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daydreaming and mental problem solving


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Posted

Relative to mindfulness meditation - where does mental activity fit that i would normally be characterized as "creative daydreaming", or "mental problem solving"?

 

My understanding of mindfulness is that i should simply notice past/future non-constructive mental chatter, and then bring my attention back to some present experience (like breathing).

 

But what about "constructive" mental chatter? Where does that fit?

 

Is it possible to meditate on a mental problem, where if i notice that i'm drifting away from the problem, then i non-judgmentally re-focus back on the problem (as i would with breath)?

 

Would constructive problem-solving/daydreaming still be considered mindfulness meditation?

 

What are you thoughts on this? 

 

Peace.

 

  • Moderator
Posted

Hello Marco,

Thank you for the interesting question. Here's my take on it. Mindfulness Meditation is the formal training - going to the mental gym if you so will. Staying concentrated on a task at hand, for example, creative thinking and problem solving, is a "side effect". Just like having more bodily strength is trained with specific exercises and can be used in other situations.
As we recognize our mind wandering and practice bringing it back, again and again, is the main exercise we can choose to what we bring it back to. In the formal practice of mindfulness meditation, this would be the present moment and mostly the breath.
The present moment can also be the conversation I am having, the email I am writing or solving a problem.
So I wouldn't call creative thinking mindfulness meditation, but anything we do in the present moment wholeheartedly and by choice is a form of mindfulness in the broader sense.

 

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