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Man's Greatest Weapon


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Man's greatest weapon is the capacity to direct attention.

"Weapon," in that the capacity to direct attention upon our mind is the tool that releases difficulty and suffering.

Thought is what "we say" occurs when our mind is not fully attentive. This can be known: When you turn your attention around to look for a thought, silence is there!

Since thought appears due to the absence of attention, most thinking is unintentional.

Note that when you notice there was thinking, thinking ceased - within the activity of noticing.

Subject and object, or the perceiver and the perceived, appear within a single thought. Thus the idea of a self is rooted in inattention. That is why the self is called an illusion in Zen, and also why the self is rooted in delusion.

The force of habit is the sole enemy to calm stability within activity.

Perhaps check out the Pause Principle and the Attention and Error Games. Firmly embracing them has returned presence of mind throughout my daily life.

Turn your attention around as often as possible; notice whether there is thought or stillness.

No need to care what you were thinking about. The act of noticing is all that's necessary to restore stability.

I'm not saying thinking is bad. Thought is required to make a grocery list, follow directions, repair a computer, an so on.

But how many thoughts occur - minute after minute, day after day, year after year - that are either about things we cannot change, or are not going to do anything about?

You can find out by looking. Notice, let go. Over and over, moment after moment, day after day. Try it and see what you find.

In the end, doing anything to your best, whether typing, shooting a stage, or being happy, requires knowing where to keep your attention at all times.

Everyone wants to be happy. Notice that when you are not thinking about something that's making you sad, you aren't.

Liberate disturbing emotions created by habitual thinking. Attack your mind with attention!



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Thinking is active, observing is passive.

A boy is fishing with his father favorite pond. As he sits on the edge of the water, he spies a glimmer of gold in the water. He quickly sets down the pole and reaches in, disturbing the silty bottom. He cannot see the glimmer anymore through the muddied water, and he cannot feel it. Frustrated, he pulls his hand from the water and laments his misfortune. His father watches and waits for the mud to settle, and find the same glimmer. He reaches in slowly, without disturbing the silt, and captures the glimmering trinket.

We often watch ourselves doing, rather than simply doing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The final stage of mastering any skill requires knowing where, at each moment, to place your attention.

Consider how this Topic applies to shooting.

In shooting, when we talk about "seeing," what we really mean is where our attention is. If I'm seeing the front sight, my attention is directed to the front sight. If I'm looking at the target, my attention is on the target. If I'm conscious of my grip, my attention is in my hands.

Imagine shooting a COF (with iron sights). At "Stand By," place your attention right where your sights will appear. When attention reads the sight picture, the gun fires automatically. From years of training, your attention tracks the front sight back into the notch - bang, a called hit. Since the shot was called a hit, attention quickly moves to find the next target. As soon as the next target's shape or aiming point confirmed, attention comes back to find the sights - just as they are coming into the target. Etc.

Thinking, in the midst of activity, is always a loser. There are a couple reasons for this. Thinking is always one step behind the action. And only one thought can be present at any one time.

Whereas with attention, you can be simultaneously aware of what's going on in two or more places.

Shooting groups from the bench example.

Place your attention in your hands as you set up your grip. Then forget the grip. Shift your attention to settling your hands down in the bags and getting a coarse sight picture. Then forget that. Now place all of your attention into establishing perfect sight alignment on the target. The forget that and put all your attention right on the top edge of the front sight. See it razor sharp! Then leaving 10% of your attention there - more as a monitoring than a correcting factor - direct the remaining 90% of your attention to feeling the weight of the trigger on the pad of your finger steadily increase without stopping or hesitating until the shot breaks.

How I'm improving typing - I don't look where the letters are appearing. Which forces my fingers to "call the key."


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Thanks for updating this thread or i might not have seen it. One of the very best.

Last line item is a biggie. My eyes are all over the place as i type. Books, lecturer, lists of drugs taped to my wall...

Never been taught a speed reading "method" but UF sort of forced it on me: Don't think. Just read.

Your subconscious can recall stuff without you ever having noticed that you read it.

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  • 2 years later...


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