How to develop the constant attention

First it should be stressed that maintaining instinctive constant attention requires great skill and is not something that can be done in a few days, it is a continuous increase over long periods.

To develop this kind of scenarios processing (typical of animals) we need a bit ‘of “sacrifice”, we must force our mind to do something similar to what we do when we learn to drive a car, to walk, to ride a bike (and so on); in a few words we will have to do rationally what, later, we will do instinctively.

So let’s see what we have to do to “calibrate” our attention on a constant level of acceptable effectiveness:

  • Learn to watch / listen to what is happening around us (from people’s faces to wind direction)
  • Have experience of single sensory perception (distinguish one sound / light / etc. at a time)
  • Start from silent / desolate places giving meaning to every rustle / crunch / movement / smell / etc.
  • Have experience of overall sensory perception (transpose everything without focusing on anything)
  • Reach gradually the ability to instinctively analize a very crowded area
  • Learn to distinguish individual meaningless events (eg. a rustling in the night) from concatenated and consistent sequences of suspicious events (eg. the sound sequence that identify the steps of a stranger in our house)
  • Create in our minds terms of comparison to immediately assess things like intensity of light / sound, distances, elevation changes, etc.
  • Make the most of every concept / experience negative / positive by adding it to our know-how

At first it will be difficult to remain calm, to listen to everything, to separate the stimulations and to process them (without being distracted or changing attitude) but if we make of this method a kind of “lifestyle” we will be able not only to master the technique but also to expand surprisingly our ability to concentrate.

That said, it is pointless to repeat that:

  • Not even the constant attention puts us safe from the myriad of possible unforeseen situations
  • Not even the best senses of the best mind of the world will be able to listen to everything (there’s always something that we are missing)
  • No way we can have full control of what is outside of our mind
  • Even in the most reckless of the lives, the moments of real danger always represents a tiny percentage than the quiet ones
  • As it is useful to be cautious, from the other side it is not worth it to pollute the good / neutral times imagining constantly the most negative ones

Later we will see specific exercises to train the constant attention (for each sense, for each of the most important abilities).

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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