Focus on one thing or everything?

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Pete-RM
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Focus on one thing or everything?

Post by Pete-RM » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:51 pm

I'm having a bit of trouble with being present. I've just read The Power of Now for the first time.

Sometimes the book will say to focus on one thing completely (e.g. if you pick up a cup put all of your focus on that movement).

At other times it will say to focus on everything that is happening in the present moment (e.g. look at all the details of what you can see, listen to all the sounds, feel your body, smells, etc).

The book also says that at all times you should have some focus on your inner body and never give 100% attention to what you are doing.

Given this, i'm a bit confused on how to stay present and at the same time perform my tasks consciously.

For example, if i am reading something on my computer should i just focus on what i'm reading or should i be listening to everything else that is going on in the background (taking conscious attention away from what i'm reading)? and if i do this how will i focus on my body?

If i'm seeing, hearing ,smelling and feeling everything that is going on at each moment it seems like i won't really be providing any real attention to any of those things.

I'd appreciate any help or practical advice you can offer.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Focus on one thing or everything?

Post by Webwanderer » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:54 pm

Welcome to the forum Pete.

As to your question, be present in your focus regardless of what it is. Life is going to require your focus of attention in many ways unique to the circumstances at hand. Information and conditions flow through consciousness. Be present to that flow. When something arises that interests you, be present in that interest. That attraction will change throughout the day and life in general. Be present and aware. Sometimes you will get lost in thought. It's okay. Just return to presence when you recognize the thought stream that is distracting you.

There is a subtle difference between being lost in a thought stream and present in it (or it in you). Seek out that recognition. It will help greatly in your being in, or returning to, presence.

WW

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turiya
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Re: Focus on one thing or everything?

Post by turiya » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:31 am

To focus completely on one thing requires you to be still, alert, and relaxed (i.e. present).... You can't be caught up in the mind-stream and focus completely on one thing.

To focus completely on everything that is happening now (which is really only one, continuous happening appearing to be many, separate little happenings) requires you to be present... You can't be caught up in the mind-stream and focus completely on everything happening now.

To focus on your inner body while you're doing something requires you to to be present... You can't be caught up in the mind-stream and focus on your inner body while doing something.
Pete-RM wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:51 pm
Given this, i'm a bit confused on how to stay present and at the same time perform my tasks consciously.
When you're present, conscious performance of tasks happens automatically... and the doing feels light, energizing/energized, and almost playful.

When you're not present (i.e. caught up in your mind-stream... consumed by thoughts such as, "Will I do this right?... Will I get this done on time?... What happens if I don't do it right or get done on time?.... How is what I'm doing being evaluated by others as I'm doing it?... How will what I've done be evaluated?... etc. etc.), your performance of tasks suffers... and the doing feels heavy, draining, and like hard work.
Pete-RM wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:51 pm
For example, if i am reading something on my computer should i just focus on what i'm reading or should i be listening to everything else that is going on in the background (taking conscious attention away from what i'm reading)? and if i do this how will i focus on my body?
Focus on your inner body, then read. This might feel like you're reading with your entire body. Concentration and understanding of what you're reading will happen automatically.
Pete-RM wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:51 pm
If i'm seeing, hearing ,smelling and feeling everything that is going on at each moment it seems like i won't really be providing any real attention to any of those things.
Like I said, I think it's helpful to see it all as one happening... put your attention on the oneness.
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

Pete-RM
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Re: Focus on one thing or everything?

Post by Pete-RM » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:21 pm

Thanks for your replies everyone,
I've been practicing a bit more since i posted the question and i do know the feeling you're talking about. Its kind of like you know you're present and your body or mind performs the tasks but you're not completely invested in the one movement or action that takes place.

Its very light and it feels like you're both doing the action and watching yourself do the action at the same time. Your attention is both on being present and performing the action, as opposed to delving 100% of your attention into the action and getting lost in it (and losing your sense of presence).

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