Mental energy is finite, and our mind is diminished in direct proportion to how much its attention is fractured. The problem is not so much attention deficit as it is attention dispersion, when the available attention is spread thin……Concentration practice……consists of gathering together and placing the mind upon an object of the senses, or upon a mental object. We do this reflexively all the time, but in practice we are invited to do it with deliberate intention, with sustained energy, and with consistency over multiple mind moments. It is natural for the mind to resist such discipline and to wander off to any aspect of experience that is new, unusual, or apparently more interesting. Early humans did not survive in nature by ignoring incoming stimuli; like birds or chipmunks, we are more accustomed to glancing around constantly, attentive to both threat and opportunity. But most of us no longer live in a hostile natural environment, and the threats that confront us are usually manufactured by our minds. Cultivating mental focus, consistently returning to a primary object, and settling into ever-deeper states of tranquility helps to gradually reign in the mind’s wandering in a way that consolidates the power of awareness.
Andrew Olendzki, Busy Signal, How multitasking leads to Ignorance