Re: Making the Most of What We Have
Thu, 20 May 1999 09:40:11 -0600

David Lubkin wrote:

"I'm curious about the "return on investment" in improving your current
mental, sensory, or physical abilities with currently available techniques."

Is it worth it, in other words, to spend time and effort improving those abilities? That brings up a very fundamental question about what is truly of value. In my value system, quality of living, in terms of the quality of everyday experiences is of the highest value.

Because of the time I have spent improving my senses, my sensory world is much sharper and more detailed. All my senses seem far more intense to me than before. I go for walks now, and details that I never noticed before stand out with no effort, such as vein patterns on the leaves of bushes and trees or the texture of the sidewalk. Everything is so sharp and so clear, and the quality of each experience is far better than before I started working on this.

Because the basic technique is about learning to pay more attention to the senses, my capacity for paying attention has become much greater. Because I have spent so much time focused on paying attention to the current moment, the current moment, with its complexity of experience has become my main reality, whereas before I tended to be focused more on abstract thinking, and I usually only noticed a very limited number of features of any experience.

The discipline I have followed seems to have sped up my ability to process sensory information, because I consciously process much more of it per unit of time than I used to, and my sense of time keeps getting more stretched out and each unit of time seems longer and longer to me.

I realize that I will always experience reality one moment at a time, so my goal has been to learn to take advantage of each moment as fully as I can. Because I am so alert to each moment, I notice all kinds of things very quickly that other people seem to ignore. I notice subtle clues in people's body movements and facial expressions that reveal things they do not realize they are giving away. I watch everything carefully, and I learn as much as I can from each moment.

I'm also a "security freak", and I like to be intently aware of my surroundings. When I go for walks, I am able to scan every person, vehicle, possible hiding places, etc. very quickly and assess their potential danger to me. Because of the training I have given myself, I can do this quite effortlessly and tirelessly and automatically.

My training has also made it easier for me to learn new skills. When I watch others do things, I watch very intently, and I pay attention to their exact motions and learn very quickly. When I practice learning something, I pay very close attention, and the intense feedback speeds the learning process.

The advantages that come from the sort of training I have pursued for the past few years are quite incredible and quite enjoyable. From my perspective, my quality of living is extremely high because each moment is so incredibly rich and fascinating.

The training has also been very helpful in improving the quality of my mental life, since the mind is so sensitive to feedback about itself. The more I pay attention to the reality of each moment, including my own thinking, the more aware I am of things I do and think that are not really in my best interest, and the faster I can change my thinking and my behavior.

The quality of thinking I experience now is much greater than I used to experience. Because I am so focused on the present moment of experience and thought, I am much more aware of the more subtle aspects of my thinking. I pay more attention to all the thoughts and memories that my experiences trigger. Each thought triggers many other thoughts and memories, and I simply watch the whole process.

The act of paying attention to the process of the mind is the mind's way of getting feedback on itself. The mind watches itself and learns from itself. Thinking errors are noticed and discontinued. Promising creative thoughts are noticed and evaluated faster and developed faster into good ideas. Because of my stretched out sense of time, I feel that I have more time to carefully think about things when I make decisions. Because I am so alert to my own mind, I understand my thinking and my motives much better than before.

Improving physical abilities was mentioned also, but I would rather discuss this topic later, since the techniques I use require lots of explanation, and I am not adequately prepared to present my techniques at this point. But I will say that I have explored and extended the capabilities of my body considerably, in terms of strength, agility, dexterity, efficiency of movement, accuracy of movement, speed of movement, etc.

I will present more of the techniques and approaches I have found helpful in my own training, but this is enough for now.

Thank you for your attention.

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