In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I work at awakening into full enlightenment. Sometimes I experience distraction from that goal. You know, the illusive finger of fate that points your attention and intention away from your present goal? Even when I accept that such distraction is of my own making, I still on occasion find myself “off track.”
Perhaps such derailments are the result of confusion over the relationship between attention and intention. Intention directs while attention connects. To accomplish a task, one must give attention to what fulfills the intention of that task.
For example – A firefighter controls the direction and flow of water shooting out the fire hose. His intention directs while his attention connects the water with the fire. When the fighter is distracted from his intention or attention, he ceases to be an effective firefighter in that instant.
Attention without intention ensures a future of distraction
Some distractions grab my attention for days – disrupting my intention from the enlightenment I seek. As I focus more attention on the distractions, I seem to get even more distracted as my world seems to darken. Now I begin to notice how people aren’t getting along with me and each other. I have to honk, shout and do hand gestures at all those insensitive and unconscious drivers on the road. I might catch a cold or feel “down” for a while – validating the truth of my sense of darkening.
My need to attend to this one distracting thought overarches all other thoughts – like unfurling a gigantic parasol over the entire universe, turning day into night, blocking out the sunshine that once ruled. My attention to distractions has clouded my vision and I lose sight of my intention.
While I focus on what I don’t like – the distraction – the rest that I do like starves for my attention. “Energy flows where attention goes.” (Huna principle 3 – Makia)
And, Oh, the Weeds, the Weeds!
Could my distracted attention be “watering the weeds”? Perhaps.
Maybe there’s something useful in the negative, distracting thought. What if I’m doing distraction “on purpose?” Could what I don’t like – that which is holding my attention hostage – be the result of a hidden intention that can lead me to an awakening? What then, eh?
What then, indeed!
Perhaps when I’m faced with a compelling distraction, I might ask some [maybe useful] questions about my intention:
- What am I avoiding with this distraction?
- How am I avoiding it? (looking at behaviors and captive thoughts)
- Why am I avoiding it? (looking at emotional payoffs)
- Who am I as I take accountability for my thoughts?