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psy336 nov 26.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

November 26 – Meditation “he who feels punctured must once have been a bubble” – Tao Te Ching - couple with kid, emotionally stable, doesn’t listen as much to mom because mom is more emotionally reactive, kid responds more instantly to dad’s instruction - kid’s inner world got bounced around a bit. When good things happen, child gets good emotional response from mom, vice versa for bad. - For dad, when child acts positively, dad reacts positively and it feeds back. When child is negative, dad doesn’t react much – child’s negativity runs up against a wall. Nurturing positive side and meeting negativity with affection and love. Essentially you’re reinforcing positivity. - TO SUM THAT UP: mom responds in kind to positive and negative, reactivity. So that enforces both positive and negative system of child. Dad reinforces positive system in similar way, but expression of negative emotion is absorbed into secure, stable, fundamentally accepting system. - This child/parent system is a metaphor for consciousness. The child being the outer world. Accepting negative behaviour (operant condition effects) - A skillful allocation of attention (attunement to outer world) should cultivate a more harmonious relationship between yourself and world - Most balanced and flexible state is one that’s open to everything - Inner system minimally perturbed by outer state  balance. - Meditation is essentially embodying stillness, conscious direction of attention - Your mind is like a jar of muddy water, and if you want it to be clear you could try to shove the mud down to the bottom, but essentially you’re just stirring up the jar. Essentially what you need to do is put the jar away on the shelf for the day and when you come back the water will be more or less clear. - The analogy shows the difference between TRYING to clear your mind, versus LETTING your mind clear. You can’t just be like “okay I’m gonna achieve stillness now”. Have faith and let your mind be, let it take you to a good place. - The prototype posture of meditation is the physical embodiment of stability and centered-ness, symmetry - Meditation is essentially doing nothing. Meeting all the negative waves that buffet you around with stability. Negativity meets acceptance. - Stop, observe, return. Focusing on your breath, when another thought comes along, acknowledge that you have been distracted from your breath, observe, then return to the breath. Acknowledge failure, choose response then return to task. - The self is a tempestuous mess. Meditation can sometimes be a battle with yourself. But the practice scaffolds you for dealing with issues later due to automatized stop observe return practice. - Meditation is the study of yourself. Awareness of self - Practicing engaging attention, and disengaging attention. Orienting, holding, letting go. Confronting failure. More still, less pushed around by outside world. - Consciousness moment to moment. Enjoy the duck of bliss, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Be able to let go of attachments. - Stillness means trying to refrain from doing the things we normally do to solve problems. - Think of compassion as a basic frame through which to see the world, not passivity. Accepting that things ARE doesn’t mean not acting or feeling a response. - Pitfall of meditation. If you meditate for a while, you are almost certainly gonna run into your issues. By practice, when those nast
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