Or "Be Here Now" (because that's all you really have anyway)
Back in the early 1980's I began to experiment with time distortion.
I should perhaps preface this by telling you that I am a trained clinical hypnotherapist, having specialized in Ericksonion model rapid therapy. During the 80's I taught the subject at the post graduate level, training therapists in these skills.
What got me interested in "time distortion" was of course martial arts.
Many of you have no doubt had the experience of being in a sparring match and having time "slow down" for you, so that you had all the time in the world to counter an attack or set up one.
Conversely, some of you may have had the opposite experience where it seems as if you are "stuck in molasses and even though you can see what's coming, you just can't react fast enough.
To describe these two states I have borrowed two terms from my friend Scott Sonnon, "The zone" and "the vortex". (this being because English is a poor language for internal states, so we have to make up terms as we go sometimes).
working from Scott's definitions, when one in the "zone" then "time is on your side" and when one is "in the vortex" you are "behind the time curve".
In order to "get into the zone" what you need is to be able to access "flow state".
Now flow state is something that is a little difficult to define, but when you are there you know it. (yes I know that's cheating)
(if you want to know more I recommend "Flow-State Performance Spiral" which is the only really scientific description of the state and how to achieve it at will I know of).
So here's the rub. What we call "flow state" in the west is referred to by other names at other times by other names.
Most notable, in Sanskrit it is referred to as Samadhi. Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, refers too Samadhi as the eighth limb of yoga. Samadhi can be described as being Awake (without quotes).
There are two kinds of time sense. One when the essential self is asleep, the other when the essential self is awake.
You dear reader, to understand this, must face the unpleasant fact that all of us (including you even though you are obviously brighter than most) spend most of our lives asleep in one way or another.
You are either asleep or awake. Just as you can't be a little dead or a little pregnant, you can't be a little awake. It is an "on" or "off" function.
When you are asleep, you operate mechanically, reacting to stimulus through a series of heuristic, preprogrammed responses that are habitual in nature. These habit patterns follow one hierarchy of being "imprinted" "conditioned" and "learned" and another of being "biological", "cultural", "social", and "personal".
We don't notice the transition from sleeping to waking very often because we remain awake only for fractions of a second, not long enough to notice the difference. In those moments of awakeness though, we are free of mechanical response.
We can us binary numbers to model the awakeness of a person through time. With 0 representing sleep and 1 representing awake most people will look like this.
000000000000000000000000000You can find the memory traces of the awake state because they leave strong sense impressions. These may be positive, negative or neutral.
In the sleeping state "time sense" is crafted from memory and fantasy (which are closely related). We imagine that "time has passed" because we can "remember" events in the past and we imagine the passage of time into the future because we fantasize about coming to events that we either want to happen or dread happening.
All of this is of course entirely illusionary. (though people will often try to kill you if you tell them this)
When one is awake time is perceived quite differently.
Time is sensed in the body, I suspect that it is in some way related to proprioception.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the awake state is that the sense impressions at that moment are quite rich.
In the sleeping state time distortion is quite easy. You can induce a trance state in someone and have them relive a movie that they have seen, completing the task in five minutes our time but seeming to take two hours subjective time for the person "watching the movie".
It is equally easy to have someone perceive time as passing quickly so that an hour will seem to have gone by in a few minutes. These are both functions of sleep.
Time in the awake state is a different matter entirely.
Think back to the binary example
Each one of those 1's represents a slice of awareness of "objective" time, which is the experience of the "Present Moment".
When one is in flow state (samadhi) the 1's outnumber the 0's. When you have all 1's what you've got is Nirbija Samadhi (seedless awakeness)
Every moment that you are awake, you take a picture of the slice of the present moment in which you exist. as you take more "snapshots" (sense impressions) you slice time thinner and thinner and time seems to "slow down" for you.
This allows for a spontaneous, appropriate response to the given situation.
(It is a bit more complicated than this, but for the sake of this discussion this is enough I think).
So that is the basis of the thing.
If you want more information on time distortion I recommend
Time Distortion in Hypnosis: An Experimental and Clinical Investigation by Linn F. Cooper M.D., and Milton H. Erickson M.D.
as the place to start.