Friday, March 25, 2016

The Role of Mindfulness in Rhetoric

If you'd like to read more about the connections between mindfulness and rhetorical theory, take a look at my recent article, "The Role of Mindfulness in Kairos" in Volume 35, Issue 1 (2016) of Rhetoric Review. 


The natural inclination of writers is toward mindlessness or inattention to the present moment despite the benefits understanding the present can bring to writing. Although temporal consciousness is apparent in notions of writing as a process or of writing as situated in a rhetorical context, these ideas largely overlook the present. Buddhist Mindfulness can help with the development of kairotic or present-moment specific practice by including impermanence in the rhetorical context, by emphasizing real time in composing, and by providing access to intrapersonal rhetoric. Increased understanding of the temporal factors of writing calls for an Eastern-mind progymnasmata in rhetorical praxis.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Mentally Imagined Self of the Writer

In Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy, Evan Thompson says: "If our mind wanders, the mentally imagined self of the past or future overtakes the self of the present moment."

Image result for evan thompson waking dreaming being
What does this have to do with writing? Everything.

Who are you right now in your present moment writing situation?

What sorts of preconceptions (about your past and future writing abilities) are you lugging into the present moment?

How much imaginative energy are you expending by pretending that someone else is writing at your desk? Is someone from 1989 or 2004 or 2018 or 2025 taking your seat?

Why shortchange the present moment?

(As a side note: to followers of this blog, I am taking some time off in order to write a prose project on mindful writing. Please stay tuned. I hope this post finds you and your writing very well.)

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