Buddha says everything comes down to one thing — staying awake. The film experience — a darkened room, eyes focused on a screen, few distractions — supports the practice of attention, but it still doesn't come naturally. You have to consciously notice what is happening on the screen so that in the rush of images you don't miss a clue or an epiphany. Many movies will be big events with spectacular special effects and soaring soundtracks where the signs are obvious. Others will be little slice-of-life pictures where God is in the details. Some will feature characters that have a gift for attention revealed in the way they observe the world around them. Attention is a spiritual quality you bring to the film as well as one you may find demonstrated in the story.

  • The Scent of Green Papaya: This lyrical and beautifully photographed Vietnamese masterpiece focuses on a servant girl's spiritual practice of attention and her mastery of the inner smile.
  • Small Wonders: An inspiring documentary about a dedicated, demanding, and enthusiastic teacher who has made a big difference in the lives of hundreds of students in East Harlem, New York, reveals the important role of attention in creativity.
  • Doing Time, Doing Vipassana: An extraordinary documentary shows how prisoners in India's Tihar Prison were transformed by practicing meditation.
  • She's the One: In this romantic comedy, two Irish American brothers are neither awake nor alert to what the women in their lives need.
  • Jerry Maguire: An engaging and full-tilt movie about an initially self-centered sports agent depicts the manifold ways attention enhances both love and work.

More Films about Attention