Thursday, 23 January 2014

Day 14: Back to Class! (finally!!)

What went well? 
  1. Started building up my research matrix*, going through books/references one-by-one to decide which ones are actually useful and for what topics. Managed to eliminate 6 books!
  2. Read this heartwarming collection of random acts of kindness. It made my week.
  3. More packages arrived from Amazon. It's just a good feeling getting mail :)
  4. Signed up for the Penn Art Appreciation Society Listserv! I've always wanted to learn something about art so that I can better appreciate it, so I'm looking forward to getting involved with their excursions and other events :)
What did I learn? 
  • These microwavable meals are actually pretty healthy and decent for instant food:
      Some, but not toooo many dodgy ingredients.
  • If I stay in my (very warm) room, I am 99% guaranteed to be unproductive. I pretty much wasted my evening away in here, doing god knows what! Oops.
  • Watched a Mindful Schools In-Class Instruction. The future of education!
  • Most of the rush activities were open. I should have gone to some just to experience what sororities are like! Haha. Also, there is a sorority that's basically for Asians.
Also, a couple more snow pictures:
Snow makes seat cushions...(+ spot the snowman in the corner!)

And bin lids!

*A research matrix is a way of organising your research. I learned this technique from this guide, shared by Katherine at Research Voodoo. This is what mine looks like at the moment (it's very incomplete and just has some references at the moment, will have content when I start actually reading and filling it in).

Buddhist Perspectives
Western Psychology Perspectives
Definition of meditation, mindfulness (operationalisation)

Kabat-Zinn 1990; 2003
Description of the technique - how is it taught? Early Buddhist guidance? Contemporary Buddhist guidance?
Anālayo (2006) [ch. 11 in Buddhist Thought & Applied Psychological Research]
Bucknell & Kang (1997): Pali Sources pp. 14-30
Sobti (1992): Sutta translations: pp. 14-44. 
Shankman (2008): Samādhi in the Pāli Suttas pp. 3-32; Jhāna in the Pāli Suttas pp. 32- 52; Samādhi in the Visuddhimagga pp. 53-76
Shaw (2009): Chapters 2-4
Kuan (2008): Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5
Bucknell & Kang (1997): Classical Masters pp. 43-65, 69-80
Bucknell & Kang (1997): Contemporary Masters pp. 85-158
Sobti pp. 59-92, 99-119, 138-147

What are the different approaches to Buddhist meditation? What traditions and techniques has Westernised mindfulness drawn from?
Shaw (2009): Chapters 5-12
Bucknell & Kang (1997): Pali Sources pp. 14-30
Mindfulness is a key tenet of the Theravada tradition.
Tori (2006) [ch. 11 in Buddhist Thought & Applied Psychological Research]
The purpose of meditation and how it has been portrayed to the public
Bucknell & Kang (1997): Pali Sources pp. 14-30
Kuan (2008): Chapters 1, 5
“Vipassana should not be used merely for curing physical disease, otherwise it will lose its value. Everybody is sick at the mental level - the impurities of the mind should be removed, and Vipassana is for that purpose.” - S.N. Goenka, p. 97 in Vipassana: Its Relevance to the Present World. Also see pp. 99-103; 117-120
Shaw (2009): Chapter 1
Flanagan (2006) [ch. 8 in Buddhist Thought & Applied Psychological Research]
The advantages of secularised contemporary mindfulness practices

The disadvantages of secularised contemporary mindfulness practices

What has contemporary psychology & neuroscience contributed to mindfulness?

Validating its effects and effectiveness
Encouraging patience
Dow (2008) - chapter 6 of Brilliant Sanity
And what has it taken away?

Dow (2008) - chapter 6 of Brilliant Sanity
Buddhism & Science
Wallace (2003): pp. 1-86, 261-284
Lopez (2008): 105-152
Wallace (2012): pp. 15-71, 158-193, 231-240
Lopez (2008): Introduction; The Meaning of Meditation pp. 198-210; Conclusion
Wallace (2003): pp. 1-86, 261-284

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