image by axinia
Our attention is that part of consciousness which we direct at specific things around us. When we are listening intensely to something, we can say that we have our full attention on it. When we are focused on looking at a small object, the same applies. Our attention usually suffers in our day to day activities. It suffers because it is being pulled, jostled, screamed at, and battered by the world in which we live.
WHERE IS OUR ATTENTION DURING THE DAY?
– As soon as we get up in the morning the breakfast TV or radio starts screaming for our attention, which a stream of salacious news stories, beguiling adverts and a constant flow of general trivia… Stores fronts scream out their aggressive sales messages at us, offering blandishments and signs for Final Sale, 50% Off! or New Season bargains in a thousand attempts to attract our already battered consciousness.
– This constant bombardment fractures our attention in a very subtle way. In fact we suffer more than we know, because after a while we lose the ability to settle down and find peace anywhere. One of the first signs is that we may have trouble sleeping, our mind racing with the events of the day.
– Eventually our attention becomes numbed by the “noise pollution” and starts to demand increasing excitement; we may find that we get edgy unless we are doing things, that we get bored quickly and feel vaguely dissatisfied at the time, even when we`re supposed to be having a fun time.
– Over a long period we can become desensitised to a normal lifestyle and actively seek out stress creating situations. We literally become excitement junkies. In children this is known as Attention Deficit Syndrome, and in adults we call it a short attention span. Both are symptoms of the same thing, a worn out attention.
NOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?
Our attention needs to rest in the same way that our bodies need to rest.
The constant agitation of our mind through our senses can lead us to a remorseless and fruitless search for amusement and satisfaction in our lives.
When we start to meditate, we bring this aspect of ourselves under control.
We cherish our attention , treat it with respect and help it to find peace wherever it can.
It`s like sending a young child to bed in the afternoon when they`re tired but still exited.
Eventually they learn to enjoy and be nourished by the peace, and thereby get more out of the reminder of the day.
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