Shaila Catherine’s book: Focused and Fearless: A Mediator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, rose to the top of my TBR pile. Shaila makes a good case for the word Concentration, a word that is undoubtedly a first cousin to the word Attention, one of our favorite words here at exploring the mystery


 According to Shaila, concentration brings with it a natural joy and this joy arises as the mind settles when absent of distraction. A concentrated mind, according to Shaila, is focused, unified, and stable, regardless of the conditions.

 Kayakers, she continues, are often enveloped in rapture even though their bodies are cramped in little boats and splashed by frigid water.


 Though I can fantasize about the joys of kayaking, in reality I want nothing to do with cramping my body in a little boat and being splashed by frigid water and maybe tipping over. I have however been thinking about kayaking since I saw the above picture of my friend and favorite nurse practitioner, Lisa Kamphuis.

 I called Lisa and she graciously took time to talk to me at the end of her busy day. I asked Lisa to tell me about concentrating when she is in a kayak. She said she concentrates on the physical surroundings, the smells and sounds and the paddles – and how the kayak is moving.

Lisa also wanted to talk about how she concentrates at her office, sitting across from a patient trying to find a solution to the problem they brought her by concentrating on the whole picture.

Thank you Lisa! If you want to contact her, her informationfollows this question: When do YOU concentrate?


4507 Forest Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311

515 243 6309


One response

  1. I love kayaking, Nicky! It doesn’t really feel cramped to me–more like cozy. And I find that unless the waters are rough, it is more of a meditative experience than one where I deeply concentrate. The beauty around me is like a blanket.
    I concentrate most when learning something new that’s challenging or, like Lisa, when listening to a friend who is struggling with something.

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