One Object

For the today's Daily Mind Game, we will continue our focus on focusing (meta-focusing, if you will) from yesterday.  The challenge today is entitled "One Object" and the goal is simple (but not easy): maintain focus on a single object for 15 minutes.

One Object

Task: Focus on a single object for 15 minutes

Info: Head to your meditation spot and pick an object to observe.  Beginners should chose an interesting or complex thing (for example, a tree).  If you're feeling advanced, pick something small and simple (for example, an egg).  Attempt to observe the object for 15 minutes.  Look at the object as if you were an artist trying to draw it, or a scientist trying to understand it.  Really look at the thing!

Goal: You will probably have thoughts drift in and out of your brain that are unrelated to the object.  That's fine, but try to regain focus when you notice yourself drifting off.  Also, try not to allow any external stimuli break your concentration!

The exact make and model
For my object, I selected my shoe.  I don't know why, but I found this task to be very difficult - I became very impatient and kept glancing up and away from my shoe.  Perhaps this was because I was sitting on a grassy knoll, with the sun shining and would have rather been focusing on my tan...

The motivation for this task comes from the task assigned to participants in this study.  In this task, called the "attentional blink test", participants had to focus on a rapidly changing series of letters and try to detect two numbers that were inserted at random.  This requires sustained focus and if focus was lost (i.e. the attentional blink) then the subject would be more likely to miss the appearance of a number.  According to the study authors, experts at meditation performed better at this task.  Stay focused, my friends!

Links: Return to the Week of Empathy - Move to the next Daily Mind Game

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