The Wandering Mind

“The realistic goal to be attained through spiritual practice is not some permanent state of enlightenment that admits of no further efforts, but a capacity to be free in this moment in the midst of whatever is happening. If you can do that, you have already solved most of the problems you will encounter in life.”

-Sam Harris (Waking Up)

People report being lost in thought 47% of the time (Killingsworth & Gilbert. 2010. via The Harvard Gazette). Mindfulness Meditation, as I’m sure most of you have heard by now, is one possible remedy for your unwanted wandering or circular thoughts, anxieties, ADD, and pretty much any mental affliction you might be dealing with. At least, in most cases, it couldn’t hurt.

As you probably know, I focus exclusively on movies here on this blog. However, at the back of my mind I’ve always supposed movies to be only half of the equation. Just as it is half the title. (Experience + Film). So What is Experience? Well, for starters, I’d have to say it’s the presence of mind you bring to the party, so to speak. We’ve all had the experience of zoning out during a conversation with a loved one, or while learning, reading a book, watching a movie. Some of that is healthy. But when it’s pathological, it’s destructive. At times, for me, its gotten so bad, I literally can’t even watch a movie. Or at least, retain anything of it.

I don’t know about you, but lately I feel like I’m lost in thought much higher than the average 47%. And the consequences of that lack of attention are starting to manifest. I just blew up at my girlfriend for practically no reason at all, other than I didn’t have the presence of mind or patience to stop and think, and articulate what I was feeling, or what I wanted to say in the moment. And now we are at odds, and suffering. When I get angry like this, its almost always a reminder that I need to meditate – that I’ve gotten lazy with my mind. And that laziness leads to suffering😔

I’m going to make a follow-up post with some of my favorite mindfulness references for anybody who’s interested. Since there are far better people to listen to than me on this subject! In fact, there are some really really good ones. For starters, I recommend Sam Harris’ phenomenal, and FREE, Waking Up App. Also, Mingyur Rinpoche is one of my personal favorite instructors. He’s very down-to-earth, soothing, warm and wise. I’m having trouble locating my fav seminar of his on youtube at the moment.

What’s your experience with mindfulness? Have you tried it? Do you like it? And who are some of your favorite gurus or instructors? Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

Time to Meditate! 🧘‍♂️☯️


9 thoughts on “The Wandering Mind

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  1. We live in strange times man, and honestly I think everyone these days is on edge, more than they usually are. I notice it everywhere, in simple day to day activities like grocery shopping for example. People can be set off at the tiniest things.
    The year 2020 is a bad one, for pretty much everyone I think. But at times it’s just simply good to step back and take a breather, and realise: things could be worse, they can always be worse. But hey, at some point things are going to get better. That’s what I think and believe, and well one could say that’s a sort of mindfulness too. Take care, and I’m sure your girlfriend will forgive you😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I notice it too. People driving crazier. This is a tough year for sure, and is putting pressure on people. I have to remember that, and remember to take a breather once in a while. Things will get better. Thanks for the kind comment 🙏☺️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I will have to summarise my thoughts otherwise I’ll get lost down a self conversation bubble.
    * humans are evolving to retain less information.
    * this zombie state was created by library’s in palms of hands now exit.
    * body learns no need to digest and retain information.
    * because my brain is stored on the cloud
    Quote: I wanders softly like a cloud over the hills and oh wait it’s the Microsoft standard iconic pc desktop background”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! I now think I spent all my life or at least 95% of it lost in thoughts and not participating in my own life 🙂 A scary idea! I was practising meditation on and off for a couple of years now, but never could find the rhythm to make the practice consistent. Thanks for recommending Sam Harris’ Waking Up App – I need to check it out. I also used to be on an online meditation community – opensit – I need to get back to it since I found it useful before to keep track of my meditation and mindfulness exercises.

    As for movies, I am a movie buff, too, but what I found over the years is that I am finding it harder and harder to watch films since they start to “drain” me and my mind. It is like I cannot go through another person’s experience anymore (in a film), whereas before I will just swallow anything presented on screen and could not get enough.


    1. Thanks for sharing your experience – It’s encouraging to hear that you can relate to being lost in thought. I can tell you have a powerful mind and imagination! Which can sweep you away from the real world. It’s a gift. As long as it serves YOU, and not the other way around☁️🙂

      Finding that rhythm you speak of, to make the practice consistent is hard for me too! As Sam says, ANY amount of practice is better than none. You do what you can, when you can.

      Liked by 1 person

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