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How Attentive Are You?

This is the most essential part of chanting: how attentive are you?

Imagine you are driving a car and you have a passenger sitting next to you. The passenger is continually pointing things out and trying to draw your attention to them:

“Oh, look there’s a shoe sale on! Look at those nice shoes! … Ah, look at that guy with the funny hat! … Are those your gloves on the back seat? … Look out, no, no, turn left! Oh, I thought we had to go left. … Look at the TV shop – is that your favorite football team playing? … Uh-oh, check this out: there’s a guy getting arrested over there….” If you keep getting distracted by what your passenger is saying, you’re going to crash the car.

The passenger is like your mind, and driving the car is like chanting your rounds. If you keep talking to someone and they are continuously ignoring you, eventually you are just going to shut up. That is the best way to deal with the mind: just ignore it and keep your attention on “the road”, it will eventually shut up.


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