Concentration is one of the most challenging things to a human being (I’m sure animals as well but they’re difficult to talk to). And why is that? Could it be that we are all explorers at heart, constantly on the search for the next best adventure? Or could it simply be that although the thing resting at the tops of ours heads is the most powerful computer in existence, it’s also the most distracting?
Checkout this recent Elephant Journal post from Clare Polencheck on concentration and distraction, and how meditation holds the key to the former to help solve the problem of the latter. She quotes Dom Laurence Freeman, Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation.
“Attention means focus, it means simplicity, it means giving your attention to one thing, one person at one time. Not in a fixated compulsive addictive way, but to be able to really give yourself, at that moment, to the person you are with.
Learning to meditate is learning to pay attention. It is the art of attention in the simplest purest most immediate way. When you sit to meditate you let go of all the 1001 different things that are going on in the head. But don’t underestimate how distracted you are. It’s not easy, so don’t expect it to be easy. But it is simple. And because it is simple, anyone can do it who really wishes to do it, and is humble enough to keep coming back to it and learn, day by day, little by little, how to pay attention.” -Laurence Freeman OSB
Read more from Polencheck on using meditation to cultivate attention here.