I saw a train wreck last Saturday on the way to Lotus Yoga. A car turned left in front of the light rail and the train tossed the car onto the northbound tracks. (No one was hurt.) By the time I crossed the street to see if the driver was okay, he was already out of the car on the phone to 911. He kept telling me, telling the 911 dispatcher, the light rail driver, the cops how stupid he was. Pretty soon the Columbia City Facebook page was full of people calling him stupid too.

Thing is, having talked to him, he clearly wasn't stupid at all. He'd been distracted, his attention wasn't where it should have been. Lost, looking for his daughter's marathon, he'd been looking at his GPS, not the "No Left Turn" sign or the train pulling out of the station.

Research I've read claims the mind can't really focus on multiple intense tasks at the same time. Multi-tasking often produces lower quality results. Somehow we still buy into it though.

One thing I've learned from yoga is that quality goes up when we just focus on one thing at a time. It doesn't mean that I manage to do that consistently, but I have a feel for the magic that happens when I can pull it off.

All those little picky details, the focal points, the breath, the meditation, they're just teaching us to focus, not to be distracted.
Seems like that's something we can all use more of.