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Disrupting your brain

From Brain Based Biz: When you try an activity that’s totally new to you, you are building new neuron path­ways in your brain.  Why is this good? If you simply do the same things day to day, you create ruts and routines.  I wanted to learn to play a video game like my grand­sons and a phys­ical activity, too. Today, Minecraft is one of the most chal­lenging and problem solving games avail­able and I decided to learn to learn do this as opposed to word games I am used to playing.  Why? Disrup­tive activity is good for your brain. What is disrup­tion, anyway? · Go to Disrupting your brain →

Jean-Paul Mari: The chilling aftershock of a brush with death

From TED: On a reporting trip, jour­nalist Jean-Paul Mari had a face-to-face encounter with a sense­less, random death, begin­ning his acquain­tance with a phantom that has haunted us since ancient times: post-trau­matic stress. “What is this thing that can kill you without leaving any visible scars?” Mari asks. In this probing talk, he searches for answers in the after­math of horror and trauma — and comes to a very human conclu­sion: we must talk. · Go to Jean-Paul Mari: The chilling after­shock of a brush with death →

Do you have a “jazz” mindset or a “classical” mindset?

From 99u: There’s a reason jazz wasn’t taught at the New England Conser­va­tory before Gunther Schuller arrived in the 1960s. Artists are protec­tive of their work, and clas­sical musi­cians are no excep­tion; many faculty members at the renowned Boston insti­tu­tion didn’t want the whims of jazz impro­visers to “sully” their canon. The tradi­tion­al­ists there believed in an unam­biguous divide between the realms of clas­sical and jazz—both for them­selves, and for posterity. But Gunther Schuller, who passed away on June 21 of this year, wasn’t having it. · Go to Do you have a “jazz” mindset or a “clas­sical” mindset? →

The messy minds of creative people

From Scien­tific Amer­ican: The creative process — from the first drop of paint on the canvas to the art exhi­bi­tion — involves a mix of emotions, drives, skills, and behav­iors. It’d be mirac­u­lous if these emotions, traits and behav­iors didn’t often conflict with each other during the creative process, creating inner and outer tension. Indeed, creative people are often seen as weird, odd, and eccen­tric. · Go to The messy minds of creative people →

Can we end the meditation madness?

From Adam Grant in NY Times: Medi­ta­tion isn’t snake oil. For some people, medi­ta­tion might be the most effi­cient way to reduce stress and culti­vate mind­ful­ness. But it isn’t a panacea. If you don’t medi­tate, there’s no need to stress out about it. In fact, in some situ­a­tions, medi­ta­tion may be harmful: Willoughby Britton, a Brown Univer­sity Medical School professor, has discov­ered numerous cases of trau­matic medi­ta­tion expe­ri­ences that inten­sify anxiety, reduce focus and drive, and leave people feeling inca­pac­i­tated.

Evan­ge­lists, it’s time to stop judging. The next time you meet people who choose not to medi­tate, take a deep breath and let us relax in peace. · Go to Can we end the medi­ta­tion madness? →

Your brain performs better when it slows down, with Steven Kotler

From Big Think: Best-selling author Steven Kotler recently visited Big Think to discuss the opti­miza­tion of conscious­ness through flow states, a key topic in his recently published book, The Rise of Superman. The best way to describe a flow state is to use the example of prac­ti­cally every action movie released since The Matrix. Expe­ri­encing flow is similar to being in “bullet time.” Like Keanu Reeves’ Neo (though certainly not on his level), a person in flow obtains the ability to keenly hone their focus on the task at hand so that every­thing else disap­pears. · Go to Your brain performs better when it slows down, with Steven Kotler →