Wednesday 10 January 2018

#409 Paying attention

Someone I knew was currently attending a course on meditation and mindfulness. The mere knowledge that they were there on the course had got me thinking about my own thought patterns more often.

At points throughout the day, I'd notice when I got lost in my thoughts. I'd then bring some of my attention back to where I was. I'd think to myself "I'm on the train back to East Dulwich".

Proponents of mindfulness might claim that most people don't realise the extent to which they don't realise where they are. Did I realise the extent to which I didn't realise where I was? Well, no. I didn't. I had no idea, at least not to the nearest number of minutes or even the nearest half hour, exactly how much time I spent daydreaming or fantasising or catastrophising. It was probably most of it though. Probably almost all of it.

I was definitely on the train back to East Dulwich. I'd gone all the way to the Barbican and then realised I'd forgotten my power cable. I'd lost most of a morning's job searching. Then tomorrow I was volunteering, so that was at least a day up in smoke. Should I make up for it on Saturday? Or would I rather have a day's rest? I'd been getting up pretty early lately and...

I'm on the train back to East Dulwich. I'm on the train back to East Dulwich.

It didn't mean that I couldn't think about other things. It was just about maintaining some awareness of where I was and what I was doing. I'm on the train back to East Dulwich, thinking about whether to do job search-related things on Saturday or to have the day off.

I'd see how I felt on Saturday. Right now, the main priority was to get home and plug in the laptop.

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