Curiosity + Intention -> Effortless Attention

Curiosity could be the most powerful attitude. Nothing is necessarily boring as long as you can be curious about it. No person, no activity, no sensation. This has really been drilled into me through meditation. Even just watching the breath isn't boring when you can bring genuine curiosity and attention to it.

In meditation you will constantly lose the breath and get distracted, and must constantly reset and reaffirm your intention to follow it. This intention is not effortful, but is necessary to lead yourself and your mind to what you actually want to pay attention to.

The real power here is to bring this curiosity to the most ordinary moments. A boring math class can be made interesting by being curious in your teacher's strange mannerisms. Waiting in line can become fascinating when you notice the habits of the strangers around you and the attitude of your cashier. Although it's hard to remember to, strong emotions can be lessened by asking "what is this feeling?" and being curious in it, instead of identifying with it.

This sort of effortless attention is what makes moments great: Presence is a better proxy than happiness for meaningful moments.

But more and more we rely on things, entertainment, and people to take hold of our attention, instead of engaging it ourselves. There is no requirement for something to be interesting. Some things may grab your attention more easily, but you can (with practice) bring your full attention to anything, which is what makes things interesting.


Curiosity and Intention lead to effortless attention. This curiosity is available at all times to bring even the most ordinary moments to life. This presence is invaluable: Presence is a better proxy than happiness for meaningful moments.


Wherever you go there you are

tags: #evergreen / #thought /

Formation Date: 2021-03-29