The New York Times:
I AM being stalked by meditation evangelists.
They approach with the fervor of a football fan attacking a keg at a tailgate party. “Which method of meditation do you use?”
I admit that I don’t meditate, and they are incredulous. It’s as if I’ve just announced that the Earth is flat. “How could you not meditate?!”
I have nothing against it. I just happen to find it dreadfully boring.
After spending the past four decades studying mindfulness without meditation, the Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer has identified plenty of other techniques for raising our conscious awareness of the present. For example, it turns out that you can become more mindful by thinking in conditionals instead of absolutes. In one experiment, when people made a mistake with a pencil, they had one of several different objects, like a rubber band, sitting on the table. When they were told, “This is a rubber band,” only 3 percent realized it could also be used as an eraser. When they had been told “This could be a rubber band,” 40 percent figured out that it could erase their mistake.
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