This is another post which, I hope, will help you to understand the potential hidden in the four attention styles theory and Open Focus practice. Please, read a following story and notice attention style changes on the attention graph.
You are in the narrow attention style when you focus on a cinema screen. You enjoy a film and there is no clear division between you and the main character. You feel for him/her. You are immersed. The sense of time is distorted. You could effortlessly watch a three hour film feeling as if it was only five minutes long. You are in the narrow/immersed attention style.
Then unexpectedly the film becomes very boring (say less action, more talking). You are not immersed any more. You feel distant (objective) from the film. You are increasingly bored with the plot and underperforming characters. The time goes very slowly. You repeatedly evaluate the film being more and more frustrated. You look for the exit – the only way to release growing tension. Your attention style moved on the graph to the left and you are in the narrow/objective style now.
You suggest you and your partner leaving the cinema but she says she is still enjoying the film. She asks you to stay with her untill the end. Supposing you already know the Four Attention Styles Theory and you know the quickest way to relax, you decide to DIFFUSE YOUR ATTENTION. You become aware of the screen, the music from the speakers, your body and your thoughts at the same time. The simultaneous awareness of many stimuli coming through different channels brings calmness and relaxation to your whole body. You start seeing the big picture and you realise that everything is fine. You are sitting in a cinema with a good looking girl, you are safe and healthy and there will be still some of the evening left when the film is finished. Your attention style on the graph moves down towards the diffuse/objective attention style.
You start to appreciate this situation being grateful for what is happening to you. You accept and become content with it. You do not need a lot more to be happy. Actually everything you need you already have. You heart is filled with love. To yourself, your partner, the World. You feel immersed again but – this time – with the whole reality around you. Your attention style on the graph moves to the right and became balanced. You are in Open Focus.
This and any other potentially very frustrating situations can be dealt with in a very peaceful, loving way as long as you know how to diffuse your attention and balance attention styles. The problems start when someone is attentionally rigid and applies the same attention style to all situations. For example, the person fixated in the narrow/objective attention style would not easily shake off their narrow and objective focus and would keep moaning about the film, ruining the fun for everyone.
Flexible attention is an ability to alternate between narrow attention (focused) and diffused attention (broad) or to apply both at the same time.
Narrowing makes us specific but requires dividing reality into smaller pieces (objects). Diffusing allows us to see the big picture and connect (immerse) with its elements.
Pain, anxiety and problems make the attention narrow and objective. We can self help ourselves by diffusing and immersing our attention.
Continue to this post.
That’s a great example of open focus in action. I often drift in and out of a bored state during live performances. My personal trick is to view the production as a whole using imagination to sense the behind the scenes work, the lighting and how much my friends might be enjoying them selves. After my little mind trip the boring part has usually passed and I’m ready for re-immersion.
Thank you very much
I enjoy reading your news Post, i gives inputs to be aware
how i pay Attention.
What about your book, will it be finished next? Will you trasnlate it in german, that wound be great for me.
All the best from Switzerland
I am glad you like my writing. I enjoy it a lot so it is great someone likes it too.
My book is waiting for its time. I am busy with the website and a new project which going to be published next week so stay tuned :)