Perhaps you have started your meditative journey with us already. Perhaps you have even established a meditation routine, with regular morning and evening meditation. It’s great if you have managed to establish your personal morning and evening meditation schedule, and if you have not done so we warmly encourage you to try, for these are the main building blocks of your personal and spiritual growth. Establishing and maintaining a schedule of regular meditation is what allows us to keep our inner state in check, to maintain balance and to reconnect to the source of energy every time we sit down to meditate, this is what keeps our batteries charged.
However, you may be wondering: can we remain connected, even after we have finished our “formal” morning meditation? Can we go about our day without getting “unplugged” from the source? Can we optimise our system to save energy, so that our batteries do no completely drain in-between our meditation sessions? Can we quick-charge our batteries in the middle of the day, while we are working, studying, running errands, or taking care of any number of commitments that we have?
The answer to all these questions is “yes”, and the key is our attention. We will introduce you to several techniques of training our attention and maintaining it throughout the day, in our new Lunchtime Meditation series starting in March.
Attention is one of the main faculties we use in all of our conscious (and some not very conscious) activities. It is fuelled by our desires, interest and needs, it enables our actions, physical as well as mental. Attention can be precise, steady and powerful, or it can be wobbly, erratic and weak, it can be effective or ineffective, enabling or disabling. Attention also plays a very important role in the practice of meditation. Attention that is strong and relaxed makes it much easier to reach the state of meditation (thoughtless awareness), as well as to stay in the state of meditation for a longer period time. However, if attention is weak and unsteady, we can use the practice of meditation to strengthen it and to gradually build it up.
The quality of our attention, as well as how we use our attention through the day is decisive in whether or not we are able to maintain our connection to the ultimate source of energy, whether we become completely drained by the end of the day, or we come back home with still some battery left, in a good state and good mood, and are able to complete our day and do some good in the process.
Observing our attention
As human beings we do have the capacity of self-reflection. That is, we can be conscious of what we are doing, feeling, thinking. We can look at ourselves from a third-person perspective, as though we’re watching ourselves. This is a basis of introspection, which, in turn, is one of the main tools of our spiritual growth. When we do this, then, instead of identifying with our ego or conditionings, we are allowing our Self, that is, our Spirit to witness our actions. Watching our attention as much as possible, is the first step towards mastering and purifying our attention.
Prioritising and preserving our attention
Our attention is precious. Where we direct our attention, especially after our Inner Energy had awakened within us, defines who we are. It manifests our priorities, goals, passions, and values. And yet, in our daily lives we often waste our attention on things that are insignificant or we have no impact on. For example, we can waste a lot of attention re-playing over and over in our mind, a scenario that happened in the past and that we cannot influence anymore, or we can try very hard to change a person who does not want to change. We can simply pay a lot of attention to things that are insignificant or mundane, and have no time and energy left to work on things that are really important to us.
By watching our attention we can become aware of where it goes, we can assess and adjust how we allow our attention to be occupied. We can consciously save the attention that would otherwise be wasted on insignificant and futile things, and instead use it for things that are important, for example, on working on establishing a regular practice of meditation.
Focusing our attention
Before our attention has become completely pure, we tend to absorb the energy of whatever it is that we put our attention on. Everything in out life, including places, people, things, actions, even ideas, can have positive or negative energy of varying degrees. When our attention is exposed to a place or situation, a person or a thing that is extremely negative, we might end up absorbing that energy and acquire an imbalance that might stay in our subtle energy system for days, months, even years. At the beginning of our meditation journey, once we start feeling the flow of our Inner Energy and develop vibratory awareness, it is a good idea to observe, things that carry positive or negative energy for us. Then, as much as possible, we can divert our attention away from things that affect us negatively. We will discover, that there are some things, people, places, truths, etc that emit a very strong positive energy, and have the capacity to bring us to balance almost instantaneously when we put our attention on them. Naturally, we would want to direct our attention to these as frequently as possible.
Stabilizing our attention
The liver is the organ, which is the seat of our attention. When our liver is functioning properly, when it is healthy and not overworked, our attention is stable and easy to manage. If the liver is over-worked, it becomes over-heated, resulting in attention that is erratic, unsettled, hyper-active. The liver that is slow and under-functioning results in attention that is sluggish and ineffective. By balancing the liver and keeping it healthy we help our attention to become strong, stable and effective. There are simple techniques to support, nourish and balance our liver.
Purifying our attention
When our attention becomes completely pure, untainted by our ego and conditionings, and instead guided by our true Self, the Spirit, such attention becomes transformative. When directed towards a negative situation, pure attention does not absorb the negative energy, but instead enlightens the situation and transforms it in such a way that the negativity is neutralized and the situation is corrected.
This kind of attention comes from a person who is completely selfless and benevolent, a person who has no ulterior motives, expectations or insecurities, and is instead completely in tune with the flow of Universal Energy. By watching ourselves diligently and honestly, we can work on gradually purifying our attention, infusing it with positive energy, so that is becomes benevolent. It can then transform our surroundings, people, places, situations in a positive way.