In complete attention there is no experiencing; there’s no centre which experiences, nor a periphery within which experience can take place. Attention is not concentration which is narrowing, limiting. Total attention includes, never excludes. Superficiality of attention is inattention; total attention includes the superficial and the hidden, the past and its influence on the present, moving into the future. All consciousness is partial, confined, and total attention includes consciousness, with its limitations and so is able to break down the borders, the limitations. All thought is conditioned and thought cannot uncondition itself. Thought is time and experience; it is essentially the result of non-attention.
In complete attention there is no experiencing. In inattention there is; it is this inattention that gathers experience, multiplying memory, building walls of resistance; it is this inattention that builds up the self-centred activities. Inattention is concentration, which is exclusion, a cutting off; concentration knows distraction and the endless conflict of control and discipline. In the state of inattention, every response to any challenge is inadequate; this inadequacy is experience. Experience makes for insensitivity; dulls the mechanism of thought; thickens the walls of memory, and habit, routine, become the norm. Experience, inattention, is not liberating. Inattention is slow decay.
First of all, what is attention? When you attend, that is, when you give your mind, your heart, your nerves, your eyes, your ears, there is complete attention; it takes place, does it not? Total attention is that. When there is no resistance, when there is no censor, no evaluating movement, then there is attention – you have got it.
Nothing takes you from inattention to attention. One is mostly inattentive. If you know you are inattentive and be attentive at the moment of knowing inattention you are attentive.
What brings about total attention? Not any method nor any system; they bring about a result, promised by them. But total attention is not a result, any more than love is; it cannot be induced, it cannot be brought about by any action. Total attention is the negation of the results of inattention but this negation is not the act of knowing attention. What is false must be denied not because you already know what is true; if you knew what is true the false would not exist. The true is not the opposite of the false; love is not the opposite of hate. Because you know hate, you do not know love. Denial of the false, denial of the things of non-attention is not the outcome of the desire to achieve total attention. Seeing the false as the false and the true as the true and the true in the false is not the result of comparison. To see the false as the false is attention. The false as the false cannot be seen when there is opinion, judgment, evaluation, attachment and so on, which are the result of non-attention. Seeing the whole fabric of non-attention is total attention. An attentive mind is an empty mind.