During my sit today, I wanted to see if I could fully concentrate on just one breath without any distraction… I don’t think I did.
Maybe one or two throughout the whole 30 min session.
Distractions (gross and subtle) were rampant: sounds, sights (my eyes were open to help with sleepiness – it was early), images, thoughts, feelings, etc. continued to pull at me and I often followed them. My attention had to be constantly returned to the seemingly pointless hope of paying attention to just one breath!…
It was the best sit I’ve had in a while.
No big light show or anything, just good, solid practice.
The distractions I encountered seemed to function like a fire: if I gave them heat (my energy), oxygen (my attention), and fuel (my elaboration or intention to ‘know’), they thrived (the train of thought proliferated); if I didn’t, they withered and blew away.
At one point fairly early on, a spontaneous phrase entered my mind: “Listen to Nibbana“… not a word I ‘claim’ at all, but I took it as something like the “Silence” of Awareness that underpins and may fill the emptiness of self-insight. There was a brief moment of peace and clarity with this.