- If you've been following this blog then you are well up to date with the journey/struggles I have gone through with this Buddhism x Mindfulness research paper! In particular, I had been tearing my hair out trying to figure out what I'm actually trying to argue, since the scope (and length) of my paper exploded and became overwhelming. Well, today, I went and saw a Learning Instructor at the Weingarten Learning Resources Center (the equivalent of an Academic Skills Advisor at Melbourne) to get some help with clarifying my thesis statement. That was a struggle too, and actually she didn't say all that much. But the process and the "deliberate practice" and continued thinking it required - just talking about my paper and ideas for more than an hour - unlocked ideas, and I thought of a thesis statement as I walked out the door. Here it is!!
- "The meaning and origins of the concept of mindfulness have been oversimplified, but this was essential for the mainstreaming of the concept, or the “mindfulness revolution”. This enthusiasm has, in turn, stimulated a new and dynamic discourse about the complexities of mindfulness and its relationship with Buddhism. "
What did I learn?
- It really, really helps to talk your ideas through with someone for an extended amount of time, even if they aren't necessarily providing much input or reflecting on what you're said. Just talking about it stimulates thought and clarifies what you're trying to get across. So I've gone from a reaction of "MRAHHHHHHHHHH" (literally) every time I look at my paper to a feeling of calm confidence moving forward with restructuring and rewriting parts of it.
- The grad student who delivered the guest lecture in positive psychology today had debunked the positivity ratio paper 4 years before Brown et al. did, but chose not to publish the paper because he was new to the field and it would not be gracious. So interesting to hear about the politics and tact required as an emerging academic.
- With mindfulness, often attention and intention are uncoordinated. So, attention -> awareness and worldview -> intention, but these are often not working together. But, if we can coordinate them, so that we get attention and intention working together, then we'll be filling our awareness with stuff we actually care about.