It can be said that life is a balancing act. Where you focus your attention makes a significant difference to keeping your balance.
For instance, a British MP resigned this weekend because he got caught watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons… twice.
He says the first time it happened was accidental. While looking for a site about tractors a porn site just happened to present itself and he watched it for a bit.
Hold on a minute. Over the years, I’ve done plenty of research for sites on the web, and a porn site has never come up. Why? Because there’s no algorithm out there concerning pornography that’s applicable to my online tendencies. So I regret to say that the MP’s disingenuous excuse holds about as much water as a brown paper parcel.
Then he says that, again while in the House of Commons, in “a moment of madness,” he visited the porn site a second time.
Maybe this quote from Sherry Turkle, professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, can explain why the 65-year-old, now former politician, experienced that moment of madness.
The brain rewires itself depending on how attention is allocated.
The man’s story is an unfortunate illustration of the importance of attention.
What do you focus on? How bad things are? Then you’re priming your brain to make you aware in the future of how bad things are. And of course the reverse is also true. When you focus on how good life is, you’re programming yourself for a fulfilling life experience.
This is why I’m not a fan of frequently listening to, watching, or reading the news. Especially first thing in the morning when you wake, or last thing at night just before you fall asleep. Your conscious mind is not fully active at these times, so your filters aren’t as functional as usual. That leaves your subconscious mind vulnerable, because it absorbs unquestioningly anything you hear or feel because of giving your attention to bad news.
Far better to pay attention to something positive at these threshold times, like music, journaling, positive reading matter, exercise, gratitude, meditation, spiritual practice.
When I first became acquainted with Professor Turkle’s statement I immediately thought of the Gohonzon, the sacred scroll that SGI members focus on while chanting. Buddhist practice comprises doing this twice a day, every day, similar to the way that the sun rises in the morning and then sets in the evening. This means allocating regular attention to the blueprint of the practitioner’s own Buddha nature, with every human life state included, in perfect balance.
In my experience, it’s a brilliant way to rewire your brain!