Mark Frankenberg

(on Better Ways to Achieve individual and collective Health and Efficiency)
Mindfulness and Efficiency

Regarding Mindfulness, Peace of Mind, Meditation, and Concentration:

    Stop.  Try to think only about your breath.  Right Here.  Right Now.  Only the breath.  The inhalation.. the exhalation.  Think "Stop.  I Am breathing In Here Now.  Smile.  I Am breathing Out Here Now".  Rather than doing it, witness it.  You will find your thoughts wandering.  They will come forward and relegate the breath to a background cadence.   Gently interrupt that cadence and allow your breath instead to follow the needs of the body.  Maybe quick once or twice then slow for a while, letting the body get and release what it needs.  Only observe that you are breathing.  Don't direct it.  Witness it.  Stop.  Let In Here Now.   Smile.   Let Out Here Now.   Try to think ONLY about these words:

Words for the In breath, to think about, silently (use one per breath, pick the one that best fits the current situation):
Words for the Out breath, to think about, silently (use one per breath, pick the one that best fits the current situation):

1. In
1. Out
2. Here 2. Now
3. Yes 3. Space
4. Smile 4. Stop
5. (whispered "aaaahhh") 5. (whispered "oooooh")
6. (with no words, consider an ocean wave Up) 6. (with no words, consider an ocean wave Down)
7. Positive 7. Progress
8. Okay 8. Let Go
9. Focus 9. Objective
10. Ease
10. Welcome
11. Deep
11. Calm
12. Feel
12. Body
13. We Deserve
13. Good Things
14. Coordination
14. Grace
15. Energy
15. Strength
16. Participate
16. Awesomeness
Then Just Know you are breathing in and breathing out, with no words.  Know how it feels.  You are the Knower.  Know the Brain is processing the words.

    When you notice that you are thinking about something else, recognize and accept that thought without judgment, then gently switch your attention once again to your breath.  ONLY your breath.  Stop.  I Am breathing In Here Now.  Smile.  Let Out Here Now.  This returning to thinking about ONLY your breath is called Practice.  It is Practicing Meditation.  It is also referred to as Watching the Thinker.  As we observe the Thinker we re-direct our attention to the breathing Practice.

    You might notice, after having done this over time, that the mind is capable of thinking of many things at a time, very fast.  You are the proud owner of a very powerful machine.

    This is excercise, for the mind.  Immediate and long-term benefits of this excercise include increased peace, more happiness, more focus and more of the results you want in life. Practicing can be a refuge in itself.  It is available to you any where, any time.  Even if only for a couple breaths.  Is your head noisy?   Stop.  Practice.  Even if only for a couple breaths.

    Curious?  I encourage you to look into what Eckhard Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh have to say about this.  

How efficiency is related to mindfulness:

When I got my Army sergeant stripes in the mid-1980's I was introduced to rudimentary complexity problems regarding task-management and scheduling, and I wrote simple computer programs in the evenings as a hobby and to aid in my day work.  While working out the steps for task accomplishment in these programs, and while learning various languages including x86 assembly language, I came to realize that much of what I liked about computers was the concept of breaking complexity down into its workable component parts. 

The "Turing Machine" concept, upon which computer science is largely based, is a model of breaking tasks down to their smallest components.  There is a degree of serenity to be gained and an elation of discovery when one sees the foundation of a solution.  When one is able to identify exactly what bit must be turned on or off in order to achieve a solution, or I suppose when bio-chemical engineers are able to point out which configuration of elements is responsible for a given activity, there is a peace in having traced complexity down to its root.  The flow-states achieved by effective artists and engineers is in part characterized by this serenity of contact with the foundation or essence of one's quest.

My comparison between the individual person and the collective society, which publicly began with my first novel over a decade ago, continues on this website.  For an individual, peace of mind can be attained through presence, or mindfulness, as teachers from the early Buddhists to recent figures such as Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh emphasize, and also through the focused flow of attention to the foundations of things as I mentioned above. 

Using mindfulness, we "watch the thinker" and gain increased control over our thoughts including our emotions.  This "watching the thinker" is a concept we used to refer to, in our teenage years, as "being deep".  Watching the thinker, we become more effective system administrators of our brains and can "click X" on undesired processes when necessary.  An attention to presence can result in a more effective lifestyle, wherein we achieve our own individual goals more often than in a life of distraction.  A mindful, efficient society likewise results from a "clear head".  Decisiveness means nothing and is actually a big problem if decisions are made based on a poor understanding of the situation.  Being mindful is knowing when there is corruption of the thought process, of what is noise and what is truth.  A mindful society has a clear picture of what constitutes issues requiring action. 

A mindful society is composed of mindful individuals.

-- Mark Frankenberg

Work In Progress
Version: 19aug17a1731e