From Mindfulness to Attention Management
My work as a scholar and bodywork practitioner for over 25 years has allowed me to see the complication of our modern times from not only a theoretical but also a very personal perspective. There seem to be so many inherent challenges in the very simplest things nowadays. Our surroundings have been radically changing and are now powered by technological innovations. As they offer themselves up in such rapid succession, we can hardly keep up.
The human condition is being rapidly rewritten in our times and with it, our suffering becomes more complex, more elusive and also more demanding. Although we are experiencing a much richer world of possibilities, we are also growing increasingly aware of being lost in translation. There is a pervasive sense that we feel the lack of something. Something important.
As our world wanders off into ‘Virtual Reality’ and ‘Augmented Reality’ our relationship with the present, with the real, with the physical, transforms. We spend more time alone, we often stay indoors, we miss closeness and simplicity, that presence of significant ‘others’ and that ‘human-touch’.
The very nature of our being and how we come to know ourselves in our body and our mind, some say our brains, is undergoing deep transformation. This goes beyond what any new device or a trendy app can even pretend to be able to fix, and these apps further change our sense of self and how we interact with the world.
I know that teaching people today to be at home in their body and to be present in their bodily experience is not something that happens in a vacuum. Body learning is a process that should happen from a very young age. The birth of my son was a pivotal point in my thinking about how we are taught to learn in the beginning of our human development. Now facing the new discussion about tech and media, and about a new generation of children with a reduced attention span, I find myself increasingly concerned.
This has brought me to turn my interest to schools specifically and early education in general because I realized we do not need to wait long and grow old before some of the simplest and most important may be introduced. And so despite my extensive experience with yoga and mediation over the years, with spiritual paths and knowledge, I turned my gaze into something much simpler.
It seems to me that the most important thing to learn is the one thing we fail to teach. We are never formally taught how to manage our Attention. Once we learn that, we can later manage everything else with ease and better results. Through simple training in Attention to our body, namely Embodiment, our level of attention rises and we can simply move into the activity that we are engaging in with our full attention. Not only does this allow us to increase productivity but also gives us the opportunity to become more effective in every area of life.
I am excited to be developing a program to do just that, in schools and workplaces. It’s an important area of human developmental need and I am looking forward to participating in its progress.