Thoughts on balancing attention

I’m still absorbing the brilliant wisdom of the Chogyam Trungpa quote I shared earlier this week, about putting 25% of your attention in meditation on each of these 4 areas at the same time:

  • whatever technique you are using
  • relaxing
  • making friends with yourself
  • being open to the possibility of something happening during this session

That’s just 4 things. The human mind can hold in awareness 5 to 9 things at any given time, so this should be easy breezy! Right?

I like that he included making friends with yourself. I feel like I’m doing that during my sessions by paying attention to what I’m actually experiencing — thoughts, sensations, the movement of energy, emotions. When I am curious and accepting about my actual experience, I notice more repressed thoughts and emotions become conscious, so I have more awareness. It’s a good thing!

What are the old dreams you had that you put up on a shelf years ago? Take them down and dust them off. It’s not too late.

I notice energy movement inside my body. It could be my energy body or my nervous system — I don’t know that I can really tell the difference. It feels like parts are connecting to each other. It feels soothing, calming, relaxing. And occasionally I reach that state of being full of/held in complete love.

I notice that in some sessions, not much seems to happen. I wonder now if I’m not letting go of expectations enough at these times.

I use the “whole body awareness” technique, yet when I notice I’ve strayed badly and been totally unpresent for what seems like several minutes, I bring myself back to whole body awareness through attending to my breath.

And of course, the advice to put 25% on each area. Ha! No one can measure this!

So it’s a guideline, and a fresh way of understanding the meditation experience. This is welcome.


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