Newsletter #4. Are our attention spans really deteriorating or is there just too much content on the internet and an incentive for the internet giants to promote marketing activity? From a spiritual perspective, one might ask, who watches attention? How do we know that our attention is wandering? Obviously because something within us watches/witnesses attention and inattention. What is that? Are we not identifying with the wrong thing when we feel that we’re drifting when really it’s our attention that’s drifting? If we can observe our attention, then we’re not the attention but attention is just a tool we possess – a very intimate and powerful tool.
You've proudly managed to find your 'quiet time' in the middle of a hectic schedule. You've changed into clothes with more zen-inspiring potential and maybe even lit a candle or two to set the mood. But as you settle in for your yoga or meditation, you can't get your mind off that work problem, or how rude that cashier was or how you'll manage to squeeze all your 'to-do's into the rest of the week. You know what a meaningful yoga/meditation practice is supposed to look like but your mind is not in a mood to cooperate. Here's a few methods I use that can hopefully help to guide you back to attentiveness or if you're having a good session already, to make it more effective.
We usually tend to associate use of something with its depletion. So our natural reflexes are to save, not expend beyond what we believe to be our means and to feel scared to use too much of a thing. But there's one thing that only grows the more it is used and it's intrinsic to meditation.