Mindfulness and Meditation in Psychology

. . . at the New School, baby!

It’s a two-hour psych class I have every Thursday night, involving a brief meditation or mindfulness exercise, didactic presentation, and some discussion.  With only 25 people, we have ample opportunity for lively exchange, though I still feel like I’m re-learning how to be involved in group academia.

The last few weeks we’ve had reading assignments that take me right back to my days as a debater.  Reading such dense field-specific language, it’s interesting to see how my first intellectual instinct is to break every argument apart, piece by piece, identifying holes – and contemplating how to fix them.  My analytical mind’s been hungry!

Of course, I have so little technical experience in psych academia, a lot of it’s just learning what the protocol for experimental research might be.  Once I do that, I may not feel so uneasy with control group definition or consistency in lifestyle variables for these correlative studies.  Not that I require “being sold” on mindfulness meditation.  I know it works (at least for me!) … but to see the process of how it’s become so scientifically accepted and finally a part of the mainstream is fascinating.

The class is really something special, a sweet combination of Buddhist techniques and psychology scholarship.  It took a lot of hoop jumping to get in (especially as a non-degree student), but I’m so grateful I did.

Having a great teacher is also a blessing.  Jonathan Kaplan keeps the material accessible and engaging, sometimes funny, sometimes profound – you can tell he’s passionate about the subject.  And that’s such an inspiration as a student.

If you’re interested in how to live mindfully in a city, check out his book, too.  It’s an absolute joy.

For more . . .

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