How to use distraction to improve focus

Posted on May 5, 2011
Filed Under Magic, meditation | 2 Comments

Sometimes when I do my daily meditation, I turn on the TV or music and play it in the background where I can see or hear it. And then I do my meditation, using the distractions as a way to focus my mind. You wouldn’t think it would work, because it is a distraction, but it does work, because I use the distraction as a focusing tool to help my improve my discipline.

Anyone can meditate in a quiet room with nothing going on around them. Admittedly, the distraction then might be the monkey mind chattering away, and it is a potent distraction, but sometimes I find that external distractions are even harder to silence, as it were, because they grab the monkey mind’s attention and get it chattering about the distraction.

That’s the whole point of having active distractions going on. It forces you to focus or get lost in the distraction. I see meditation as not just a practice to calm my mind, or even focus it, but also as a discipline tool for any kind of magical work I do, and since magic doesn’t always occur in the confines of a quiet room, it can be very useful to create an environment where you might need to do some magic.

Its the same reason I’ll sometimes meditate near a busy street or in a park where people are playing. Learning how to tune out the distractions is an important skill all occultists to cultivate. When your dealing with the chaos of people around you, or a TV or video game playing it forces you to sharpen your mind, to pay more attention to what you are doing. And that’s something we need to do. When we start to take what we’re doing for granted, we get sloppy. But if you have to focus all of your attention on what you are doing because of a distraction, it causes you to appreciate anew what it is you are doing and why you’re doing it.

So next time you do your daily ritual, do it with a television on, or an obnoxious song playing. Do it where other people are doing things. Use it to focus you on what you are doing. Everything else is just an illusion in the background. All that really exists is you and the magic.



Not just in magic or meditation, but in all of life we can choose to bring all of the experience into "our" experience and work. Doing so moves it from the enemy realm to becoming an ally in support of us and what we are doing. Although in many cases it may come and be experienced as a very thorny and harsh bringer of a teaching or learning.

Excellent point Mikhael!