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Practicing Attention – Nerdful Mind #99

December 5, 2021 by Simon Mannes

Drifting attention is an evolutionary bonus.

Look around now and then and you may find yourself in danger. Beware of the tigers.

In our modern civilization, with jobs that require your attention for hours on end, too much drifting attention isn't optimal anymore.

Meditation helps us with this.

When we're meditating, we are training our attention.

The goal is not to hold your attention for minutes or hours on end. It's about noticing when a distraction comes along and then gently putting your attention back.

Imagine you're walking on a road full of holes. Losing attention is like falling into a hole where you need to climb out first before you can continue on your path. With more experience, you see these holes as they come up and don't fall in anymore. And even if you fall, you just go "oh well, there was a hole" before continuing your journey.

“Just pay attention to the present moment without trying to change it in any way.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Reading Recommendations

Everything is a Practice

“I have a client who has completely changed his life — it’s been a complete transformation, and it is breathtaking. One of the most powerful things he’s brought into his life is the practice of self-compassion. It changed everything, once he started bringing this into what he did. But one of the next most powerful things he created for himself is the view that Everything is a Practice.”

Mindfulness and loss: The past is the past

“Imagine this scenario. You’ve purchased tickets for an outdoor music festival, featuring several of your favorite bands. The tickets are pricey—$400—but it will be an experience to remember. Then, on the morning of the festival, a major storm moves into the region, and a hard, cold rain begins to fall.”

Success/Failure Criteria: Some Surprises

“Brisbane, Australia - At a breakfast seminar here June 6 on "Factors for IT Project Success and Failure," Prof. June Verner of NICTA (the National Information and Communication Technology institute of Australia) provided a fascinating mix of surprises and predictables related to her subject topic.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

If you enjoy drinking tea or coffee, this exercise is for you! Although it works with any drink that has some flavor.

Take more the time to drink your cup by taking small sips and trying to feel into it. What do you smell and taste? Is it warm or cold?

If your thoughts wander, gently return to your activity and mindfully take another sip.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!

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