Divided attention is when we share (or divide) the attention with 50% on body consciousness, and 50% on the visual and the auditory world around us. The same attention is now divided, a part more inward and a part on the outside. And this is done in an overall manner, de-focused. The attention given to the words is an attention to the sound of the words, not the content.
Efforts must be made to do it all the time. It is not hard to do it, what is difficult is to maintain it. Does someone here already do this and can share their experience?
For a long time I believed that body consciousness and perceptions were separated, and I was going back and forth between the two. Now I have understood that it is only one attention. It is not focused but divided.
It is also a reminder of something natural.
It’s completely natural. It’s familiar, not artificial. And I can’t say I do anything special in order to do it. I don’t know if that increases vigilance, but I can say that I am much more present.
It is even a promise that one makes to one’s self and that we have forgotten.
It is up to each one of us to discover it, ourselves.
Is it the same as being connected externally?
Being connected externally is a part of it.
In action, there are times when I have to focus, it’s like a zoom, but with divided attention, there is no capture in the focusing of the attention. In this concentration, the rest is not excluded because I’m in body consciousness.
I think this is because when I am in divided attention I can change pace, adapt the pace compared to the need.
It’s harder for me when I’m in private conversations or in action.
And as for body consciousness, I observed that some habits are harmful to divided attention. You must really discipline yourself to create the necessary distance. This requires effort and extra vigilance.
Yes, but it is a temporary discipline, that allows it to stop, not to trigger the automatic mechanisms of attachment anchored in your nervous system. It plays a lot on the capacity of adaptation to the context, on the pace among others. What settles down then is a harmony whereas before, there was disharmony.
It’s the same for speech. There is a different tonality, a different rhythm. And also, it takes into account the other, of what is happening around us. It is a taking into consideration of all and everything that is there.
The divided attention, to me, is 50-50 when one is at rest, but in action, I see instead the attention divided into three with a percentage that varies between the three: attention to the body, attention to the external environment 360°, and attention to the current task, which is the most important part. The percentage of attention to each of the three varies according to the complexity of the task and context. This is quite familiar and after a while it integrates with body consciouness. There is no need to think about it except when we realize that we lost it.
I agree. For example, we hear a bird singing in the background. Simply, the volume changes depending on the fact that we give more attention to something else or not.
Divided attention is inseparable from the body consciousness. It is really important to understand that this is not just listening in 360°. The other part is not on the sensations only, but on the body consciousness.
It is as if I did not exist, that I was transparent, and then the world comes out of the body consciousness and appears with all (visual, hearing, sensation). And I lose it when the I, appears and reacts and separates.
A criteria that I’m not there (in divided attention) is when I have not seen or heard something. This happens most often when I am identified with my thoughts or words. But it seems to me that even in divided attention, I can’t capture all. Maybe I do not hear the birdsong, and yet I was in divided attention.
A very important point for me was not to put it in a hierarchy. As long as I thought there were more important things than others, it was difficult. But when everything becomes equally important, divided attention becomes easier.
The other element that makes me lose divided attention, is the fact to avoid necessary suffering or sometimes also the fear of being disturbed.
I have found that letting go, compared to the need to understand, allows me to be in divided attention.
The memory is also different; what we hear and what we see in divided attention, is recorded, even without having awareness.
A surprising point is this one: when I’m in divided attention, my answer to the requests depends on the source. If the other is acting from personal interest, I do not hear him or I say, for example, that I am not available. Otherwise, my answer will be different.
I find that I can work on an intellectual task and yet I remain open and in divided attention. Regarding the concentration, for example when I look at a label to read, I feel that there are two approaches: one is to concentrate attention, to focus excluding the rest, and one, that I can’t explain where I see the details without losing the overall context.
Sometimes in divided attention, listening can detect the (internal) state from each other.
I feel that body consciousness and divided attention are more difficult with fatigue.
No, divided attention and body consciousness are unrelated to the physical or emotional condition, and not related to pain either. Otherwise, what you’re doing is wrong (you are on the wrong track). In divided attention, you put your attention on something, it is effortless. It is more a reminder than an effort. If you are making an effort, you are adding something useless. If you are no longer in body consciousness, there is no recipe for finding it again, except through a trial-error process. And in any case it is not through effort and tension. And it is in the moment that it is done, right away. Here and now.
The expression of the essential value is also expressed despite fatigue, just differently.
Moreover, there is a paradoxical phenomenon; with body consciousness and the essential value, there is a kind of chronic fatigue. But with an abandonment, there is no struggle. And that leaves a total creativity in the moment.
The welcoming of fatigue is very similar to the welcoming of the necessary suffering. In addition, when we are welcoming fatigue, we are in a good vulnerability and it facilitates the welcoming of necessary suffering.
Welcome the fatigue as a friend who will accompany you all your life.