Upgrading Your Mental Operating System

This lecture that Gary Weber gave for a Buddhist Geeks conference was extremely inspiring and informational to me. I like his non-nonsense, direct experience, scientific approach to the process of meditation. And the fact that it worked for him, and he’s very enthusiastic about the results.

I’m not one for the trappings and baggage that usually come along with some of the more esoteric topics I’m interested in. Perhaps that baggage is little more than my own preconception about these subjects. That said, I always welcome the more down-to-Earth kinds of people who talk about these kinds of things, especially when they have some science to back things up.

Weber’s accompanying blog post on the above lecture is also worth reading if you enjoyed his presentation. I especially enjoyed the “design parameters” he set down in his exploration of consciousness, which overlap and expanded upon my own — which are admittedly unwritten and vague. But Weber sums it all up for me:

The recognition that SRIN (self-referential internal narrative) was THE problem causing “my” personal unhappiness occurred when i was in grad school walking to campus. i just could not believe that this never-ending cacophony of the SRIN was how we were to live “our lives”; there had to be a better way. So, i set out to see if/how SRIN could be reduced or perhaps even eliminated, while still retaining functionality in the “real” world.

As an empirical scientist “in-training”, i did this investigation totally empirically. Every understanding had to be personally validated. There would be no philosophy, theory or teachings from millennia ago. To make certain that i had the best possible data, i developed some “design parameters”:

a) Any information had to come from sources alive now, or who were alive while i was alive.

b) There had to be movies/videos, photographs, and direct transcripts of the information from many sources.

c) i had to personally see the sources, preferably, or talk to folk who had.

d) The sources would be fluent in English to avoid misunderstandings from translations (Tower of Babel).

e) The sources must be validated by well-known and credible “experts”.

f) Ongoing direct feedback on progress/success was critical for a DIY approach. Good news/bad news, SRIN provided continuously-available feedback…if SRIN was there, more work was needed.

g) The process must retain/enhance functional “real world” performance

h) Happiness would increase, and suffering, stress and anxiety would decrease.

i) The result was a change in “life”, not just experiences; it was a new OS.

j) It would be scientifically verifiable.

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