I was playing with my puppy, tossing her toys, watching her chase one down, grabbing it with tiny jaws, shaking it fiercely from side to side, and then drop it to look at me as if to say, “what’s next?” So I toss another toy, and we begin again, such great fun. I wondered, what pulls her attention away from the immediate moment? I thought, she’s different than me, she’s almost always present, but motion and change keep her interested, for without that stimulation, she curls up and goes to sleep.
But what keeps my interest? Of course, I notice that the urge to want something, a feeling to fill what is felt to be missing, does keep me focused on new thoughts arising in new moments. But when I don’t have a desire in mind, sitting calmly, I’m wondering what pulls me away from the immediate ‘feel’ of the moment? It seems to be the continual movement of arising stimulus from the senses… increase or decrease of noise, movement in the field of vision, a sensation in my body, etc. And the reactive urge to name and narrate what is happening, seems to favor a direction of thought away from being present.
Like a baby or my puppy, motion seems to pull me away, and because I derive pleasure from playing with or knowing what sparks ‘my’ interest, I try to fix and narrow focus, as the open, ongoing play of moments pass unnoticed. What feels most ‘real’ is the degree of intimacy felt with experience, what is direct, without my sense of self-identity and separateness interceding in between.