Attention is like breathing. If you want to understand the landscape, get to know it better before you try something purposeful, then watch what it does on it’s own. Watch where your thoughts and feelings go on their own. If you do this you will see why your life and the world as you know it is the way it is. Your personal world, I mean. Most people do have to start here. Pretend you aren’t present, that you’re just watching The Truman Show but insert your own name there.
I find I hold my breath more if I focus on it too much. I lose the natural rhythm of it. But just like breathing, once you come to see how it works on its own, you will begin to really understand how you can flex it, balance it, make it work toward constructive ends. Like a professional athlete learns to control their breathing to improve physical performance, like a sniper learning to steady their aim, you can learn to smooth out the shakes in your attention and adapt the flow of your mental and spiritual energy to suit what actually is happening which is something that you can begin to intuit. When your senses start obeying you and you stop being enslaved to your senses.
And that’s what is really meant by letting go? Actually no, you let go all the time. You have never had a grip on anything. Letting go is pretty bad advice really if it’s misunderstood. The simplest way I know of understanding Meditation is this… Have you ever watched a martial artist engage in striking practice? Just striking a target, target dummy, piece of wood… Well, you have a target dummy, it’s your brain. Can you hold your attention still? Just keep it steady for a moment? You probably can’t for very long, can you?
You can still be aware of the target if it moves.
It takes concentration.
You will notice each time you try to hold your attention still that it will slip. It’s there that people think they can’t meditate. It’s like saying you can’t touch a door because your arm can’t reach it from across the floor of the room. When your attention slips, you just hold it still again. You haven’t failed anything. This is all that meditation is. You are striking the target, regulating its rhythms, strengthening its control signal, growing its self control.
I think that’s why Mr, Miyagi had Daniel blindfolded much of the time during his training. He didn’t want him to focus on the target but on his feelings. He wanted him to focus his attention on the real issue, which was his ability, not the apparent problem. You have no problems. There is no such thing as a problem. You have never solved one, never fixed anything. You either expressed an ability or failed to find the ability. The idea of problems is as useless as teeth in a chickens beak. It takes your attention away from what you are really doing. You have only ever achieved one thing in your life, self expression. Nothing else is possible. Is this sounding to airy fairy? Too mystical?
No, it sounds just right. I mean it to be concrete and practical.
Isn’t that why we are here? I should hope not.
There is everything practical about self expression.
You can go on spiritual fairy tale trips in many other places in Second Life. It is not my intention here. I have no intention to make you feel good or feel meaningful. There are other people who could do that far more effectively than I do. So have I just been taking you on a feel good mind ride? You could do that for yourself better than I could. You know what your favourite fantasy trips are.
No. Meditation is a practical thing.
Strangely, if there is any truth to what the scientists and doctors in my life have always told me, then in fact my fantasy life is sparse to non existent and my imagination is poor at best. What I mean to report in these classes is simple observation. I think I maybe don’t understand what other people mean when they talk about fantasy and imagination. I don’t think I experience what other people do, especially not the emotional euphoria that seems so common.
You enjoy the escapism of video games? I do not. Feeling like you are in the world they create? I enjoy the hypothetical scenarios and mental exercise of video games. I use fiction consciously the way some researchers say normal people do subconsciously.
Why do anything at all if not just for fun? To gain a sense of theory of mind, to be able to relate to the human experience even if only indirectly. Fiction is more accessible than all this real life noise people throw at me, more consistent.
For you, these things are as concrete as the sidewalk, whereas for most people they are like mist hovering over a field in the morning, and still others they are invisible like radio waves.
I’ve met many people with no imagination at all. They are nothing like you. I like to think I am capable of creative thought and action even if only in my own strange way. It would seem maladaptive to be otherwise. Some of the scariest people I have met have been normopaths. The things they are willing to do to enforce normalcy… It’s really frightening.
If you had no creativity then you might just have a boring old human avatar.
My brother was always the business man and I thought he would be a millionaire, but now he is begging people for money because he lives beyond his means.
I never thought of it that way before, earning nothing is kind of bliss, yes.
It doesn’t matter if you make a little or a lot, if you spend more than you make, you will always be poor. When Trump was millions in debt, he saw a homeless man and realized that man was richer than he was.
I have never given my attention at any length to the idea I could earn something. It would involve investing my sense of self worth in that pursuit. And well, I displayed no talents or attributes that anyone recognized as being especially valuable or admirable so it just never was part of my life experience.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.