Practice practice practice. What a pain in the ass, right?
I know everyone out there wants to do cool things without putting any effort into it, but that's just not very realistic. So, you have to make a decision: do you want to sit around and dream of doing cool things, or do you want to do something about it and build a plan for success?
Most people will find this stuff pretty obvious. I'm sorry this is a boring "state-the-obvious" type of article, but I'll try to go quickly. It gets a little better at the end, I promise.
To practice, you need an exercise. You need something to practice. On PsiPog, a lot of articles outline exercises in steps. Let's take an example exercise from NI's Telekinesis Training Manual. He outlines three steps, clearly marked in the article:
Step 1. Prepare Yourself
Step 2. Become One
Step 3. Move It
All you do is get some time alone, and do each step. First, you "Prepare Yourself". NI says in the article that you should do a little meditation. So sit down, calm your breathing, and do what he says in the article. He gives you a few ideas - read through the article and see what he says.
After you feel you successfully completed Step 1, move on to the next one. "Become One", then after that, "Move It". The point being: do what the article says. It has an exercise; it has steps for success - now DO IT!
A lot of people are confused at the point of an exercise. An exercise is not a procedure for immediate success. It is not the ONLY way to learn. It is not written in stone. Think of this like any other skill. Now, you might read an exercise on how to play a song on the piano, but it takes practice to actually do it successfully. Practice means that you do the exercise over and over again, and slowly get better.
Psionics is not understood very well. Nobody has all the answers. The exercises you read on PsiPog (Metalforever's Note: and Psionics Online) are not passed down from generation to generation from an ancient civilization or anything like that - they are made by people just like you. We took the basic idea, experimented, shared ideas, and came up with some things for other people to try.
For this reason, there really is no "right" or "wrong" way established. If you accomplish your goal, then you're doing it "right". For example, it took me over a year to get results in telekinesis, and I wrote an article on what I thought. NI read the article, and practiced, and it took him less time to get better than me. He wrote an article. Now I meet people who do things in a week or two that took me months of effort. Then those people teach ME about new things to try. We're learning collectively from everyone's experiences.
This is why it's important to modify exercises that you read on PsiPog (Metalforevers Note: and Psionics Online). If something doesn't make sense to you, or you think you have a better idea - try it! It might not work, but it might work better. If it works better, think about writing an article and sharing the new information.
Don't be afraid to try out new ideas that pop in your head. What do you have to lose?
When you first start a new skill, it's important to sit down and take your time with it, and get used to it. Try the exercises, modify the exercises, and give it a shot and see if you can get any results. After a while of doing this, you'll start to develop a better "feel" for what's going on. If you're like me, you might slightly obsess over it too :-P.
I believe that it's important to sit down and practice on a regular basis. But I also believe that you should incorporate your practice into your daily life if you really want your skills to be useful. What does this mean? This means that while you're standing in line at the grocery store, looking at those stupid magazines on the shelf, you can actually be trying to improve your skills.
Let's talk about empathy, as an example. Do you know how many times I've sat down and practiced empathy? Maybe... a dozen times? But do you know how many people I've read empathetically? Probably in the thousands. Pay attention, because this is important if you want to be skilled: you need to find ways to incorporate your skills into your daily life. While waiting on the bus, I would go person to person, and read each one empathetically. While sitting in class, I would read random students. While walking down the sidewalk, I read every stranger that walks by me. Every conversation I have has some empathy related to it in some way. Every new person I meet. The goal isn't to become great over night - the goal is to gradual become better in realistic situations.
There comes a point where the skill isn't something foreign to you, but it's just another part of you. You'll practice without thinking about it, and over time it adds up.
You have to put forth some effort to change your daily habits, and it can be challenging at times. Figure out what you want; figure out the person you want to be. Then change yourself and your habits to accomplish your goal.
I know that practicing is sort of a lame topic, but I think it's important to discuss. If psionics is just a fad for you, and you'll forget it in a month, you really don't have to think about this stuff. But if you plan on doing this for a long period of time, you'll need to set up some realistic goals, and work towards them. Start with the exercises outlined on PsiPog (Mealforevers Note: and Psionics Online), modify them and work them into your daily life, and in time you'll be skilled.
- Sean (aka Peebrain)