J Krishnamurti Thoughts on Attention and Awareness

Attention is not the same thing as concentration. Concentration is exclusion; attention; which is total awareness, excludes nothing.

It seems to me that most of us are not aware, not only of what we are talking about but of our environment, the colors around us, the people, the shape of the trees, the clouds, the movement of water. Perhaps it is because we are so concerned with ourselves, with our petty problems, our own ideas, our own pleasures, pursuits and ambitions that we are not objectively aware. And we talk a great deal about awareness.

We are not aware of outward things or of inward things. If you want to understand the beauty of a bird, a fly, or a leaf, or a person with all his complexities, you have to give your whole attention which is awareness. And you give your whole attention only when you care, which means that your really love to understand – then you give your whole heart and mind to find out.

Such awareness is like living with a snake in the room; you watch its every movement, you are very, very sensitive to the slightest sound it makes. Such a state of attention is total energy; in such awareness the totality of yourself is revealed in an instant.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

(Source: Freedom from the Known – page 31-32 – 1969 edition)