Tag Archives: distractions

Meditation – our experience of self and of the world…

garden2

“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/

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

On mindful listening…

conversation2

I open with this short excerpt on mindful listening – for listening, being one of the key elements in maintaining a good relationship with another person, is also one of the fundamental ingredients in any therapeutic endeavor.  Freud considered the idea of ‘evenly suspended attention’, and while referring to this concept may be stretching the point a bit, it speaks to the intentional act of fully and determinedly listening to another.  Too often, I sit with two people that are unable to listen to one another, wishing rather “to get their point across” in the conversation. The consequence is that one person frequently comes to a point where their confidence is shaken, where they may feel defeated and unable to imagine a better place with the other. Rudy Oldeschulte

(This excerpt is from the April 2014 issue of Mindful magazine. Author Mirabai Bush)

            Thoreau said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought and attended to my answer.”  Mindful listening helps us be fully present for another person. It is the gift of our attention. It moves us closer to each other. It allows the speaker to feel less vulnerable and more inclined to open up to the listener. Not listening creates separation and fragmentation, which is always painful. 

            To listen mindfully to another person, stop doing anything else, breathe naturally, and simply listen, without an agenda, to what is being said. If thoughts about other things arise, gently let them go and return to the speaker’s words. As responses arise in your mind, wait until you’ve heard all that has to be said before replying. Try not to let your story overcome the speaker’s.  Be curious; don’t assume that you know. Listen for feelings as well as the words. 

            And you will want to be listened to also. But when you’re speaking, if the person you’re talking to doesn’t appear to be mindfully listening, be patient. As Winnie the Pooh once said, “It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” 

1 Comment

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

A couple of responses sent to other blogs – re: Mindfulness and distractions. Something we all must manage daily.

Mindfulness is an important consideration in the management of stress/distress/anxiety/adhd/depression. It’s about attending to the moment, and without sounding mystical on this, mindfulness is – for me – about managing the distractions, not always being in what has been referred to as “continuous partial attention” – not a state easy to live with, if one wants to concentrate on a particular goal or activity.

When I mention mindfulness, I am also commenting on the idea of accepting a bit more of yourself – as you are – and as your post suggests you are doing since the diagnosis helped offer ‘relief’ to you. Prior to the incredibly distracting times we live in – internet, Google feeds, tv, relationships, psychiatric diagnoses, inter alia, many people struggled or grappled with the strength or pull of distractions, including Montaigne (1500s), Lord Chesterfield (1700s, I think), Virginia Woolf…When I say ‘acceptance’ or mindfulness, I’m speaking of learning to manage these feelings, these ‘states of being’ within oneself “in the best way one can.” Conversations help considerably.

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized