// Focus

How we direct our attention and manage our inner world impacts every aspect of our lives. Living with our attention in the present moment has the potential to improve our physical health, diminish our stress, boost our capacity to mentally focus and resist distractions, regulate our emotional landscape, and deepen and bring more meaning to our relationships with others. One technique to achieve all of these benefits is to introduce meditation in our day-to-day lives. Meditation can alleviate, stress, anxiety, depression and chronic body pains as it changes the anatomy of our brains!

Mindfulness is a concept that has become increasingly of interest to many people in our culture. The Shanti Health Network practice of Focus includes what you may have heard discussed as mindfulness, but is also broader than that. Focus is also:

  • Observing and acting with awareness
  • Discriminating what you are feeling or thinking
  • Cultivating positive thinking, optimism and gratitude
  • Being non-judgmental and non-reactive in your thoughts and actions
  • Feeling that life is in balance, allowing for moments of peace, clarity and calm
  • Discerning appropriate locus of control – knowing when to exert and when to release
  • Tapping into your emotional and somatic intelligence Focus is more than just your cognitive intellect.

It’s a matter of taking control of how your mind, attitudes and emotions enrich your quality of life. Focus touches every aspect of what we do – personally, socially, professionally. How present are we as we go about our daily tasks? How engaged are we in the middle of a conversation?

Suggested resources to get started in your Focus practice:

  • Books and articles on inner development by Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron
  • Books and articles on organizational development by Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer
  • Research studies by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson

The physiological as well as spiritual aspects of mindfulness
Siegel, D.J.  (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being. New York: W. W. Norton & Co

Imaging the brain shows that meditation prevents age-related thinning of cells:
Lazar SW et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. NeuroReport, 16: 1893-1897.

Online Resources

Living with Focus is living in the flow. Here is a talk by the leading scholar on flow:

The psychology of positivity moves us from disease to happiness

Molecular-biologist-turned-Buddhist-monk on happiness, compassion and mind training:

Neuroscientists examine the protective effects of mindfulness training:

Answers to frequently asked questions about mindfulness: meditation

How multi-tasking can adversely affect the brain

Additional Resources

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