Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Have the ability to concentrate like an Olympic champion

Warning: this is going to be a very long post, it will make sense if you read through it all, and there is an exercise at the end to help improve your concentration and subsequently relaxation.

Concentration, seen almost as a taboo people think that you either have great concentration abilities or you do not. I would like to address this, if you can not concentrate you will never complete anything, if you can not complete it will build up, and in the end you will be stressed out to the point that you could hurt yourself through exhaustion. I have tried to stay relaxed when stress levels build up by practicing techniques to eliminate it; however it is still at the back of your mind and will nag you until it is done.

I believe you can practice techniques for self discipline, concentration and focus, but what if you could take it to a new level, have control over yourself, have solid conviction to the point that when you decide to do something nothing on this earth can stop you; you could manipulate doubts until they no longer influence you.
Yes it is all possible but achieving that state of mindset is next to impossible (do not feel disillusioned) i am going to lay out the path for you i am also speaking from experience.
You can attain concentration it its most potent form, once achieved the side effect is relaxation and emptiness of the mind.

The mind is powerful even with constant research scientists have not yet found out how its power can be fully cultivated. The knowledge i am going to share is gong to sound ridiculous but it was the same with me until i gave it a go. The methods are exercises from a book called Concentration a guide to mental mastery by Mouni sadhu. A word of warning first, this is not your normal route to relaxation, i repeat this is not what i normally advocate, try this and if you get some results you will know exactly what i am talking about, however if you don’t do well the worst is that nothing will come out of it. Some people experience extreme frustration, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness because your mind will provide mental blocks and only through will power you can surpass them.
The benefits are:
- The ability to shape your life in a logical pattern
- To get the utmost from your abilities
- To acquire a peace of mind
- To develop the art of avoiding outer suggestions and control over your thoughts
- The development of a strong will to steer your life into any chosen channel.

First I am going to list my experiences through this journey they are from a kind of diary (conversations with someone who was also doing it as well)i kept monitoring progress, this will show you what to expect, what I was experiencing in that time, its scary stuff but it is the biggest challenge i have ever taken and the results can not be explained in words, you have to attain results yourself to understand. These are going to be parts of experiences i had to get to the exercise just scroll down to the exercise. This is not mystical or magical it’s achievable; you just have to challenge yourself to levels you may have never done before.
My experiences:

“……I had been procrastinating for a long time, unable to stick to anything but i hated it I wanted iron discipline but thought it is probably something that comes naturally. If i got a book to read it went on the shelf for a few months, i bought mouni's book and didn’t even read a chapter (it went on the self for 4 months), i read other books and added them to the shelf (none of these i actually read all the way). I was getting to the point of breakdown because i was at university but i got a good degree but i always did the work last minute. I wanted total control over myself or at least some. In the end i started probably April 04 and jumped one exercise to the next and thought it was a waste of money. I started reading about meditation and started doing other meditation (but ignored the book). I came to Amazon.com and read reviews about the book, that it is the authority on concentration and nothing is better than it. i thought lets start again, i decided no matter what i will do the exercises (the first set 1 and 1a) for 2 minuets each i did it for a month but that wasn’t enough not enough time to generate an effect on the mind. Then after overall four months of messing about and failing i decided that no matter what the first set will have to be done 15 min each (half hour a day). At first it was extremely difficult, within a minute i wanted to walk of; my mind wasn’t on the exercise. Then through some inner power and desperation to control myself and lead myself to a successful life i lock the door and forced myself……..”

“…….So i properly started October again, at first i was just sitting there but later i could control my breathing and probably for 10 seconds maintain concentration. The first benefit i felt even though i couldn’t concentrate fully was i wasn’t feeling anxious anymore. I had an anxiety problem for some time (due to all kinds of pressure) and its just went away, the thoughts you have feel like they are far away so they don’t have as much effect, so you can like the book says control them, its true. i have stopped getting annoyed i.e. like when watching TV if someone makes a noise i got irritated, not anymore. The best thing so far was when i am sitting anywhere, i am just there i am not thinking or worrying i am just there alive and detached (amazing feeling, can not explain). The best results have come for me in the Christmas holidays i turned up the training from 15 min each to 20 min each (twice a day so 80 min) for the week i had of during Christmas. I have finally in my self got some control over my will. In that week i also did the first exercise (watching the clock dial) for 90 minuets straight, that’s my record, probably 30% of that was concentration but im happy that i had the will to stay there. I have gone back to doing the exercises to 15 min twice a day.
What made me continue was when i felt results when I didn’t feel useless thoughts in my head i had to continue. If you read the book 10 min of pure concentration will give you the ability over your actions and that is only the first exercise. I am still on the first set (1 and 1a) and can hold my attention for probably 30-40% of the time, might not seem much but the results are phenomenal i can’t wait to be able to concentrate 100% i don’t even know what kind of control i will have then. This is a journey i thought it was a quick fix living in the west you expect an easy answer to everything but im not going to stop with concentration.
The best result is the ability to do things you don’t want to do i can feel the gist of it, when i have to do something like that im still fighting myself but i can feel some inner power helping me to fight back. All this has only come from 30-40% efficiency of only the very first two exercises. I feel like i am a different person, people say i seem completely relaxed and confident at the same time, that is because i know i cant control others but i can control my self a bit more that gives you an edge. The road i decided to take is hard but i know if i carry on i will achieve great things. I will not ever need another self help book and with mouni sadhu's book i have only hit the tip of the ice berg……”

“……..due to the society we live in, fast moving society i.e. instant coffee, get rich quick, weight loss through a pill. All this affects the human mind over time to the point that even reading a book becomes an effort, there is no discipline in today’s day and age so because we are tuned to get a result instantly, you are more likely to read a 20 page book than a 100 plus page book instantly seeing that amount of pages will make you anxious.
When doing the exercises we are going passed the point of instant gratification, when making a daily promise to even do the exercises you are learning discipline, yes it is hard to make half an hour a day for these exercises when going through them requires supreme effort, the mind tricks you because you are devoting time your mind wants comfort which means not doing them and when you force it, you feel very very uncomfortable. Now once you have been doing this for a few months, you get confident feeling yes i can do something if i want. Secondly it’s harder to explain, the clouding thoughts in your head go away and you actually become in charge, i haven’t been able to read a book for decade I think but lately when i think about it i just do it, there is nothing stopping me, i don’t know how to explain its something you have to personally experience……..”.

“…….Just yesterday for the first time when i finished the exercises and concentrated on reading a book i had tunnel vision, i couldn’t see or hear anything but the book, and i have a feeling i can turn it on or of when i want, i can do it for a minute then i might get distracted but its a start. Today i came home and have just done the exercises while doing them for about phases of 5-10 seconds i had supreme concentration, its unbelievable something new is happening, now this has given me the confidence to do what i want and i feel unrestrained, so why should i ever stop the exercises, no way am i ever going back to my old ways, I have only hit the tip of the iceberg. In the book Mouni states you will learn things and feel things which at the start were not there, im starting to feel this but i had to get past the first hurdle……”

“……..First you feel clear in your head, that is not as much thoughts (especially negative ones) then when you need to do something your mind is still and wont affect you as much when you make a decision. The first step to knowing you are gaining will power is clarity and then less or no anxious physical symptoms (tightening stomach, heavy heart beat) when you take action which would normally be against your will…….".

Now for the practical.

Start with the breathing exercise. Do this for 2-5 minuets before the main exercise, this will help you relax and focus.

-Breath in for 4 seconds, all the way to the bottom of your abdomen
-Hold for 4 seconds; do not let any air out.
-Breath out for 4 seconds let everything out until there is no air in your lungs.

Now for the exercise
You would need a clock, with a red second’s dial that moves round without stuttering.

-Look at the red dial, your attention should be fixed attentively and totally on it as it moves round.
-Do not think of anything else just watch dispassionately as it revolves around in cycles.
-Do not look at the clock, or think of it or any of the numbers of the clock, not even the color of it.
-You only intently watch the tip of the red dial moving around, nothing in this universe can distract you now, extreme focus is required.
-Mental pictures or verbalizations need to be ignored (very hard to do, practice will make it easier).

-Note when you start watching the movement (a stopwatch will help)
-As soon as a mental picture a voice or any kind of possible distraction comes to you, look at the stop watch get the time.
-Over the week get your best time, multiply it by 3 and that is your first target.

The total requirement is 10 minuets of total concentration, you can use sound blocking headphones to help, but you should not be disturbed by someone while doing the exercise.

This exercise is amazingly hard to master, as the author states harder than a university degree (I agree) but once you start progressing you will wish someone forced you to do it when you were a child. It has taken me 3 years and I do it everyday and I do the advance exercises now but it changed my life literally.

If you have questions email me about this one.

The book is called:
Concentration a Guide to Mental Mastery (Paperback) by M. Sadhu, and can be found at Amazon.com


Anon said...

Thanks for your post, i have recently obtained this book, i've read the chapters preceding the exercises a couple of times, and made notes from them, i've tried to give up some of my many bad habits this week prior to doing the exercises, i have all the prerequisites now(inc. a smooth sweep watch) and have just started with the meat and potatoes of the book..starting with 1 and 1b, my concentration is terrible , 5 to 10 seconds worth, i'm always counting the numbers on the face of the watch, but i will persevere. This book seems to be some sort of a secret, i think it brave of you to disclose it, thanks

nbf said...

cant believe i have to come back to this post, guess i'll just save and read it often, its been almost a year, procastinating and all, and am out of school and really need to practice this,,i guess i'll have to stay home and practice for some months before seeking employment..( guess you remember offering me some advice last year and a book: self discipline in 10 minutes or something close)..i think am in the exercise for real now.. i really need it...thanks for the post and pls, u cld do another post to motivate people to perform the exercises in mouni's book.

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