The fact is that most of us can hardly focus because we are lost in thinking and imagining. We are lost in our distractions. Perhaps you have noticed this yourself.
We are distracted and not centered, so when problems arise instead of solving them, we are lost in worries, doubts and fears. The unfinished business combined with feeling off balance and out of control leads to anxiety.
It is hard to focus when you are ill with a fever, for example. You are lost in delirium and cannot focus properly. Similarly, it is hard to focus when you are lost in your thoughts and imagination on the inside, or when you are lost in your distractions on the outside.
The fact is that most of us can hardly concentrate because we are so lost in thinking and imagining. We are lost in our distractions. You can't concentrate on solving issues or on doing your homework, but you can perseverate and fixate on a video game or on text messages for hours. Something is wrong. They somehow capture your attention so that you are not free for productive problem solving.
Many times when I am at Starbucks or at the library I see someone who comes in to study. He or she pulls out a textbook or notebook and begins to study, but after about 5 minutes, s/he inevitably reaches for the mobile device and begins scrolling for text messages or emails.
It is for this reason that I recommend beginning with the meditation available here. Most of us are lost in a semi stupor or trance state. We don't know that we are but the evidence of it is that everything pulls on your attention, you have difficulty focusing on things and even more importantly, you are lost in thinking, daydreaming, and the thought stream much of the time.
If you cannot study or focus properly, constantly reacting for your iPhone to check text messages or constantly lost in your music or video games, how are you going to solve issues or even pray properly? Moreover, there is a residual effect that lingers after your texting, music, Internet or video game indulgence. It is called mental fog or brain fog.
Understand this: texting, video games, excessive Internet use, music addiction, and so on are substitutes for the imagination. When you are not lost in fantasy or worry, then you are equally in danger of being out of touch and unfocused when you are lost in gadgets or entertainment.
I was recently teaching a safe driving course, and we were talking about distracted driving. I said that eating while we drive, talking on the hands free cell phone while we drive, listening to the radio or a CD and so on are all distractions.
I then mentioned that daydreaming is also a distraction. One student arrogantly proclaimed that he never daydreams while he drives. He scoffed and said that no one daydreams while they drive. I marveled at his blindness and lack of awareness. Thinking about what we just did, what we plan to do, or about what someone said to us, even if only for less than a minute is daydreaming (though most of us daydream for much longer stretches).
When lost in thought, we are not fully there. You can drive right past your freeway exit.
All of this is to say that when a person is immersed in the thought stream (or lost in emotional thinking), they are not totally there.
But the person who learns to meditate properly is restored to objectivity. Mentally standing back from thought, the person can observe thought instead of being lost in it.
The spirit of the world speaks to us with notions, words, and thoughts from its lower abode in the lower mind or in the imagination. From down there it talks to you and gives you wrong ideas. Soon your thoughts start to boss you around and scare you with negative and dark thoughts.
Therefore, I recommend that you first clear the mind and learn to mentally stand back for objectivity with the simple and easy meditation for mental clarity located in our resources tab.
When you are no longer lost in thought, you are ready to follow intuition and common sense. When you are free from the contamination of the lower type of thinking, you are also free from the enslaving spirit of the lower mind.
The person who is not immersed in thinking and feeling, and mentally stands back from the thought stream is re-centered. Freedom and self sovereignty return.
When immersed in the thought stream, you are subject to post hypnotic influence, as well as the powerful imaginings that pull on your awareness. Down there, lost in the Alice in Wonderland world of fantasy and unreality, you are subject to whatever or whoever drove you into the imagination, and to whatever controls your imagination.
Most of our thoughts come from outside, and that is why when we are thus entranced, we are suggestible. Have you ever wondered why you do dumb things, say dumb things or spend too much money on something? Later you could kick yourself "Why did I waste my money on that?" you ask yourself.
It is because you were subject to outside suggestions.
Captured and entranced by distractions, worries, texting, excessive internet or video games, you are not free. But if you can regain the objective state (which you had when you were a little child, before you were upset by the world), then you will be free.
When you begin to meditate properly, you will discover that you will be able to concentrate for the first time. Before you were merely caught up in one thing or another. When your attention was captured by one thing and another you were distracted. When you fixated on one thing for a long time, you thought you were concentrating, but your attention had been captured.
Try the free meditation for mental clarity at http://www.commonsensecounseling.org/mental_clarity.htm.
It may be all you need! Though you may wish to later move up to the classic 4 part meditation, which includes two informative eBooks. The suggested donation for the 4 part meditation and eBooks is nominal ($10.00) and if you cannot afford that amount, just donate what you can.
If you cannot afford anything, I will send you the link to get the link to the meditation and books free of charge.
Once you begin to meditate, you will be in a state of mind which is receptive to common sense and problem solving.