Mindfulness requires conscious awareness of where your attention is at all times. Sometimes you may prefer to have concentrated focus on a task, whether reading a story or working on a project, which requires a contraction of your awareness. To concentrate, you need to become less aware of what is happening around you and more aware of what you want to focus on. All or most of your attention is placed on whatever you are working on in order to block out distractions. If you fully immerse yourself (your attention /conscious awareness) on anything, then you block out awareness of all but that thing, including awareness of yourself (if you are just watching and not interacting with that thing). An example of this is the iconic image of Buddha staring at a flower and losing himself in the flower. In order to bring your attention back to yourself and your environment, you need a distraction significant enough to break your intense concentration. You can practice the skill of concentrating by reading and blocking out awareness of any sounds and sensory input outside of the words you are reading. Immerse yourself completely in the story. If you are working outside or on a project, put your attention completely on the objects you are working with, noticing every detail about them: sounds, texture, look, feel, smell, etc. Then move your attention to a distant sound and bring it back to your task. Keep bouncing back and forth and you improve your ability to focus your attention at will.
By maharicsea at Superconscious blog
“There is a ‘linger effect’ of several seconds that takes place in the human brain when sensory input can be acknowledged or not acknowledged. For instance, when you speak to someone who is concentrating on a certain activity and doesn’t appear to have heard you, nudge them within 4 seconds and ask them if they heard you. Usually they’ll say, “Yes, I heard you” and they’ll be able to remember what you said. If you wait much longer and ask them whether they heard you, they’ll usually say, “No.” The lag time for recall was too long. Taking advantage of this lag time of recall and quickly flashing your conscious awareness to various tasks can enable you to perform simultaneous mental functions. When certain skills are learned thoroughly enough and the shift to other areas of the brain is made, this split second flashing of your conscious attention is not as necessary.
Like your body’s muscles, your mind must be exercised and used more if it is expected to grow. Improving your mindfulness allows you to savor each stage of your development far better than you normally would in a non-mindful state. As an exercise in expanding your conscious awareness, practice flashing it quickly from distant sounds TO the touch of your clothes against your skin TO the salivary taste in your mouth TO your breathing in and out TO your seeing with your peripheral vision TO the odors in the air TO a visualization of a giant number 3. Now flash your conscious awareness to the subtler sensory input you are receiving, the external temperature, the barometric pressure on your skin and nostrils, the beating of your heart, faint odors and sounds, the specific emotion you are feeling, etc. Finally, open yourself up to the total awareness picture and drink it all in simultaneously. Do this exercise frequently during the day, jumping from one sensory stimulus to another as
rapidly as you can, but get more conscious about your day. “
The concept of attention, how to develop it and use it are explained very well in the book, Leap of Perception by Penney Pierce:
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally….[it] is an appreciation for the present moment and the cultivation of an intimate relationship with it through a continual attending to it with care and discernment. [Mindfulness] is the direct opposite of taking life for granted. -Jon Kabat-Zinn
Attention is defined by the idea that you are ‘stretching toward’ something with your consciousness. You are bringing the essence of your soul fully into the moment, clarifying your perception of the moment. This gives you a sense of presence in that moment.
“Interest, curiosity, harmony with your home frequency (sense of self) can transform your experience of attention into something that supersedes physical reality and ushers you into the more mystical experience that comes when you perceive from your entire personal field.”
Penney Peirce provides insights and techniques on how to develop the skill of the conscious use of attention. Below is a series of steps designed to help you activate presence with attention.
The following quotes excerpted from Dispenza’s (@DrJoeDispenza) book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How To Lose Your Mind and Create A New One, puts together a picture of how, with mindful attention, we can purposely create a reality we choose. I recommend this book for a great explanation of how reality creation works.
“We are part of a vast invisible field of energy, which contains all possible realities and responds to our thoughts and our feelings.”
“Your thoughts have consequences so great that they create your reality.”
“Until you break from the way you see your present reality, any change in your life will always be haphazard and transitory. You have to overhaul your thinking about why things happen in order to produce enduring and desired outcomes. To do that, you’ll need to be open to a new interpretation of what is real and true.”
“What quantum physicist discovered was that the person observing (or measuring) the tiny particles that make up atoms affects the behavior of energy and matter.”
The idea that a particle cannot manifest into reality unless someone observes it is called ‘the observer effect’. “The observer effect in quantum physics states that where you direct your attention is where you place your energy. As a consequence you effect the material world.
“At the subatomic level, energy responds to your mindful attention and becomes matter. How would your life change if you learned to direct the observer effect and to collapse infinite waves of probability into the reality that you choose.”
“…you will see that with willful attention, sincere application of new knowledge, and repeated daily efforts, you can use your mind, as the observer, to collapse quantum particles and organize a vast number of subatomic waves of probability into a desired physical event called an experience in your life.”
“Your consciousness (mind) has effects on energy (matter) because your consciousness is energy and energy has consciousness. You are powerful enough to influence matter because at the most elementary level, you are energy with a consciousness. You are mindful matter.”
“When you learn how to sharpen your skills of observation to intentionally affect your destiny, you are well on your way toward living the ideal version of your life by becoming the idealized version of your self.”