“Attention or concentration is probably the most important essential in the development of mind culture.
The possibilities of attention when properly directed are so startling that they would hardly appear credible to the uninitiated. The cultivation of attention is the distinguishing characteristic of every successful man or woman, and is the very highest personal accomplishment which can be acquired.” (MK 6:19)
It seems that concentration has become more difficult in the past several years.
There is so much external noise clamoring for our attention! Our culture is obsessed with TV, video games, smart phones, tablets, etc. It seems like there is no way to escape! You can’t go to a restaurant without being assaulted with screens – gas stations, grocery stores, waiting rooms all have them – so do most cars! It’s difficult to have a conversation with a friend without being interrupted with buzzes, beeps and alerts, dragging one or both of you back to your phone. Who can carry on a conversation like that? Can you even remember what you were talking about?
We are more “connected” than any society in the history of the world, but even without a study to prove it, I’d bet we’re more lonely and disconnected than ever.
If you are content to float along in a sea of information, go ahead. If you’d like to have more meaning in your life, do with less extraneous input and learn how to focus – learn how to pay attention – learn to develop the skill of concentration.
“It is, however, through attention that you will finally be able to overcome obstacles of any kind that appear in your path onward and upward, and the only way to acquire this wonderful power is by practice – – practice makes perfect, in this as in anything else.” (MK 6:23)