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Is It All Right Not to Know?

Is It All Right Not to Know?

If you tend to miss important details, jump to conclusions or have a hard time learning new things, perhaps your mind is too full. Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience, suggests that in order to absorb lots of useful information, your mind must be open and spacious—free of assumptions, of beliefs about others' intentions and of preconceived ideas.

He offers these suggestions for becoming more comfortable with a don't-know mind:
 
• Be skeptical of what you're sure is true. Remind yourself: "Just because I think it doesn't make it so."
• In conversation, don't assume that you know what someone will say. that is, don't stop listening to rehearse your response.
• Look at familiar objects and notice the second or so before a label, such as "pencil," pops into your mind. Try to expand that interval of not-knowing.
• Go even further. Ask yourself if you really know what an object is. You say it's made of atoms, electrons, protons and quarks, but what's a quark? And so on.
• Deeper still, do you know what you are? Or, what you are truly capable of? Consider limiting assumptions about yourself, such as, my ideas aren't good. Is that so?
 
Read the entire blog post on a don’t-know mind.

Posted: 2/15/10
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