Are there secrets that hide behind our eyes ? Perhaps so.
We enjoy a waterfall of input from our eyes on a regular basis. This overabundance overrides other input streams causing us to devote less time to our hearing, smell, taste and body sensation. A monochrome painting gives less input but allows us to see other aspects that would be lost otherwise.
Closed eyes release a great deal of mental bandwidth to process other flavors as the next suggestions suggest:
Start a constant sound (sometimes, owning a smart phone is good) place the sound in a static place and navigate the space according to the distance, angle and height of the sound.
Start a constant sound and have it moving in a repetitive way. A friend or a toy truck can be or service here. Repeat the navigation drill and let your mind and senses feel the path of the sound in space.
Find a quiet place. Not always an easy task and listen to your own breath and heart beat. Find your own sound reflected in the trees, walls or whatever is around you. Let your sound become a part of the surroundings and with breath, let it dissipate and grow more efficient.
Lie on the ground and crawl around a safe location. Find your way with your body and limbs and feel the different textures of the ground and what is around you. Let the temperature of the different materials tell you where you are and where the sun warms the surface and how. Let the smell and residue on the ground tell you again where you are. The same will work with your eyes open as the capability spans and grows with deep practice.
Breathe, move, communicate with yourself and others.
Games and stories are the best way to teach the young and non walking dead.
Here are a few ways to bring your child more into the moment and show that paying attention pays.
One more cat – Choose an animal like a cat or an object and see who calls it out faster and in greater amounts. You can have a cat counting contest or a broken pavement contest it matters only that we pay attention. Change what the object is from time to time as the seasons change (red leaf for example) and enjoy the extra awareness.
What is missing – Take a scene that is well known to everyone and remove one part. See who finds out what it is first and how. For example – take away the favorite picture off the wall and see if it is noticed.
Color blind – Things change color by season or man action. Note the changes the locals make in their yards and clothes, mark the changes in the leaves and trunk and mark the change in the skies and in the horizons.
Insects birds cats and dogs – Where you have insects making noises, you will not find birds, where you hear birds, you will not find cats and so on. Listen and predict what animals or people you will find about and learn a mighty lesson on rings of association.
Echo lines – There is a distance beneath which no echo is heard by us. Guess and match who finds the line of the echo in different places and ranges. There is a lot to learn about the three dimensional nature of waves thus.
The closing tap – A tune is made out of sound and silence. check who notices when the washing machine has ended its cycle, when do the birds finish their evening calls and gain the full range of the tune.
The lost ant – Hide a small paper clip inside clothes and see when it is detected, Place a plastic bottle cap under the sheets and see who is the true princess or just place an acorn on the ground and see who chooses to step lightly 🙂 The appreciation to touch goes beyond the fingertips.
The right key – Take objects that seem similar and close your eyes to pick the right one. It can be keys, clothes and anything that matches, your fingers and mind will connect past the oversight of the eyes and awaken even more.
The tower – Take very light objects like disposable plastic cups or clean ear cleaning sticks and build towers with them. aim to make them as gentle as possible to better understand the lightest touch.
Any movement and any activity can bring on new lessons and learning.
Here is a simple movement exercise and obstacles on the way to further the learning gained from them.
One can repeat a movement ten thousand times and learn nothing.
One can hone a movement ten thousand times and learn everything.
The smart gorilla drill:
Start by walking on your toes and fists.
Walk forward and back, Walk with your body slightly aimed to the side, Walk with your stomach to the floor and walk with your stomach to the skies, walk with your behind close to the ground and with it high in the air.
Now the learning begins.
Hone the breath – movement connection – Make it so each contact with the ground happens on an exhale so your body mechanics aid in keeping the contact contact and not impact.
Hone the touch – Make it so each contact is silent both on the outside in your ears and inside in your body so there is local increase in pressure on one joint or area.
Hone the eyes – Make it so you look around you with every movement and let the top of the spine articulate and limber under the pressure of the position.
Hone the mass – Make it so the center of the body shifts to better sway the limbs like a wave instead of ticking like a clock from placement to placement. Think of walking as swimming and it will make sense.
Hone the floatingcenter – Make it so a partner or more push and pull on you as you move on the ground. Shift your center of movement and move where you are free under the changing and surface conflicting vectors.
Our progress depends on our focus. Our focus depends on our purpose.
There are two great observation tools we have but we mostly point them toward the outside. Our ears and vibration sense throughout the body will grant us great insight on our emotions, reaction and movement if we just pay attention.
Start as you are still laying down to sleep. Feel your own pulse wherever it is easier to sense and with touch (the body responds with increased awareness where you press yourself with fingers or use muscle tension) extend the awareness to the pulse flow throughout the body.
Continue by closing your mouth if it is open and listen in to the voices of the breath through the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. Open your mouth only slightly and listen again. Keeping the mouth not closed and not open works best for your ears to pick up both inner and outer cues.
Breathe and sense and hear your breath moving your body even when prone. Feel and hear the wave of compression and decompression of the lungs and the rest of the body in turn.
Go inward by moving each joint at a time. Listen in to the sound of your skin moving, the joint and fluids that run through us hopefully and listen also to how the rest of the body align for each movement. We always try to accomodate ourselves and paying attention to it will free more inner space in movement and in thought.
Get up and start walking. Listen to your breath with each contact with the ground and let both contact and breath continue instead of being a clockwork human. Listen to the sound coming from your body and the ground as you make, shift and exit the contact and gain greater awareness in every sense.
Here are ways to increase your awareness without increasing the energy we put into it. It is easy to be super vigilant for a few seconds and then go back to sleep. Choose instead to grind the wheel a little bit each day. Keep your sword sharp or grow rust.
These are tweaks and small changes to everyday civil life. Take what suits you and make it your own. Do not let the darkness come. Take it in yourself.
Use less artificial light. Go to the washroom at night without turning on the light. Take the trash out without using the staircase light. Learn to see and feel with the light you have.
Listen with your feet. Object moving on the ground make vibrational footprints. Pay attention even when you have your boots or shoes on and you will gain sight beyond sight.
Smell your food but not just. Smelling your food give a head start to your stomach to produce what is needed to digest the incoming. Pay attention to cigarette smoke, to car smells within the car, Pay attention to flowers opening in the morning and shifts in people smells in seasons and in health and sickness.
Feel the air on your skin. Moving doors, birds and vehicles create streams of moving air. You can sit with your back to the door and still sense it open in the dark.
Attune before you open the door. People open doors with but a glance or look or even on automatic. Let yourself gather and listen to your senses and intuition each time you open a door. It will pay forward in some way.
Listen to the small voices. Everyone has intuition but not everyone listens to it. Hear the small hunches and voices among the larger voices of hunger and pain. The more you pay attention to, the less one voice controls you.
Look at the long run. We eat and forget, we try to catch the falling glass of the table and forget the firing of the less used nerves. Listen to the long run and pay attention to the reward and price of doing what you choose to do. Many times there will be no connection but sometimes will make this worth the weave of past, present and future together. Eventually it will be just a part of you as it was in youth.
See with your hands. The weight and texture of objects matter. Pressing a button that has warmed up due to electric resistance, feeling sweat on a door handle or the changed weight of a picked pocket. All these things are at your fingertips.
All the power in our bodies come out once punctured well. It is well illustrated in a crowd where we cannot pay attention to all individuals and must swim in streams of perceptions and assumptions.
We can grow as people from accepting and moving from this feeling of a small fish in the ocean. Step by step, we can open ourselves to our senses and clean our mind to work better in the great ocean of mankind.
Walk in a crowd and notice anyone carrying a bag or parcel. Once you are overwhelmed with quantity, create a sphere around you and try to see what is the size of sphere you can manage work this within. Change the rule of attention from time to time to clear your head from stiffness.
Walk in a crowd and notice anyone lacking a hat or any other item. Once you are overwhelmed with quantity, create a wide beam in front of you and try to see what is the size of beam you can manage to work this within.
Walk in a crowd and notice people headed for each other. Estimate where they meet and where they will go from their meeting place. Airports are both good and bad for this play J
Walk in a crowd and notice who is positive and who is negative in the crowd. Notice the general temperature of the crowd according to the composition and the direction it is going. Listen to your senses that tell you to stay or go in the location. They rely on airborne hormones, sight, smell and much more.
Walk in a crowd and notice the pattern of the moving people. See who is going somewhere and who is pacing or walking around waiting or lurking. Note where you line up in that perspective and who gives you more than a glance.
Walk in a crowd and do nothing special. Walk aimlessly and listen to your pulse and breath. switch from self attention to outer attention and notice how you accept and acclimate to the change. The change itself is a gate you can recognize outside of yourself as well.
Walk in a crowd and notice who is looking or listening to you. Mind reflective surfaces to look without creating line of sight and listen to the tempo of people walking. Do they change as you change ?
Step by step, we climb the stairs. Enjoy the road. There is no end to the climb.
Here are eight partner drills to build and hone your efficient and effective movement patterns. Don’t search for the key. Be the key maker.
walk and breathe continuously. Have a partner throw a ball at you as you walk. Your job is to move out of the way and intercept the ball in flight. Do not stop the ball in flight but add to its course so you spiral it back to the thrower. (you can have the thrower move too to keep your eye work more dynamic)
Lie on your stomach or back and close your eyes. Have a partner throw a ball in any direction and you have to get up and intercept the ball on one breath. Here place your attention on what you move first and how you get up in any direction.
Move continuously between laying on the ground and standing. Have a partner use a sharp object such as a nail or knife to push and pull against the movement and with continuous breathing move with the contact but stay on your own course. Don’t be brave. Be effective.
Tie a smooth rope between your ankles so you cannot extend past hip width. Have a partner push and pull on you from all sides. Your job is to move toward your partner where there is no pressure within this release-constraint TM 🙂
Take an plastic cup or another easily crush-able object in your hand. Use this hand to push and pull your partner in any of the previous drill and avoid placing any pressure on the object. You must contain your own frame dynamically to be effective on the long run.
Make sure the ground is safe and balance on the heels of your feet. Have your partner push and pull on you. Your job is to maintain the lowest amount of tension in your frame as you move with the release-constraint. Holding on to the ground is a habit and habits are either servants or slave makers. Let them go.
Tense your entire body and keep breathing. Have your partner push and pull you anywhere and from any angle. Your job is to choose where you start to move from and to let go of excess tension once you are touched. Everyone has fear and tension. Everyone can manage it once attention to the tension is there.
Walk with your partner at your side or moving freely around you. Focus on breathing continuously and let the building expectation release through the exhale. Have your partner jump on you whenever they wish. Release them into the ground and move on.
Technology is what we make of it. That is so simple that it goes unnoticed. Here are six uses for your smartphone to make your practice better.
Learning to gauge time – use the timer one various settings and perform a task from getting the garbage to the bin to doing X pushups. See if you can do it in the time you alloted yourself for the task and how close you were to the time.
Download a metronome app and play with rhythm. Learn to change your rhythm and work in various speeds and tempos. Learning to let go of just one tempo is key to learning to ride the wave.
Take a picture of something in front of you (not in the locker room) and watch the picture to note things you did not pay attention to when you looked at what you snapped a picture of. Repeat the drill and see if there is a pattern of things, colors and so on that is dormant to you.
Take a video of yourself (again, not in the locker room) moving though one of your regular patterns (walking, running, sitting down …) and watch yourself. Freeze the frame and see if you are bent, twisted and so on without need or if you use too much tension in holding the Dynamic Frame TM 🙂
Take a video or sound recordingof the street or nature around you and listen to it with closed eyes. Note what sounds you did not pay attention to when you recorded the video and note why and where it came from.
Open your camera app and place the finger on the picture button. Note a repeating occurrence such as a wave on the beach or a person exiting a building and learn to sync with the app to snap a picture at a particular time. Timing with what is around you is key to getting the job done, especially if you used to pull a trigger. The target can be the crest of the wave or exactly when the person touches his foot outside the building.