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    Aeon | Sahanika Ratnayake | 7/25/19 | 14 min
    21 reads8 comments
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    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      5 months ago

      Mindfulness is the awareness of “some-thing,” while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.”

      I do meditation by following Naval Ravikant's advice. Excerpt from Naval Ravinkant - The Joe Rogan Experience podcast:

      Naval practices the “art of doing nothing” meditation, here’s how you do it: “Sit down, close your eyes, get in a comfortable position, and whatever happens, happens. If you think, you think. If you don’t think, you don’t think. Don’t put any effort into it.”

      Let all the issues/thoughts/whatever come to you – process them “It’s a self-therapy. instead of paying a therapist to sit there and listen to you, you’re listening to yourself.”

      Eventually (Naval says after ~60 days meditating for an hour a day) you’ll clear through your inbox of unresolved thoughts and arrive at inbox zero.

    • HowNotTo7 months ago

      Interestingly enough, most of the best known meditation and mindfulness teachers are also therapists with advanced degrees, like the author of this article. One of those famous teachers, Jack Kornfield, writes about how it can be important for meditation practitioners to partake of psychotherapy as an additional step down the road to peace of mind. This author, who says, "I know I have a propensity towards neurotic worrying and overthinking. Thinking of myself as an individual in a particular context is what allows me to identify whether the source of these worries stems from..." hasn't gotten one of the main benefits of a steady meditation practice, which is gaining a modicum of control over ones thoughts and emotions. There is a lot of overintelectualism (is that a thing?) going on here. It was hard for me to finish the article because it was like chasing the proverbial hamster on its wheel in the untrained mind. Maybe the author was trying to show how intelligent she is?

    • BillEnkey7 months ago

      Some good points, but I suppose it also comes down to how one learns these techniques and skills. I like that the author included that background. For myself, I don't really see mindfulness as mutually exclusive of emotional responsibility. I'm certainly no expert, but at times when I am meditating I use the opportunity to be an objective observer of my universe; so I sort of mentally take notes. Later on, I review those notes and apply all sorts of subjectivity to it and see where the things listed came from, and why. What caused that emotion? Why? Where did it come from? Do I need to change it? Etc. I never really considered what is presented here, mindfulness being used as a way to dissociate. Very interesting.

    • SEnkey
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      7 months ago

      I enjoyed everyone's comments on this article. There are lots of paths to a good life, but we should probably all be cautious of the highly marketed (and watered down) versions of them.

    • Jessica7 months ago

      This pairs really well with the New Atlantis article that was AOTD recently. Highly recommended!

      Without some ownership of one’s feelings and thoughts, it is difficult to take responsibility for them.

      When I started meditating, I developed a system where I would write down how I felt after meditating, what thoughts stood out to me during meditation, and think about why those usually unsettling thoughts joined in. I can understand how mindfulness creates a barrier between thoughts and self as in the author’s case, but for me, the practice of separating thoughts and self simply served as a tool for developing greater self-awareness. For instance, I may not be my sadness, but I know that sadness permeated me strongly, and I investigate my habits and tendencies that trigger tough emotions. It’s that next step after the self-awareness that really feels transcending.

      Agree with many comments and the conclusion of this piece that mindfulness is not a one size fits all. I do find it is a practice that facilitates life quality and freedom for me in this crazy world of fast flowing information and addictive devices, but only after I worked on developing a mindfulness process that works for my personality and lifestyle.

    • kellyalysia
      7 months ago

      I found myself nodding along the whole time to this article, because it really pinpoints i believe the challenge with modern-day spirituality in the name of mindfulness. It’s too easy for people to disconnect by “checking a box” and listening to their Headspace app for 10 minutes and calling that mindfulness. Yes, those practices are important. But there are so many other paths, modalities and considerations for achieving self exploration. As a yoga teacher I have always understood the practice of yoga to be about thus: come to understand yourself better so that you can see yourself in every person you meet. When we separate ourselves or do the practice in a vacuum apart from the ongoing sociopolitical circumstances of the world, we do ourselves no favors to that end. Meditation is still Important and has real scientifically backed benefits for cellular repair and neuroplasticity etc but it’s not the end-all practice if we want to connect more deeply with our true nature and others.

    • joanne7 months ago

      This sheds a different light on mindfulness. I agree that we tend to over simplify some of these techniques but I still believe that meditation and actively practicing present moment awareness are invaluable tools for growth and self identity. As the author points out we still need to see ourselves in a larger social and political structure and actively work on these elements that might be affecting our mental state.

    • jbuchana
      7 months ago

      A must read for anyone interested in mindfulness.

      I participated in group therapy back in 2003 where mindfulness was stressed and practiced in each session. It was helpful in some ways, but I was always a little uncomfortable with the assumptions, and the broad areas of application that it was proposed for. I never broke my misgivings down as this author did, I just use it very sparingly now.

      The "body scan" mindfulness she very briefly mentioned does help me go to sleep some nights when my thoughts won't stop.

      Also, unlike the author, I have eaten raisins mindfully!