Thursday, 1 May 2014

Day 112: Presence

What went well? 
  1. Dr Michael Baime, Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, was the guest speaker (or rather, facilitator) for our mindfulness class today. I have never been so attentive in this class before. There was something about his presence that was compelling and just made you want to listen and pay attention. It was a real privilege to hear his insights.
  2. I am currently thanking myself for all the work I've already done on my (other) mindfulness paper. I just had a look after not touching it for three weeks and had completely forgotten where I was with it, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it's about 60% of the way there already. I think another solid day of thinking and writing and I will have a solid first draft.
  3. The check-out lady at Fresh Grocer is so genuinely friendly.

What did I learn? 
  • An interesting and effective way of facilitating a discussion. Dr Baime chose not to give a formal Powerpoint presentation ("the easy way out") but asked each of us what our biggest questions about mindfulness were. Then, he collapsed them into three big questions which he shared his thoughts on. A great way to address the interests of the group.
  • The effect of one's presence on everyone else's presence.
  • Sleep deprivation has adverse effects on self-control. I don't know if there's been research on it but I definitely felt it!

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