Mindfulness and Attention – Are They Compatible?

What Is Your Mind Full Of?

Attention is a state of grace and after losing my attention over and over again I want a better relationship with grace. Keeping my attention is like keeping God in my mind. What can be done to live in that attentional grace space?

Two years ago the Dalai Lama convened a symposium on mindfulness as a treatment for depression at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. It’s a short drive from my home, so I invited my sisters and daughter and together we attended the weekend event with some close friends all of whom live with ADHD or who work in the field of ADHD service.

Representatives of five major faiths presented their organized religious perspectives on mindfulness or meditation to the Dalai Lama.

Scientists presented papers to the Dalai Lama on studies on meditation and its impact on mindfulness.

The Dalai Lama was conversational, inquisitive, funny and friendly as the material was discussed in front of a few thousand attendees. He was serious in his investigation on the value of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness as a means towards health and wellness which impacts our ability to attend to what is important in our lives.

Practice Mindfulness for Anxiety Relief

Since then, I’ve recommended the practice of mindfulness to clients, teaching them on the spot how to live in the present moment because anxiety is an expression of future fear and extensive regret is related to living in the past. All we have is now.

When you have anxiety or regret that feels overwhelming, get two balls and juggle them slowly, back and forth from hand to hand. Do something you think is silly; anxiety and silliness cannot coexist in the same moment. Feel the position of your body – where is it? Where is your foot, your hand, your fingers? Tell yourself what you feel tactilely – how does the fabric you’re wearing feel? How does your hair feel? Pull yourself into the present moment and practice this mindfulness.

Tell me, how are you now? What do you want to pay attention to in the present moment?