May I ask a question to our resident meditators who use "sweeping" in their practice?
When you sweep, do you ever pay attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping, or put another way, the deliberate act of changing the focus of attention?
I hope the question was clear, but feel free to ask for clarification if not.
"Sweeping": I am not sure if I would say this is a technique I consciously use and haven't formally studied under anybody (like Goenka?) who uses the term. But it is something I noticed recently I sometimes do habitually, as part of my understanding of mindfulness. Paying attention to everything that passes through contact (phassa), whether it's a physical sense or a thought or feeling. Seeing that it is, as Gil Fronsdal once said, like a flashlight: where the "brightness" is what I'm directly aware of, while the darkness is what I'm less aware or unaware of. So, I am always aware of what I am aware of, but also intuitively scan the dark spots for things I might be missing. This scanning is in no particular order, because it is intuitive. It's not possible to be aware of everything all the time, but you can at least be aware of your own awareness, and try to "feel" if there are things you're missing that need to be seen, and over time, make the light brighter (samadhi) and wider (mindfulness).
I'm not sure if I'm describing a different practice here, because what I do isn't a "volition" as it's not bound to causality. It is revealed by certain parallel states of mind, so particular volitions are important, but it is itself not a particular state of mind directly created by any volition.
Also, I take it what you're getting at here: I think Retrofuturist wants to know if you all are practicing real mindfulness, or if you are stuck in a mental activity with a particular methodology. If it's real mindfulness, you should be paying attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping (if it's a relevant object that comes into consciousness, if it's unimportant no need to give yourself a headache), but you should not be paying attention to the quality of the volitional act, if the "quality" ascribed is a notion of self, if "quality" means the "nature of the one doing the sweeping."