adamposey wrote:So, I'm asking your advice in curbing this behavior. I would like to be able to read a book calmly and peacefully without worrying so much about every notification I might receive, and I would like to increase my ability to focus on a single item that may be important but not as immediately rewarding to the pleasure centers of my brain (such as a sutta verse, etc.,).
adamposey wrote:That's an excellent suggestion and I'll make every attempt to put it to good use. What about in other matters where my goal is to actually focus on the book, or what I'm studying, or to stay with a single thought and contemplate it? Any advice on that front?
Jechbi wrote:adamposey wrote:That's an excellent suggestion and I'll make every attempt to put it to good use. What about in other matters where my goal is to actually focus on the book, or what I'm studying, or to stay with a single thought and contemplate it? Any advice on that front?
I think it's a matter of practice. Until now maybe you've trained yourself to respond to every little beep and whistle, and to direct your attention to those things at the expense of the task at hand. That's a hard habit to break, so maybe just take it one step at a time?
Maybe you could go off-grid for a whole day and see what it feels like to just let all those various notifications go unanswered, no matter how important they might seem to be. I'm guessing that it's that feeling of obligation to others which feeds your desire to respond. If so, then examine that feeling for a day. Seriously, walk in the woods and notice how all the birds chirp and the leaves rustle, and they don't demand any kind of response. It can be the same in your living room. Just because the phone rings doesn't mean you have to answer it. Just my 2 cents. This might not apply to your situation.
Ben wrote:Hi Adam
Don't expect a radical transformation overnight. Its going to take consistent effort and application.
I would also recommend that you timetable certain activities for discrete periods of the day - perhaps use them as a reward at the end of the day. Breaking free from any addiction is going to be hard and unpleasent work but well worth it in the end. With regards to your other activities that you wish to focus on, whether it be reading a book, you will need to apply yourself at remaining centred on that activity. When you learn a form of samatha meditation, it will require you to keep your mind focused on a single object for longer and longer periods. In the same way, try to remain fixed on your book or other activity, calmly and quietly attentive, for as long as possible. And if you have to, turn your distracting devices off.
adamposey wrote:I also think it would behove me to take breaks away from the constant draws on my attention and occasionally settle into someplace quiet where I cannot be reached.