Posted by: Shira Taylor Gura | June 26, 2012

BARE ATTENTION

Whether you are a novice to mindfulness or not, you can learn about mindfulness through the model that I created.

THE FIRST STEP: REST YOUR ATTENTION IN THE PRESENT MOMENT

What?

You already are?

Really?

May I challenge you?

I read somewhere that we have over 70,000 thoughts a day.  And we are constantly chasing after them….in the future, in the past.

If we are constantly chasing our thoughts, then we must not be here in this moment quite often, right?

How about we give a try?

In a moment, I’m going to ask you to rest your attention on your breath.

The phrase “bare attention” is another way to describe how to attend.

Bare attention is about registering an object (such as the breath) in your brain as it arises, without any preferences or thinking.

This is a lot more difficult than it may sound.

Why?

Because most of the time we are doing the complete opposite.  We are layering emotions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perspectives, judgments, and criticism on everything we come into contact with, with complete unawareness.

For example, if you were to rest your attention on your breath for one minute, you will (at least initially) just notice your breath and nothing else.  Yet, at some point, you will notice your attention begins to move away from just noticing your breath and instead begins to move towards thinking about your breath or thinking about something else entirely or just plain daydreaming.

Bare attention is about peeling back all those thinking layers in order to just see (or hear, touch, smell or taste).

Bare attention is about experiencing each object you come into contact with as if it were the first time you have ever experienced it before.  Just noticing.  And nothing else.

It’s a way of getting rid of all of the “stuff” in the mind that clouds the way we see things.

It’s a way of seeing reality a bit differently.

Would you like to try it?

Close your eyes and rest your attention on your breath (just your breath!) even if just for a few seconds.  (YES, EVEN IF YOU ARE AT WORK OR BUSY OR HAVE NO TIME… JUST TRY IT!)

*******************************************

Good work!  (If you did it).

There is much more to the practice of mindfulness than just “paying attention” and it also requires regular practice.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the model to learn and practice more with me.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you practice?

At least once a day, rest your attention in the present moment (with bare attention). JUST NOTICE and nothing else.

The breath is always a good place to start and always a good place to come “home” to.

And, as always, feel free to dialogue with me about what you noticed.

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Responses

  1. Shira, it’s glad to be “learning” with you again! Now … off to practice! xo

  2. […] first step of my model of mindfulness was about paying “bare” attention.  The idea was to sit and place your attention on one object and just notice it without any extra […]

  3. […] model of mindfulness begins with paying bare attention to an object (Step 1) which leads to a distraction (Step […]

  4. […] to my mindfulness model, a mindfulness meditation practice begins with placing your (bare) attention on an object. Inevitably a distraction will arise and you will react (attach) to […]

  5. […] places his attention on an object (breath, for example), becomes distracted (by a thought, sound, sensation, etc.) inevitably […]


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