Only The Eye of the Bird

Only The Eye of the Bird May 27, 2015

My dance teacher posted a message on her Facebook page for new graduates and I thought it was the most perfect message they could get so I’m going to repeat it!

For all the new graduates out there, remember what Arjuna said to his teacher, Drona. “I can only see the eye of the bird.” 

It’s that tremendous focus that leads to success.

And for those who don’t know this story, this is part of The Mahabharata. At one point the teacher Drona is teaching the brothers and cousins under his care to shoot arrows. He has set up a wooden bird on a wall and asked them one at a time to shoot the target. But before they shoot he asks them to describe what they see. Each brother that starts describing the scene in front of him is sent back without shooting. When Drona gets to Arjuna he asks what he sees and Arjuna says, “I see the bird.” Drona asks him to describe the bird and Arjuna says, “I can’t. I can only see its eye.” And Drona asks him to shoot and, of course, he shoots it directly in the eye. 

When you set out to do something, do it with all your attention and all your focus. Whatever task is in front of you in this moment, do it with everything you have. Don’t split your attention, don’t multitask, don’t do it part way. Do what is in front of you with single pointed focus. That is the key to success.


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  • Seeker


  • I feel that sometimes that can be true, but often it’s not good to be too much focused on a single issue: it’s like restricting your own spiritual dimension, isn’t it?

    • Kumar

      Hi Andy, The story is with respect to a specific task you wish to achieve or a specific thing that you might want to become (in Arjuna’s case he wanted to be best archer). So you need not restrict your spiritual dimension.

  • Brian K

    Sounds a lot like “aim small, miss small”.

    • mike

      so says the ghost with the Cherokee tomahawk.
      I think that might just be cultural misappropriation on multi levels. jk

      • Brian K

        The quote did come before the movie.

        • mike

          ok. I belive ya. movies draw a lot form established concepts. there isn’t much that hasn’t already been thought of.

  • mike

    that’s reminds me of the time I was watching Charlie Rose and they did a week on the human brain. one day they had this woman on who studied babies brains. she talked about how a young brain can take in all the stimuli around it. that is how we learn. but as we get older our brains start to not be able to take in so much stimuli without being distracted.

    • Shesh

      “she talked about how a young brain can take in all the stimuli around it”
      Doese the baby take in all the stimuli around it simutaneously or one after the other? Here is the fundamental difference. Concentration means focussing on single sense not all the senses at a time. Brain or say mind concentrating on a sensory stimulus is same for all ages.

      • mike

        I believe she was saying all at the same time. and actually the point was that a young brain can take in and process multiple sensory stimulus in a way older minds can’t.

        it might be this episode?
        if not, don’t blame me I didn’t bother watching it all before pasting it.

      • mike

        sorry definitely not the one I posted, that is on pain.

        maybe this one. but I give up either way: