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Bringing Back a Wandering Attention

Chapter 22 ("Be Mindful") of Rick Hanson's Just One Thing suggests exercises in mindfulness, to help "lengthen and deepen" one's ability to pay attention, deliberately, in the present moment. He offers a meta-exercise in self-awareness that's irresistible:

It will support and deepen your mindfulness to bring an attitude of curiosity, openness, non-judgmental acceptance, and even a kind of friendliness to the things you're aware of. Also try to develop a background awareness of how mindful you are being; in effect, you are paying attention . . . to attention, in order to get better at it.

These practices will gradually train your brain to be more mindful, which will bring you many rewards. For as William James—the first major American psychologist—wrote over a century ago (1890, p. 424 [of The Principles of Psychology]): "The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will ... An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), ...) - ^z - 2013-02-13

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