Attention is all you have

“How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives. Mystics and contemplatives have made this claim for ages — but a growing body of scientific research now bears it out.” — Sam Harris, Neuroscientist

Whether you notice the progress your team has made or the challenges that remain, 

whether you notice a beautiful rainbow outside or feelings of dread as your clothes get wet, 

or whether you notice the fundamental ability to choose to be happy in this moment or the feeling that happiness is something you need to chase after,

are all determined by the same thing: how you pay attention. 

In the same way physical endurance can be improved with regular exercise, or energy levels can be improved with regular quality sleep, physical changes in the brain and an increased capacity to notice and adjust your attention from moment to moment in a way that improves the quality of your life can be cultivated with regular practice.

You do not need to quit your job or pay for an expensive retreat to do this, and you can start today. 

Here’s how: 

  1. Commit to setting aside 10 minutes a day. 
  2. Find a guided meditation resource — in the same way it’s helpful to have a trainer when learning to exercise, having a mindfulness instructor can help with developing an effective mindfulness practice (I use Waking Up, but there are many other options to consider)
  3. Start your first meditation. 

The imperative to cultivate an ability to pay attention couldn’t be more clear: when it comes to the quality of your experience and how you respond to the most challenging moments in life, your mind and where you focus it is all you have. 

This is a great perspective for people who like to focus too much on time itself. Then they start viewing all moments of life as equal sand-grains in a clock that's forever running out. However it's our attention that is primary to our experience. Besides things like money and success and etc etc it is really all that we have. And even that we cannot take with us into death.
2021-03-14 14:10:31
William is on quite a roll with over 60 days of writing. Keep going! Also, what would be the opposite of meditation?
2021-03-16 01:59:49
agreed on all accounts. On YouTube there are clips of studies done on attentional blindness that illustrate the importance of directing our attention - my favorite is the experiment where you're told to count how many times a basketball team passes the ball. What most people don't notice is the gorilla that walks through the basketball court. The passes & the gorilla are both happening - you can only really notice one of them fully. 

thanks! Opposite of meditation... interesting question. I'd say it's the opposite of paying attention - to not pay attention would be to hop from one thought to the next without any awareness that it's happening. A 'monkey mind' -
2021-03-16 20:03:42