Update: This post was originally written in 2010, and it’s now 2023. Some things have changed. I’ve met and taken several trainings with Nelson. He’s a crusty, lovable curmudgeon and very, very smart.
You can find Nelson’s archived Navaching website here.
You can get a new or used copy of his book The Structure of Delight on Amazon.
If you’re a fan of Nelson Zink and in particular his work on peripheral vision and nightwalking, you might be interested in attending a nightwalking training in Taos, New Mexico, with Katie Raver. Details here.
My most recent post, Refining Awareness, includes some instructions about using your vision to focus down to the pixel level, and then to open your vision and let everything come into your field of vision.
These activities are based on a set of exercises called the 12 states of attention that I learned about and practiced and taught, so that now I seem to have internalized them enough that I don’t consciously think about it.
The three main senses we use are seeing, hearing, and feeling, or visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. NLP 101.
Each of these senses can be experienced externally and internally. For example, I can see the computer in front of me, and I can close my eyes and remember the image or imagine the computer morphing into a piano. That’s Visual External and Visual Internal (remembered and constructed).
You can further expand your sensory acuity by practicing using each sense as broadly and as narrowly as possible. Hence, look at a pixel, then let everything come in. Those states are Visual External Narrow (VEN) and Visual External Broad (VEB).
You can do this with hearing as well. You can focus on one sound in your environment (or in your memory or imagination), and you can focus on all the sounds.
Same with kinesthetic awareness. Internal, external, narrow, broad.
A man I’ve never met but who has been a teacher for me came up with the 12 states of attention. His name is Nelson Zink, and he’s got a pretty amazing website, Navaching. Click here to read about the 12 states of attention. He’s got a lot to say and says it well. (And check out his other pages. It’s pretty fascinating. I also do nightwalking. And read his book, The Structure of Delight.)
The point is that through our conditioning, most of us come to favor some states and neglect others. If you enjoy having more resources, you can practice these states and gain awareness skills. You never have to be bored again, and you will reach more of your potential!
So when I meditate and do a body scan, I may bring to awareness my skin, starting with my head and slowly going down my body to my foot, bringing each area into awareness (Kinesthetic External Narrow).
Or I may attend to how my head, chest, and belly feel (Kinesthetic Internal Somewhere-Between-Narrow-and-Broad).
When I do whole body awareness, I am using the Kinesthetic Internal/External Broad state of attention, including my energy field.
(The convention is that the skin is the boundary between external and internal for the kinesthetic sense. But because my energy body radiates through my skin, my skin is a permeable boundary, and I’m sensing internally and externally at the same time.)
The kinesthetic sense may actually be a lot of senses, including balance, knowing where my foot is in space, temperature, tactile, muscular, and so on. Emotions are usually classified as kinesthetic as well, since we feel them in the body.
Wisdom is a broad state, no matter whether we’re seeing the big picture, hearing the cosmic OM, or feeling connected to Source. Big Mind is a broad state, and that’s a skill gained from meditation.
Check out Zink’s website and practice the exercises given, if you like. It will bring you gifts of knowing yourself and experiencing more of your full potential.
If anyone want to learn about and experience the 12 States of Attention from Mary Ann in person, she’ll be sharing them at the next Peripheral Walking Meetup on Saturday, November 6: http://www.meetup.com/Austin-Peripheral-Walking-Meetup/calendar/15194995/
Yes, please join us if you’d like! Peripheral walking is just nightwalking during the day, or with artificial light.