​Is loving paying attention, without any agenda, to the actions we perform at every moment?

Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.

Consider whether it seems the same to you to do something as an end in itself or to do something to achieve a purpose.

If they seem different to you, where is the difference?

You should let the question rest within you, without looking for an instant answer.

How often each day do we do things to which we do not pay attention because we consider them to be a means to an end?  And how often do we do something with complete awareness of what we are doing? 

When I speak to someone, do I pay attention to what I am about to say and to the other person or do I tell them the first thing that I associate with what they tell me?  We tend to act mechanically, even though we are not aware of it, that is, without really paying to attention to ourselves or others.  On the contrary, we are guided by our own automatic impulses and therefore I talk about something I associate with it, or about a similar experience I have had, but I often do not realise what the other person really needs, because I am not being attentive.  So our conversations become rather vacuous, without much meaning, like an exchange of trivial anecdotes.  

If for some reason I am aware of my mechanical impulses I may realise that the other person does not have a need to listen to my anecdotes, but needs something else.

Many actions every day, apart from the above example, are things that we do without paying attention; simple things like preparing a meal, bathing, listening to music or singing it, walking, working, studying…

If I walk just to get somewhere else, my walk becomes devalued, but if I pay attention to the way I walk, to my body, to my physical posture, to my breathing…without becoming involved in day dreaming, I feel that my walk is an end in itself.  I will take the same time to reach my destination, but I will have experienced it in a different way.  The same occurs with so many things that I consider routine: observing people I come across or looking at the same tree every day, but as an end in itself, not as an obstacle in my path.  Since, your life is every moment of your walk.  Where do you think you are going to get to?

Loving has a lot to do with the simple act of being present where you are, without imposing any conditions, without haste.  Try it.  Paying attention to what I am doing or what is happening or what is happening to me, no more than that.   Without other concerns, thoughts, urges or expectations.  Being aware of what exists in a kindly way.  Try it without forcing yourself.

This is a game in which if you want to strive for success you will always lose!!