Tag Archives: character

Meditation – our experience of self and of the world…

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“Positive emotions, such as compassion and patience, are teachable skills; and the way we think directly influences our experience of the world.”

Excerpts –

Montaigne believed that meditation is the finest exercise of one’s mind and David Lynch uses it as an anchor of his creative integrity. Over the centuries, the ancient Eastern practice has had a variety of exports and permutations in the West, but at no point has it been more vital to our sanity and psychoemotional survival than amidst our current epidemic of hurrying and cult of productivity. It is remarkable how much we, as a culture, invest in the fitness of the body and how little, by and large, in the fitness of the spirit and the psyche — which is essentially what meditation provides.

We know that the self is a social construct and the dissolution of its illusion, Harris argues, is the most valuable gift of meditation:

The conventional sense of self is an illusion [and] spirituality largely consists in realizing this, moment to moment. There are logical and scientific reasons to accept this claim, but recognizing it to be true is not a matter of understanding these reasons. Like many illusions, the sense of self disappears when closely examined, and this is done through the practice of meditation.

See the posting:  http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/29/sam-harris-waking-up-meditation/

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Filed under listening, mental health, philosophy, psychiatry, psychoanalytic psychotherapy/counseling, psychology

Wisdom from a MacArthur Genius: Psychologist Angela Duckworth on Why Grit, Not IQ, Predicts Success

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Illustration by Alyson Shotz

“Character is at least as important as intellect.”

“The problem, I think, is not only the schools but also the students themselves. Here’s why: learning is hard. True, learning is fun, exhilarating and gratifying — but it is also often daunting, exhausting and sometimes discouraging. . . . To help chronically low-performing but intelligent students, educators and parents must first recognize that character is at least as important as intellect.”

To my mind, ‘purpose’ also describes the necessary attribute or quality….as this research looks at motivation, volition, grit, and self control.  

See entire essay:

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/26/angela-duckworth-grit/

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Personal Responsibility and Character

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 Anais Nin writes about responsibility and character, much as Joan Didion did in her later essay On Self Respect. In this short excerpt, Nin suggests that we can change, that change is possible, and that we must take responsibility for our actions, our beliefs, our convictions.  

“We cannot always place responsibility outside of ourselves, on parents, nations, the world, society, race, religion.” 

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/10/25/anais-nin-on-parenting-character-and-personal-responsibility/

(see also: Didion’s essay On Self Respect – one of the most powerful essays written on the subject…)

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