Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: August 12, 2002

Stabilizing Attention

As our basic instrument for navigating the waters of the spirit, attention deserves more from us. The first challenge in developing attention consists of stabilizing it. Our undisciplined attention, drawn in a multitude of directions, incessantly wanders and scatters our energies in its wake. If we are our attention, then its instability is our own.

What to do? Train yourself for sustained focus. Most spiritual techniques either develop or depend upon a stable attention.

One excellent method involves counting breaths. Focus your attention on the sensations caused by the breath at the tip of your nose. Bring all your attention into this small region. Mentally count your breaths from one to ten, and then start over at one. Let the counting be light and secondary. Keep the primary focus of your attention on the sensations of the breath at the tip of your nose. Whenever you lose count, start again at one. Practice this until you can stay with the breath continuously for five or six cycles of ten.

Other opportunities for sustained attention arise throughout our day. Notice how your attention tends to wander and work on staying focused on the task at hand.


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