Although mindfulness mantras are all around us, and we nod in agreement about “being fully present”, the fact is that many of us struggle with concentration.
The words “just focus”, aren’t that helpful when it comes to mastering our attention, yet it’s what we say to ourselves and to our children anytime concentration is wavering.
Dandapani says the reason we struggle to concentrate is often that we’ve never been taught how.
As a starting point, he suggests picking just one thing to pay attention to each day. It might be choosing to listen attentively to your spouse, or reading without interruption, for an hour or two. The idea being that the 1-2 hours of intentional concentration are cumulative, each day’s effort building up our ability to concentrate more easily.
I’m just a couple weeks into trying this out and I can definitely say that my attention wanders more than I would like but I’m quick to remind myself that’s the whole point of this “practice”.
I’m trying to think of it in terms of building a muscle at the gym. I keep lifting [the practice] and eventually, I’ll be stronger [more focused].