Chanting Hare Krishna attentively is easy.
Wanting to chant Hare Krishna attentively is not so easy.
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Attention goes, and stays, wherever we put it. By its very nature, it goes wherever we will it to go. If this doesn’t sound like our experience, its likely we are hiding from and not admitting to our true wants and desires.
We can engage in exercises, disciplines, and techniques to help us tolerate and ignore our true wants and desires so that we can keep our attention focused on things we need to focus on (whether it’s meditation or whether it’s homework), but that is a very external, mechanical, artificial approach and will always be very limited and temporary in its success. The real, true, best way to improve our attentiveness to meditation/chanting is to increase our desire to attain the objective of the meditation/chanting, and increase our appreciation for the singular efficacy of the meditative/chanting/mystical process.
In more specific terms, the best thing we can do for our attentive meditation on Krishna-nāma is to deeply hear about Krishna (sambandha), about the process to attain Krishna (abhidheya), and about the result of attaining Krishna (prayojana). This is the purpose of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. If we aren’t a studious type (or for some reason don’t read Vraja Kishor’s exciting renditions of Bhāgavatam as Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive 😉 ) then we have to find the rare soul who does understand and appreciate Bhāgavatam deeply, and engage in deep conversation with that person, about it.
When we understand the value of Krishna, and we understand the unique power and importance of Krishna’s name as the means of attaining a realized connection to Krishna, then chanting Hare Krishna attentively is easy. As easy as eating ice cream.