Monday, March 11, 2013

Wandering Mind and Inner Critic

I accidentally came across this short clip in which ``Metropolitan Opera Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato in a Master Class at the Julliard School of Music, reflects on quieting your inner critic and being present in the moment.'' In this 6 minutes, you can find some deep insights into self-awareness:

Interestingly, I was reading this old post today: Brene Brown on Vulnerability. At the end, there is a link to an interesting story about wandering mind. Here are some quotes.

In a recent study published in Science, Killingsworth and Gilbert discovered that an unnervingly large fraction of our thoughts - almost half - are not related to what we’re doing. ...

In addition to awakening us to just how much our minds wander, the study clearly showed that we’re happiest when thinking about what we’re doing. Although imagining pleasant alternatives was naturally preferable to imagining unpleasant ones, the happiest scenario was to not be imagining at all. A person who is ironing a shirt and thinking about ironing is happier than a person who is ironing and thinking about a sunny getaway.
What about the kinds of activities we do, though? Surely, the hard-partiers and world travelers among us are happier than the quiet ones who stay at home and tuck in early? Not necessarily. According to the data from the Harvard group’s study, the particular way you spend your day doesn’t tell much about how happy you are. Mental presence - the matching of thought to action - is a much better predictor of happiness.

On the plus side, a mind can be trained to wander less. With regular and dedicated meditation practice, you can certainly become much more present, mindful, and content. But you’d better be ready to work. The most dramatic benefits only really accrue for individuals, often monks, who have clocked many thousands of hours practicing the necessary skills (it’s not called the default state for nothing).

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