As the very fabric of life continues to fray and tear, the need for us to be able to apprehend the whole, to see all things as existing in intimate relationship with one another, has never been more necessary. The ancient Christian contemplative tradition, with its deep commitment to the simple practice of prosoche or attention, offers one important resource for helping us recover a more encompassing vision of the whole. One also finds a striking commitment to the practice of attention in modern and contemporary traditions of reflection on the natural world. And while the precise meaning of what it is to pay attention varies tremendously among and between these traditions, there are compelling reasons for considering them together. Perhaps the most significant reason is their shared sense of what it means to cultivate the art of attention as part of a serious, disciplined practice. This chapter argues that the recovery of such practice can help us heal some of the imaginative rifts that have prevented us from seeing and living in the world with a sense of its integrity, beauty, and mystery.
Keywords: contemplation; Christian contemplative tradition; attention; reflection; natural world
Chapter. 17813 words.
Subjects: Religious Studies
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