3

CONTROLLING ATTENTION

The first step in the program is waking up, which we illustrated in Chapter 2 with the exercise of listening to sounds happening in the here and now. You can plan by imagining what might happen in the future, informing your plans by drawing on past experience. This is an intentional process that we call reflection, and it keeps the present as the frame of reference. (In contrast, waking sleep is an unintentional drifting into thoughts about the past or the future.) The exercise was aimed at bringing you back into the present, but it did in fact include the second step of controlling attention: you were invited to focus your attention actively and intentionally on the sounds you could hear. The two steps happen together, ...

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