This Is Your Brain On Mindfulness

Do you live in the moment?

Hi Laurie

I have many different modes of being.

Some of them approximate the “mindfulness” mode.

When I am programming, I can be so fixated on the problem at hand that I completely lose awareness of everything else, including time.

About 35 years ago I spent several years practising following many conversations at once (without engaging in any of them, just simple awareness). With practice I found I could follow up to around 24 simultaneous conversations in a restaurant (provided I was by myself and not trying to talk to or engage with anyone in particular).

Then there is the state you describe, of simple awareness of the flow of words, ideas, impressions, impulses. Observing the context of the field within which the river of the mind flows. This too brings some interesting experiences.

When I was training for deep diving (about 40 years ago), I would practice holding my breath and reducing my heart rate. After about 3 years of several hours a day I was able to hold my breath for over 7 minutes (in a completely relaxed state), or 3 1/2 minutes while swimming under water. Part of that training was getting used to the sorts of awareness one can maintain in very low oxygen environments. I would practice square breathing at 55 secs a side, in slowly for 55, hold 55, out slowly 55, hold 55. An hour of that each night produced some very unusual states of awareness, very little happening in mind, very little oxygen present. Could get heart rate down to 22 beats per minute after about 15 minutes of that. Couldn’t do much other than breath and count.

Some of the other meditative techniques I have tried have given some interesting experiences.

I am now very confident that awareness is a product of a software entity existing in a software model of reality (software upon software within the amazing squishy machine that is the human brain).

Fascinating thing, this experience of being, modelling ourselves within our own model of reality (which seems to be the only experiential reality we can ever know).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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