Day 8: Focused Attention
Let’s begin by taking a moment to settle your body into a comfortable position. You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open with a soft focus, looking downward with your feet in front of you. Allow your spine to lift and your shoulders to soften (2 seconds).
Today we will practice focused attention.
During this meditation, you will focus on your breath.
Think of a metaphor of resting a snow globe or a jar of muddy water onto a table.
As we let it settle, it naturally becomes more calm and clear.
The mind is similar.
As we focus attention on the breath, the mind and body begin to relax, settle, and become more clear and feel more free (5 seconds).
Taking a full breath in and a long slow breath out (2 seconds).
Observe your breathing. Notice how your breath flows in and out.
Make no effort to change your breathing in any way.
Simply notice how your body breaths (2 seconds).
Notice the rise and fall of your chest as the air passes in and out (2 seconds).
Bring attention to a slow inhale and a long slow exhale (2 seconds).
When your attention wanders, as it will, focus again on your breathing.
Notice if any thoughts arise but don't hold onto them.
Simply let the thoughts pass and bring your attention back to your breath (2 seconds).
Notice the stages of a complete breath. From the inbreath (2 seconds),
to the subtle pause (2 seconds), the exhale (2 seconds),
and the pause before taking another breath.
See the slight breaks between each breath.
Feel the air entering through your nose.
See it in your mind's eye, flowing through the nose, and then down to your lungs.
Feel the lungs expand as they fill with air and relax again through the exhale (5 seconds).
As thoughts arise, simply allow them to pass and return your attention to your breathing (5 seconds).
Let's finish now with a full deep breath in (2 seconds)
and a long slow breath out (2 seconds) *ding* (15 seconds).
Try a mindful listening practice today. In your next conversation or meeting, practice putting all of your attention on the person(s) with whom you are speaking.
What impact does bringing your full attention to a conversation have on you or those around you?