Attention is the only thing we truly own while we are alive. I know it may seem that you own a lot of different things, but I hope to show you that you do hold nothing apart from your attention.
Firstly, I would like to say that attention can have many names such us focus or energy. However, for me the word attention describes the best what I want to convey.
Attention is everything that exists within a moment of awareness. It is the focus, the energy we are giving to something or someone. It is all of our reality, and the whole of our world. Nothing exists outside it. For example, you will not be scared until the attention towards something scary is grabbed, namely you will not feel scared about having a car accident until that possibility enters your mind, until your attention touches it. The more attention you give, the more scared you will become.
Therefore the first thing to know about attention is that it is the only real thing you can use and it is your only link to this universe. Without attention nothing can be perceived and without the possibility to move your attention you would not learn, nor perceive, nor exist.
There are two aspects of attention that should be discussed. On one hand, we have the feeling we can move attention at will and on the other we feel we don’t. Sometimes we say we don’t want to think about something anymore and we stop thinking about it, and sometimes we say exactly the same and we can’t do nothing else but to think about it. What a wonderful paradox we can control attention and yet we can’t.
If we could control our attention completely we would be truly very powerful and build a reality that could suit us perfectly. However, there is something about attention that seems to be out of our reach. I feel at times that attention is just trying really hard to trick me at every step. Because every time I grow confident it kicks me in the ass and decides to become totally out of my control.
Attention is in some way also built to help us survive. When we are in grave danger our attention becomes ever more focus and narrow, so much so that time seems to slow down, colors become more vibrant and sounds louder. One incredible thing happens when eminent danger approaches: our thoughts stop, or at least are reduced drastically.
Let us say that we spiritual hard workers are trying to quite our minds for years and fright does it in one single moment.
Another aspect of attention that I would like to discuss in this article is the link between attention and sleep. I have always wondered if there is a possibility of feeling completely refreshed without going to sleep. The funny thing about this is that there are days we feel completely tired and others that were longer and where more things were done and yet we feel fresher. I believe to have found some kind of rational thread in this situations. It seems to me that it is only related to attention and not to what we have actually done or not done.
Bare with me. If there is some activity you are doing that asks for a lot of your attention, it seems to be harder to let go of it afterwards. If we can’t release the attention on the previous task we will have less attention for the next one. And if we have a series of activities like that we have even less. Our attention is limited no doubt about it.
Now let us go back to what I was talking about before. When we have a very scary situation our attention is grabbed and we feel completely exhausted afterwards. Or we have a series of small catching attention activities that added up make us also completely tired. In both cases only sleep can restore our attention and sometimes even more that one evening of sleep will be required.
What happens during sleep is that attention, attached to experiences, ends up being released. We may feel tired in the morning when the release wasn’t very effective.
My question is twofold: on one hand how can we release attention without having to sleep, and on the other hand how can we control attention and be able to decide more consciously to what we want to give our attention to?
I hope to be able to give some insights in my next two articles.
Self Growth | Ego Dissolution | Lea Autumn | Spirituality
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