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efreysson
12-29-2015, 08:25 PM
I have a character being trained to resist telepathic probing and I'm wondering how to go about it. I need either a way for the character to empty their mind and act basically on instinct, or a way to laser-beam focus their thoughts.

Does anyone have any idea how real-world spiritualists (or whatever) train their minds, and what kind of teaching method I might make a scene out of?

RichardGarfinkle
12-29-2015, 09:09 PM
There are a lot of techniques used by various different religions. Buddhism and Taoism have a number of different well documented methods. There are a lot of books for this. One of the more accessible modern sources is the Buddhist monk Thich Nhut Hanh whose writings are available in English.

Practices vary in complexity and paraphenalia, so what you might use depends on how dramatic you wish this process to be.

One very simple method documented in many places is called Counting Thoughts. Essentially, whenever a thought arises one thinks "thought" at it. This reinforces the awareness that thoughts are just thoughts. It also gradually quiets the mind. This practice has the virtue that it can be done on the fly anywhere without the need for sitting meditation or other focusing disciplines.

King Neptune
12-29-2015, 11:26 PM
There are many concentration techniques. They range from thinking of only one thing to thinking of nothing. You might try google to see if there is something that interests or amuses you. Or you could have your character use something that was appropriate to he activities or background.

Siri Kirpal
12-30-2015, 12:16 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The way we (Sikh and kundalini yoga practitioners) use most is mantra, typically one of the Names for the Divine or a phrase about the Divine. Some are more absorbing than others. A complicated mantra works better to stop the follow of thoughts than an easy one does.

Word of warning about real life: The mind is designed to produce thoughts. It takes a while to empty. And genuine emptiness is often a sign of depression. Positive emptiness is usually just a calmness about what the mind produces.

So if your character can tell he/she is being probed, the simplest way to handle it is zap the thoughts with a mantra.

The other useful tool is a painful mudra (hand position). Some mudras are astoundingly complex, and some are extremely painful. Maintaining those does control the mind too.

If the person is spiritually inclined, it's possible to tap directly into the Divine vastness and be so absorbed in it that that's all the mind notices. Some beginners can do this, but it's rare for a beginner to maintain that state.

Let me know if you want more information on either mantras or mudras. Or anything else with respect to meditation.

Oh, and you don't have to be in a cross-legged position to meditate. I can do it while washing dishes.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

WeaselFire
12-30-2015, 01:50 AM
I guess it depends on the telepathic probe and what they're looking for. Since there is no such thing as a telepathic probe, you can fudge the abilities of this probe to get more than what the thoughts currently are, or limit it only to prominent thoughts at the time. I met a guy ages ago that was a prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton who spoke about spending his time mentally rebuilding the motor on his Chevy back home. That made it possible for him to endure torture and continual abuse that was supposed to lead to him confessing to crimes or revealing information. Keep in mind that he did finally sign a confession to war crimes, everyone eventually did. So a probe would likely eventually get the details needed.

Jeff

Realspiritik
12-31-2015, 07:02 PM
This is going to sound really corny . . . and I agree with WeaselFire that telepathic probing isn't real . . . but I've met a few psychopaths along the way who are reaaalllly good at reading other people's weaknesses and taking advantage of what they learn (which is kinda sorta like telepathic probing), so if it were me, I'd use the ol' love-and-forgive-'em strategy.

Psychopaths really hate it when you forgive them on the fly (that is, without ritual, similar to the way Siri meditates while doing the dishes). They can't figure out what to do with forgiveness. They also tend to grossly underestimate the strength of it.

Right when they think they've got you cornered, they discover they never had any control over you. They just thought they did.

Jen (who talks to persons-of-soul while doing the dishes)

Rufus Coppertop
12-31-2015, 07:11 PM
I have an image of Tara staring at Sookie. Her mouth is firmly shut but her mind's voice is going lalalalalalalalalala.

CrastersBabies
01-02-2016, 01:04 AM
If there are Buddhist temples in the area, go talk to someone there. They can tell you about meditation, but also SHOW you as well. The temple in my area is very very open to questions and help!

southernwriter
02-08-2016, 11:34 AM
Try to focus on ONE THING, exclusively, such as your breath as it leaves your nose. Some people focus on their navel, instead.