of the ego.

Whenever we give our attention to what is actually going on in the present moment, we are rewarded by the experience of love, peace, and contentment. Giving attention to real life rather than to the mind aligns us with love, which is what we all long for.
However, we are programmed to move away from the moment. To counteract this, you have to choose to give your attention to what is Real. When you do that, you become free of the suffering caused by the egoic mind and its ceaseless discontent, negativity, and judgment. All you have ever had to do to be free of this suffering is to turn your attention away from the mind (what is not real) and onto the present moment.

The present moment is where your true nature and all of the qualities of your true nature can be experienced. It’s the only place where it is possible to experience real love, acceptance, contentment, peace, and joy. And all you have to do is put your attention on what is happening now instead of on the mind.

Author's Bio: 

Copyright © 2007 Gina Lake. All rights reserved.

Excerpted from Getting Free: How to Move Beyond Conditioning and Be Happy by Gina Lake.

Gina Lake has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and over twenty years experience supporting people in their spiritual growth as an astrologer and a channel. She is the author of several books on spirituality, including: Radical Happiness, Anatomy of Desire, Return to Essence, Choosing Love, Getting Free, and Living Your Destiny. Gina is available for astrological and channeled phone consultations that support awakening and living a conscious life. For more information or to order any of these books, to read excerpts, or to download Radiance: Experiencing Divine Presence for free, please visit http://www.radicalhappiness.com.