October 27, 2012

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Smartphones, Mindfulness, the Masters & Intelligence "Navigating a No-Phone Zone" by Jason Gay in the Wall Street Journal for Friday, April 6, (http://j.mp/I4bNqJ) provides a great window into the experience of the gallery at the Masters with its "no phones" policy. That's as in no phones. They'll escort you out if you use one. Wow. And, cool! Mr. Gay describes the experience as "oddly satisfying." He says that fans "look at things - with their eyes. They solve questions - by asking nearby human beings. They come up with clever comments and somehow survive without offering them to the world in 140 characters." Love that last bit! He goes on to talk about having to make plans (meet under the big tree at 2 pm) and then having to stick to them! And he points out that, because they weren't looking at their phones, spectators got to watch, really watch, the event. They didn't miss key moments, or fail to make interesting observations from seemingly mundane moments, because they were too busy texting, tweeting, typing, or touching (the screen - not a person!). This strikes me as a policy that promotes mindfulness. Right now, my personal working definition of mindfulness is: sustained, continuously re-focused non-judgmental attention to what is. In other words, it involves paying attention to some aspect of reality (one's breath is a frequent focus, but the Masters should work!) and continuously re-focusing on that reality when the mind wanders. Some Masters fans may be more non-judgmental than others: noticing the heat of the...

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