31 August 2016

Distractedness

Many of my friends and associates are not only long time practitioners of mindfulness, but are now involved in teaching mindfulness for a living in religious and therapeutic settings.

For myself I've gone in the other direction, exploring therapeutic applications of distraction. Not paying attention to the here and now and not paying attention to my emotions. Instead, choosing some external task (for me it's usually writing) that is working towards some goal and getting on with it in a deliberate attempt to take myself out of myself, to get out of the present moment because it's often unbearable, and to keep the future very much in mind (deadlines, word counts, etc).

There's often no mileage for me in the present, or in how I feel right now. I've tried it and it inevitably turns into rumination which magnifies any difficulties. Distraction is a better bet.

Its a niche field. I think I'll call it: Constructive Distractedness™.

If mindfulness just makes you mental, ask me about Constructive Distractedness™.

30 August 2016

Jazz. Not cool.

"Jazz died in 1959."

On Why Jazz Isn't Cool Anymore. Nicholas Payton. 27 November 2011 

~

I found this essay via a BBC Radio4 documentary (http://bbc.in/2bBoTfJ). I think it one of the most interesting pieces of writing I've read in a long time. It exemplifies the values that it preaches and the music that seeks to avoid being labelled. I've added a task to my list to try to write "On Why Buddhism Isn't Cool Anymore" as a tribute rather than a parody. I don't want to appropriate the idea, I want to show why it has universal applicability beyond the sphere of New Orleans music. I suppose the first question to answer will be "When did Buddhism die?"