I came across a wonderful video from BeingHuman.com founder and composer Peter Baumann talking about “hacking mindfulness.” He says that mindfulness alone is not the antidote to the constant hijacking of our attention. We can get lost “trying to pay attention to paying attention.” He recommends a more subtle approach.
Here’s a little bit of the transcript to peak your interest (emphasis added):
The most difficult [challenge] we have today is our attention gets hijacked. There is so much happening in our lives that we pay attention to and quite frankly, you know, the little devices that we carry around don’t help very much because our attention gets totally absorbed into that attraction from these little devices. And we get a little bit of dopamine all the time when we get information, information is valuable instinctively. So we want to know what’s happening and what’s going on. That’s true for gossip and it’s true for why we watch the news. But the problem is that our attention is so much absorbed in that that we rarely, if ever, pay attention to just being present. And that is really what mindfulness and meditation is trying to balance out a little bit so that when the mind quiets and you actually are at home in your body that that distraction fades away and you actually get in touch with that underlying happiness that the Greeks call eudaimonia.