Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

27 Dec 2019

Mindfulness and Dreaming

The Guardian has a tag for Mindfulness. It’s There are already 161 results. I just read an article, No tricks. No mantras. I just want to learn how to do nothing: my quest to stay still.

Doing nothing, without resort to spiritual distractions is something that I’ve become interested in. But this article isn’t very good, or doesn’t give an answer that I’m looking for. The author comes to the conclusion that daydreaming is the best he can do. It’s a form of distraction, transcending the exterior annoyances and adopting an interior distraction. At least, it’s not something that is of interest to me.

He describes a long, unpleasant train ride: “my carriage is packed, my seat is uncomfortable, I am engulfed by a cacophony of other people’s chat, and the air is filled with the smell of fast food and lager. I leave my laptop in my bag, switch off my phone, close my eyes and try to disappear to my happier place.” He launches into an involved childhood fantasy about an imaginary football tournament.

I actually have a similar problem in my father’s house, where there is a constant din of radio or TV noise. I feel sorry for people who need the distraction of the radio. It’s very difficult for me to imagine such a reality. But it’s not so difficult to understand why people seek distractions, mundane or spiritual.

My father was talking about the pleasures of ironing, the other day. He says that it’s something that permits daydreaming. I occasionally daydream. We all do. And we all sometimes need to deal with very unpleasant exterior situations that simultaneously make it difficult to focus on other things. But the majority of my time, I do not need to escape my reality. I feel quite at home with myself and my world. My ideal is to be in a state where there is not a lot to do, but in which I do need to remain alert and perform occasional tasks. One of my earliest jobs was of this kind; as operator at a mainframe computer. There wasn’t much to do except respond to sporadic requests. It was rather boring at the time. But now I welcome those kind of days; if, in the comfort of my own surroundings.

Tags: spiritual-life
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