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Using Self-Directed Attention in Daily Life

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After practicing Self-Directed Attention for a while, start using your attention to help the healing of your mind.
During the recovery period, while your mind is reconstituting itself from a new ground of sanity, disturbing thoughts may appear in the mind, old patterns of reaction to certain situations.

Many thoughts will come to you, trying to distract you from this work. Thoughts of doubt, defeatism, hopelessness, fear, anger, etc. Any thought that does not offer a practical solution to a practical problem right now is irrelevant in the moment. It is safe to ignore it by moving your attention away from it.

Move your attention away from the thought and place it on the feeling of your breath as you learned with the practice of Self-Directed Attention. Do this as many times as you need to and for as long as you can hold your attention there. At this stage you don't need to count the breaths anymore. Just move attention away from the thought and onto the sensation of breathing.

A disturbing thought may be connected to a body sensation. This movement of attention can also help with disturbing body sensations. Move attention to the sensation and experience it directly, without naming it or trying to get rid of it. Just feel it completely for as long as you can.

You can alternate between moving attention to the sensation of breathing and moving attention to the disturbing sensation in your body. Experiment.

Please let us know how this unfolds for you. It is often the case that a person will start the practice, not notice immediate results, and "forget" all about it. We assure you, the process will go on subconsciously, even if you think it is not working. And if you are not aware of what is happening to you, it is very likely that you will face mental, and sometimes physical, difficulties all alone. It is very important to keep in touch, to connect with others who are going through the same process. Our community is spread around the world. Connecting with others who can understand what you are going through brings encouragement and confirmation.

Since there are many people who write asking for help, it is best to post your reports and questions in our discussion forum. We read every posting and reply when needed. And there are many people writing there who have gone through the same process and they will be able to help you. Also, your reports and questions will help other people too.

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