I was walking in the forest just after finishing a Meditation retreat when I came across the most perfect picture book scene. I froze in my tracks. I couldn't go forward, it would spoil. I couldn't go back because I was part of the picture. I was frozen.
It is experiences like this, whether you are a golfer or a meditator or leader of a business that reflect the profound beauty of putting your whole attention into something and this is often lost in our busy busy-ness lives.I see the mother playing with the baby, talking on the phone, drinking coffee and trying to get her own peace of mind and realise how hard it is these days to put our full attention into something.
I have a very athletic friend and he is considered an ADD person. But when we go out and do something physical, active and challenging he is in this zone of full attention too. Meditation is no the only way to find the inspiration of full attention.
The whole key is to practice between performances. Instead of suddenly wanting to give something your full attention try being mindful about your full attention to things and life as a habit. This is a good step forward and away from the lumpy old system of slump, think, attend, slump because it's in those slumps that a lot of devolution takes place. (troubles)
To put your full attention into life becomes a habit if you can become deliberate in the smaller things. Like eating slowly, taking kindly, being friendly, looking in people's eyes when you address them. It means washing your clothes to keep you and your clothes clean. It's about the kitchen and the floor as well as your computer, your office desk. Everything about your life becomes an affirmation of considered attention.
This is how you can really elevate your world. Full attention to reading the newspaper and making sure your emotions experience but don't cause permanent memories. This is the Path to putting your whole heart into life, and it has significant material success too.
People like to meet people who put their full attention to what they do. You'll be more interesting, a better communicator, a cleared sales person, a happier partner if you can practice full attention.
It's really a matter of patience. When there are twenty things pulling at your coat, it is wise to apologise to 19 of them, give one the attention they deserve and then go to the next. I find this with children but the most potent example is at a book signing. Here, people queue and when they get to the desk for a book signature they absolutely want full attention. It's so easy to brush them away so that the next person doesn't have to wait, but this guarantees they will stay longer. Instead, if people get full attention they feel satisfied in a short period of time, and easily move forward after the signing. It's a matter of respect for their presence.
Practice between performances. Give your food, your cat, your TV your full attention. A flower, a tree your full attention and then explore doing this with people. Start with inanimate objects. It is a skill. I teach this skill as a listening skill. Full attention means listening actively. Practice listening with your ears, your mind, your heart your hands. There are many ways to bring your full attention to listening.
Move a cup with the same awareness that you light a candle. Make each movement a conscious one.