It takes a while to learn how to use forceful, uninterrupted attention to squeeze a subject down to the point where you can manipulate extremely subtle layers of consciousness. That’s why you have to sit around meditating for a few years.
You’ll go through a period of time where you experience interrupted attention. One moment you’ll be experiencing uninterrupted attention and then you’ll touch a place and a huge throb of karma will release all kinds of wild emotions, and your attention will fly off in nine different directions. This is a typical experience when you’re going through a phase of strong purification. Sometimes the blast of purification will be so strong that a couple of days will go by before you’ll say, Wow, what happened? I was doing this and now I’m doing this and I don’t remember changing.” Then you bring your mind back onto the object of your attention and you continue to squeeze it.
Once you fasten on to your thread you have to learn how to use forceful attention to hold the line; lots of details must be accounted for at the level of thought, mind, speech, and action until an uninterrupted chain of attention is fulfilled.
It’s the same thing with everyday life. If you want to get anything accomplished in this world you have to clearly discern what it is that you want to do and pursue it in an uninterrupted, forceful line of attention and action. People who’ve mastered uninterrupted attention seem to be able to accomplish anything in life; whatever it is they want to get done, gets done. On the other hand, people who are easily diverted and interrupted can make a thousand great starts but just a short way down the road they wander off the path unable to remember what they were doing.