Thursday, January 12, 2012

The focus of attention

Today my attention is drawn to snow finally falling from the sky and the peaceful sounds that come with the years first snow (including the laughter of children).   Recently my studies and meditation have been on how we has humans control our attention, and how when we loose control of that attention we tend towards problems, and can our personal/environmental/social/political problems be from a mis-direction of our attention and if so, can the solution only be found when we make an formal intention to direct our attention back to where our attention should be.  (That was a long sentence with a lot of "ands")
How do we as humans get ourselves into any situation, environmental, social, missing a turn when driving, to whacking our finger with a hammer.  I believe it comes down to the focus of attention.  Most of the time our attention is on the task at hand but once our mind finds the task routine it wanders off to find something else to pursue and wham-o we end up with a sore finger.  Humans have been so caught up in our own survival for so long that our global attention is constantly diverted away from the damage we are doing.  We are at a point where things are getting pretty shaken up.

The whole globe is shook up, so what are you going to do
      when things are falling apart?
You're either going to become more fundamentalist
      and try to hold things together,
or you're going to forsake the old ambitions and goals
      and live life as an experiment
      making it up as you go along.
                                            Pema Chodron

How do we focus our attention and "live life as an experiment" and get out of our fundamentalist thinking???

We need to get control of our attention.  Our attention to everyday details.  When we walk, we walk and when we sit, we sit.  When we are with someone, we are truly with them.  Now, this is not easy, but I believe we can do it.  We can sit with each other and embrace our fundamentalist views with compassion and honesty and together choose to direct our attention to that new experiment.  We may need to make it up as we go, but any new journey requires this.  We cannot expect to walk a new path and know what lies ahead for us, but if we take that path with compassion and non-judgment, hand in hand with others we will will never be alone.  Each new moment will unfold before us and we can savor its beauty and wonder with an open heart, and see each individual snowflake as it graces or terrestrial footing which grounds us in our humanity. 

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