It seems like so little to do, doesn’t it? Just look. Just watch. Just pay attention.
Of course it isn’t easy at all, nor is it little. It isn’t only in Zen that it’s one of the things that are The Most Important Things.
The writer Neville Ward quotes the inimitable Colette as saying this to a young writer: “Look for a long time at what pleases you, and longer still at what pains you.”
Then he goes on to quote an admirer of hers:
When we, in turn, watch Colette watching, we realize that, along with love and work, this is the third great salvation, or form of prayer, which we have been given. For whenever someone is seriously watching, a form of his lost innocence is restored. It will not last, but during those minutes his self-consciousness is relieved. He is less corrupt. He forgets he is going to die. He is very close to that state of grace for which Colette reserved the word ‘pure.’