Talking to his biographer Walter Isaacson about meditation
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes things worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things — that's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.
Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It's a discipline; you have to practice it.
A former skeptic talks about his conversion:
If you had told me as recently as a few years ago that I’d ever become a Buddhist — never mind that I might even admit to it publicly — I would have coughed my beer up through my nose.
Meditation is not relaxation. It's not sitting there and zoning out. You're taming your mind. It's hard work – just the way rock climbing or swimming a mile is. But it has benefits just like those activities do.
On how meditation slowly changes the way the mind works:
Instead of seeing my thoughts as something to run from or capture, they could be something I simply observed. And if I observed them long enough, even the most tantalizing or infuriating of thoughts — a pretty face, a debt owed — would float away. And my mind, lo and behold, would become stable, even tranquil.
Mindfulness practice may feel counterintuitive:
When we do things, we expect a certain outcome. We expect to get better at it over time. But in meditation, the whole thing is you have to go in expecting to fail all the time. But the quote and quote failure is actually a success.
I have to remind myself over and over. The moment you wake up and notice you got distracted, that's a win. I usually go into a spiral of self-recrimination in that moment but noticing that is a win, too. Knowing what's happening right now is the radical act, is the win.
Is a strong argument alone key to effective communication?
Equally important is the relational agility to work with whatever comes up in the dynamic environment of human interaction, especially all that is felt but not articulated by both parties to the conversation.
Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain:
Showing attention is necessary for neuroplasticity. Focused attention alters the brain.
Outside stimuli can alter the brain so can self-generated stimuli such as thoughts and meditation.
You can train your brain to adopt different thinking circuits, to switch off ruminative modes of thinking and to practice relating differently to negative thoughts and feeling.