Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source!!!
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Whatever you focus your attention on becomes “the object of your attention.” This could be as simple as staring at a TV screen, reading a blog, or watching a video. And it can include broad categories such as family issues, health concerns, matters of the heart, business challenges, financial issues, even our spiritual practice. In fact, this is the key to mindfulness and meditation!
In every style of meditation, there is an object of your attention. We watch our breath, gaze at something, or silently repeat a sacred word, mantra, or vibration. When we notice we’ve drifted away to thoughts, sounds, or physical sensations, we simply drift back.
Plainly put, mastering meditation is cultivating our ability to gently drift back to that object of our attention regardless of the waterfall of thoughts that may cascade down upon you. And as we continuously cultivate this skill, ultimately, our full attention more easily arrives at the present moment and in that moment, all other activity vanishes.
Following your breath in and out is an easy “object of your attention.”
We can follow our breath to meditate, or we can use another technique called mantra meditation. When we meditate on a mantra, we place our attention not on our breath but on a word or phrase. In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, that word or phrase is called a mantra, which comes from two Sanskrit words: man, meaning “mind,” and tra, meaning “vehicle.” So a mantra is essentially a mind vehicle. No matter where our mind drifts, as long as we have an object of our attention (such as our breath or a mantra), we will stay present.
The key to attention rests in the here and now. Because in the present moment, everything is fresh, rich, larger than life, and most important — actionable. The past contains only memories, and there’s nothing we can really do about them. We can’t go back in time and change the words we said or the action we took.
The past is carved in stone, and that’s why beating ourselves up over what’s already been done makes no sense. We can’t unring the bell. But we can take steps in the present moment to carve new stones and make a better choice!
The future has yet to unfold. It’s a projection, a dream that may or may not come true. And that’s why fearing what we believe might happen is also a waste of time and energy. Most often, what we fear is usually far worse than what actually unfolds.
We can place our intentions into the future, but the only action that can impact the future is the one we take right here, right now, in the present moment.
So we have a choice in every given moment about where we want to place our attention: the past, the present, or the future. And if we are looking to shift our life from where we are to where we’d like to be, it seems like folly to be anywhere but in that sacred, precious present moment since that is only moment we can actually influence.
Thinking of you and sending you love and wishes for health, happiness and mindfulness. Peace. -davidji