Having come to the conclusion that the only thing I have control over is my attention, I tried practicing it. As I constantly got sidetracked in work, I could only conclude that I actually had no control over it. Perhaps I lacked training. If I exercised it, I would have better control over it.
So I sat down to meditate. Whoah! I could barely count to ten breaths without getting sidetracked. Through much effort, and still having loud background thoughts, I worked my way up to 60 breaths. I put myself back to work, still with great efforts at finding focus.
Something felt wrong in the effort at control. I came to realize: I’m not letting go of thoughts, my focus is being exerted in controlling attention. I know meditation is not supposed to be like this, it’s not tense, it’s relaxing.
I had to remind myself of what attention actually is. I read this chapter of Charles Eisenstein’s book, “The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” aptly titled Attention, and through it I was reminded what attention actually is: becoming one with the observed.
When you are focused you are not thinking about work, you are work. When you are paying attention to someone, you are not thinking about the person (i.e. what is this person trying to convey? oh look he crossed his arms he’s rejecting my statement) rather you become the person and you feel what he feels.
In creative work, you become the object, and the object strives and desires to become whole. You cease to exist, and allow the object to use your body and mind to complete itself. In design work there is a place for separation between the designer and the designed, but these two modalities work in tandem, unity and separation are two faces of the same coin.
This is a theme I will continue exploring superficially. I can’t dive deep into it at this time as I have work to do.