Science Of You
In “Fully Present” Sue Smalley and Diana Winston explore the science of Mindful Awareness Practices, like meditation and yoga. They present research of the effect of meditation on concentration, stress, illness, emotional resilience, addiction and the structure of our brain.
They touch on the idea of using scientific method on your internal world to understand it better. From the introduction:
“Mindfulness meditation is itself a tool for discovering more about ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. This inward investigation, using the tool of mindfulness meditation, may help us understand more about ourselves from a ﬁrst-person viewpoint just as science has done using a third-person lens of investigation.”
Science establishes an objective, shared, reality. Through science we learn universal truths and also within those truths how to form the world to our ideals. Mindfulness practices on the other hand, turning inward, establish a subjective, unshared, reality. They help us learn about our internal world, or stories, truths and parts and, within the constraints of our being, how to form our world to our particular ideals.
Chemistry was the lens through which I chose to study the objective world, the science with which I strove to discern universal truth and with which I sought to from, a very teeny tiny bit of, the world. Yoga is the lens through which I am choosing to study my subjective world, the “science” with which I strive to discern my personal truth and with which I seek to form my internal world. My experience with the former informs the way I approach the later. I try to bring the same scientific rigor to my internal experiments that I brought to my laboratory experiments.
When I write about my experiments here, or about systems, I want to spark in you ideas of where you can go. I want to give you methods to become your own internal scientist, cartographer, or engineer. Why? For one, I’m a huge nerd and doing things in a structured, scientific method makes me happy. I also adore teaching, especially things that make me really happy, like science and yoga and knitting. I also strongly believe that understanding yourself and how you work, building systems with these understandings in mind makes for a life of less friction and living with less friction makes for a better world. That’s my little dent, see also the title of this blog.