Where do you place your attention?

It’s so clear that we vibrate with the energy of what we focus on. We become like what we place our attention on.

I recently had the most beautiful retreat experience, giving a retreat at Lake Tahoe with my dear friend and co-facilitator, Sarah McLean. We had such a lovely group of people, almost all women, and one brave man! Something about our group was particularly open, there was a certain willingness and consciousness that was ripe to open even more, to experience a greater love and a greater joy. It almost astounded me where we collectively went. We were there committing to deepening our spiritual practices of meditation, chanting, prayer, affirmation, self-reflection, and communion with nature. And together we reached such an experience of unity. In that feeling of one melted heart, there was a truly wonder-full bliss. There was a remembering of our eternal being and a resting in that.

I notice since I’ve been home, that I at times get temporarily involved and identified with limited realities. Watching too much news, one can get identified with much suffering, as that is the dominant focus of what mainstream news reports. It is not that I do not want to know what’s happening in the world, but if all I attend to is suffering, if my attention is mostly on what is painful in life, and what is not working, I lose my strength, I temporarily lose my inner peace and forget who I am and identify with limited aspects of this world.

I see in my teacher, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, an ability to fully be present with each person who comes up to receive her darshan. She feels for them, and with them, yet as she so fully knows her eternal nature, she does not get lost in all these realities. At the end of the day, she knows herself to be the Mother of Immortal Bliss (that is what her name means). She knows herself to be blissful, eternal being, that has no death,  no limit,  no end. She does not get stuck in any realities or stories of this world.

And so, it is my challenge, and perhaps yours, that we take time regularly to focus on, to place our attention on, the peace, the well being, the calm, our illumined presence that is free of the world. As Christ said, “I am in the world, not of it.” I believe he was like Amma, able to stay awake to his true nature, in spite of a world that could look so dark and at times could inspire despair.

Let us love, and serve, and remember our truest nature as peace, bliss, stillness, eternal being. Let us help those who need our help, do our best to be kind and useful in this life, but not get lost in looking for a sense of security in the ever changing world. Instead, if we take time to feel the love of the One within, the peace that is in the sound of the raindrops falling on my roof right now, placing our attention on peace that is here now, we can rest from worry.

I am readying for a drive to Lake Tahoe again this Thursday to provide music and chanting for a Silent Retreat Gangaji is offering at Fallen Leaf Lake. I will so welcome the silence, the time in nature to empty out all identities, to let go of all roles, to chant the prayers of my heart, and rest again in the awareness of who I am. I do this for all that I am, all beings everywhere. May all beings be happy. May all beings know their true self as bliss, and completely free from all suffering and bondage. May all beings be at peace.


About Kathy Zavada

Recording/Performing Artist Inspirational Speaker Retreat Presenter www.kathyzavada.com
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