What is Attention to the Present?
What is Attention to the Present?
The haven of peace of thought is attention. The truth is that many of the properties of attention have gone unnoticed throughout Human History. Had it been otherwise, the selfishness that has generated so much suffering would have given way to the calmness and peace that accompany attention to the present.
Human life often wanders around. Life passes us by “swinging” between the thoughts that evoke us to the past that does not exist and the thoughts with which we imagine the future that does not exist either. Thus, distracted, the only life that exists escapes us, the one that runs in the present. If we live wandering we will lose our life.
Distraction is a false refuge for peace because the anxiety that accompanies unrestrained rambling is full of fears and insecurity and these lead us to develop selfish behaviors that shut us in.
Let us make it clear that rambling, although it is a compulsive expression of thought, is not the only form of expression of thought. Divagation is the result of a misuse of that marvelous tool that evolution offered us: thought. If the objective of the evolution of life is to contribute to its preservation, the proper use of thought must be in favor of it and not threaten its subsistence.
Divagation makes us sick with anxiety, isolates us from the world, and fertilizes the soil of selfishness, so it is not a good choice to abandon oneself to divagation. To abandon oneself to digression is an inadequate and immature choice from the point of view of life, because it harms ourselves and those around us.
Living attentive to the present rescues us from the immature conduct of digression. Living attentive to the present rescues us from becoming anxious and prevents us from infecting others.
If we learn to focus on the present moment, we will see how communication with others and with ourselves improves, at the same time as calm and peace within ourselves grow. Living in the here and now fills us with the empathy with which life seeks to survive. Wandering life endangers our existence because wandering drives us away from the present and from others. The digression leads us to isolation and with it to the search for false solutions to the fears and fears that isolation produces.
By rambling, we lose our lives. Involuntarily thinking about memories or reveries, we lose ourselves living the life that surrounds us, to do so enclosed in the narrow drawer of memories. To live absently is to flee from life, an escape that is interrupted when we attend to the present and accept what we are living.
Living here and now gives us the opportunity to live learning because it allows us to listen and listen to others, without judgments or prejudices. Attention to the present puts us in contact with the sensations of our body, with our emotions, feelings and thoughts accepting them as they are presented to us.
Attention to the here and now allows us to see with empathy the different interpretations of the world that other people have. Attention to the present allows us to listen to others with the five senses, without preconceived judgments. Discover the space that surrounds us and that colors become brighter and sounds become clearer.
Being attentive to the present requires practice and voluntarily assuming the effort it demands of us. To live our days attentive to some body sensation while we do what we need to do is a simple practice.
We can attend to one of our fists, or to the nose where we inhale and exhale, or to the sensation of the position of our body. The important thing is that we keep our attention “on” to what we are living. It will provide us with the peace of harmony and calmness that are proper to it. It is important to clarify that as our daily attention time grows, we will discover the growing impact it has on our lives.
A healthy and sustainable development of our life requires that we live in harmony. And this does not exist when we live wandering, because wandering produces and feeds anxiety and this fears and feelings of insecurity. Harmony is presented to us as the satisfaction of a higher need. When we satisfy the basic physiological and security needs, the demand to satisfy the need for harmony and inner peace begins to emerge with increasing force.
It is not the same to try to satisfy the needs of relationship with others and with ourselves from the anxious and selfish condition that compulsive thought entails, as to satisfy them from the calmness that attention brings to the present. When we satisfy the needs of relationship with others and with ourselves, in harmony, it is because our conduct is aligned with the values of life (such as honesty, humility, tolerance, acceptance, gratitude, etc.).
Living according to harmony fills us with a deep joy that some called Self-realization. To create conditions of harmony or Self-realization for our life it is necessary to learn to live attentive to the present.
To Maintain Attention
Living attentive to what I am living brings me harmony and peace. And this happens because living attentive to what I am experiencing connects me with what is truly important in my existence: MY LIFE, which can only be lived by attending to the SENSATION THAT I LIVE PRESENT TO PRESENT.
To intentionally maintain the attention to the SENSATION of what I am living requires practice and effort. The best approach to propose it to me is not to pursue being attentive as if it were an OBJECTIVE, but to observe the SENSATION of what I live without intervening, accompanying what happens as a simple observer.
In order to provide me with the harmony and peace of a life attentive to what I experience, I can incorporate some considerations regarding my thoughts, feelings, actions and my body:
1. With respect to thought, “to experience interest in me.
2-With respect to emotion, “to feel affection for me.
3. With respect to action, “to synchronize my movements with my breathing”.
4. With respect to the body, “BE CAREFUL OF THE SENSATION OF WHAT I’m LIVING”.
By putting these considerations into practice, I will find the guidance and knowledge necessary to sustain and develop the harmony and calmness that arise from an attentive life. I will be able to avoid one of the habitual deceptions in which a large part of humanity continues to fall and to dispense with “seeking guidance outside myself” in order to convert the life I live CONSCIOUSLY into the compass that gives meaning to my existence.
On the really important thing about Attention to the Present
If what is really important, for our health and personal balance, is to be attentive to what we live PRESENT to PRESENT, all the KNOWLEDGE about attention to oneself, will be INAPPEABLE to produce the benefits generated by its practice.
Everything that is not oriented to sustain ATTENTION to what we are experiencing in ourselves in the PRESENT INSTANT will have a secondary value. And so it will be, for it will be unable to bring us the benefits of relaxation, calmness, peace and harmony that only arise from the encounter with ourselves when we are present.
According to what has been said, it will have a secondary value before the briefest of our experiences of attention to the present:
What the greatest of sages exposes about attention to the present.
What the most lucid of teachers exposes about attention to the present.
What exposes on the attention to the present the most sacred of the books.
What the most erudite of books exposes about attention to the present.
What the best of the lecturers on the subject exposes on the attention to the present.
The one that exposes on the attention to the present the Web with the best explanations on the subject.
On the other hand to put over our LIVING of “living the present” any of the above references, will make us depend psychologically on them distracting us from what is really important, which is to “live attentive, and WITHOUT JUDGING, what we are living”.
The map is not the territory nor the thought or the word are the reality.
What a fascinating tool Nature provided us with thought. However, how much suffering its improper use has caused in human history. We have finished CONFUNDING the maps that we build with thought, with the territory that this one tries to portray and this has been and is, permanent source of CONFLICTS and MISCONDED, with ourselves and with the others.
Neither words nor ideas are REALITY, even if they try to portray it eloquently. Words and ideas only represent an OPINION, VALUATION or JUDGE about reality, NEVER REALITY itself. That is why talking and reading about consciousness does not imply living it. Just talking and reading about consciousness generates the CONFUSION of SEARCHING in the EXPERIENCE MAP what is only found in the TERRITORY of LIVING.
To land in the territory of CONSCIOUSNESS I have the ATTENT OBSERVATION of what I LIVE, present to present, WITHOUT INTERVENING, VALUING or JUDGING. No one can make that observation for me, just tell me about your MAP of what it means to observe attentively.
Although the map is very attractive what is REALLY IMPORTANT resides in the living experience of living attentive to the LIFE that FLOWS, of LIVING ATTENTION to the PRESENT.
Does the future exist only if we think about it?
We are in large part the fruit of the conditioning of the education that other people gave us. Of all these conditions, perhaps the one that has most affected our existence is that of time.
From an early age, we learned to condition the present to our goals, that is, to the future. In order to become someone in life, we were taught that we had to study a career that would “prepare” us to become valuable people, competent professionals.
Not only did we learn in this dynamic that value was not in ourselves, in what we were, because it was conditioned to what we had to achieve, but we also learned to “dream” the future as something that exists and that harbors the value of hope, by which we can conceive of a better present than the present. Both coordinates do not really exist in reality, they only exist in our minds. If we stop thinking about tomorrow, this “disappears” because our mind stops taking it into account.
If we stop putting “our hopes” in the future, this pressure disappears because the future does not exist as a reality that can pressure us, the future “exists” only if we think about it.
It is really very disorienting for the model of life we have lived until now, to accept that neither the past nor the future exist, that the only thing that exists is the present instant.
Accepting that the past does not exist would throw overboard the belief that yesterday “pushes” me with its faults and pending matters, because it would imply me to accept that this only exists in my imagination and that the suffering or pleasure that evoking them gives me is only the fruit of a mirage, of the illusion of imagining how I live something that in reality does not exist.
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