Attention Activism: Pay Attention to Attention

By the Bhāvanā Learning Group from their February 7, 2024 newsletter citing original sources

This week, we share an article, a video, and a podcast episode to offer a perspective on Attention. This special digest includes pieces of content lasting more than our usual 30-min digest time.

As leaders, paying attention to our focus and awareness is vital. All too often, our clients express concern about performance and aren’t aware of the conditions for performance. The way attention shows up in awareness, focus, reflection, discernment, perspective, and concentration — are all vital to performance.

We cannot simply breathe for 20 min/day to recover our attention. We must cultivate it ongoingly throughout the day with mindful practice. We must pay attention to our attention.

The first piece is a commentary, Powerful Forces Are Fracking Our Attention. We Can Fight Back. It argues that just as labor unions organized to improve working conditions in the 19th century, today, we need an “attention movement” to resist distracting apps and demand technology that serves our interests.

This is going to require attention to attention, and dedicated spaces to learn (or relearn) the powers of this precious faculty. Spaces where we can give our focus to objects and language and other people, and thereby fashion ourselves in relation to a common world. If you think that this sounds like school, you’re right: This revolution starts in our classrooms.

…Instead of fretting that students’ flagging attention doesn’t serve education, we must make attention itself the thing being taught.

Read – 5.5-min | Digest – 7.5-min | Audio – n/a

Read Article

The second piece is a 7-min video, If your attention span has been hijacked, here’s how to take it back, with neuroscientist Amishi Jha. There are three ways in which she says we use our attention. Here’s the first:

We use our attention to actually ‘Think’- during thinking there’s an idea that comes to mind, and then we hyperlink it to other ideas. That’s what thought actually is, and the glue between those hyperlinks is attention.

Meta Awareness

Finally, we share this 1-hr podcast episode from The Ezra Klein Show featuring Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California — Tired? Distracted? Burned Out? Listen to This.

Republished with permission.

Featured Image added by Enlivening Edge Magazine. Image by Thomas from Pixabay