Did you know?
When we focus on the things close to or within our body, our visual attention tend to be fine slicing time. You can sort of think of your breath as more or less the second hand on your clock of existence.
Whereas when we focus on the things far away from us, our visual attention tend to parse or carve up time within bigger bins.
If you’ve ever seen a airplane flying at a distance, it looks like it’s moving very slowly.
If you were right up next to that airplane, it’s going very fast; five or six hundred miles an hour.
Visual attention is the cognitive process that mediates the selection of important information from the environment.
In other words,
Visual attention is the ability to take in important visual information while filtering out the rest.
It’s also the ability to sustain or focus on visual information for periods of time and shift focus when necessary. And, visual processing is the ability to take in and understand information you see.
Example of visual attention
A swimming pool.
The dog chasing a squirrel.
Whatever it is – whatever object, color, or movement you zoom in on – results from the proper operation of your visual attention. After all, seeing is more than our eyes’ ability to view external stimuli.
This is useful because you deliberately step your awareness and perception through every position along that interoceptive and exteroceptive Continuum.
This truly is.
This is very useful because many of us including myself tend to get locked at one location along that Continuum.
If you’re scrolling your phone for a longer period of time, you may forget about your bodily sensations but you generally forget about other things going on in the world.
If you’re very focused on things out in the world, you oftentimes can forget about your internal sensations and what’s going on internally and being functional in all aspects of your life – work, relationships, ability to fall asleep, etc.
Your being functional involves dynamically adjusting your attention from what you are doing.
Adjusting your attention from what you are doing on your computer to a question somebody asks and then back again working on your computer.
Adjusting your attention from text messaging to listening to a lecture or a podcast.
Adjusting your attention from work on your commute to connecting with your family or friends on call.
Each one of those by way of how your visual system and the time domain are interlocked with one another sets your mind in a particular time domain.
Those are different stations within space.
There is so much of the fatigue of life.
The maladaptive behaviors and emotions that show up in life are really not about any set of behaviors or emotions being wrong or right but rather inappropriately matched to the space-time domain.
Being present and mindful is a wonderful byproduct of a meditation practice but it is one of those stations along that space-time Continuum.
The key element here is to step yourself through a practice deliberately so that you are flexibly and dynamically able to engage and then disengage in a conversation.
Did you know?
People who are very high functioning in life are very good at transitioning between states.
Some of you are probably wondering where to start or if you’re already an avid meditator where to go with all this information.
Your next step is to accept the Meditation Challenge.
You must essentially practice everyday this incredible ability that the human mind has to deliberately place your perception at specific locations along the Interoceptive and Exteroceptive Continuum.
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