Concentrating on ideas

In this exercise, patients are asked to develop an idea in their minds. For example, they may try to resolve a problem, or prepare a written summary of something they read, or listen to a conversation or lecture for a predetermined period of time, without allowing them selves to get distracted. To do this they must instantly stop all other thoughts from entering their mind, except those which are directly related to the subject at hand.

Patients will start to see practical results only gradually, after a number of failures. The allotted time period should be very short at first, so as not to discourage them, and the activity should be treated as a simple exercise and not some kind of test.

The most common error patients make at the beginning is to wonder if they are really concentrating properly during the exercise. This self verification naturally interrupts their concentration, and patients start worrying if they are able to concentrate at all. It should be explained that they will not be really concentrated unless they approach the exercise as simply as possible.

This series of exercises cannot be directly controlled by the attending physician (except the one which involves concentrated reading, where hand application will produce a series of regular wave vibrations). For the rest, we have to depend on what patients tell us, and leave them to judge their own progress.

However, there are a number of other exercises which can be verified through hand application, since the curves obtained from them are very characteristic.

One example is "Concentration on Tranquility."

We ask patients to try and establish a sensation of mental calm, of psychological and physical tranquility in their minds. To do this, they will mentally evoke an idea or thought which represents those feelings. For example, one person might think of a peaceful landscape, another of a particularly soothing piece of music, another of some elevated moral concept like compassion, or a prayer, etc. Once the feeling of tranquility is attained, patients must try to maintain it for as long as possible, through an effort of willpower. The image should become more defined the longer it is held in the mind. Objective verification is simple - as soon as the sensation of tranquility is established in the brain, the hand perceives a modification of vibrations, which become slower and stronger.

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