We shift our attention from the outer to the inner world by maintaining a moment-to-moment awareness of every thought, feeling and action. Here ends the unobserved life. From now on, nothing happens inadvertently.
To cultivate a quiet mind, continuously observe the babble of thought in the head. Notice the repetition and negativity. See how the aim of these thoughts is to trigger an emotional response, how they parade their own importance. Dispassionate attention slows the mind. The space between thoughts expands.
In Mary Oliver’s arresting phrase, we are customers of death. A recent UK report says how we die is changing, moving from “a family event with occasional medical support, to a medical event with limited family support.”