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The Art of Attention

“One who has conquered himself, can conquer the world.”

Mindfulness has become sort of a pop culture enigma, with being on the cover of global magazines and having penetrated into corporate wellness programs. The ancient practice of single-minded focus has never been this mainstream. And there’s a reason – we are a distracted, depressed, scattered generation, far more than there has ever been. We run on a hedonistic treadmill, trapped in pleasure-seeking. 

To be removed from our dopamine kick makes us miserable. Mindfulness is at the heart of every ancient practice like yoga, Tai Chi, and even martial arts. To able to focus single mindedly also removes mental illness such as anxiety and depression. To be present in every moment strengthens our consciousness and prepares us for the gravest challenges – it is the core of samurai trainings. To train the mind perhaps could be the most difficult of challenges that a mortal can take. 

Living in awareness is an antidote to all worries that encapsulate us humans. To be a watcher even to our miseries empowers our consciousness and depletes the pleasure senses. Of course, we must practice consciousness (that’s what yogis do for years to attain enlightenment). Eckhart Tolle says you are the audience (conciseness) that is watching emotions and feelings play on the screen (mind). When we realise this gap, we truly become one.

In this age of Google where we try to find answers to all dilemmas, we must learn to let something be, to remain unknown and mysterious. For words are charming and sensuous, it is accessing our deepest silence that brings profound bliss.

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