There will always be problems, challenges and worries that present themselves to us. This is the nature of life. Equally there are joyful things that occur where we feel happy, content and peaceful.
Our concerns, what ifs and maybe’s can constantly distract us from our own true nature and the reality of the external world. Our attention is then memorised by petty idle thoughts that arise and then fade away. In this way we can go through a large part of our life simply ‘day dreaming’.
One advantage of this is that it passes the time and fills the gaps between when we are born and when we die. Its similar to being sat in front of your own television set watching an unending stream of short disjointed scenes and stories.
Rather than being at the mercy of random thoughts that attract and hold our attention, wouldn’t it be better to be more present. In this way we can better calm our troubled thoughts and live more in the here and now
This is something which we can do by learning how to gently direct our attention to observe what we are experiencing.
Start by sitting with a good posture so that you can be still. Pick a place where you are not too hot or cold and there are no distractions. Feel the body relax and start to breathe slowly and deeply. Allow the abdomen to expand without lifting the chest when you breathe in. Then when you exhale let the abdomen sink slowly as the breath streams out.
Gently pay attention to the breathe. Hear sound of the air as it passes in and out through the nose. When you realise that you attention has wandered and has been captured by the idle thoughts just bring it back to your breathing.
Experience the ebb and flow of your breath and hear its natural rythem. Just be. No forcing or trying to stop your thoughts, simply observer and maintain awareness. Leading your attention back to the breathing when it wanders off.
Slowly like training a puppy gently bring your attention to attend and not be so distracted.