elementz3ro

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TL/DR: What practical tools, techniques, and practices should I adopt to firm up my focus?

Joined this forum for the sole purpose of receiving feedback on this issue.

The forum gets straight to the point and provides a category for the disciplines, so I am still unsure of where else this thread may apply. What I'm about to ask, is not about philosophy.

I want my purpose, resolve, and strength of deliberation to be embedded in my conscious mind and in my conduct throughout life.

I have come to a point where I feel that I have read enough books and spent enough time on the floor in meditation - there is something missing and renders me vulnerable, distracted and constantly in demand of my "own space"

A bit about myself
  • I'm 27 years old
  • I'm highly introverted but high in openness of thought and concept
  • I practice meditation and various breathing techniques based on my knowledge of zazen - shikantaza, positive samadhi and Qi Gong
  • I am highly motivated to begin a form of martial art that is right for me - one that helps me to face the reality of being highly sensitive and in mostly unfavorable, distracting environments that ten to hijack my thoughts
  • I therefore need to understand how to train my focus
My question is: what practical tools, techniques, and practices should I adopt to firm up my focus?

Think of me as a fighter pilot who needs to undergo high distortion training to be ready for mach speed flight.
 
If you want a martial art that helps with focus, I would pick a martial art that have a slow pace to their kata. Taichi comes to mind, as does Taekwondo (which is what I train). My understanding is some arts are about how fast you can do a form, and that's all well and good, but if you want focus, then a style which encourages a steady pace and higher levels of precision, like Taichi or Taekwondo, might be preferred.
 
Im not sure that training in a martial art will give you the help/training/tools that you need, or think you need.

People looking for a philosophical grounding in their life sometimes believe that martial arts is/can be the answer to their search. I think that more often it is not.

You might get lucky (very) and find the right teacher teaching the right method and with whom you can develop the right kind is kinship to be relevant to your situation, but honestly I doubt it. Things just usually dont stack up that way.

I myself would not know what to even suggest to you.

That being said, take a look at what is available in your area, decide what looks interesting, and give it a shot. You might enjoy it and it could become a meaningful part of your life.

Just dont go in with some kind of philosophical agenda that you expect to fulfill from it.
 
i might have some answers for you that the others here may not. i am going to pose some questions for you and pick apart your post so i can understand your situation and the direction you want to go. i do not mean them to be belittleing so please dont take it in the wrong way.

I have come to a point where I feel that I have read enough books and spent enough time on the floor in meditation
I practice meditation and various breathing techniques based on my knowledge of zazen

reading books and attaining knowledge is not the same path as what i believe you are looking for. you say that you practice meditation based on your knowledge of Zazen. what is your knowledge of Zen? Do you or have you actually belonged to a Sangha? if not then what you think is knowledge is based on an academic illusion. Zen is similar to martial arts in the fact that it cannot be learnt through an academic endeavor. the true learning and depth of understanding comes from the physical. a Koan is specifically designed to short circuit the rational thinking process. it is only through immersive physical practice that the wisdom of understanding reveals itself. in fact the more you try to use the rational mind and academically try to gain understanding the further you get from the actual path.

"To read about how a tree grows , does not help it grow one bit" nor can you learn to swim sitting behind a PC watching a YouTube video. at some point you have to get in the water.

there is something missing and renders me vulnerable, distracted and constantly in demand of my "own space"
could you expand on this a bit for me?

my first suggestion is to pick a martial art that does a form or kata. it could be empty hands or a weapon based system like Iaido. but it could just as easily be shodo or Ikebana. but with the brief post you made i think a martial art will do well for you. the key factor is that you need to foster the correct mind. modern martial arts as trained today will not give you this in a direct fashion. although it could be developed as a sort of by product. the fusion of martial arts and Zen mind will be for you to foster. i had a similar issue as yours back 30 years ago and i remember going to my karate instructor only to realize he knew less about what i was after then i did. he couldnt help me. it took me a long time to find a teacher and discover the path i needed to travel and even then that path could only take me so far.
I want my purpose, resolve, and strength of deliberation to be embedded in my conscious mind and in my conduct throughout life.

this takes time. what you are asking is to rewire the brain. habits die hard. the positive neural paths need to be strengthened and practiced everyday and the ones you aim to change and leave behind need to be cut. you may practice a long time with no noticeable results but then one day "bam" something changes..those neural paths made the connection after a long time of growth. once you experience it once you understand and now its only a matter of practice to get it consistent and embed it.
 
G'day and welcome to MT :).

The guys here have made brilliant points, and I'm re-reading and absorbing it for myself too.

I'm also more inclined spiritually, and also have found that it's very very difficult to find a specific martial art or teacher that will be inclined this way. The most beneficial thing you can do is to sit in on a few classes, watch the instructor and feel the purpose and intentioln behind what they're doing, try a few classes and see what clicks within yourself.

I'm also currently struggling with focus and constantly getting distracted, I've undergone an incredibly challenging 10 months or so which has shaken me around a bit so I'm not surprised. So one thing I ask myself is, "What's behind this constantly getting distracted? What am I avoiding?" Ultimately we distract ourselves in order to avoid ourselves, or avoid something we don't like about ourselves. So facing that in a gentle, compassionate manner is key, rather than forcing some hardcore focus.

Doing that just leads to self-judgement when you inevitable lose focus again. The mind is just the mind, you'll get distracted. But like others said earlier it just takes practice and really getting in the water rather than reading about it. You said you've done extensive meditation, that can definitely be beneficial. What I find helpful is to bring that to everyday awareness through a contemplative lifestyle.

This helps it to not be confined to a very specific time of the day or activity ('meditation time'), as that can separate spiritual life from everything else, which is counter to what it's really about.

David Hawkins speaks at length about this in a profound way... being aware constantly of the context of your life rather than the details. Sinking back your awareness out of 'things' and resting as awareness itself. I can link you some stuff if you like.

And also, is there a reason you'd like this intense focus? Or is it moreso just wanting to be a bit more at peace and not so scattered?

I also tried to find martial arts that would be more spiritual but found that it wasn't so much what martial arts I practiced as it was what I brought to it. Where my focus was, and the context of how I train and what my intention was with it. But different styles will appeal to different people, see what gels with you. I'm in a process of moving to a new style and I'm really just following my heart in this, not practicing what I think I SHOULD practice.

You sound similar to me hehe, same-ish age, more introvert as well etc. Let us know how you go :)
 
On any given day I would not picture @drop bear as a mystic on top of a mountain. .....but he is correct.

There is a spiritual path through physical activity when you consistently push yourself. The best example around today is David Goggins. What he does is motivation through example. He started his life in an abusive unhealthy environment, overweight sitting on the couch eating junk food with extremely low self esteem. Now he is an ultra marathon runner. The man has laser focus on a task and never stops.
 
Do hard tasks diligently.

Sage advice.
I train Chinese Martial Arts, or what is commonly referred to as 'kung fu'.
Kung fu does not mean fighting or martial art, it is a term that means to work hard to develop a skill.
As a person immerses themselves in the practice of kung fu they start to develop things like resolve, focus, diligence, self control, self confidence....
But as Xue said in the post above, don't go into it looking to achieve some sort of spiritual enlightenment, just work your *** off and you'll start to see things happen.
 
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I want my purpose, resolve, and strength of deliberation to be embedded in my conscious mind and in my conduct throughout life.

I am highly motivated to begin a form of martial art that is right for me - one that helps me to face the reality of being highly sensitive and in mostly unfavorable, distracting environments that ten to hijack my thoughts
Think of me as a fighter pilot who needs to undergo high distortion training to be ready for mach speed flight.

Welcome to MartialTalk, Elementz3ro. Hope you enjoy it, bro.

I think you should join a boxing gym or a BJJ school. And good thoughts and good luck going forward. Whatever kind of Art you choose, don't give up looking until you find it.
 
TL/DR: What practical tools, techniques, and practices should I adopt to firm up my focus?

Joined this forum for the sole purpose of receiving feedback on this issue.

The forum gets straight to the point and provides a category for the disciplines, so I am still unsure of where else this thread may apply. What I'm about to ask, is not about philosophy.

I want my purpose, resolve, and strength of deliberation to be embedded in my conscious mind and in my conduct throughout life.

I have come to a point where I feel that I have read enough books and spent enough time on the floor in meditation - there is something missing and renders me vulnerable, distracted and constantly in demand of my "own space"

A bit about myself
  • I'm 27 years old
  • I'm highly introverted but high in openness of thought and concept
  • I practice meditation and various breathing techniques based on my knowledge of zazen - shikantaza, positive samadhi and Qi Gong
  • I am highly motivated to begin a form of martial art that is right for me - one that helps me to face the reality of being highly sensitive and in mostly unfavorable, distracting environments that ten to hijack my thoughts
  • I therefore need to understand how to train my focus
My question is: what practical tools, techniques, and practices should I adopt to firm up my focus?

Think of me as a fighter pilot who needs to undergo high distortion training to be ready for mach speed flight.
I am struggling to understand your post, OP. It seems to me, you could take up just about any activity that would help you with your focus, but Martial Arts is as good as any activity. I am just back to MA after a long hiatus but from what I remember in my past practice as well as the process I am going through now, the way MA will help with focus is pretty straightforward. The instructor teaches you a technique, say a stance, block, punch, kick, or combination. You then practice this, over and over again. It takes concentration to maintain good form, and when your form gets sloppy, or you forget something you already learned, the instructor corrects you and reminds you to concentrate more next time. Whether your instructor gently corrects you or harshly corrects you may be a matter of personal style and this is something you might want to pay attention to before you sign up someplace.. As your knowledge of techniques builds, so does your focus, at least in theory.

So to put a fine point on this, I think it is more a matter of doing, than talking. And if after a year or more of MA training you still have problems with focus, maybe consider other options.
 
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