Dr. Charles Tart
Dr. Charles T. Tart, Mindfulness, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,
Lecture 4, Part 15 of 18 parts. To start class from beginning, click here.
CTT: Now I have to introduce a business item, because I got the notice that it’s time for the mid-quarter review. So they sent me a sheet that says what you’re supposed to get from this course, and I have to ask you whether you’re getting anything like it.
So let’s see. The course objectives, three of them – (1) on the academic level, to familiarize the student with the nature of ordinary consciousness and its often mindless nature with the possibilities of becoming more perceptive, mindful, and sensitive in life.
We gettin’ any?
I’ll give you the other two. I think these can all go together. (2) On the professional level, to sensitize the student to recognize the occurrence of relatively mindless functioning and its implications for dealing with the person experiencing them. And (3) on the personal level, to foster sensitivity to variations in the functioning consciousness, and so be able to discern more appropriate and mindful styles of cognition and action.
Okay. I think things are going very well, but this is the time for – if there’s something big being left out, or creating confusion or something like that – this is the time to speak about it so I can do a mid-course correction.
Student: Good job.
CTT: This mid-course review never works. Everybody always says we’re doing fine, let’s get on with it.
But they (the Administration) say I have to do it.
Student: I appreciate the structure you have surrounding the papers. I like passing them between class members and getting various people’s feedback, and I like writing one each week.
And also, I was trained as an engineer and worked in the field for almost 20 years as an electrical engineer, and I appreciate the linear nature of your person, that I had seen as caused by or based on some of your engineering training.
CTT: The linear nature of my person? What does that mean?
Student: Well, I think art or software programming or things involving being near the heart are very non-linear. And you’re not going this way, this way, this way. However, there are a lot of processes in things that are very linear, including scientific thought and organizing things. You bring a certain linear perspective to stuff that is difficult to talk about, and I feel like you manage that well with a difficult subject.
CTT: Okay. Thank you. I try to remain comprehensible.
Student: Seems like judging a class on mindfulness would be somewhat paradoxical.
I mean, it’s like hard to go wrong.
CTT: Well, it could go wrong. We could just do this on a very intellectual level and come up with some nice words. That wouldn’t do it.
I feel – but I guess I should ask for more direct feedback on this – by now, has everyone had at least a taste of what it’s like to be more mindful? If anybody hasn’t had even a taste of it, then I haven’t been doing something right.
I’d love to be able to know how to teach this so that you all became very mindful and it became a permanent change in you, and all that. I don’t know how to teach that effectively. I don’t know how to be that effective myself.
But if everybody’s got a taste of it, so you know that direction is there, then I think that’s a little seed that’s going to be useful throughout the rest of your careers and your lives.
Student: I’ve appreciated being able to integrate this mindfulness into everything that I do. I was having difficulty being able to do that, and this has been very helpful. I think being in this environment is very helpful. I wish I could stay in this environment forever.
CTT: By this environment, you mean this particular class, or ITP in general?
Student: First, this particular class, and it does extend to ITP.