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.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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