A State of Attention

Everything arises from a state of silence, but not everything’s heard from a state of attention. Freedom from the known can happen, but only when it’s learned how to truly listen from a state of attention.

It matters little what one hears, but how one listens does matter in the sense if it comes from a state of attention. There’s all kinds of noise around us most of the time, but what’s mostly heard is labeled from our impulses and opinions. Freedom from the known can happen, but only when it’s learned how to truly listen, and one can only listen when one is in a state of attention. This is when one can truly hear. This state of attention arises from silence, there’s nothing to think about in a state of attention. A dog barking, a car beeping its horn, a helicopter, a waterfall, the ocean, all sounds can be heard and as with any sound, they can annoy you or the can anchor you in the present moment. There’s so much noise that goes on in one’s head, but it has nothing to do with the sounds that are heard.

Everything arises from a state of silence, but not everything’s heard from a state of attention. As I was sitting in my backyard the other day, listening to the water sprinkler in my pool, (my serene opinion) the neighbors son came out to play basketball in his yard, he also preceded to play his music very loud to where my opinionated serenity was disturbed. I immediately took a deep breath and realized that although I was enjoying listening to my pool sprinkler, I wasn’t in a state of attention. If I was when the sound changed to what arose from the silence, in this case my neighbors music,I wouldn’t have been disturbed. One deep breath showed me this, and it allowed me to be in a state of attention to the sounds that were there in the present moment instead of the mind agitations of my impulses and opinions.

Michael Cupo
I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, one of six children. I have been married for 25 years. I own a home, and I have two children. I have been at the same job for 28 years. I am the happiest I have ever been and it is all because of the Love that has always been in my life. I attribute all that has happened to me to that Love. None of what has transpired in the last five years of my life has anything to do with any accomplishments on my part. There was always a lot of love in our home as I grew up, but for reasons unknown to me at the time I was always in trouble. I was at the top of my brother-in-law’s “Who My Sister Shouldn’t Marry” list. I drank alcoholically, gambled, abused drugs and painkillers. I bounced from relationship to relationship. Even after I stopped abusing alcohol and drugs in 1987, my so-called outer troubles stopped, but my self-centered behavior never changed. All I did was substitute one compulsion for another. Although my addiction became more respectable—taking the form of material possessions—I was still trapped, migrating restlessly from one obsession to another. I went to Twelve Step meetings, derived some benefit from them, and then fell away. My loved ones got me into de-tox and rehab programs. But once I was released, the cycle of insatiable craving started all over again. This cycle seemed to work for me . . . until it didn’t. And then my life changed — not instantly or magically, but profoundly. I share this change in It’s Monday Only in Your Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts. I discovered that I wasn’t dependent upon a substance or activity, but ruled by my ego. My need to reach outside myself for fulfillment was created by a false perception of deficiency. If this sense of lack didn’t exist in me, there wouldn’t have been a need to reach and grasp. My credentials for writing this book are simply that I live this change each day. My view of life is so different from the way it used to be. Through the practice outlined in my book, I have learned to quiet my mind enough to allow my heart to open. The quieter my mind becomes, the more Love becomes the default setting of my life. This is truly a modern-day miracle, a miracle that can happen to anyone who has the urge to change. www.mondayinyourmind.com
Michael Cupo

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