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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Focus is a breakthrough for me
Having read a lot of meditation books, zen books, power of now and attention deficit books, this book is a very interesting perspective on the subject of focus and attention.

First off the book explains what open focus is but it took me a while to grasp it. It wasn't until I read the first exercise that I 'felt' what open focus is about. I feel the book does...
Published on 9 Aug 2008 by Stephen Luff

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars lacking rigour, unsubstantiated
I feel rather foolish for having bought this book. Not because the accompanying CD is shockingly poor quality sound quality, though sad to say this is the case (not that this masks the stomach-churning sound of Dr Fehmi swallowing his saliva all thru the recording). No, I am ashamed to say I fell for the whole idea of reaching special states of mind via a short cut,...
Published 18 months ago by joob


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Focus is a breakthrough for me, 9 Aug 2008
By 
Stephen Luff "Stephen L" (Worthing, Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Open-focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body (Hardcover)
Having read a lot of meditation books, zen books, power of now and attention deficit books, this book is a very interesting perspective on the subject of focus and attention.

First off the book explains what open focus is but it took me a while to grasp it. It wasn't until I read the first exercise that I 'felt' what open focus is about. I feel the book does require a few reads. More importantly, I felt I was very drawn to re-reading it, especially after listening to the cd.

Let me try a technique he uses in open focus. So while you are reading this review, imagine the distance of the screen from your eyes while still reading. Then see the edges of the computer screen yet still managing to read. Notice the spaces between each of the lines of words. Can you feel your shoulders? Can you feel if your arms and fingers are tense? Are your eyes relaxed? Still keep reading yet feel your tightness as you are still reading. Perhaps you can soften that tension and still maintain focus. Perhaps that feels more relaxed and now less urgent?

So one of the ideas is to still function but we don't always need what's known as 'narrow focus' or 'hyper-focus'. This is the focus that uses a high level of energy, tension and focus. We don't always need this type of focus with everything we do. This type of focus is very effective at getting things done, but unless we have a knowledge of 'different types' of focus, we can burn out. We don't always need to use narrow-focus for every task and every conversation. There are lots of other things we could do in open focus, enjoy them more and maybe even do a better job. An obvious one is reading. When I did the exercise he gave while reading I noticed my tension and softened it, especially the tension I was using to hold the book.

There is a cd with the book. The exercises on them are really brilliant. For me, going through the exercises really helps digest the sense of open focus.

One of the main themes of open focus training is to focus on space and spaces. Something like the space between your eyes. On the cd there are 15 second pauses between focuses. So imagine the distance from your eyes to the tip of your nose. pause. Imagine the volume of your lips. pause. The idea is not to say "oh its an inch" but more the greater depth of the space, such as the space between the atoms in the space.

The first of the two long guided sessions is working the head, shoulders and upper back. The second works the whole body. The voice on the cd is very pleasant.

What this book does very well is point out that we are living as if everything is urgent. Yet a lot of the time we aren't aware of it. Our culture rewards this type of focus. We are taught it at school; "stop daydreaming"; "pay attention"; "concentrate". A lot of the time we were paying attention but we look relaxed, or our gaze wasn't looking 'focused' enough.

Theres a lot of scientific biofeedback to back up this open focus training to move the practitioner very quickly into alpha waves using what is know as "imageless imagery".

Les Fehmi has been working with being "a student of how human beings attend both to the world around them and to their internal world of emotions and thoughts" for over 40 years. He's worked with Dallas Cowboys(American Football), the New jersey Nets, and the Olympic Development Committee.

At the time of writing this review there are no other reviews. So to read more reviews use the link in the address bar, delete the .co.uk and replace with .com and that should take you straight to amazon.com and their 20 reviews of this book.

Creator of the Beginner Tai Chi (DVD)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something I will try and make permanent in my life, 7 Feb 2009
By 
P. Henderson "hippoh" (UK) - See all my reviews
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The first review sums it all up really.. The Book teaches you how to move your attention to one of a relaxed peaceful state and away from the Narrow stressed out attention we give everything in our lives.

I started reading this on a plane and the long flight was effortless light and relaxed. I knew something was working but just felt like a weight lifting from my head...And I was watching everything from a different perspective.
It does feel like daydreaming but you are in an alert State. Now I drive my car in this state and not rushing round like a Madman thinking how fast I get to nothing of importance.
Anyone who stresses, worries and complains about the least thing needs to look at the open focus book.
Life's there to live and I hope I can make this permanent in my stressful life caused by no one else but me..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good sel-help book, 13 Dec 2010
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Ms. P. J. O'CONNOR "Pen" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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I think this is really interesting work and links nicely with Alexander Technique. I didn't like the constant testimonial stories to back the work up - 'Paul had this problem and after only 10 sessions was completely cured ' stuff - like somehting out of cure for baldness advert ! But the work is really good - start thinking in a 3 dimensional way, and your brain will coem to a nice alpha wave state - a balanced alertness that makes movement and life seem easy and effortless. It had an immediate effect on me and my own work in AT and this was just from reading it, not having to listen to CD. I highly recommend the OPen Focus Brain approach.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Open Focus Brain: learning to pay attention to experience life here and now, 24 Aug 2010
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When you read this book you will probably ask why didn't they teach me this at school? This book has been more important than all the self-help books on stress and internal balance that I have read so far. It proposes a scientifically proven method to empty the mind and heart so as to be able to approach any daily activity with full presence and creativity. Jim Robbins has managed to explain in exciting text and easy to read language over 30 years of Dr Fehmi's research into brain function. The book proposes a method to pay attention to whatever we do, think and feel in a way that takes away the wear and tear on mind and body of negative emotions and emergency thinking.

The accompanying CD is a gem; it contains two powerful exercises to give your nervous system a good break from daily stressors. In what I have experienced myself and seen among friends and family, the exercises can help alleviate anything from a simple headache to high levels of anxiety. The method deserves an important place among the drug-free tools to address the mind/body issues of living on the fast lane.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It does seem to work., 5 Sep 2011
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Must say I was a bit sceptical but the CD does seem to work.It seems like a cross between hypnosis and meditation and is quite an unusual approach but as I said it does seem to work and I shall persevere with it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars lacking rigour, unsubstantiated, 2 Feb 2013
I feel rather foolish for having bought this book. Not because the accompanying CD is shockingly poor quality sound quality, though sad to say this is the case (not that this masks the stomach-churning sound of Dr Fehmi swallowing his saliva all thru the recording). No, I am ashamed to say I fell for the whole idea of reaching special states of mind via a short cut, hoping to gain the peace and relaxation of meditation without having to bother with all that practice. That's not to downplay the value of relaxation tapes. The CD is highly effective in that respect. I certainly found that I could not hold my head up, or even remain seated upright while listening to the CD. Really DON'T listen while operating a chainsaw etc! It's very hypnotic even if quite unpleasant. But my main criticism is that there does not appear to be any kind of body of evidence to substantiate the claims made. I cannot find any studies testing/reproducing his work. References are scant. And often cite the authors own work. Or are dated from the 1970s. I hoped to find a body of literature, preferably including a meta analysis, that might give more perspective on the subject but noone seems to have bothered.

There are also no qualitative studies of clients' experiences.

I think if an author peddling any kind of health- related product has so enthusiastically banished all doubt from his own mind about it and is relying on endless testimonials instead of a decent evidence base then it's worth hanging onto your money. Sorry.
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