The Physics of Attention

First comes the sitting. You should be relaxed
but comfortably straight as you align
your head and torso, shoulders, neck and spine,
your legs right-angled: soles are roots, feet flexed.
In this position you will find your head
afloat, not heavy. Rest there. Now begin
attending to your breathing, out—and in—
the street noise there but filtered, edited.
Quiet the voice that asks: That’s all? Just sitting?
Just being there and breathing? Breathe. Align
your body with the earth, your flitting mind
with all that flies, and welcome, in the One
in whom you live and move and have your being,
things as they are: this chair, this you, this time.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dalí, 1931.
The God who is coming is the God who is already here.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2018
Indigenous people walk past Pope Francis after presenting offertory gifts during the pope's celebration of Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis appealed to the Mapuche, who have suffered “great injustices,” to totally reject violence “which can make a just cause turn into a lie.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2018
Dolores O'Riordan, former lead singer of The Cranberries, performs on stage during a concert in 2007 in Tirana, Albania (CNS photo/Arben Celi, Reuters).
She was Dickensian, if Dickens had written a Gaelic warrior-waif, a hero with a voice that could thrill and comfort.
Cameron Dezen HammonJanuary 17, 2018
Pope Francis dove head-first into Chile's sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago.