Working With Your Attention
Our most popular distance learning program is beginning on April 1! Working with your Attention, conducted by Gregg Krech, offers an ingenious way of enhancing mindfulness, a creative way of solving problems, and a powerful way of revitalizing your life.
If you have never done this program before, we wholeheartedly encourage you to try it out. We know of no other program like this! Gregg Krech has done an extraordinary job of translating the theme of mindfulness into very practical and powerful exercises that can make a real difference in how you live and how you experience life.
And if you have done this program before, you know how good it is! We have many alumni with us this time around. Please join us, whether for the first time or the fifth!
“Your experience of life is not based on your life,
but on what you pay attention to.” -- Gregg Krech
How does the program work?
This program will provide you with the tools, structure and support to develop greater mindfulness in your day to day life. You will have an attention exercise to work with each and every day of the month. This practice will give you an opportunity to develop new habits of attention, which can revitalize your experience in the world. You will have support materials to study and enjoy, including the CD, Life is a Matter of Attention by Gregg Krech. And you will have the opportunity to interact with a global community of people who are also studying and exploring the issue of attention in their lives.
Why is this so important?
We suffer needlessly when we are self-absorbed, when we ruminate and become self-preoccupied with our problems, worries and regrets. Rather than enjoying and engaging with the world around us, many of us have a tendency to direct our attention to our own private internal experience. That is when our feelings, such as anxiety and depression, can get the upper hand. That is when we can lose our vitality and our appreciation of the world we are part of. There are also countless practical benefits to developing mindfulness that can help us to become more efficient, competent and successful. And then there’s just the joy that arises when we activate our senses and engage fully with the world. That’s when we feel most alive!
What does the program include?
1. Daily Attention Exercises.
The daily exercises are diverse, each one designed to awaken us from our complacency and to shed light on that which we might tend to overlook or disregard. They touch on all areas of our lives, awakening our senses, touching on relationships, and giving us a chance to be present in a more full and engaged manner.
2. “Life is a Matter of Attention” CD by Gregg Krech.
This 90 minute CD set includes practical suggestions for addressing the following issues: Concentration, Self-Focused Attention, Misdirected Attention, Attention to Nature, Attention to Details, Multitasking Madness, The Three Enemies of Skillful Attention, Attention and Gratitude, Safety . . . and more!
3. Live Q&A Session.
Gregg will conduct an hour-long teleconference during April for course participants to think together about the challenges, rewards and strategies involved with cultivating mindfulness and enhancing focus in daily life.
4. Interactive Online Forum.
The online discussion is a venue of communication for all who are involved with the course. Participants and instructors will engage together in a thought-provoking discussion about the process of developing mindfulness. Gregg Krech will post inspiring quotes, references, and reflections throughout the month.
5. Selected readings.
The program includes selected readings from diverse authors on the theme of attention. Some resources are included in your program packet, along with the CD; others are provided online through the course website.
Some aspects of the material will be presented in video format.
Who is teaching the program?
Gregg Krech, the Founding Director of the ToDo Institute, will be teaching this program. Gregg has been studying, practicing and teaching Japanese Psychology for almost 25 years. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning book: Naikan: Gratitude, Grace & the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection (Stone Bridge Press, 2002) and A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness (ToDo Institute, 2012). He has been the editor of Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living, since its inception in 1992. Gregg’s work has been featured in a wide range of publications including the SUN magazine, SELF, Utne Reader, Fitness, Counseling Today, and Experience Life.
And you can register online here or by phone at 800-950-6034 or 802-453-4440.
Please join us as we wake up to the world around us.
Pay attention every time your hand lets go of something today. As you are letting go of your cup, pen, money or your partner’s hand, be there – notice exactly what is going on. Watch your hand as it places your glasses on the table. Be present to the moments in which your fingers are letting go. How does this “letting go” exercise impact on your treatment of these objects? How does it change your experience?
"I am slowing down, paying more attention to what I am doing, and doing less, thinking less, and touch things in a more real way. This attention course is defrosting me, bringing me more in the present with what is." --Donna
"In all, I would say this exercise let to a more gentler, if not appreciative, treatment of objects... I really felt more “grounded” in my experience. This turns out to be one of my favorite attention exercises so far. Thanks all"--Henry
The program's online discussion list is open only to class participants and allows you to share your experiences, ideas and comments related to the theme of attention. Many participants have found that the discussion enhances their daily efforts. The ideas, tips, challenges and successes that are shared on the list contribute to a sense of camaraderie amongst participants, provide an ongoing stream of real-life examples, and create a sense of shared purpose. As part of a larger learning community, each participant's efforts not only benefit their own life but also support those making a similar effort.
Member price: $78
Register at least 15 days before the start of the program to receive a $10 discount. ($83 for non-members; $68 for members).
Alumni Discount. If you have participated in this program in the past, you can receive a 50% alumni discount. (Overseas participants have additional shipping cost.)
What our Members Are Saying:
I had signed up for the "Working with your Attention" program expecting one result (to be able to remember where I put my keys and to listen more attentively) but had the most unexpected and wonderful result! I have long suffered from a conditioncalled trichotitlomania -- I pull my hair out. I've spent hundreds of dollars on hypnosis, researched the condition extensively, even considered drug therapy and psychiatry. Now, with one simple exercise from the program, "Letting Go," I have ceased this lifelong-condition, and the result was immediate. I haven't pulled in weeks and am confident I won't anymore. -- Christy Balfanz-Rice, MN
I have so enjoyed this month. I found that in relation to others that I am so much more compassionate. Also, I’ve been surprised by a fountain of gratitude about everything, that seems to arrive daily. I do know that paying attention is how I want to live, and that my “employment” is really to constantly call my mind back to this eternal now, that paying attention is really the birthplace of intuition, creativity, joy and peace. – L. Swazey, Juneau, AK
The online attention class was rewarding for me. I was feeling “swamped” in my life and it helped me focus, noticing my inner life and daily actions come to a more peaceful balance. The class gave me some tools to make more meaningful choices about what I would do on any given day. – A. Barker, Rhinebeck, NY
Connecting with like-minded people through the online discussion felt like we had a beautiful energy flowing around the globe. – S. Bresnihan, Toronto, Canada
I am still enjoying the practice of “just this, just now”. The month’s assignments really helped with a goal of spending less time daydreaming, and spending many more moments with full attention to right here, right now. - T. Augustine, Baltimore, MD
So far this course has made a significant difference in my life . . . on what would have been one of the worst days, that day was honestly one of the best days I have had in the past ten years. I felt that day like I did when I was a kid doing the things I loved. I enjoyed the cool ocean breeze and the beautiful country roads and ranches and the cows that came to visit my car when I pulled over to open the window and simply hear. Simply hearing was the best – just listening to the wind, the trees, occasional cars passing, sounds of living. Being present now for me also means seeing things as they really are and facing truths. Thank you. – G. Fletcher, Queens, NY
I have to say this program is helping me a great deal to stay focused as I finish my thesis and prepare for orals. The great part about the exercises is that they act like these mini-vacations from the stress of school. If I am focusing solely on doing my dishes or making a meal silently, it is hard to stress out about the future. Good stuff. – P. Phillips, Mexico
I took your “Paying Attention” course and wanted to say a big thank you! It made me aware of all the ways not paying attention influences my life, and mostly not for the better. I now eat my lunch at work while pointedly not doing anything else! I’m not sure it’s going to save the world or anything even half as grand as that, but it certainly has made a much bigger difference in my life than I would have predicted. Needless to say, I’m less scattered and more energetic when I return to my work. Thanks again! – Lisa Schaechter, CA
Credit toward certification. This program provides 16 credits toward Certification in Japanese Psychology. Those seeking credit need to submit a completed journal and a 1-2 page essay summarizing their experience in the program within 30 days of the program's completion. Further information about the ToDo Institute's certification process can be found here.
For more information on Attention and Japanese Psychology, read the article When It Comes to Attention, "I" am the Enemy.
Distance Learning Programs
Our distance learning programs are practice programs. The emphasis is on doing exercises and assignments and learning from your own experience. You should be prepared to devote an average of 30 minutes per day to the exercises and assignments. As part of a larger learning community, your training not only benefits you but also supports others who are making a similar effort.
The tuition cost is $78 per program for members and $93 for non-members; the cost for a couple registering together is $20 more. Tuition includes written materials and/or audio CD, calendar of assignments for the entire month, participation on the private mailing list for the course, shipping costs* and access to a program advisor throughout the month. There is an additional discount of $30 if you register for at least three programs in this series. Additional discounts are available for alumni (please call).
*internaltional paritcipants incur shipping cost to mail program materials.
Other Long-distance Learning Programs...
- A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness
- Living on Purpose
- Renewing Your Relationship
- Self-Reflection (Naikan)
- Taking Action
- Working With Attention
Who Are We?
The ToDo Institute is a non-profit educational center located nestled in the foothills of the Green mountains in central Vermont. We serve as a meeting place between east and west, where methods of Japanese Psychology blend with western culture to provide powerful tools for enhancing our lives. The applications of our work bridge the gap between the spiritual, the psychological and the practical. Facilitators for this distance learning program include Linda Anderson Krech, MSW and co-author of A Finger Pointing to the Moon: A Workbook for Establishing Direction and Focus in Daily Life.