KIRAN ATMA: structured thinking
Showing posts with label structured thinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label structured thinking. Show all posts

What Is Analytical Meditation?




    Analytical meditation is a more structured and organized method of thinking about something, a topic or subject of concern or choice. 


    • You choose a subject with care and study it methodically with a calm, clear, and concentrated mind. 
    • In reality, to qualify as analytical "meditation," the thought and contemplation should take place in a condition that corresponds to Stage Four(Continuous attention without distractions), with the selected topic of analysis never completely disappearing from attention. 
    • Your mind will wander off on tangents if you don't have the steadiness of Stage Four. 
    • Maintaining a constant awareness of your breath in the background is an effective technique to keep your focus stable. 


    ANALYTICAL MEDITATION TOPICS. 


    Analytical meditation topics are divided into three groups:


    • The first are teachings, beliefs, or other concepts you want to learn more about. 
    • The second category includes issues that need to be resolved or choices that must be made. 
    • Last but not least, there are events, ideas, or realizations that seem to lead to a significant understanding. 


    Traditional scriptural texts, formal doctrines like Dependent Arising or the Four Noble Truths, or particular ideas like no-Self or emptiness may all be found in the first group. 

    However, there are many additional options:

    • You might be thinking about a friend's or teacher's remarks, a piece you've read, a poetry, a current occurrence, or even a scientific hypothesis. 
    • Personal issues, as well as issues relating to relationships, family, and job and professional life, may become the focus of analytical meditation. 
    • You may have commonplace insights into how previous experiences have conditioned you or those around you; your own or another's conduct; emotional dynamics; group behavior; or how the world operates. 
    • Solutions to issues and other helpful ideas emerge naturally in the relative quiet of meditation—especially in Stage Four—and are all suitable objects for analytical meditation. 


    Here I Cover 2 Approaches to Analytical Meditation


    1. Solving Problems And Gaining Insights

    2. The Formal Approach


    Rather of allowing them to disrupt your amatha-vipassan practice, schedule a session of formal analytical meditation to explore them further. 

    While supra-mundane Insight cannot be attained via analytical meditations, you may reflect on previous Insights and Experiences, which is beneficial for deepening and solidifying such Insights.




    You may also like to read more about Meditation, Guided Meditation, Mindfulness Mediation and Healing here.




    Analytical Meditation Technique - Solving Problems And Gaining Insights



      Preparation, incubation, solution, and verification are the four phases of issue solving:


      1. PREPARATION


        • When we prepare to solve an issue, we pay attention to the ideas and facts that are important to a solution while ignoring everything else. 
        • Selective encoding is the term used by psychologists to describe the cognitive process of separating what is significant from what is not. 

      2. INCUBATION


        • The issue is addressed in the following step, incubation. 
        • During the incubation stage, we mix and recombine all pertinent data, looking for a solution among the new combinations. 
        • This method of trial and error is known as selective combination. 


      We also compare the current issue and its solutions to comparable situations in the past and their actual solutions. 

      This selective comparison assists us in evaluating the options we currently have and offers us with new options. 

      These actions take place both subconsciously and deliberately. 


      When deliberately combined and compared, they are seen as rational, analytical thinking processes (i.e., reasoning). 

      • Slowly and painstakingly, the solution emerges. 
      • It comes as no surprise since you can see it coming. 
      • The logical processes that lead to the answer are known and may be used to both explain and check if the result is accurate. 

      Non-Insight problem solving is what it's called. 

      • When the unconscious mind solves a problem via selective combination and comparison, the solution arrives in awareness abruptly and unexpectedly. 
      • You don't see it coming, and describing the reasoning behind the answer is equally tough. As a result, the procedure is often characterized as intuitive. 
      • This is known as insight problem solving, and the terms "intuition" and "insight" refer to the same thing in this case: unconscious information processing. 


      There is still another significant distinction between conscious thinking and intuitive understanding. 

      • The conscious mind easily solves "simpler" issues that may be solved by applying reasoning to the information that is instantly accessible. 
      • The unconscious mind, on the other hand, excels in solving complicated issues with unique characteristics. 


      Non-insight problem solving isn't as successful when it comes to addressing complicated and nuanced issues, simply because awareness is a single, sequential process. 


      The unconscious mind, on the other hand, is made up of a huge number of mental processes that all happen at the same time. 

      It's the difference between serial and parallel processing in computers, to use a contemporary example. 


      • Because there is only one conscious mind, it must restrict itself to the most probable combinations and comparisons as decided by logic for the purpose of efficiency. 
      • This is especially constricting when it comes to comparing prospective solutions to past experiences (selective comparison). 
      • Although you have a large number of previous experiences, there are only so many comparisons that can be made in a given amount of time. 
      • That time must also be shared with other conscious activities. 

      • However, since there are numerous unconscious sub-minds working on the issue rather than just one, unconscious processing has no such limits. 
      • That's why the unconscious is so excellent at coming up with solutions that include novel perspectives on an issue. 
      • The unconscious mind is considerably more free to experiment with extreme combinations and analogies that may seem illogical at first. 

      • Furthermore, since selective comparison is so essential, insight solutions are often allegorical and metaphorical—that is, the answer is best expressed and conveyed via analogies. 
      • Finally, the unconscious mind has access to everything that is going on in the conscious mind, including both partial accomplishments and failures, and may use this knowledge to its advantage. 
      • The conscious mind, on the other hand, has no access to what happens in the unconscious mind until it awakens. 




      3. SOLUTION


      When we finally solve an issue, it may come in the form of a "insight solution," which is a quick, intuitive understanding given from the unconscious. 


      • A non-insight solution, on the other hand, is when we have the conscious sensation of "all the pieces fitting into place" when we methodically think about the issue. 
      • In the most basic example of the former, an insight solution appears out of nowhere and instantly enters awareness. 
      • When conscious thinking leads straight to an answer, this is the most fundamental kind of non-insight solution. However, this isn't always the case. 
      • As we'll see, both conscious and unconscious processes have played a role in reaching that conclusion in the majority of instances. 




      4. VERIFICATION


      Verifying the answer is the last stage in the problem-solving process. 

      Even rational, non-intuitive ideas need to be tested in the real world. 


      However, unless you're prepared to continue on the basis of a wild "hunch," intuitive insight solutions must first be verified by reasoning. 


      Such verification always takes place in awareness, and it is here that the conscious mind really shines in the problem-solving process. 


      • For societal, legal, moral, or other reasons, many otherwise effective remedies are undesirable. 
      • Furthermore, a solution that precisely matches the problem's broad pattern may still not meet the problem's details. 
      • To put it another way, it may work in theory but not in reality. 
      • In real life, issue solving is typically a recursive process, and most difficulties are solved by addressing a succession of smaller problems first. 
      • Both non-insight and insight processes are engaged because the conscious and unconscious portions of the mind system interact. 
      • The conscious mind creates the issue first. 
      • The conscious and unconscious brains then start working on it at the same time. 
      • New ideas on how to address the issue will "pop into the mind" while we're actively thinking about it. 
      • These are all insights, but none of them are certainly "insight solutions" to the larger issue. 
      • We next actively assess these concepts, determining whether or not they are useful—that is, we validate them using logic analysis. 
      • If these ideas don't offer the solution we're searching for, we continue to think about the issue, and as we do, other ideas emerge for consideration. 


      As you can see, neither conscious analysis nor intuitive understanding are automatically superior. However, they are a great match for each other. 

      They are much more potent when used together than each technique could possibly be on its own. 

      We see this in everyday life as well; we all know individuals who depend too much on reasoning or intuition to their disadvantage.


      You may also like to read more about Meditation, Guided Meditation, Mindfulness Mediation and Healing here.



      Analytical Meditation Technique - The Formal Approach



        This is a classic, organized technique that closely resembles the psychological problem-solving concepts. 


        The meditation is divided into four phases: 

        1. preparation and the first approach to the subject, 
        2. incubation and analysis, 
        3. the result, 
        4. and verification and review. 


        This technique is designed to help you make the most of both your conscious logical and unconscious intuitive processes. 


        • Set a timer for 45 minutes to an hour, as you usually would. 
        • Begin your meditation by following the four-step transition to the breath at the nose, counting ten breaths, and then tracking the breath until your mind is calm. 


        1. INITIAL APPROACH AND PREPARATION 


        Allow the breath sensations to fade into the background and bring to mind the subject you've selected for this meditation after you're fully present with a calm, clear mind and well-focused attention.


        • Keeping the breath sensations in peripheral awareness during this exercise is very beneficial. 
        • Simply "keep" the subject in mind throughout this initial phase. 
        • Allow it to “speak” to you by “listening” to it, exploring it, and waiting for it to “speak” to you. 
        • “Holding” a subject entails remembering it without evaluating it. 
        • If your subject is a passage from a book or something similar, open your eyes and read the paragraph without thinking about it, memorizing it. 
        • If you don't have anything written down, simply go over it in your head. 
        • If you have an issue, write it down as a question or a series of questions, and then ask yourself those questions. 
        • Simply bounce it around in your thoughts whether it's an idea or an observation. 
        • Staying in a receptive condition rather than doing anything is what “listening” entails. Wait for anything to catch your attention. 
        • By keeping the subject in your mind, you're allowing unconscious processes to go to work on it. 
        • The subject has "spoken" to you when something sticks out—when a concept or idea comes to mind, or when a certain word or phrase grabs your attention. 
        • This indicates that an unconscious brain process has provided the seeds of a potential response or solution. 


        As an example, picture a lovely golden thread that has gotten very knotted. This is the subject at hand. 

        Holding and listening to it is similar to gently twisting it in your hands, searching for a loose end to begin the untangling process. 


        • The subject has spoken to you when you discover the loose end. 
        • When a subject strikes a chord with you right away, you're ready to go on to analysis. 
        • In the preparation phase, you may find yourself holding and listening until your timer bell sounds. 
        • This doesn't happen very frequently, but if it does, know that your subconscious mind will keep working on the issue as you go about your day. 
        • Simply schedule your next session of analytical meditation and return to the subject then. 
        • If the subject still doesn't resonate with you the following time, it's possible that it's just too large. 
        • It has to be simplified. Consider concentrating on a single statement or selecting a more basic version of the issue or topic. 
        • Just take your time. Attempting to push the analysis too soon may stifle the very unconscious processes you're attempting to elicit. 


        2. ANALYSIS AND INCUBATION 


        Once you've found the end of the thread, follow it wherever it leads. 


        • Start thinking about the word, phrase, concept, or idea that came to mind as your beginning point. Analyze and examine it from many angles. 
        • As ideas occur to you, put them to the test for logic and significance. 
        • Explore the connection between your initial idea and other thoughts within the subject, keeping an open mind to the potential of uncovering some deeper significance. 
        • Stay open to any ideas or recollections from personal experience that may emerge, and evaluate their relevance when they do, no matter how abstract the subject may seem. 


        You want a degree of knowledge that goes beyond the abstract and intellectual to encompass the experienced, regardless of the subject. 


        3. THE RESULTS: UNDERSTANDING, RESOLUTION, AND DECISION, OR DEEPER INSIGHT 


        The goal is for your thoughts to lead to some kind of natural conclusion—an understanding, a solution or choice, or a deeper insight. 

        You'll have a feeling of achievement and completeness. 

        Proceed to the fourth step, confirming and evaluating, unless some detail necessitates additional study. 

        • Frequently, the result is just partial; it does not answer all of your questions. 
        • Nonetheless, go to the fourth stage if that partial result seems solid and substantial. 
        • You may come back to the main subject for a more detailed response at a later time. 


        Large, complicated subjects are often addressed via a succession of partial results, with previous conclusions sometimes being changed until a final resolution is reached. 


        • Recognizing the need for additional knowledge, observation, and experience may also be a result. 
        • You may also discover that you need to do something else before continuing. 
        • This is likewise a legitimate result, and it justifies moving on to the next stage. 
        • Once you've completed whatever it is you need to do, you may return to the original subject. 
        • However, the bell may ring to terminate your session before you have gotten a clear result. That's OK; your subconscious mind will continue to work on the issue. 


        Not only for analytical meditation, but for virtually any problem-solving scenario. Do something else and come back to it later if you aren't making progress on an issue. 


        • When you come back, your subconscious mind will almost always have a solution. 
        • Occasionally, the result will emerge unexpectedly while you are engaged in other tasks. In a peaceful time, your mind may return to this thought and offer a solution. 
        • If no result appears before your next analytical meditation, just start again with holding and listening. 
        • It doesn't matter if what calls to you the next time is different from what talks to you the first time. 


        The more you think about the issue in this manner, the more likely you are to find a solution. 


        4. CONFIRMING AND REVIEWING THE RESULTS 


        You don't want to lose an answer you've discovered, so be prepared to continue the process of checking and reviewing even if the bell to terminate your session sounds. 


        • You may wish to examine the route of analysis you took so you may repeat it in the future or explain it to someone else, depending on the nature of your meditation subject and its result. 
        • Return to the incubation and analysis step if you find a problem. 
        • If there are no flaws, the most essential thing is to consolidate and integrate your new knowledge so that you don't have to go through the whole problem-solving process again. 
        • It may be useful to establish mental "cues" for yourself to assist you return to this level of awareness and insight in certain situations. 
        • Holding the fruit of your meditation in mind as the goal of non-analytical meditation is a very effective method to accomplish this. 
        • To put it another way, use the thought, concept, or insight as your meditation object and allow it to grow in your mind. 
        • This leaves a powerful impression, allowing you to quickly return to this level of realization in the future by remembering the result of this meditation and focusing your attention on it.


        You may also like to read more about Meditation, Guided Meditation, Mindfulness Mediation and Healing here.