Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From Conceptual to Experiential Self

From Philippe Goldin's presentation this weekend at El Camino Hospital (an event benefitting Bob Stahl's MBSR scholarship program), I found the following slide on 'Self-Focused Processing' particularly useful:

Conceptual or narrative self:
  • past-future
  • fixed self-concept
  • rumination
Experiential or embodied self:
  • present-moment focused
  • continuously changing experience of self
  • reduced problems with depression, anxiety, etc . . . 
A 21st century version of the teachings on anatta . . . with a focus on the health benefits of an experiential view of the self. 


  1. I watched a TED video on a similar topic. I wonder if this corresponds to the left and right hemispheres. For me, meditation is very right-brained.

  2. Interesting how we each have different associations to various concepts. For me, it is more a matter of expanding notion of self beyond narrow habitual 'thought' world, to more fluid experience of larger self in the slice of each moment. I am very fond of Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle's talk about horizontal (conceptual view) vs. vertical notion of time (present-moment). I am so floored by the fabrications of mind and the power we let them have over our very life.

  3. Thank your for sharing, Marguerite. I read your site regularly and appreciate your authenticity and humility. Could you please point me to a link so that I can listen to Olivia Ames Hoblizelle's talk that you referenced? Thank you.

  4. It is not a talk, only a mention in her book, '10,000 Joys and 10,000 Sorrows', on her journey down the path of Alzheimer's with her husband Hob.

  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566754/

  6. Thank you! I am currently reading 10,000 Joys 10,000 Sorrows. It is truly awe inspiring.