At first i couldn't understand how animals used their
 broadband "Broadband" describes how animals sense their entire local environment, without focusing on any specific part of it.
vision to look at everything, because as soon as i tried to be aware of something on the periphery, my focus always went automatically to that point.

So i fixed my eyes on a point straight in front, and then directed my attention to a point on the periphery, at about 30° up on one side. I immediately realised i could see points on the peripheries at 30° up on both sides simultaneously, still physically focusing on a boring focal point in front.

And it was interesting – it often changed my mood, even after just 30 seconds – so i wanted to do it more and find out what was happening.

Slowly, over a period of around three weeks, i chose different angles and looked over all the points of the compass.

Then one day i realised that if i looked at a blank space in the sky, i could see the whole oval shape of my field of vision with multiple things moving inside it.

It only lasted a few seconds, and then my mind started thinking again, realising i hadn't been thinking and feeling in my normal way, what had happened? ... Find out for yourself.

Animal Guidelines

I don't think it's necessary for beginners to take three weeks. All human babies do it. Its easy, natural, and a human birthright.

Animals often use their senses in a broadband way for very short, intense periods. It is a knack rather than something to be found by concentration. If we follow the animal guidelines, then short half minute periods are best to start with.

Go outside. Animals developed this sense for use outdoors where things are moving and changing, long before humans invented safety indoors. Indoors, there is no natural basis or incentive to go broadband.

And to do this in the optimal way, as animals do it, be motionless and hold the head still. It's the awareness of every small change and movement in the environment which is vital for an animals survival, ... if you are moving, there is less awareness of everything else which is moving. (See Going Broadband for more on the basic approach).

Going On The Lookout

Generally, we are so trained to focus, that as soon as something moves or starts flashing we look directly at it, and this dominates and overwhelms our broadband awareness.

To overcome this habitual focusing find a blank featureless wall, or a large monotonous area of sky, any area which has no focal point, and look directly at it with your eyes, but then concentrate on everything else.

If there is no monotonous area – then find a boring, neutral, and motionless focal point straight ahead, a mark on a post or the corner of a building, anything which isn't interesting and doesn't move, fix your eyes on it but be aware of, and on the look out for everything else.

Look at everything you can see, and see everything you're looking at. Wait until it all becomes the oval shape of your field of vision, then look at the whole picture. Maybe you will see lots of things moving, just notice them all but don't look at them. Keep looking at the whole picture without focusing on anything specific.

My experience is that instead of looking at the world like a T.V. screen, it feels as though i'm right up inside the screen. The normal feeling of a subject looking at an object is considerably different. Broadbanding is a 'being with' what i'm seeing, instead of looking at it.

Occasionally we have an intense experience of pleasure and fulfilment, when looking into the distance over the ocean, at the stars, or with a panoramic landscape. At those times, we're not focusing on anything specific, we're just amazed at everything, and it opens our senses in a special way.

By using our eyes in a broadband way, we can find a degree of this amazement, without having anything awesome or beautiful to sense.

This way of sensing belongs with love and empathy as a state of being where the subject is intimately involved with the object. These ideas are developed in The Values and Benefits of Broadband Sensing.

Fine Tuning

The broadband feeling is stimulated by paying attention all around the peripheries.

(It's very difficult to do with rimmed glasses on, so take them off, with blurred vision you will still be able to recognise the peripheries and movements. And i haven't yet been able to ask anyone who wears contact lenses, but imagine this presents no problems).

If you have any difficulty doing this or just want to speed up the learning process, there are a number of excellent methods in Chapter Two under Seeing Development Games.

Please continue with The Simple Sense of Now

Back to Chapter One : The Broadband Senses