The Journey Within – The Two Laws of Focus And Concentration
Hi, everyone. I hope you are enjoying my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. I decided to combine the next two laws of karma because I find they work together.
- The Law of Concentration: Every action we do contributes to the whole. Therefore, your actions are neither big nor small as all your actions influence the whole, I.e. the butterfly effect.
- The Law of Focus: You cannot think of two things at the same time. When your focus is on higher values, it is impossible to have lower thoughts such as greed or anger.
So, as we go through life we must realize that EVERYTHING we do has some sort of impact and focusing on things through a higher value elevates us away from negativity and creates opportunity for best case scenario.
Why are focus and concentration so important? Because they create mindful intention — and mindful intention is important for manifesting all you may want in this world. Creating requires EFFORT.
The mind is our creator but also our distractor. Unless we stand at the controls and point it in the direction of our goals and focus and concentrate – things just do not get done.
This takes me back to Israel and my own lessons on focus. Eliminating distraction keeps us on our path. Remember: Our own thinking is the distractor. We give our thoughts life by focusing on them. One day as I was walking along the beach with my dog at sunset, enjoying the warm surf and marveling at the colors fading into the ocean, I realized some things. It was a tough time in my life with many obstacles and, through it all, here I was on the shore of the Mediterranean walking among 1,000-year-old Roman ruins that had partially fallen onto the beach. I realized we are all here so temporarily.
The people who once lived among the fallen stones were long gone and forgotten. The place is called Apollonia and it is a magical place where dreams are dreamt and ideas are created … and there I was, unhappy, thinking my own dreams were not realized, and wondering what I could do to improve my own life. And then it hit me: I needed a strategy, a plan. I had had many plans in the past, but never followed through.
WHY? Because my focus was always shifted because I was in such survival mode there was only room to concentrate on the next moment. So, I took it. I focused on each moment — one foot in front of the other. I concentrated on solving whatever was directly in front of me and poooooooof — a year later, as I walked down that same beautiful beach I had moved myself into a much better place in my life. I only paid attention to the thinking I intentionally focused on creating and concentrated on keeping it in the forefront of my mind. When bad thoughts crept in, I realized I was not being mindful in the moment. Focus and concentration IS mindfulness. Mindfulness brings dreams to reality. Life was never the same after that.
Try this exercise to discover how mindfulness works:
The Apple Meditation
Most of the time, we barely look at an apple we are eating. We grab its, take a bite, chew quickly and swallow. In his inspiring book, Savor, Thich Nhat Hanh describes a simple “apple meditation” to remind us how to approach and appreciate every experience in a more mindful state.
The next time you eat an apple…
Hold onto it for a moment. What kind of apple is it? What color is it? How does it feel in your hand? What does is smell like? What shape is it? Give the apple a smile and slowly take a bite. What does if sound like when you bite into it? What does it feel like in your mouth? What does it taste like? What is it like to chew and swallow it?
Truly savor all the qualities the apple is offering you: its sweetness, aroma, freshness, juiciness, crispness. There is nothing else filling your mind as you chew — no projects, no deadlines, no worries, no to-do lists, no fears, no sorrows, no anger, no past and no future — just this apple.
In this way, you appreciate the apple as it is. You become fully aware of eating the apple and you become fully engaged in the here and now. By living in the moment, you become more alive. If you can savor the apple, you can savor your life. This is “intention in the moment.” The way we do this meditation is how we should go through everything we do in life — with intention on experiencing and being 100 percent in the here and now.
Focus and concentration are important to achieving your dreams — use the Apple Meditation in everything you do.
Lori Gordon-Michaeli LCSW