MINDFULNESS: An Intro Series Part 2 - Mindful Attention
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
TWO: MINDFUL ATTENTION
If we spend our weeks thinking hard, planning and problem solving, it can be hard to slow down and smell the roses. Getting out walking, hiking, dancing, eating, seeing friends or playing sports can be a great antidote. When we do these things we get less ‘heady’ and more experiential — we see the sky, hear the rain, smell the grass, touch the water and taste the food.
Mindfulness practices can help us to have these sensory experiences, in subtle ways, more and more each day. Of course, we can still pay attention to planning and problem solving when we need to, but we get better and getting experiential when we want to. Life can be rich when we are there to experience it, even when we are doing simple things like brushing our teeth, walking down the street, doing the dishes, eating food, or talking to people around us.
When we are mindful we are aware of, and can switch our attention between, these eight focal points:
WHAT WE CAN SEE
WHAT WE CAN HEAR
THINGS WE CAN TOUCH
THINGS WE CAN SMELL
THINGS WE CAN TASTE
WHAT WE ARE THINKING
(Including all of the words, images, memories and visions our mind generates)
(Including feelings we might usually shy away from)
OUR PHYSICAL SENSATIONS
(The sensations we feel inside up to the surface of our body)
Later in this introduction to mindfulness series we will do practices to help us to focus on these things and switch our attention between them.
Next, in section three, we will talk about the attitudes that go along with this attention.