A life dedicated to service...

Week 49: eight seconds

We humans have many frailties.

“One of them is called novelty bias. It means our brains are suckers for the new, making us twig helplessly to Facebook notifications and the buzz of incoming e-mail” for instance. [1]

We have an attention span of a goldfish.

“A goldfish is believed to have a nine-second attention span on average. Our attention spans have fallen from an average of 12 seconds in 2000 to just eight seconds in 2015.” [2]

A mere eight seconds and – swosh! – the mind’s off, looking for, attaching to, worrying about, indulging in something new. Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side. Or maybe not. What grass?

See the squirrel?

Want to see how that works for you, right now — without judging, merely investigating? Below’s a three-minute guided meditation with a bell to indicate beginning and end.

Find yourself a quiet place to sit or lie down, with your eyes open or partially closed, your posture relaxed and alert. This is not a contest: simply focus on your breath and when your mind wanders return to the task.

And now without words, just the bells:

[1] Globe&Mail; [2] National Post; image by Ian McIntyre

About the Author
Peter lives in Victoria, BC, where he volunteers in health-care. teaches mindfulness meditation, and offers end-of-life care.

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