Friday, May 30, 2008

Focus from 5/14/06

It really is all about focus. Think about it.

Think about how much we divert our focus to other things, things external to ourselves - the television, the radio, people at work, our husbands, our children and other people.

One common theme in most religious beliefs is that you must focus on yourself before you can become closer to God. Christianity tells us to look into our own hearts and know ourselves. Hinduism, Buddhism and just about every other Eastern religion tells us that it is through meditation that we come to know ourselves, a state I have heard referred to as self-actualization. Quite a catchy little phrase actually. Say it out loud, it just kind of rolls off the tongue.

Anyway, supposedly (or at least as a lot of theologians, psychologists and other folks who should know have said), it is by knowing one's self that one comes to know others and to know God.

But how many of us sit around focused on ourselves?

Yes, we spend a lot of thought on the things (and people) we want, we think would make us happy, that concern us, that anger us, that hurt us, things that other people do to us.

However, most of us do not spend a whole lot of time thinking about ourselves, going deep within ourselves trying to figure out why we did something, or why we have this feeling or that feeling, why we have certain thoughts or why we do what we do to other people.

That's how psychologists tell you to come to know yourself. They recommend you analyze yourself to learn yourself and that only by learning yourself can you know yourself.

The theologians have a slightly different approach though. The Godly men, regardless of denomination, all seem pretty sure that prayer and mediation are the true way to know yourself and know your God, an introspection as opposed to a self-inspection.

You can't hear God if you're not listening. "Shhh, hush now, don't make a move, don't make a sound, listen carefully and you will hear."

Problem is, most of us have a real hard time making ourselves hush and be still.

People hate to be alone. They hate to be left with their selves, no distractions, nothing else to focus on.

One of the most widely used forms of punishment is isolation. You're grounded, you're sent to jail, you're sent to solitary confinement.

So many of us spend our days trying to shift our focus.

And therein lies the problem.

So what do we do about it? Everything I've read suggests emptying your mind completely (and yes, using drugs to do so is considered cheating).

But how on earth do we achieve such a state?

They say by memorizing a prayer or piece of scripture or even a poem and repeating it to yourself over and over while sitting in a quiet room.

I admit I've tried it but usually end up having a panic attack because I freak out when suddenly I feel like I've forgotten to breathe.

They say that with practice you can truly clear your mind and regain your focus and that by doing so, you achieve a higher level of enlightenment.

Of course I'm still wondering if that's just because you're suffering brain damage because you kept forgetting to breathe!

Comments from original post:

At 5/15/2006 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Brandi said...

A friend sent me your blog and I agree. I have "worked" on clearning my mind using my yoga breathing. After a mintue or so of "clearing" I almost passed out from all the oxygen in my body. LOL! It's good to know that ladies from all over have the same problems and even though they will never go away we can in some way feel comfort in knowing we are not alone.
Have a great day and remember to breathe! :)

At 5/15/2006 08:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I try to clear my mind, and think of absolutely nothing it is impossible. It's like when I'm told to relax or calm down. I wish I could, but that don't make it happen. I think it would be easier if someone would just knock me out. On the other hand, sometimes it is impossible to focus. There are times when there is nothing at all on my mind. I can almost hear the hum in my own head. The most I have learned about myself, God,and everything that exist has been while I was asleep. My dream life has given me all I need to know about the little speck of dust that is me.

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