Many years ago, when I first studied meditation, I was advised to increase my focus by gazing into the flame of a candle. As I became more adept at slipping quickly into a deeper state of consciousness, I stopped using that technique. Lately, though, I have decided to return for a while to that practice.
Focus is so powerful. Whatever we focus our attention upon increases. If I think about illness, I’m much more likely to get sick. If I focus on a fear, I am drawing to me whatever it is I fear. If I’m sad, and I focus for a while on thoughts of sadness, my pain increases. If I focus on joy, really feeling joy in every moment, my joy expands and fills my life.
I know these things are true. But lately my issue has been a little different. I’m finding it a challenge to focus at all. I have a lot of different projects underway at once, and it seems my attention is flitting from one to the other. As a consequence, I’m not making the headway I’d prefer on any of them. As part of the process, I’ve lost focus in my thinking. Instead of acting on a definite decision to concentrate fun and success, I’ve been letting a swirl of confusion and unease hijack my attention.
So today I’m lighting a candle, and sitting in the space I reserve for prayer and meditation. I am going to let go of all the thoughts and emotions that are roiling around in my mind, and simply focus on my breathing, and experience my oneness with all that is.
I choose to live my life with intention, to set my own course, rather than sitting back and allowing the chaos of the world to toss me around. I cannot immediately control external events, but I can choose my feelings, and my focus. What about you? How do you manage your focus?