Mindfulness increases concentration and focus. With mindfulness you know when you’re drifting off, resorting to an old habit, thinking of the grocery list. You notice, bring your focus back and continue on with the task at hand.
Mindfulness works hand in hand with building Myelin - the casing or insulator that surrounds and wraps the neural circuit which grows, much like the rings on the trunk of a tree, in response to certain signals. Building myelin is essential in our practice, teaching and performing. The more we build up, the faster and more accurate our thoughts and movements become.
Deep practice (myelinating) is hard: we start with embracing the struggle - in small workable sections...detecting errors, fixing them - without judgement, just observation...its clumsy and frustrating - we’re reaching and riding on the edge of what we can do. It is “a discomfiting sensation that any sensible person would instinctively avoid....we permit ourselves to fail, which will increase myelin and in turn our skill will increase....be willing, or even enthusiastic about being bad.” The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle
Myelin develops with “precision firing”. We develop a working perception of the skills internal blueprints - growing a detailed understanding which allow us to control and adapt our performance, to fix problems and to customize our circuits to new situations.
We find the discipline to repeat this fragile circuit over and over until the myelin has built up and that skill is now once again a part of our unconscious. When we first start, we’re working at 2 miles/hr - when we’ve built up enough myelin for the skill to to go back to unconscious, its working at 200 mi/hr! We’ve increased our information processing capacity 3000 times.
According to “The Talent Code”, we must also “feel it” in order to help the wiring fire and to build myelin. Descriptors such as Attention, Connection and Awareness are used. If one practices Mindfulness - to be “aware” is a given.
Our Deep Practice takes on a life of its own, much like Mindfulness - we start out not liking it, then we can tolerate it, then we enjoy it. Conversations become more intense - a shift in reverence for warm ups and rituals may be observed as well.