Tag Archive | Daniel Goleman

The four steps in the dance of #mindful attention

In a little article on the Mindful website recently Daniel Goleman highlighted the dance steps of the mind in most meditations: focusing our attention, the mind wandering, noticing that the mind has wandered and what it has wandered to, and removing it from where it has got attached and returning to your focus of attention. Daniiel Goleman points out that there are four things going on in this dance : focused attention, mind wandering, meta-awareness which notices your mind has wandered and detaching from where the mind has wandered and bringing it back.

I noticed that the four steps of the dance began with four letters that make a mnemonic of two parts, F.M. & M.D.

  • Focused Attention
  • Mind wandering
  • Meta-Awareness which notices your mind has wandered
  • Detaching from where the mind has wandered and bringing it back

I don’t know what these two sets of initials bring to mind for you? Reflect on them a moment. What they bring to mind for me is this.

F.M. I associate with radio stations and tuning in to them. So the steps of Focused Attention and Mind Wandering are about tuning in and out from the frequency of our focus. What is fascinating about Daniel Goleman’s article is that he points out each of these steps involves a different circuitry in our brain.

M.D. I associate with Doctors and healing, a Doctor of Medicine. The healing of our minds and re-sculpting of our brains occurs through these steps of the dance of attention.

The point of the mnemonic is simply to help us remember the four steps of the healing dance of attention. Launch that boat of attention and begin to dance in the sea of awareness.