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Focused Attention ‘Challenge’

Practice focusing your attention with these three challenges below. As you gain proficiency, you will sense the inner calm, new awareness, and surprising effects on others. These rewards and many more encourage you to continue The Practice all day, every day.

  1. When eating, just eat. Give your full attention to the taste, smell, textures, and temperature of the food.
  2. When performing a routine task, such as showering or making coffee, keep your focus on the sounds, scents, and other sensations you encounter. Keep your mind from wandering by reciting your Sacred Mantra.
  3. Give someone you are with your complete attention. When talking on the phone, sit down and focus only on the conversation. In person, tune in to the other person’s spoken and unspoken communication.
  4. When you are driving, keep your radio off. Pay attention to your route, even if you have taken it hundreds of times before. Feel your hands on the steering wheel, listen to the sounds of the traffic, recite your Sacred Mantra, and just be present to the act of driving.
  5. When you are performing any kind of exercise—for example, walking outside or on a treadmill, swimming, yoga, or strength training—be completely present in the moment. Feel your muscles working. Notice when you break a sweat. When your mind starts to wander toward what you will do when you’re done exercising, how stressed you are, or how little time you have to be doing what you’re doing, stop the flow of negative flow of thoughts by repeating your Sacred Mantra. Then refocus your attention on your body’s amazing ability to perform. You just may notice that when you are finished, you have a positive state of mind and more energy for the next activity on your to-do list.