Movie meditation

Often in discussion about meditation you see mention of the goal of eliminating self. The idea is that you should not be aware of your own existence, your inner dialogue, but simply be aware of your experiences. I’ve long thought this reminds me of the most un-meditative of experiences: watching an engaging movie. You, the viewer, cease to exist and you cede yourself to the characters onscreen.

I’m not the only one to have this stunning insight. Slate reports…

Rafael Malach and colleagues have studied what happens when people watch an absorbing Clint Eastwood movie in a brain scanner. In those circumstances, the frontal “self” network actually shuts down while the more purely visual parts of the brain are activated. This mirrors our experience. When we watch an absorbing movie we lose the sense of our selves, but we are vividly and profoundly conscious of the movie itself.

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