Most often than not time seems to be an illusive and scarce commodity. Between work, family dedications, school, learning a new trade, investing in a hobby, taking time for friends, and trying to fit in the crucial and overlooked amount of solitude that is necessary for human growth and processing – we get unintentionally swamped living in endless yesterdays, ghostly tomorrows and the cyclical and ruthless game of multitasking. It’s a terrifying concoction when our minds never seem to rest and our bodies feel the same exhausted effects trying to keep up.
Mediation has now been scientifically studied. It is recommended by most health practitioners as well as suggested by leaders in the different studies of the mind, thought, emotion and universal connection. But what exactly is it? And how do you know you’re doing it right? There seems to be many different approaches, techniques and aims to starting a practice. Empty the mind. Become aware of your thoughts. Don’t react, just observe. Bring it back to your breath. Out of everything I have come to know and experience, the commonality seems to be about bringing your attention so fully upon one thing, that there is no distraction or alternative dialogue happening other than your own singularly directed attention.
Multitasking, no matter how much it appears tempting, hinders us from the effectiveness we’re capable of assuming. Our time, attention to detail, and thought-feeling-state are affected by our ability to be present and immersed in what’s at hand. It is important that there is no judgement or resistance toward the activity that we are doing whether it is spending time with children or doing the dishes; it should be done in a state of pure focus.
The breath is where we start. It is the deepest bond we can establish with our attention and it’s a feeling center that we can take with us anywhere we go. It is especially important in moments of frustration and perseverance. Learning to slow down and renavigate the attention from thought to observation of the breath (especially in moments of great pain or blissful admiration where it seems happens automatically) can lead to an ability to find a silence that was once a natural state. Where the chatter of who we think we are and our relationship to the world falls mute. Our potential and limitations subside. And our past and our future are no longer controlling our beliefs. All of these fall away when we release focus on them and allow the magnetic pull of our attention to go else where. Somewhere much more simple and connected with our eternity. Like the breath.
I guess what I’m trying to say is for a long time I convinced myself I was focused, when I wasn’t. I convinced myself I could accomplish all I set out to do in a day, with never really having the ability to effectively prioritize. It was like I was spinning my tires and rocks were just flying up everywhere and I felt like somehow that was productive. Can we do many things? Yes. Can we accomplish a lot? Yes. But even when we are doing many things, still it is only one thing in that moment at a time. When there is completion, it is then on to the next. We look around in a society of convenience and everything is sold to us under the impression that it will ‘buy’ us more time. In a way, that’s exactly their marketing strategy. But only your attention can buy you more time – because time is an influential and stretchy substance. It is affected directly by our thoughts and our feelings towards it. So this means 5 or 10 fully conscious minutes can feel much, much longer. It means we must learn how to truly focus and let go of the narrative of thoughts that wants to borrow our energy and keep up less productive. When you can concentrate on something so fully that you can not separate yourself from it you have this complete sensation of being alive. And it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, what follows is joy, peace and understanding. These feelings let us know when we are in alignment. As soon as we develop patience with ourselves and see that time is a natural process that can be influenced by our ability to be present, the way we interact with others and the world begins to change. Single Minded Focus is important because it’s where we come back home to ourselves. Again and again. We may stray, but it’s about bringing it back to the breath.
I encourage starting a practice everyday for just 11 minutes. Allowing attention to be invited to the breath. When it strays, bring it back. If anything arises in thought, simply let it be, let it go. And bring the attention back to the breath. One of the first things we can experience is our uncomfortable and chronic internal dialogue, and that’s okay. With time you will find space. Focusing in that space will create more space. You will indeed find a control in which before felt like chaos. And the irony is that even that control is simply a complete surrender. In this space you are not broken. You are not damaged. You are not anything that has held a chapter or voice in your story. You are pure spirit. Whole. Integrated. Loving. Kind. Willing. Able. Connected.
This is why Single Minded Focus is so important. To remember and reunite with who we really are. Light beings existing temporarily in the kinetic matrix of space and time.