Selective Attention

It used to be quite important to me how my day went. I’d learned that attitude is everything so if I had a bad day I thought I simply needed to change my attitude. I was learning how to ignore what was happening deep inside so I could force myself to have a good day today.

My perspective has shifted in the complete opposite direction. I try to tune into my sensations as much as possible and ignore what that means for today. I tell myself, “This bad day will be over and gone in no time so just keep working.” I’m amazed by this shift in my life and in the big picture, this shift has greatly benefited me.

But I’m still not sure I’ve got the balance quite right. If tuning into negative sensations leads me to have a bad day, that means that I’m reacting. My evaluation is essentially an aversion. Ideally, I should be able to face a difficult day full of negative sensations with a smile and full of joy because I know the difficulties and sensations will pass and through the experience I’ll be purifying my mind.

While I’m able to remain equanimous with negative sensations at a course, I find it’s very difficult to have no reaction to a negative life experience. I guess this is why we practice every day. Time to meditate.

This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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