We have all had moments in which a brief lucidity came over us. In that lucidity everything seemed to move slower and we were more aware of our surroundings. Imagine now one time in which time did seem to slow down. Imagine it slowing down so much that you were able to react before an accident occurred. This slowing down of time is actually a hyper awareness. It is what happens when you remain aware and present in every moment.
I have written before about the importance of awareness and being self-aware . Most people pass through their lives dreaming, and only react to stimuli given them. For these people the possibility of slowing down time is beyond them, they can never hope to do it. If for no other reason then they are not aware. Moments of disaster or emergency tend to naturally slow down time. Everything is so seemingly surreal, that we can’t help but be aware.
If slowing down time is merely a way of adjusting awareness, then surely anyone can do it. However, if you have never been completely aware or lucid in any given moment, this could be quite difficult for you.
To slow down time must be self-aware, they must be able to be alive in the present moment. Your thoughts cannot be active, the only thing that should be taking place is action, and your attentiveness to it. Being self-aware is a constant focus on the present time. It is being able to take the current instant and living with everything as it happens. Life is not meant to be watched like a television show.
Since you are seated right now, take a moment to look around you. What do you see? How are you seated? If there is someone near by watch them, study them, focus only on their actions, their breathing etc. What did you see? Magicians, pick-pockets, martial artists, all employ this technique. In order for their objectives to be effective they must be aware at all times. Try picking someone’s pocket if you aren’t paying attention. Try fighting when you are only watching your opponent instead of focusing on the current moment.
Here’s an exercise you can try.
Take a deep breath, hold it for one minute. Count every second, one-onethousand, two-onethousand, three-onethousand. Note how long a second really is when you are actively counting them. A minute seems to take an eternity. While you count and time passes, focus on that moment, make a note of what you feel, pay attention to the passage of time.
Holding your breath forces you to be aware in the present moment. It forces you to recognize what is going on. When your minute is up recall the passage of time while you held your breath, and try to recreate that focus, and attentive state. You may not be able to do this at first but with enough practice you should be able to.
Another great way to practice slowing down time, if you aren’t an athlete, magician, thief, or martial artist, is by playing video games. Ironically this happens to be the one time many “sleeping” people become aware. I have seen people become intensely focused when playing video games. The more challenging the game, such as resident evil, god of war 2, halo 3, the more focused the player becomes. They are employing a technique of slowing time without knowing it.
So if you like to play video games, try to realize when you enter the “zone” and next time you may be able to take that zone and apply it to everyday activity. The technique of slowing down time is exceptionally useful, when meeting new people or when you are at lectures. It gives one the ability to genuinely listen, and hear information. I use this technique quite often, when hearing something interesting or when I was at a meeting. With enough practice you may be able to catch that glass of water before it falls to the ground.