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Old 10-24-19, 10:09 PM
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Re: Memory Issues

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Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Clearly it is important that our memories work best for highly threatening/traumatic events and for highly rewarding situations.

Most of us do not understand well how our memories work.

The neurologist Antonio Damasio notes that the idea of some sort of perfect memory of any "thing in itself" that is like an image on celluloid is incorrect.
In fact we remember "our interactions with the object (of memory) or, to be precise-- how it clobbered us.
(IE Highly threatening or highly rewarding events are marked very strongly in the amygdala and the memory is tagged as being of "high importance")

He also makes the comment that it is easier to form a memory if the brain is more fully engaged- and the more sensory and/or motor formats are engaged the fuller the memory will be.

ie- If you go to a lecture and take no notes, nothing much will stick.
However, if you take notes, attempt to re-format them and come to your own understanding while whispering the key features to yourself-- the chances are that they will stick.

A couple of follow up revisions will further cement the memories.

I hope that the following does not consist being inappropriately religious- it is not meant to be. The only reason I am mentioning it is that it is an example of a great memory technique. I hope to be able to translate the following to a form which is not dependent on the content, because some will not want to look at this.

The Tibetan culture is well known for producing masters of memory-- it had to be, as at the time the main works were done, many were illiterate.

One of the key reasons for my interest in that particular culture is because of their reputation of having superb memories.

Now the Tibetans tack their teachings sort of like a pyramid.
An example.
One set of teachings is called the prajna paramita.
That is 80,000 pages-- if you really want to be over obsessive.

However it condenses down to several shorter works, then above that "The Heart Sutra"-- which is about 1.5 pages of A4, quite rhythmical, and which finally condenses down to a 19 syllable mantra.

So the point of this is that you can regularly recite the sutra (including the mantra) while sitting in front of one of those lovely tapestries, which conveys the meaning of that material in a visual form.

So you have a good hierarchy of the important material, expressed in about 4 different forms, combined with a tapestry which also carries the same information, and a technique of chanting which is rhythmic (another layer of information) and which is often combined with sets of hand movements (called mudras).

The meditation techniques also enhance mental alertness and stillness. That does no harm.

Another technique is called "memory palaces" It has been used in both the West (Ancient Greece) and in the east in the form of Mandalas.
This one is well worth looking at:
Develop Perfect Memory With the Memory Palace Technique
Certainly, there are quite a few effective memory training techniques, I believe would really help. The real problem for me is two fold. Finding the time, energy and motivation to do it coupled with the over bombardment of stress and pressure from just trying to survive and make a living in America. So much exposure to information, overstimulation and sensationalism makes just deciphering what the important memory worthy information is from the spam and makes storing those memories very difficult.

I think life is just too fast with too much going on for me to make many lasting memories without a conscious effort and ruminating over it.

I really need a several year vacation to Tibet spent learning from and chilling with the monks!

Last edited by Greyhound1; 10-25-19 at 12:34 AM..
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Old 10-25-19, 01:01 AM
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Re: Memory Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
Certainly, there are quite a few effective memory training techniques, I believe would really help. The real problem for me is two fold. Finding the time, energy and motivation to do it coupled with the over bombardment of stress and pressure from just trying to survive and make a living in America. So much exposure to information, overstimulation and sensationalism makes just deciphering what the important memory worthy information is from the spam and makes storing those memories very difficult.

I think life is just too fast with too much going on for me to make many lasting memories without a conscious effort and ruminating over it.

I really need a several year vacation to Tibet spent learning from and chilling with the monks!
Mmmm Tibet

Nice but not essential.

You know thoughts come up because they have been thought a lot, intensely and recently, and because of the context.
Neurones that fire together wire together.

This endless damned loop of repeating garbage can be an issue though.

The application there is actually really easy: Keep your attention on sensation, not thought. Narrow it down-- find a default target of attention (ie breath sensation at the opening of your nostrils).

Observe that and from time to time check that you have not drifted.
When your attention has been snared by a thought acknowledge is and turn back to noting your breathing.

Many teachers forget to tell you that there will always be lots of thought that you can sense in the background.

Thoughts persist because we re- think them. When we do the above we stop stoking that cycle, and they sort of fade away. It is nice once it gets quiet.

The other big mistake is thinking we need to go somewhere and beautiful.

I have had a shocking run since the end of 2011: divorce, and a real breakdown of my bipolar. I had 3 outbreaks of it, and 4 admissions as an involuntary patient. That's really pretty embarrassing really. I got pretty hostile and wrote quite a few nasty letters. However I noticed that this was not what I aspired to, and I was letting down my teachers.
So when I was admitted, I largely focussed on the illness, and its correlates, and on teachers.

It surprised me that I could meditate in that situation and keep aware of self instead of just getting fused with the emotion.

However, i could, and it sped up my discharge, and it really has reduced my tendency to anger.



This all helps stress too.
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Whenever you see a crowd all rushing in the same direction on any one issue, run in the opposite direction.

There is neither fun nor profit to be had in polishing the brass knobs on a bandwagon.
Nicholas Nasseem Taleb.


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