When We See Each Other

5.8.2022. An excerpt from John Main OSB, “The Way of Attention” in The Hunger for Depth and Meaning, ed. Peter Ng

We have to learn to pay attention. [T]his be so powerful because in the act of attention we transcend the ego. Fully absorbed in our attention, we leave self behind. [ . . .] Learning to attend, we learn to see with absolute clarity what is before us. We learn to hear what is said to us. In other words, we learn to be fully open to reality. [ . . . .] Without such attention, without such selfless attention we can never pass over, never fully see or hear or experience what is. 

Learning to say the mantra, we learn to leave our limited, distorted perceptions behind. We become absorbed into the divine reality, the oneness that Jesus speaks of in his great prayer in the Gospel of John: ‘that we may be one.” [ . . . .] Saying the mantra is simply our beginning on the path to this selfless attention, the searchlight of consciousness off ourselves, forward. We become like the eye that cannot see itself, that sees all.

After meditation: “When We Look” by Annie Lighthart in PAX (Newberg, Oregon: Fernwood Press, 2021), p. 15. 

When We Look


When we look long at one another,

we soften, we relent, listen, 

might forgive. We allow for silence

–and when we see each other,

are known, and in that moment

might change

though nothing has moved

or been spoken.

There are some who say 

The walls cannot be broken,

but suddenly we are in a free place,

and the fields

that extend from its center

stretch for miles

as if out of the pupil and the iris

of that momentary kingdom. 

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