We generally don’t think about our focus of attention and its continually changing progression throughout the day. Focus is most identified with just eyesight, yet it encompasses the five physical senses, sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Relaxing at a coffee shop, my mind may wander from the coffee cup perched upon my table to the smell of the coffee, then to the background music, and I may begin daydreaming, escaping to another place and time, forgetting for a moment I am at a table at the coffee shop. It is useful that we learn to ascertain how our attention focuses and shifts, so that we can use it for progressing spiritually.
Utilizing focus, we naturally and seamlessly broaden or narrow awareness of the physical senses, shutting out unwanted information while heightening what interests us. We may be listening to the birds chirping in the trees but not hear the sound of the wind, or alternatively hear the menacing wind but not the gentle sounds of birds. We may become unaware of the noise and activity of children playing nearby as we focus on reading a captivating story. And we can break through present moment constraints utilizing the warehouse of our stored knowledge, imagining walking through ancient Rome, or piloting a spaceship in the distant future, entirely forgetting the physical world in front of us. Most important is that we become aware of our present focus and develop a conscious intent toward understanding and guiding our focus.
For developing a present moment awareness, we should become attentive to this ever-changing focus. Meditation and contemplation exercises typically do this, eliminating frivolous thoughts and training the mind to be steady. But forgetting the moment and allowing our attentions to wander is frivolous thought and a symptom of an undisciplined mind. If we think ahead to the cup on our table at the café and take care to follow our focus as it changes from one object or event to another, we will be living in the present moment where thought and activity are congruent. This is the crux of present moment awareness, the merging of thought and activity, true even when we change our focus to the imagined, if we are cognizant that we are doing it.
Focus is in play when transitioning between waking and sleeping states. In the book “Seth Speaks” dictated by Jane Roberts in trance state, the elevated entity Seth speaking from another dimension tells of how we pass into sleep entering progressively deeper states, our body becoming less and less physical. At the deepest state we become devoid of form, communication happening through “direct experience” absent of symbols and images. We awaken back to physical form through a reverse process. Seth tells of “signposts” that appear when we are about to fall into a deeper state, in the form of recognizable dreams. Jane will dream where she is at a strange house and begins exploring the new surroundings. This same dream happens when she is about to leave her body to a deeper phase of sleep. Thus her dream is not exactly the same dream each time, for the house will be different. But the signpost dream recurrence is recognizable and repetitious, and different for each person. Seth tells us to be alert for our own personal dreaming signpost when we lay down to sleep, for with practice we may learn to identify and enter these states with mental cognizance as our “sleeping” focus changes.
Our learning to focus while in the waking state thus disciplines the mind and is our vehicle for exploring this world and ultimately a conscious discovering of dream state realities. And the time to begin is now.
About the Author
Arthur Telling has written numerous stories and articles on religion, philosophy, and metaphysics. His article, “A Different Jesus Message” appeared in the Nov. 2011 AMORC Rosicrucian Digest. Telling is the author of “Johann’s Awakening“, a parody of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and several novels including “Kaitlin’s Message”, exploring the secret sayings of the Gospel of Thomas. His website is: www.arthurtelling.com