Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
When given nothing else to do, the brain defaults to thinking about the person it’s embedded in. The brain areas related to processing emotions, recalling memory, and thinking about what’s to come become quietly active.
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In Buddhist traditions, this chattering described by neuroscientists as the default mode is a dragon to be tamed, if not slain. The crux of the Buddhist argument is that if you don’t establish some relationship with your DMN, some mindfulness of its activity, you’ll be yanked around by t...
The wandering nature of the DMN can be harnessed for creative thinking. In a 2015 study, participants were asked to do creative thinking tasks. Results showed that creative thinking requires a combination of focusing internal attention and controlling spontaneous thinking. It underscores the fact...
Suffering arises when people concretize the fleeting swirls of thought, especially around conceptions of self. Default-mode content involves an image of self, one that’s easy to become attached to. These self conceptions carry lots of emotional weight. We think that the image of the self...
The trouble that your DMS gets into seems to depend on how automatic your patterns of thought are. The key is cognitive flexibility: being able to more freely choose your mental habits, and have greater agency in your cognitive phenomena. CBT and even
"Meditation practice is necessary generally because our thinking pattern, our conceptualized way of conducting our life in the world, is either too manipulative, imposing itself upon the world, or else runs completely wild and uncontrolled. Therefore, our meditation practice must begin wi...
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