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It’s said that the Buddha achieved enlightenment
during a deep meditation under the Bodhi tree.
Seeking enlightenment through meditation is
a deeply rooted practice in many Eastern cultures
and it actually predates the Buddha.
Initially, the Silk Road helped the practice travel around Asia
and eventually, it began its journey towards the West
where, in recent decades, it has really taken off as a mainstream phenomenon.
Improved focus, greater emotional control,
improved immunity, reduced suffering,
weight loss, and improved sleep
Here are just some of the benefits that are often sold to Westerners.
*In short, you can become a better you*.
But is this true?
What does the science actually say about meditation?
For starters, the science of meditation is very preliminary.
Most of the studies we have are of low quality.
To rigorously examine the benefits of meditation,
we need many more carefully controlled longitudinal studies
that follow people over a long period of time before and after beginning meditation.
Furthermore, a lot of the really impressive feats of meditation
are found in yogis, monks
and other experts who spend their lives meditating.
Not only is this unrealistic for the average person,
it’s difficult to understand how many of these amazing traits they have
are a product of meditation.
Monks and yogis live in completely different cultures,
with likeminded people who support their practice.
On top of that,
they often hold strong religious beliefs that undergird these practices.
How do you separate the effects
of these deeply rooted cultural influences from the practice of meditation?
Although the science so far isn’t all that great,
there’s no reason to doubt that meditation has at least some utility.
For thousands of years,
the idea has continued to be passed down and practiced for generations:
there must be a reason.
That said, let’s take a look at what seems to be the primary benefit.
what seems to be the primary benefit.
Specifically, let’s take a look at mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present moment.
It’s all about *pure awareness*.
Your brain has a Default Mode Network (DMN)
that comes online when you’re not concentrating on anything.
It’s thought that the DMN helps us retrieve memories,
think about the future, and understand the thought processes of others.
It’s that narrator in your head: the one that always ruminates.
It’s constantly constructing narratives about the past, other people,
and generating potential solutions to future problems
When you practice being mindful of the present,
such as when you focus on your breath,
the DMN quiets down.
Naturally, you become more focused and attentive
to what’s going on in the present moment.
Studies show that with greater mindfulness practice,
an individual can gain greater control of the DMN
and get better at keeping it quiet
and thus be more attentive in the present moment.
I think it follows quite easily that
if you can gain greater control over that narrator in your head,
you can ruminate less,
think less about the past and the future,
and be in the present in the moment.
That might explain a lot of the other reported benefits
such as lowered stress, greater compassion, and more focus.
像缓解压力 增强同理心 提高注意力
But there seems to be a perverse love for constantly
being in the present growing in the West.
There are times where being present is great.
But there are also times
where it’s more enjoyable to allow your mind to wander
and to be somewhere else.
In fact, some studies show that a wandering mind
is important for creativity.
Furthermore, one could argue
that it’s our ability to mentally time travel
and retrieve important lessons from our past,
and project ourselves into a multitude of potential futures
that makes us so powerful as a species.
Consider two states:
one where you’re attentive to what’s going on right now,
and one where you’re preoccupied with the past and the future.
Let’s call these the *experiential-self* and the *narrative-self*, respectively.
Both states are useful and necessary.
But if mindfulness is pure awareness of the present moment,
you can practice it at anytime.
You don’t need a special ritual but,
more importantly, this capacity for presence was always available to you.
My question to you is why aren’t you already present
in the moments you may be seeking to be?
Whether it’s your jobs, or your relationships,
there may be more fundamental issues underlying your lack of presence
which a mindfulness practice is not going to fix.
If you’re not already present,
the only thing that’s going to change that
is a change in belief or a change in environment.
In the West, mindfulness has been commodified and
in order to sell it to the individual,
we place the problem on them.
“*You’re distracted, and stressed because you’re not mindful.*”
But this statement is actually more true in the reverse:
you’re not mindful because you’re stressed and distracted.
If you change your environment to one that pulls you into the present
and you’ll naturally be more mindful.
But if a change in environment isn’t possible or desirable,
you need a change in belief;
you need a reason to be present.
There are an infinite amount of beliefs that you could
adopt to make yourself believe that being more present is valuable,
but I want to share one with you
and it brings me back to the origins of meditation.
This idea of what mediation can do *for me*, is very Western.
But in the East, meditation wasn’t developed to improve productivity,
or to cure illness.
Originally, it was meant to be used
as a pathway to selflessness, compassion, and enlightenment.
What if you didn’t meditate for yourself?
Instead, what if you did it so that you could be present
for the people around you?
How much better could you make
that moment *for them* by being completely attentive, present,
and giving them your most honest reaction?
Now, imagine if you did that for everyone around you?
How much happier could they all be as a result of these repeated interactions?
How would this affect their interactions with others?
How big could this chain of events get and how much
of an impact could you have by simply being present?
Realize that these people make up your environment.
If that compassion radiates out from you to them,
and they’re all around you, how could
it not find its way back to you?
Maybe meditation is something you do for others, and not for yourself.
所以 冥想也许是为他人存在 而非自己
So, mindfulness is just being in the present
and yes, it does work.
Naturally, there are benefits to being attentive to the present moment,
and as you practice being present more,
you may find yourself having an easier time doing it.
But if you’re not already present
you may need a change in environment or belief.
but there are also benefits to being in the past,
the future, and just letting your mind wander in general.
It’s really up to you to decide,
in each moment which time you want living.
One thing that still get asked often is how I make the animated videos
and as the second part I use two different softwares
adobe illustrator to make the assets and after that fix the animated term
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If you are into designing animations
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I recommend two courses
The first one is Motion Graphics with Kurzgesagt, also known as Internet Show
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The second course is How to Make an Animated YouTube Video Evan from Channel polly matter
Like me, Evan has no formal training in designer animations
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If there is something that you’re interested in,
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and after that it shares 10 dollars a month.
Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time.
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