The secret door to second wind phenomena is to ‘let it happen and go with it when it does’.
There is a world of difference between making, or trying to make, something happen and asking for it to happen.
If you begin with the thought that ‘I will put my attention on this activity’, attention is immediately split into pieces…there is the ‘I’ that thinks (assumes) it is directing the doing; the sensation of efforting (involving various habitual muscle contractions) that supports the idea that the right stuff is being done; the activity that is being attended to; and an evaluator who tries to figure out how you (or he) is doing. In this division there is very little chance of second wind phenomena.
How to clean up the mess?
The problem is that wrong intention has placed ‘me’ at the center of things where I do not do well. Generally speaking, humans are good participants but poor commanders. Much is gained by agreeing to see that the center is elsewhere.
What would right intention look like?
If I become unselfconsciously ‘interested’ in something, I may find that attention naturally continues to be absorbed in it. But without intention, I may become habitual and unconscious altogether. The beauty of the activity is lost and so is my participation in it. As one of my teachers once said: “The blessing of life is in the consciousness of the blessing.”
What is intent anyway? Is it not a sense of direction or a feeling of orientation, a right connection to the context and meaning of my actions? Surely it’s not the little voice in my head telling ‘me’ what to do next.
So, I conceive the idea that I wish to ask for attention to attend to my sensations. I wish to be the object of attention. I invoke attention. Not my attention; I don’t want the responsibility and I don’t want it limited to me. There is attention. I call it. I sense it when it arises because that’s one of the things attention does…it lights up sensation. It’s a magic, magnetic bridge connecting me to my experience of the rest of the universe. It simultaneously touches much more than I can think about and it does so immediately, not sequentially in time.
Attention does the work. Yes, it has taken the suggestion of the voice or thought that has called it. But it is very capable of then proceeding to be attentive. When it is allowed to do so, it enters the second wind of attention which has continuity without effort.
I can say something about the experience of this second wind of attention, at least for me. My body is more alert but also more relaxed. The meridians seem to itch and light up; I sense myself in quite a different way, a more alive way. There is a sensation of increased energy and a feeling of being more conscious and in the present. I seem to slip in and out of a space of no thought, where attention is attentive to itself.
Can I release attention to do the work of attention, without constant interference?