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The Tinkered Mind
A meditation app is forthcoming. Stay Tuned.
September 24th, 2020
Take a moment, unplug, get away, wind down, take a breather, relax - all of these are advertisements for a particular state of mind. Whether it is a mindless state of mind, or an effortful one depends solely on whether or not our mind in question has training for it. For many, this state of mind is one of pleasure - a brain steeped in margarita and vitamin D from sitting on a virgin island beach, or hot coco and Netflix in front of the crackling ski lodge fireplace.
But for the trained brain, Netflix and sugar and alcohol present only another variety of clutter and dirt for a mind in search of peace, purity and calm. The difference is between the desire and attainment of a peak experience, and a sense of being washed of all that. Washed of the incessant search of pleasure and rid of all the daily humdrum that we are so often looking to escape in favor of some peak experience.
Doing the dishes, or laundry, or cleaning house is certainly something we appreciate once it’s done, but rarely do we get excited for it. That being said, it’s not uncommon for people to find a bit of serenity during such activities. A sort of zen-like wax-on, wax-off rhythm can come to accompany these activities for many people. The work comes to acquire the quality of a strangely peaceful and productive existence, and the results, when finished, are satisfying in an entirely different, albeit likewise peaceful way.
Meditation is a work and a training that has some similarity to those chores that can take on the flavors of zen. But unlike the peak experiences that we strive for and plan, the fruits of meditation, particularly in a mindfulness tradition, offer the ability to unplug and wash the moment at any moment.
Whether standing in line at the bank, or dealing with a screaming child, or feeling the rising sting of a freshly cut finger. Even in peak experiences that are negative, as with the accidental injury, or one marked by frustration, the trained mind can, at will, detach, step back, and one’s being can breathe, no matter how bad or intense the circumstance be. This might seem outlandish or even nonsensical to those who haven’t experienced the fruits of such practice, but this disbelief crops up anywhere and in every circumstance where a person has not put in the time and the reps to achieve what someone else has. For those just discovering Tinkered Thinking, it might seem quite amazing that there are nearly 900 episodes, but this is the result of a fairly simple daily practice done consistently for 900 days. Likewise, the ability to sit down and bust out an episode that is fairly cohesive becomes quite a lot easier after such practice. But again, for someone who has not put in the time and reps, the result can easily seem outsized and impressive.
Training the mind is no different, and 10 or 20 minutes a day can, after enough time, grant a cognitive ability that may seem like a superpower to some. What better advertisement could there be for some thing that allows you to take a vacation at any moment - to relax, take a breather, wind down, get away, unplug, but simply and instantly washing the moment of all that bothers the mind…