Awareness and Attention: Don’t Allow Life To Slip By You

After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, “Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?”

“Yes,” Tenno replied.

“Tell me,” the master continued, “did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?”

Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in’s apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.


Explanation Of The Wisdom

This story just goes to show how little we pay attention to life. It is like we live in our heads more than right now.

When you wake up in the morning, are you even aware of your internal emotional state? 

Are you groggy? Tired? Bored? Anxious? Refreshed?

Or do you go straight to the bathroom while thinking about your plan for the day and wash your face mindlessly?

If you do the latter, this means you have so much potential for growth. If you just stick with your meditation schedule and increase your mindfulness and awareness skills, your life would turn out very differently.

If you only paid more attention to your surroundings and present experiences (both inner and outer), your life satisfaction and happiness would skyrocket to new heights.

I’m not exaggerating. If you made presence and mindfulness your new operating principle  (which requires for you to train the mind), you’d get ridiculous amounts of enjoyment out of life.

If you don’t believe me, then try it for yourself: start a daily meditation practice and start an investigation towards enlightenment.

Theory, debates, reading, listening, talking, arguing and knowledge will only get you so far. 

You must “walk the talk”.

If in doubt, remember the priceless wisdom.

“Meditate on the breath (mindfulness meditation to build concentration and awareness skills) and then self-enquire (the teachings of Ramana Maharshi) until you are free of all psychological sufferings and ego. (aka enlightenment)

Do this every day and trust in the process that eventually your mind will be healed.


Because all good things require training and patience.

Know that as long as you do the work, the results will eventually follow.”

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