Preliminary Exercise #3: Focus on a Specific Aspect of an Object
Choose a small object at random. Preferably, it is one that is small enough to hold in your hand. Choose one aspect about this object which you are going to focus on. If the object you chose is a soda can, an example of something to focus on is the material of the soda can.
You want to hold the thought and the feeling of the material of the soda can or other object in your mind but nothing else for a period of 5 minutes. You want to try to avoid breaks in focus during this exercise. Examples of breaks in focus include:
1. Not being mindful of your mental state (discussed in the second preliminary exercise in more detail)
2. Daydreaming or otherwise becoming distracted or not thinking about the object.
3. Thinking about how you have to think about the object.
4. Forgetting to imagine the feeling of the material for any period of time.
You should work on this exercise until you have less than 3 breaks in focus for the entire 5 minutes. After you have mastered this, you should increase the time to 10 minutes and redo the exercise. After you have mastered 8 minutes with less than 3 breaks in focus, you can proceed to the next exercise.
Remember to record everything in your journal.