Consistent meditation through which one acquires increasing mental flexibility is not only stress-reducing, but it improves what is known as ‘metacognition’, which gives the ability to observe thought processes or events as they occur non-judgmentally. Metacognition is defined as “cognition about cognition”, or “knowing about knowing”. It comes from the root word “meta”, meaning beyond. Metacognition can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to apply particular strategies for self-awareness, learning or for problem solving, which is a part of the process of self-actualization and developing wisdom. There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and the regulation of cognition.
Cognition is the mental processing that includes the attention of working memory, comprehending and producing language, calculating, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Various disciplines, such as in the field of psychology, philosophy and linguistics all study cognition. However, the term’s usage varies across disciplines; for example, for spiritual ascension purposes “cognition” refers to an information processing view of an individual’s psychological functions from a position of the compassionate witness which has no judgment. From this vantage point of deeply “knowing oneself”, one may further develop direct cognition which is the state of conscious “knowingness” in the cells of the body.
Metacognitive knowledge is about our own cognitive processes and our understanding of how to regulate those processes to maximize our learning and spiritual consciousness development. Some types of metacognitive knowledge would include:
1. Personal Individuated knowledge (declarative knowledge) which is the understanding of one’s own capabilities with the desire to consistently expand one’s self-awareness and personal consciousness.
2. Task knowledge (procedural knowledge) is how one perceives the difficulty of a task at hand, with problem solving ability to accurately assess the project content, length, and the type of assignment, as well as what resources are required in the environment.
3. Strategic knowledge (conditional knowledge) which is one’s own capability for accessing strategies to increase learning opportunities from accumulated knowledge that have been acquired through practical application from a variety of life experiences.
However, once the first two levels are proficiently integrated within a spiritual adept, the third level of applying strategic knowledge is greatly lessened. Through surrendering to the consciousness flow that directs higher intelligence from a much greater vantage point, strategies become useless. At the higher developmental phases of being-ness, consciousness intelligence takes over and there is no strategy only a flow of self-organization. Consciousness naturally expands and self regulates when you allow its intelligence to guide you fully and unequivocally. However, we must master the first steps to learn how to communicate with the language of consciousness, as it is not cognized by the ego mind, it is meta-cognized.
People with undisciplined minds or young children are not particularly adept at this skill; it is not until mindfulness meditation or devoted spiritual seekers start to develop the understanding of these consciousness expansion principles, such as committing to daily meditation or spiritual practice, that will yield much more effective results with metacognition.
Metacognition goes way beyond basic cognitive skills. Metacognition variously refers to the study of memory-monitoring and self-regulation, meta-reasoning, consciousness/awareness and auto-consciousness/self-awareness. In practice these capacities are used to regulate one’s own cognition, to maximize one’s potential to think, learn, expand consciousness and to begin the evaluation of proper ethical and moral principles. Generally ethics are described among many different philosophical ideologies as a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior and ideology helps or harms sentient creatures, including our planetary kingdoms. For our purposes in achieving spiritual ascension, the evolutionary potential to develop our inner Christ spirit, that spiritual consciousness is governed by a set of Natural Laws which are in themselves, Virtues. Our tenet as a basic guideline in this discussion of moral truth is the alignment to God Source as dedicated towards service with reverence held for all Life, thus the teaching and development of basic humanitarian ethics. Humanitarian ethics are that which define the Cosmic Sovereign Law of One, which is the model Christ exemplifies and gave to humanity through original Gnostic-Essene teaching.
When a person acts in accordance with his true spiritual nature and realizes his full potential, the natural flow and impetus will be the individual state of goodness, humanitarianism and the capacity to experience actualization and fulfillment. To actualize our potential as divine human beings, we must expand our consciousness and choose to learn from our life experiences. Unhappiness and frustration are caused by the unrealized spiritual potential of a person, leading to failed goals, misdirected energies, disconnection and a discontented life. Therefore, it is imperative for people to act in accordance with their true spiritual nature and develop their self-awareness along with their latent inner talents in order to experience a state of contentment, peace, happiness and completion. Self-realization, the awareness of one’s spiritual nature and the true development of one’s inner talents, is one stage of experiencing the art of fulfillment and peace in our daily life.
Additionally, we are able to increase our brain’s cognitive efficiency, while increasing our I.Q. and developing improved emotional intelligence, when we have the spiritual goal to increase our mental openness and mental flexibility in the realm of thoughts and beliefs. When we are mentally flexible and open to new ideas, we are able to be open to many different ways of being, thinking and consider another life philosophy without feeling threatened, defensive or sarcastic. This is a state of non-judgment through observation. Discoveries, expanding consciousness and new learning opportunities are valued as desirable in oneself and supported in others. When we are mentally flexible, we are accessing greater intelligence and creative problem solving that is naturally available for the mutual beneficial exchanging of ideas. This opens dialogues between people that may have been perceived to have reached an impasse or blockage. Mental openness allows for greater intuitive development and accessing higher sensory perception that is instrumental in releasing and removing these impasse blockages, whether personal or within group settings.
When we cultivate mental openness we are allowing observation of external events without needing to control the outcome. Stay in the now moment. Practice this intentionally as a daily exercise by monitoring:
Mental Awareness : Often our minds fall into a groove of inner dialogue that has a certain tone or resonance to it. Sometimes our mind is agitated and sometimes our mind is very calm. We are expansive and receptive when we are calm, centered and mentally relaxed. When our mind feels agitated and stirred up, we then become constricted and energetically blocked. Agitation and worry often indicate that we are operating in the lower ego brain wave state (which is where most adults operate from when anxious and worried) .When our mental body and mind feel calm and flowing, it means we are in the more relaxed brain wave state (where children generally operate from). Try to operate from the relaxed and calm brain wave state as much as possible since that expands and allows more body awareness and energetic flow to vitalize your body. You will experience greater ease in your life and begin to go with the flow, allowing yourself to receive more “spiritual- energetic” support into your daily life. Contact to the spiritual realms and accessing our inner spirit comes from being in the flow of the now moment awareness with a calm and serene mind.
Self-Talk Awareness : We talk to ourselves all the time. We talk to ourselves over 50,000 times a day and what we say to ourselves determines to a large extent the quality of our lives. When you begin to meditate and hold more periods of inner silence, you will be amazed by the amount of self-talk you start to witness in yourself. Try to begin to be aware and monitor what you are saying to yourself in the still places of your very receptive mind. Make a commitment to avoid all negative thoughts of worry, fear or anxiety into your mind for seven days. Witness how long you can maintain positive thoughts and keep a positive mental diet. When coming across self-defeating and negative thoughts, make a commitment to “correct them” by becoming aware of their content and creating a neutral association to the thought-form.
Mindfulness Meditation : Teaches a person to better monitor their thoughtforms and to release sensory events that would normally distract you in a way that is emotionally self-regulating. Many thoughts associated with stressful emotions can interfere with our dealing with the task at hand or circumstances in a relaxed, efficient way, and mindfulness can help in regulating these thoughts, which lead to a much better experience and improved results in one’s life. Meditation training enhances sustained attention and ‘executive control’ brain functions, which is the ability to monitor performance and ignore distracting information (interference) when under a variety of types of time pressure. The ability to self-regulate emotions, to be aware of feelings and to shift out of negative emotions, is a key component in improving metacognition. Regular meditation practice impacts brain chemistry which improves mood control and lessens ‘mind-wandering’, the way that the mind wanders off and can get distracted by thoughts, evaluations and judgments.
Some suggested resources for this week:
With a Loving Heart and Focused Mind, Lisa
(thank you to research sources: Metacognition, Wikipedia,i3mindware.com/increase-iq/mindfulness-cognitive-efficiency)