The minute you got the Nobel Peace Prize, things that I said yesterday, with nobody paying too much attention, I say the same things after I got it – oh! It was quite crucial for people, and it helped our morale because apartheid did look invincible.
Age about 30, I stopped looking up my books in bookstores. Paying attention to the marketplace isn’t a healthy thing for me.
The writer’s object is – or should be – to hold the reader’s attention.
Childhood was terrifying for me. A kid has no control. You’re three feet tall, flat broke, unemployed, and illiterate. Terror snaps you awake. You pay keen attention. People can just pick you up and move you and put you down.
We have seen from experience that, if we are in the habit of walking regularly on the same road, we are able to think about other things while walking, without paying attention to our steps.
Beg of God the removal of envy, that God may deliver you from externals, and bestow upon you an inward occupation, which will absorb you so that your attention is not drawn away.
Always remember those things that tend to strengthen and improve your understanding. You cannot learn without attention, neither retain those lessons that you have once learnt without frequently reflecting upon and reviewing them in your mind; by this means, things long past will remain impressed upon your memory.
When you have solved the problem of controlling the attention of the child, you have solved the entire problem of its education.
In Asian languages, the word for ‘mind’ and the word for ‘heart’ are same. So if you’re not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you’re not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.
As a teacher you are more or less obliged to pay the same amount of attention to everything. That can wear you down.