Questioner: My question is what means focus to you and which way we can apply focus in our daily lives? So, what’s your definition of focus?
Sadhguru: Ok. There are many ways to describe this word. Instead of saying focus, if you use the word attention – would you agree that attention and focus are about the same. You think? There is a little difference. There are nuances to it. But, when you say focus, it’s just like focusing a light on something means – only – a focus is always a spot. Attention can be much more widespread.
See, right now, if you have clear vision – I’m having problem seeing the young man, because you kept him in darkness there in the hall. But, if the hall was well lit – I don’t have to focus myself to see the people who are sitting here. I just need attention. If I’m attentive, I will see all the people here, the way they are. But now I get interested in this one young man, then I need focus. If I had only focus, without the general attention about everything around me, indiscriminate attention I’m talking about. Attention, not even about something. Just being attentive, because, only because there is a certain level of attention and awareness within you, you even know that you even exist. Otherwise, let’s say in sleep, in your experience neither the world exists, nor you exist. All that’s happened is, there is no attention. Because there is no attention, there is no perception of any kind.
So, first thing is attention, that there is a general grasp of everything. Then there is a particular interest. Then we focus it down to that particular interest. So, what is the purpose, or what is the definition of focus? What is the use of focus? Where can focus get us? We are focusing on something only because our attention is not keen enough. If our attention was very keen, you would not need to focus on anything.
In the Yogic system, we have, what is called as ‘dashavadanis’, ‘shatavadanis’
In the Yogic system, we have, what is called as ‘dashavadanis’, ‘shatavadanis’. What this means is, a man will do ten things at the same time. Another man will do hundred things at the same time. This is, he will, he will articulate a particular musical raga. At the same time, he will calculate a very complex arithmetic problem. At the same time, he will write poetry. At the same time, like this, he will do ten things, or one hundred things. There are people like this. You can either use that to just be a stage performer, or you can just use it in your life. You are an entrepreneur.
It’s very important, if you are walking on the street, you are able to see something that most other people can not see. That is when you become a leader. Because you are able to see things – others are yet to see. That is when you take up a leadership position. Because essentially leadership means, you are in a perch. Once you are on a perch, you must see better than others. So, attention is that dimension which will put you on that perch.
If your attention, if your attention has to be very keen about everything, then you should stop discriminating
If your attention, if your attention has to be very keen about everything, then you should stop discriminating – in terms of – I like this person, I don’t like this person, this is good, this is bad, this is nice, this is not nice, this is useful, this is not useful. If you do not make any kind of discrimination, you just work on your attention. Not about being attentive about something. Just being super attentive – not about anything. See, right now if you increase the voltage in this hall, where you are sitting – when light comes on – light is not thinking in terms of whom should I focus on. When light comes on, everything that is there in that room will be seen.
This is important. This is a very important aspect of yogic process is – that we go on working on our attention. That we keep on keying up our attention to a higher and higher level. A higher and higher voltage and. intensity. Now, we don’t encourage focus, because focus means consolidate all that attention and put it on one person. Suppose you invested your entire focus on one spot, and you found nothing worthwhile in that spot – what will you do at the end of your life? This is what is happening to most lives. Now, you just work on making your attention itself so keen, that even if somebody focuses on something, they won’t be that keen. If your attention is that keen, you won’t miss a thing in this universe.
Now, when you don’t miss a thing, everybody thinks you are some kind of a superhuman being. No – no – no, this is not about being superhuman. This is about realising, being human itself is super. So, if you cultivate your attention, there are – we can give you very dynamic processes through which you can scale up your attention to a higher and higher level. How clearly you see determines how successfully you walk this life – there is no question about it. How much lack of clarity there is in you – that much blundering you will do in your life. Simply there is no question about this.
How clearly you see determines how successfully you walk this life
So, if one has to get – first of all – work towards cultivating this attention – first thing is, you stop your sense of discriminatory looking. That – you don’t look at this person – oh, this is a man, this is a woman, this is dog, this is this, this is that – simply pay attention without any judgement. If you just pay attention, to anything and everything, without any judgement – you will see – if you just pay attention to an ant – there are phenomenal things. You are in Germany – who knows, if you pay enough attention to an ant, you may come up with the best automobile on the planet. Because, I have not seen any machine moving with as much dexterity as an ant moves. But, I think, nobody has paid enough attention to an ant.
So, attention – raising the bar of attention is more important than focus. For immediate purposes, if you need to focus on something, you can. But right now, you can do a simple experiment – if you sit with your face slightly upturned like this, and close your eyes – you will see, naturally there will be a focus between your eyebrows. But, you can be conscious of many things – people around you, your breath, the sensations in your body. You can be conscious of everything, and still be focused.
So, attention – raising the bar of attention is more important than focus.
So, mental focus is a limited possibility. But, the attention, enhancement of attention, ultimately delivers you to a space, where you become conscious. Or, in other people’s words, super conscious. It’s just conscious, but people think you are super conscious. Because of this, you grasp everything as it is. The most important thing about this is – that your mind is not functioning like a prison – distorting things, and creating designs where they don’t exist. Your mind has become like a plain mirror. It just shows everything just the way it is. Only when you see everything just the way it is, you will have the ability to handle everything sensibly. Otherwise, you make a mess out of many things. It is very important for an entrepreneur – because you don’t have a job.