Re: Improving Concentration

Anders Sandberg (
22 May 1998 23:33:03 +0200

"Christian Whitaker" <> writes:

> >The tension is likely necessary to keep the awareness high; if it
> >falters and begins to move towards relaxation (which tends to decrease
> >awareness as we slip into normal rest/sleep) we get a mechanical
> >response (sagging back, a sudden touch as the fingers move or the need
> >to realign the posture) that alerts us to this.
> >
> In Zen monasteries, masters facilitate this process. Whenever they
> observe a meditating monk is losing concentration and posture, the
> master delivers a smack with a wooden stick.

I have also been thinking of the many zen koans that describe how
masters hit their students with the stick after one of them had
uttered or done something profound. My explanation is that the
surprise and pain triggers an adrenaline reaction, making memory
encoding more efficient :-)

> >> Martial art can even be seen as medtation occuring in the
> >> stressing environment of fight!
> Some skilled martial artists will occasionally go into brief moments of
> transcendence during combat, essentially amnesiatic fugues in which the
> body carries on its tasks without conscious awareness.

Or rather, the awareness is disconnected from the actual tasks. This
is also common in crisis situations; "He felt there was somebody else
fighting" etc. Some form of dissociation, might be very useful.

> The increase in pure intellect you seek may
> be found fluctuation around the transcendental moments of pure
> meditation.

Spontaneous symmetry breaking?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y