Focus

Mar 17, 2023 | Virtues of the Heart

Those who read the Wingmakers material know that the term “Sovereign Integral” refers to the most advanced spiritual state a human can achieve while here on earth. This state culminates in the merging of the individuated consciousness (Sovereign) and the collective consciousness (Integral) as the being we are.

Seems like a lofty goal from where I’m standing, notwithstanding thinking about the end game (sometime in the future) is not a good strategy for realizing this state.

Focusing on the present moment is where the Sovereign Integral lives. It is already here now.

So why am I not aware of it?

“To realize the Self as the Sovereign Integral here, and express this consciousness while in the human instrument, requires that you focus the six heart virtues within your local universe – the passages of your life in which you physically move – and apply them ceaselessly.”

–James Mahu, Event Temples, Pg 24

When I read the above passage, the word “focus” gave me pause and stayed with me for quite a while.

Sometime later, I read the following:

“This paper is a way to see the Integral more clearly and appreciate its presence, but it requires one thing: We must be willing to focus. I know for many of us that is a difficult thing to do in the twenty-first century. However, if we want to understand the Sovereign Integral perspective to the point where it is in our step, in our eyes, in our words, in our touch, in our tone, in our thoughts; it will require focus, as this is neither a simple or
short bridge to cross.”

–Sovereign Integral Paper, pg 31, p 62

While reading the above in the Sovereign Integral Paper, the word focus caught my attention again, but this time it jumped off the page and demanded that I stop and take notice.

It was like an inner alarm going off coupled with a strong feeling of excitement and an intuitive urging to look deeper at focus and its importance as it applies to me.

When this happens, I pay attention; I like to think the universe is nudging me.

What does focus mean? In the examples cited above, they refer to paying attention to how I interact with my reality, particularly in the practice of the six heart virtues. This form of focus combined with intention is synonymous with being in the present with what is.

I had to ask myself how often I really focus on living and expressing the six heart virtues in my daily life. I may think about the virtues often, but how often do I really focus on the behavioral practice of expressing and receiving them?

Those close to me and who know my interest in the six heart virtues may say that I focus quite a lot, but I’m not so sure I do if I follow the arc of my daily activities.

I’m well aware that I tend to be hard on myself, so with that understanding, I wanted to take a fresh, honest look at my ability and consistency to focus. I’m always willing to take it to another level.

I meditate twice a day; this in itself is a practice of focusing, but it seems James is making a case that focusing is primary in “crossing this bridge” to use his analogy, and as he says, “the bridge is not simple nor short.”

Intention is set

My intention is to cross the bridge.

As an artist, when I’m involved in creating art, I can be so focused that I am unaware of time passing. I am not thinking; I’m just at one with the process of creating art. I am not thinking about the past or the future. I am totally focused on the activity in front of me. In other words, I am in the present moment with the intention of allowing creative expression to flow through me.

I understand the concept of focusing. But I know I get distracted more than I care to admit.

There is focus, and there is what I am focusing on, and there is an outcome.

Focus + practicing the six heart virtues + living the Sovereign Integral perspective = inviting the state of a Sovereign Integral into my conscious awareness.

Without focus, the other steps on the bridge will not be effective or even achievable. Focusing must come first, and be consistent throughout the journey. It is the means by which all sections of the bridge can be crossed.

Cross the bridge to the Sovereign Integral

How can I best learn or train myself to focus more, to be in the present moment?

In an earlier blog, I wrote about Remembering to Remember, which is challenging in itself when I am lost in thought. It applies here, also.

I find that it helps to make this fun and enjoyable. Can I open up to the universe to help me remember that focusing is not efforting? It’s not work.

Focusing is more about release rather than trying to do something or accomplish something. As children, we were all natural experts at this.

It’s not that I need something or must have something or get somewhere. I’m already living my life; it’s just that my focus is being hijacked.

The distractions I face daily are endless; emails, social media, news, and addictive videos, not to mention the constant steam of thought that runs through my head. The physical discomfort and pangs of hunger constantly vie for my attention. These are all ego/mind distractions that keep me from focusing on the present moment.

Focusing begins with noticing what is happening right now (noticing any or all of the above) and having the awareness to ask, “what is happening now?” It is always obvious when I am distracted by countless mind-numbing activities, lost in thought, fighting imaginary foes, judging others, or frozen in fear of the unknown.

Focus, on the other hand, is relaxing, quiet, peaceful, timeless and empty of thought. Yet it can be very creative, active, thrilling, and dynamic, as in my creation of art, but it can also be the same with any activity. We see it by just watching a child play. It is far from passive.

When I am in the moment focusing, I am in a realm of heightened creativity.

Situational awareness is activated and allows me to recognize and utilize the energetics of the six heart virtues and then apply them to the present moment activities.

If I can achieve the same level of focus that I have when doing my art, then anything I do would be a richer experience because I would be fully engaged without the distraction of meaningless thoughts.

The practice becomes: noticing when I am distracted, I pause or relax, then I focus on being present with what is. It does not matter what the “what is” is; what matters is that I am completely focused on it.

A small moment, a big step

This happens in the simplest ways; a few days ago, I was reading a book, and I realized that I had read a paragraph and I had no idea what I had read. I started again, but the same thing happened. I started again, but this time I was more focused, and that is when I noticed that I was being triggered into thoughts unrelated to the book content. My mind was actively thinking about other things. It was out of control and distracting my reading. This is a perfect example of living unfocused.

I had to stop for a moment; I took notice of what was happening in my inner world, which in itself, is an act of becoming present with what is. This opens up space. In other words, the thinking is seen, acknowledged, and released.

As I (the observer) become more present, I visualize my heart and allow any of the virtues to enter that space. Compassion, humility, and understanding appeared more as feelings; this gave me a sense of peace and heightened alertness. This enabled me to continue reading in a more focused, receptive, open, and engaged state.

It may seem like an insignificant example, but never-the-less, these small acts of focusing adds up to a more engaging intentional life experience. This better enables me to handle the big moments as they come up and they will.

With a dash of appreciation, humility, and compassion, I know there will be no shortage of opportunities to practice being focused!

The universe shows me what I need to see¬–not sometimes–all the time!

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