1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Where is your attention? June 12, 2008

 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.


 – 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.


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.

From “Meditation” by Nigel Powell

Other quotes from Nigel Powell:

A right sided personality

A left sided personality

Western people have the lowest self esteem?

The mind games or the myth of self-improvement

Spirituality on sale

3 questions about YOUR spiritual practice

The Ego and the Super Ego


9 Responses to “Where is your attention?”

  1. stefanebner Says:

    Intresting post.
    Attention is a popular word, but many people don`t know what to do about it. I never tried meditaion but may be it is good reason to start.

    Danke für den Hinweis 🙂

  2. Peter Says:

    This is the main point in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

    YOGAH CITTAVRITTI NIRODHAH – Yoga is silencing the temperament of our attention/ CITTA/.


  3. Swaps Says:

    Hey Peter, how true you are. Meditation mustn’t only still the mind, it should go step farther and make thoughts ‘disappear’. It is unfortunate that yoga is being marketed as a brain revitalizer only.

    Btw, since you mention Patanjali yoga, may I ask if their claim that it is taught completely free of cost is true?

  4. Swaps Says:

    Axinia, these words “It`s like sending a young child to bed in the afternoon when they`re tired but still exited.” are PRECISE!

  5. axinia Says:

    Swaps, thanks! I also like this phrase, but it is not me who said that 🙂

  6. Sally Huss Says:

    I enjoyed your insightful blog. Yes, the constant attention that everyday life requires of us can be all too consuming. Meditation is necessary! Thanks for shedding light on this important topic.

    Sally Huss
    “Life is wonderful! Don’t forget it!”

    Email: sally@sallyhuss.com
    Blog: http://www.blogher.com/blog/sallyhuss/
    website: http://www.sallyhuss.com/

  7. axinia Says:

    Dear Sally, thanks for your kind comments and a link to your site – you are doing a wonsderful job, supplying people with happy products!

  8. […] generous with my attention – means keeping my attention and giving vibrations to people in need, whether they realise it or […]

  9. […] useful trick is to have a good attention. I wrote about it already here. I can literary feel my attention (cool breeze coming out of the top of my head) and when I feel […]

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