Are you paying attention?

This is the moment, I bow in gratitude to my teacher who is teaching me how to remain focused and grounded with any and every moment that arises. I’m nowhere near perfect, but the striving is clear. I see so many people around me saying things like; “I must multitask, that’s just how my brain works.” Or, “my brain goes too fast, I need more stimulation.”

I once felt like this too. At times, my brain still goes faster than my words.

But what’s important is to recognize it and make a decision, is this really the best way to keep going with life? When we are unfocused, we lack resolve, patience, and clarity. One may be the most successful person and yet have zero awareness. We may claim to be aware or “woke”, but these are just pop words and words are meaningless without action. Multitasking is not possible within this human condition; but the illusion of it surely is. When we can’t focus on a task without having to do or listen to something else at the same time, we set ourselves for limitation.

A counterargument I have heard is something along the lines of, “well, that’s how I get the most done”. Great, so one can keep doing, and doing. When will that same one learn how to truly be? When there is a lack of being, there is an abundance of intensity. This intensity is one where an individual might easily fluctuate between moods, personalities, and states of consciousness without even realizing it. Because the intensity becomes so strong and they can justify it, they may rationalize and say they knew what they were doing. An operation of cyclical motion becomes predominant in one’s life and it leave no room for the heart of humanity.

Imagine if we reach a point that we can say, “this is where I’m putting my attention to.” There is only a one pointed focus. For a moment, take a look at your keyboard. Find the number six. Keep your gaze there for 60 cycles of breath (inhale and exhale). Don’t explore what’s above or below the number six, don’t look at the space between the six and the next key. Don’t look back up at the screen. Easier said that done, right?

What would it feel like to do talk to that individual without scrolling through the phone at the same time. How would you feel? How would they feel? When we are distracted, it is sensed in all corners and it shows up in our lives. Imagine for a moment, you are with your beloved and they are focused everywhere but you? Believe it or not, these are just small examples. Imagine a doctor doing surgery but needing music at the same time. Imagine they get lost in the sounds that they leave a screw in the leg, only to be discovered years later after an infection has grown? Imagine that same doctor talking to his friend while performing brain surgery and leaving another patient braindead because he forgot the next step due to the intensity of his conversation? Would any of that feel good? If the answer is no, then why would would you portray similar behavior?

What we do on a micro level, comes out and reflects the macro. We must take accountability for our actions and deliberately learn to be present, focused and be attentive. We must learn to be rather than just do. But in order for that to become alive, there are action steps to take that ironically involve doing. This is an exercise for the mind. I will share 3 essential steps that are part of what I learned from my teacher. But first, you will need to wear some comfortable clothes and an object that has meaning for you, one that’s perfect to you. This can be a stone or crystal, a pen or spoon, a charm, etc. You will also need a timer that you can set for at least fifteen minutes.

  1. Place your object in front of you at about shoulder level against a plain background.
    I prefer the use of a white wall.
  2. Sit in a comfortable position with an erect spine, a meditative posture.
    I prefer a lotus or half lotus position.
    You can also sit on a chair with ankles below the knees and a tall spine.
  3. Allow the eyes to gaze on a spot of that object where the whole object can be seen from that point. Practice keeping the gaze there until the timer rings or buzzes. Breathe normally.

Some tips for this exercise:
– Create or use a mantra/saying which can act as your anchor. When the mind wonders, you come back to that mantra and refocus. This will also help when the eyes begin to analyze the object or look around. Bring your self back.
– Have compassion for yourself and anything that arises. Come back to your mantra and object of focus.
– After a while, play with adding more time to your exercise and notice what happens.
– Notice how doing this daily affects your life.

Thank you dear teacher for your consistent inspiration, wisdom, and offerings.

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