Kissed In An Atmosphere Wrapped In Curiosity
“Every moment is utterly unique and will not be continued in eternity. This fact gives life its poignancy and should concentrate your attention on what you are experiencing now.”
― Joseph Campbell
Attention is what we use to achieve understanding and make meaning.
Without it, life would be a special kind of hell. Our brains would hollow out and waste away.
The ability to focus our attention enables us to string moments together and create the fabric of understanding.
As we learn to focus our attention for greater lengths of time, it unlocks a richer understanding, as if we’ve turned an invisible key.
The more attention we spend in life, the more meaning we draw from it, and the richer we feel. In contrast, the less we pay attention, the less we have, and remember, and feel.
Focused attention is Miracle Grow. It‘s like a secret law.
A tangible example is what happens when we read.
We place our attention on the page. A chaos of scattered symbols and shapes soften and disappear. We focus in, and a sentence magically expands to fill up the wide-screens of our mind.
All we decided was where to place our attention.
The rest is a miracle.
“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”
― Alan Watts
Meditation turns your brain into a learning machine. It equips the brain with the skills to notice and learn.
Practicing meditation is learning how to learn. It’s a practice of discovery. It’s like practicing meaningfulness.
Here is the simplicity of it: Place your attention on the breath. When your thoughts run away, simply acknowledge them. Then gently guide your attention back to the breath, and begin again.
It’s simple, but hard.
With practice, your attention learns to loop. The more you practice, the smaller the loop becomes.
Little by little, your attention learns to wander less, and like the slow turn of a binocular lens, the present moment sharpens and expands into view.
We are magical things.
“Curiosity has its own reason for existence.”
― Albert Einstein
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
― Luke 11:9
Within curiosity there is a secret intelligence.
Curiosity makes your brain a magnet for new understanding. It makes you lucky for new experiences.
Curiosity imagines boldly. It looks keenly, and from curious angles. It asks tons of questions.
When you pair curiosity with focused attention, an average experience explodes into a wealth of new information.
Curiosity is less like an action you take in order to get a reward, and more like an environment you step into.
It works like how gravity works — by natural law.
We don’t experience contact with the earth because we’ve decided to be more gravitational for the day. Rather, we experience a pull toward earth because our atmosphere is wrapped in gravity.
Curiosity works like that.
As we desire, seek, search, plead, pray, knock, call out, or question, we enter a different atmosphere that’s wrapped in curiosity.
All manner of strange and beautiful answers begin to find us, as if by natural law. Everything is speaking.
Nuance, complexity, layers, dimensions all flex. And everything multiplies: options, information, meaning, insight, understanding.
It’s fun to think we’ve done all the magic. We know we haven’t. Really, we’re more like guests that, for some reason, have been invited along to participate.
And all that work of attention and focus and curiosity; all the effort feels like rags, when god herself kisses our brains.