I just read this paper (https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01455174/file/inner-garden-paper.pdf) from CHI 17′. I’ve been following this project for a while, ever since I met Juan Sol Too at ETIS (European Tangible Interaction Studio) 2016. Juan is the principal investigator and PHD student at Potioc – INRIA. Here are some key takeaways from the CHI paper:
Virtual reality is seen as a positive and a negative for mindfulness. On the one hand the imagery can serve as a poiint of focus
which is separate from the distractions of reality. This touches on the Buddhist theological notion of the impermanence of reality.
On the other hand the imagery, if not smooth consistent can serve as too much of a distraction. Plus, if the person has mental
health issues they may have trouble disseimating between the virtual and the real world
Acceptance is a key aspect. Distractions are used as a way to build skill level. Acceptance is when you are able to contain emotional
attachment to impermanant, fragile aspects of nature or let go of negative emotions.
Playing with the sand had a grounding effect. the use of the body. Like raking stones in a Zen garden
Play can be an obstruction. The participants talked about ludic thought patterns being problematic because they lack focus
Interactive technologies are useful for encouraging engagement with mindfulness tasks. But by its nature encouragement can be an obstruction to mindfulness because it can inhibit acceptance and criticism can cause frustration. Buddhists are not supposed to strive for enlightenment. They cannot have wants or needs. Motivating imagery (e.g. GAME OVER) and sounds are useful in games bu not so much mindfulness practice. This is a paradox that is overcome in this project by only offering positive encouragement. this draws on the eudemonic approach to wellbeing.
This paper selects a few interpretations of the ingredients for mindfulness:
Acceptance, autonomy, minimalist imagery, wdistraction for practicing mindfulness, on-judgement and non-striving
I’d like to explore further what mindfulness means for different people, I’m interested in he notion of doing everyday activities mindfully, rather awn the mere practice of meditation. How does this fit it?