This is focus. Squirrel!

The focus isn’t on you, it’s on the squirrel. 

Can you, dear fellow human, focus on just one thing? It doesn’t seem so difficult, right? Have your thoughts strayed since just reading that first sentence? This is now only the fourth sentence, so how are we doing?

The ball. There is only the ball. There is nothing else.

In improving meditation, they’ll guide you to return to the breath if your thoughts are straying. I only have straying thoughts. I don’t have just one, I can’t get all of the others out of the way to get that single thought. I’m not even sure what that single thought is because it’s so buried in all of those other thoughts. I only stray. I am a stray. I stray.

My own scientific study on a dog’s focus.

Some meditation god said he learned how to focus by watching a cat watch a mouse hole. I don’t have a cat, but do have access to a dog. The dog loves to fetch the ball. In fact, the dog lives to fetch the ball. The dog is only alive to fetch the ball. See for yourself below. This is cropped short so as to keep your, uh, focus, but it can go on past YouTube upload limits, believe me.

There’s the kid film where the dog is seemingly distracted by the squirrel, “Squirrel!” But I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I think the dog is purely focused on the squirrel and all other thoughts, distractions, and environmental forces are only mildly tapping on the solid brick casing of the dog’s attention. There are no distractions, no straying thoughts, in fact, no other thoughts. It’s all about the squirrel, there is nothing else. Not you, not even the dog itself. The focus is the squirrel. The dog is the squirrel.

You try.

Watch the dog in the video. It’s only 18 seconds. He moves his eyes away from the ball slightly two times, but not far enough to be out of sight of the ball. If anyone approaches the ball, he’ll go for it.

Try it with a ball, or better, with your breath. I need visualizations, so I imagine my breath like Tinkerbell pixie dust flowing in and out of my lungs, my throat, my mouth, and into the world. Then it comes back. In and out. Slowly, more slowly. In and out. Pixie dust. In, in, in. Out, out, out.

The dog helps me. I admire and aspire to his focus. I hope he helps you.