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Why the Ignatian spiritual style?

I came across this article and recommend it for any young persons.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?

Phone

The power of concentration

neuroticthought:

by Deric Bownds

I’ve been meaning to pass on this review by Konnikova on the salutary effects of mindfulness and concentration. It pulls together a number of observations that I have noted in previous MindBlog posts. Here are a few clips:

…mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration: the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way…In 2011, researchers from the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that daily meditation-like thought could shift frontal brain activity toward a pattern that is associated with what cognitive scientists call positive, approach-oriented emotional states — states that make us more likely to engage the world rather than to withdraw from it…

An exercise in mindfulness can also help with that plague of modern existence: multitasking…researchers led by a team from the University of Washington examined the effects of meditation training on multitasking in a real-world setting. They asked a group of human resources professionals to engage in the type of simultaneous planning they did habitually… After the multitasking free-for-all, participants were divided into three groups: one was assigned to an eight-week meditation course (two hours of instruction, weekly); another group didn’t take the course at first, but took it later; and the last group took an eight-week course in body relaxation. Everyone was put through a second round of frenzy…The only participants to show improvement were those who had received the mindfulness training.Not only did they report fewer negative emotions at the end of the assignment, but their ability to concentrate improved significantly. They could stay on task longer and they switched between tasks less frequently.

In recent years, mindfulness has been shown to improve connectivity inside our brain’s attentional networks, as well as between attentional and medial frontal regions — changes that save us from distraction. Mindfulness, in other words, helps our attention networks communicate better and with fewer interruptions than they otherwise would…In 2006, a team of psychologists demonstrated that the neural activation patterns of older adults (specifically, activation in the prefrontal cortex), began to resemble those of much younger subjects after just five one-hour training sessions on a task of attentional control. Their brains became more efficient at coordinating multiple tasks — and the benefit transferred to untrained activities, suggesting that it was symptomatic of general improvement.

Similar changes have been observed in the default network (the brain’s resting-state activity). In 2012, researchers from Ohio State University demonstrated that older adults who scored higher on mindfulness scales had increased connectivity in their default networks, specifically in two of the brain’s major information processing hubs. And while we already know that this kind of increased connectivity is a very good thing, there’s more to these particular results. The precise areas that show increased connectivity with mindfulness are also known to be pathophysiological sites of Alzheimer’s disease.

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile;
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars twice;
Going for three..” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said; “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;
A game - and he travels on.
“He is going” once, and “going twice,
He’s going and almost gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

- Myra B. Welch (via fathershane)