Medieval monks

Medieval monks had a hard time concentrating while they were supposed to focus on divine communication: to read, to pray and sing, and to work to understand God.

The ideal was a mind that was always and actively reaching out to its target by working hard at making the mind behave. The monks found it easier to concentrate when their bodies were moving, whether they were baking or farming.

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Nuns, monks, preachers and the people they educated were to visualize the material they were processing. A branchy tree or a finely feathered angel. The images might loosely correspond to the substance of an idea.

The point was to give the mind something to draw, to indulge its appetite for interesting forms while sorting its ideas into some logical structure.

Any plan for sidestepping distractions calls for strategies on sidestepping distraction.

It is a fantasy to think that we can dodge distraction once and for all. There will always be exciting things to create distraction for the mind.

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RELATED IDEAS

Anthropological research shows how physical proximity increases interactions. The office is an important factor in communicating the necessary cues of leadership, collaboration, and communication.

Although employees might move back to the physical space of the office again, boundaries are changing.

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IDEAS

The post-Romantic attitude

Knowing the history of Romanticism should be consoling because it suggests that the problems we have with relationships don’t stem from our ineptitude, inadequacy or choice of a partner. 

  • It should be normal to discuss money up-front
  • We should realise that we are rather flawed
  • We will never find everything in another person
  • We need to make immense efforts to understand one another
  • Discussing practical concerns is not trivial
“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realise how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.”

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