ATTENTION AND FOCUS
Attention is not what you have become conditioned into believing it is. Attention is a true pause. To pause implies being suspended without internal dialogue - a state of awareness in which there is total objectivity, detachment and respect.
Attention is something that is not from the mind. In this respect, I use my body very much in the process of being attentive. When I am listening then I am striving to use my whole body. Then I can sense the presence of the attention. I can sense it in the body while being AT the TENSION (at-tention). In that way I feel at one and in harmony with what I am experiencing without being identified with it.
This PRESENCE of ATTENTION I am developing through listening. Initially, I strive to hear the PAUSES between the words when someone, or myself, is talking.
In that sense I very much feel the suspension of the PAUSE - I call it a pregnant pause since after the pause something new appears.
Also, I am practicing physical exercises slowly, and then naturally I can feel this presence of attention. There is a sense of balance and expansion to it, a sense of touching the texture of the world. It can also be directed. When I walk or sit, or whatever I do, I always sense my body and specifically what is/what feels ALIVE in my body - this is how I am maintaining my attention.
The following aphorism is also my guide in developing attention:
In order to feel the world you must allow your body to find the power inherent within not-doing.
To illustrate this with a simple example from my every-day life:
The other day I walked to a bar here close to where I live and I approached the bar area itself. I was being attentive. Upon nearing the bar area, I saw and felt that the barman was angry, stiff and intimidating. He approached me and sharply said:
“This area is reserved, now move along!”
I just calmly and broadly smiled and gently slid to the left - and he was disarmed! There was a jaw dropping moment from him because of my non-reaction - and then he swiftly moved away!
In this process I felt objective, detached and was experiencing respect; respect not only for the state of being of the barman, but also for my own state of being.
I was feeling warmth and I did not want to waste it, that is, to throw it away in an unnecessary battle.
I chose my battle and did not get involved in an use-less argument of who is right and who is wrong. I felt how I “sort of suspended” the barman and he did not bother me at all afterward, but observed me rather with respect.
Attention is an act of the will. Attention is what holds awareness of anything in focus.
Note: The Aphorisms used in this article are from Théun Mares