The importance of training a stable attention

 

With a more stable attention, whatever we do becomes easier and more effective.

Fortunately, training our attention is relatively straight forward and doesn’t need to take much time.

Even five or ten minutes a day makes a big difference. All we need to do is find something for attention to rest on for that period of time, and gently and firmly bring it back when it wanders. (Which it will, at least at first.)

Breath is a good place for attention to rest. At first, we may have attention rest on the whole experience of breath from nose through belly. We may also have it rest on the belly. Or we can have it rest on the sensations of the breath in the nose, or even at the very tip of the nose.

Whatever we do becomes easier and more doable with a more stable attention, including inquiry, heart or body centered practices, being with someone else (a friend, partner, child), work, play, rest, even falling asleep.

There is a reason I write about this again. I sometimes see inquiry facilitators working with clients over time, without having them practice a more stable attention. That seems unfortunate, and even a slight waste of time. The five minutes spent having them practice stable attention would easily be made up for later in the session and the benefit will be especially noticeable over time.

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