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August 20, 2022


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The gist of your post, and of that book you're reviewing, clarifies a very important nuance. What is dysfunctional, and what needs to be addressed, and eliminated, is the uncontrolled, negative, harmful "chatter"; and not the inner dialog per se. To seek to eliminate the inner dialog altogether, that is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. In any case, I doubt it is even possible, to silence it fully, short of psychosis. It is good to have this important nuance so clearly spelt out.

Some traditions do hold that complete silencing of the mind lets ...something, something else, something deeper within us, come to the fore. That of course is a whole different claim, than the perfectly reasonable proposition being discussed here; and, like all extraordinary claims, demands extraordinary evidence.

(Although I suppose it wouldn't hurt if we who dabble with meditation kept an eye open to this possibility as well? After all the method leading to the one is exactly what would lead to the other as well, assuming it is fact. Well, basis some practices, at any rate.)

@ Kross excerpt [ This approach differed from the meditative practice of mindfulness in that the goal wasn't to stand apart and watch one's thoughts drift by without engaging with them. The point was to engage, but to do so from a distanced perspective, which isn't the same thing as an emotionally avoidant one. ]

IMO a distanced engagement with the mind's chatter occurs positively
most often AFTER a session of mindfulness concludes and is being
processed then and not DURING the session itself. To simply note the
emotion that arises without engaging as mindfulness seeks to do is the
more effective technique. An emotionally avoidant tack avoids the trap
of getting embroiled in lengthy back-and-forth exchanges that result in
diminished attention. The "monkey mind" excels at this. While engaged
in them, streams of other thoughts are certainly passing by in the back-
ground or in unheard channels. Engaging from a distanced perspective
may result in besting the adversary in a skirmish but will lose the war.

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