Absolutely unmixed attention is…

“Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.”

~ Simone Weil

"[The French philosopher Simone Weil said, ‘Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.’] I love that. I think that could be as close as someone can get to a wonderful definition of prayer. In that sense, prayer has nothing spiritual or religious about it. A mathematician working at a problem or a little kid trying to pick out scales on the piano is a person at prayer. She’s not saying prayer is absolute unmixed attention; it’s the other way. The attention itself is the quality that she wants to call prayer. So whatever context you’re putting it in, whether it’s inside a church or inside a toy box, that’s the quality that is the sacred one."

Translator Stephen Mitchell via Krista’s Journal: Approaching Prayer.


  1. Post: Thank you via Crashingly Beautiful via It’s Like This.
  2. Image by artist Vladimir Queiroz Sejas. Thank you Anake Goodall.


  1. Very beautiful definition of prayer.Image is beautiful.


  2. Beautiful definition of prayer, thank you for this post!


  3. Or me watching the cookie jar when Jen is about to give me a treat?


  4. Perfection!


  5. suspended time. If there is time…


  6. I like this David, thanks


  7. I studied engineering, mathematics, business administration, and accounting in college. Wish I could have taken some liberal arts courses. But I was taking an overload almost every quarter at the UW as it was. I have missed so many wonderful things in life. You have brought some of them into my life.


  8. Me too Charles. Me too. Thank you!


  9. I use this quote each term for a writing prompt in my creative writing classes.
    It feels deeply true.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. […] picked up this quotation from David Kanigan’s blog, and have been mulling it over ever […]


  2. […] picked up this quotation from David Kanigan’s blog, and have been mulling it over ever […]


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