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The Seed of Mindfulness

Merlin's Mindful Eating and Keeping Weight Off reminded me of the best tool I've found for prompting mindfulness in virtually any situation.

It's the Powerseed, and while it is marketed primarily for weight loss, it turns out to be a useful reminder/timer for virtually any activity where mindfulness is important. It's a sleek, battery-powered pod about as big as the end of your thumb. It offers both visual and audible cues, and operates in a couple of different coaching modes. The basic idea is that it is a discreet coach that prompts you to "check-in" with yourself. It signals both short and long regular intervals, which are useful for being aware of time passing, as well as performing different routines are each mark.

I've had mine for sometime time now, long enough that I had to figure out how to change the battery. According to the product's website, it's not currently available, but my understanding is that the inventor is updating the 'seed with battery and other improvements so perhaps it will be back soon.

Another approach you might consider is computer-dependent, but more flexible. I also use Red Sweater Software's FlexTime as a handy tool for regular-interval cueing. See Merlin's early peek at it for more detail, and from a slightly different perspective.

Either way, tuning-in is a Good Thing.

Powerseed's picture

Powerseed System

grey...thanks for your thoughtful post. I, too, would have rolled my eyes in skepticism if I had not actually used the Powerseed or fully understood its methods of use.

I also agree 100% with your statement that people overeat because the don't pay attention to the food they consume (nor, I would add, do most of us consciously monitor our body's hunger/satiety feedback WHILE we eat).

The whole purpose of the 30-second repeating reminder signal is to bring our wandering minds back to the food and the process of eating and to provide a period of time to really savor each bite. Slowing the pace of eating is also helpful, secondarily, as it permits added time for the physiological processes of satiety to build. The second, five-minute mindfulness reminder refocuses the attention to assess the state of hunger and satiety. When no hunger can be detected, you can confidently quit eating in the knowledge that in 15 more minutes you will feel comfortably full. It is simply impossible for most of us to maintain this level of awareness on our own.

Using this attention-focusing device can seem awkward at first because the reminders interrupt the impulsive momentum of initial hunger and appetite and bring the mind back to the food. Before long, though, the 30-second rhythm becomes much more natural and you can easily pick up the signal in the periphery of your vision without "constant anticipation".

To be sure, not everyone has the mindfulness intentions or the patience to support this practice. Positive results can't be expected if a user impatiently views the reminder cue as a dictatorial STOP light rather than a "GO AHEAD and REALLY ENJOY YOUR FOOD" signal. Like most everything else in life, our intentions are ultimately controlling.

You are correct that gadgets in this world imply a quick and easy fix without effort. The Powerseed is not one of those gadgets! It is simply a tool to help a person who wants to learn and implement new mindfulness skills to improve their life experience.

Mindfulness is not attained by a simple decision or by assuming a responsibility. It is, as you say, a practice that aspires to living in the present moment. Many "devices" such as the repetitive breathe in meditation, or Thich Nhat Hanh’s bell of mindfulness, are used as tools to continually bring the mind back to a state of presence. That's also the purpose of the Powerseed.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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