background preloader

Sam Harris on the Paradox of Meditation and How to Stretch Our Capacity for Everyday Self-Transcendence

Sam Harris on the Paradox of Meditation and How to Stretch Our Capacity for Everyday Self-Transcendence
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. In Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (public library), neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris argued that cultivating the art of presence is our greatest gateway to true happiness. Harris writes: We know that the self is a social construct and the dissolution of its illusion, Harris argues, is the most valuable gift of meditation:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/29/sam-harris-waking-up-meditation/

Related:  articoli generaleBrainiacSuperHuman TechnologyMindfulnessMind & Brain

Jim O'Rourke by Jay Sanders Jim O'Rourke in Tokyo, 2015. Jim O'Rourke is one of those rare artists who, in his own work and through his keen perception and fanatical boostering of the many things that motivate and excite him, has fundamentally altered the parameters of the art form in which he works. At every moment he challenges his audience to rethink the expectations and categorical distinctions they bring when listening to music, exploring these constructs in order to rewire their semantic codes in astonishing and unforeseen ways. O’Rourke is consistently setting new terms for originality and an independent vision, with a spirited sense of humor at every turn. Since moving to Tokyo eight years ago, his albums feel increasingly like dispatches from another orbit, as they plunge ever deeper into their own vocabularies and concerns, unfettered by the need for explanation, promotion, or tour support.

The Magic and Logic of Color: How Josef Albers Revolutionized Visual Culture and the Art of Seeing by Maria Popova “A thing is never seen as it really is.” “Hundreds of people can talk, for one who can think,” John Ruskin wrote, “but thousands of people can think, for one who can see.” 7 Morning Rituals to Empower your day & Change your Life Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life. Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity by Maria Popova “The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less.” The meaning of life has been pondered by such literary icons as Leo Tolstoy (1904), Henry Miller (1918), Anaïs Nin (1946), Viktor Frankl (1946), Italo Calvino (1975), and David Foster Wallace (2005). And though some have argued that today’s age is one where “the great dream is to trade up from money to meaning,” there’s an unshakable and discomfiting sense that, in our obsession with optimizing our creative routines and maximizing our productivity, we’ve forgotten how to be truly present in the gladdening mystery of life.

Streams of Consciousness, Scientific American Blog Network The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the ninth video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based in New York City. Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…” Far from Pollyanna platitude, this advice actually reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (public library) — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.

Direct Brain-To-Brain Communication Used in Humans Tapping directly into someone’s brain in order to share thoughts isn’t just for Spock anymore. An international team of researchers were able to replicate the Vulcan Mind Meld by creating a device that allows two people to share information through thought. The researchers tested the technology by separating the users over 8,000 km (5,000 mi) apart—with one user in France and the other in India. The paper has been published in PLOS ONE. "We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways," co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone said in a press release. The device connects directly to the users’ scalps and impulses from the sender were picked up via electroencephalogram (EEG) as well as by image-guided and robot-assisted transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

The video that changed everything I thought I know about non-attachement. {Video} The Heart of Non-Attachment True non-attachment is an intimacy with life. Buddhist teacher and yogi Michael Stone shares his perspective on how to live an engaged life. Shot and edited by Ian MacKenzie. Editor: Brianna Bemel Fighting Loneliness With Cuddle Parties jk_too/flickr In a living room just outside of Dallas, Texas, about 20 of us crowded on couches, chairs, and blankets, and wore pajamas, sweatpants, and no shoes. The group was mostly middle-aged, a near-even split of men and women, and predominantly white. The 25 Best Sci-fi Movies of The 21st Century Since the beginning of storytelling, man has always sought out new ways to give wisdom and understanding through mediums of entertainment. All genres have a different purpose; we have comedies to make us laugh, dramas to make us cry etc. One genre stands out as the most cerebrally connected with our true being however, and that is the genre of science fiction. Science fiction, like most genres, has grown exponentially more immersive over the years with the emergence of video games and 3D film. In recent years, we’ve seen stunning visual effects in films like Gravity and Interstellar, a progressed sense of intelligence in the genre with films like Upstream Color, and an overall revitalized sense of kinship between sci-fi and humanity. This relationship is truly meta, seeing as it is the strongest link between science and aesthetics in existence.

A bowling ball and feather fall in world's biggest vacuum chamber You probably already know how this one ends, but that doesn't make watching it play out any less spectacular. [optional caption text here] Image: [name here]/Shutterstock

Related: