I know, I know, I’m a veritable broken record (do we have an image to replace that one now that there’s at least one generation with no knowledge whatsoever of a record?), on the subject of directing the attention. Having facilitated workshops on “What You Practice Is What You Have” for the past year or so (not to mention “the quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention” before that), and now working on this follow-up to There’s Nothing Wrong with You, which is also titled “What You Practice Is What You Have,” I find myself utterly besotted (in the best possible sense) with the practice of directing the attention.
There is everything to recommend it and nothing against it!
1) It’s practical. When you need to stay attentive to something or someone--at work, in a challenging conversation--you can do it.
2) It’s entertaining. You can make up all sorts of little games for yourself such as turning your attention to particular colors or objects and using them as reminders to turn your attention to the breath, to yourself with a kind word, etc. (Some of you may be recognizing Practice Everywhere about now.)
3) It’s relaxing. With your attention going where you choose rather than habitually to the stressful conversations of conditioned mind, stress and tension no longer have access to you.
4) It’s efficient. When it’s time to meditate formally, you are way ahead of the game by having practiced being present all day long!
5) It’s fun. Life is fun. Conditioned mind and the voices of self-hate are not fun. When you give your attention to life, your fun quotient goes way up.
6) It’s kind. When you are not lost in an unconscious relationship with the negativity of egocentric karmic conditioning, you become a pleasure to be around. You are a gift to the world.
7) It’s simple. Anyone with sufficient capacity and willingness can do it. “Now, I will turn my attention to…” No complex rules, no standards—easy.
8) It brings immediate gratification. Each moment you are HERE/NOW is a moment of wellbeing. Practice directing your attention ten times today and you have ten experiences of wellbeing. Tomorrow twenty, then thirty, then much of your day, then most of your day…
9) It’s a guilt-free pleasure. You can be enjoying this little awareness game all the time and no one will ever know what you’re doing. They will just enjoy you more because you’re more pleasant to be around.
I feel quite confident there are more good reasons for the practice of consciously directing the attention than are occurring to me just now. Perhaps if you know of additional benefits you will send them along? When you send them, I will turn my attention to them, enjoy them, and have the joy of another moment or so of wellbeing. Oh, and I will feel grateful to you for them…another moment of wellbeing! If financial institutions operated this way, we’d all be rich as Midas—but truth be told, I much prefer being rich in the joy of wellbeing.