Attention fluctuates. Get used to it!
The brain is never truly 'at rest'. Or 'still'. But it can be managed more efficiently.
Maintaining a semblance of control over the turbulent contents of a restless mind is a key discipline to embrace! As I talked about, the brain is highly creative, it loves to churn out ideas, mull over information, revel in splashing the paint in it's toolbox all over the surroundings!
A really useful skill is to recognise that you can be a custodian over this process. A curator if you like, of the ideas that pour forth.
When you are in your 'White Room', you can learn to become a more competent facilitator of the curation process. To marshall the unbounded creativity by imposing some restrictions....
When in a 'default mode' state, the mind will follow it's own path, like a runaway train careering off into the distance, zig-zagging here and there without a 'driver' at the wheel. The act of remaining mindful, attempting to defocus and 'clear' the mind as described earlier, can help significantly in this regard. Lifelong practitioners of meditation may still admit to finding it a tricky process to master, and acknowledge that indeed attention does fluctuate. But then that's the point of the exercise. Consider the following approach to work with this fluctuating tendency and use it to 'curate' the thoughts that spill through the 'gate'.
'Stilling the mind' is an act that is doomed to failure in many ways. To eradicate all thoughts, from a thinking machine! Part of mindfulness training is to simply observe the thoughts which 'do' arise, to catch your mind as it embarks on a train of such thought. Inevitably we get swept up on that train ride before we attempt to 'jump off' and start again. Instead let us set our 'task' as a gatekeeper who monitors the thoughts that seek to break out from the enclosure that has been constructed to contain them. Attempt to suppress ALL thought, but do use this opportunity to observe as particularly crafty thoughts seek to 'sneak' through and past the gatekeeper. For as long as these are not destructive thoughts that undermine the 'establishment', the chances are they are thoughts which exhibit the positive traits of the creative, the tenacious, the maverick. In effect the 'gatekeeper' sensibility is striving to select the ideas which can have impact, that drive and motivate, and bring something new to the table. This is something of a 'blind eye' approach with one rule for the masses and a leniency towards the individuals that possess the traits you wish to foster...
To be in a 'default mode' state (i.e. just 'resting' with no attempt to suppress your mental content) and simply hope that a creative idea comes boldly striding through is wishful thinking. There's too much noise. Instead it is vital to attempt to suppress that noise across the board, to suppress ALL thought, but to be mindful of the ideas, the maverick thoughts that have sufficient tenacity to still try and climb over the wall, stealthily crawl past the gatehouse. These are the ideas worth 'letting in'! Without that tension created by attempted suppression of thought the special thoughts may not 'get through'. By clearing out the 'clutter', the important stuff will emerge. So work with the fluctuating tendency of attention, use it to weed out the noise. Nurture your creativity!
Here is where I synthesise my Adventure Psychology approach based on my extensive adventure travel and pursuits experiences, more than two decades of applied psychological research, and my association and work with extreme sports practitioners. My philosophy can be boiled down to a simple premise (as elaborated on in Science section): a 'task-focused' mindset is key to achieve success! What gets in the way of this is 'self' Through a deep understanding of how the brain 'works' it is possible to refocus attention, use 'self-control' and engage with the world in a more efficient manner to achieve goals. I offer insights and techniques backed up with cutting edge science and practical knowledge, studying optimal performers to ensure insights are based on real evidence!