Message Boards Message Boards

Non-specific/Broad/Generic

Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?

Toggle
Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 6/25/13 8:05 AM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Eran G 6/25/13 11:54 AM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? B B 6/25/13 2:42 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 6/25/13 7:31 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Daniel M. Ingram 6/26/13 6:02 AM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 6/26/13 7:52 AM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Oliver Myth 6/26/13 8:08 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 6/28/13 8:36 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 7/13/13 1:30 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Robert McLune 7/13/13 8:52 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Robert McLune 7/17/13 10:28 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 7/17/13 11:22 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? . Jake . 7/14/13 12:02 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 7/14/13 11:56 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? . Jake . 7/19/13 1:22 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 7/19/13 7:16 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? PP 8/13/13 6:16 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 8/13/13 6:31 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? PP 8/14/13 12:34 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 8/14/13 7:07 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? PP 8/17/13 12:18 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 8/17/13 12:51 PM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? PP 8/18/13 12:45 AM
RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation? Richard Zen 8/18/13 3:24 AM
Since Myers Briggs preferences are usually hardwired into your brain by the age of 3 throughout your life how would this affect your interest or how you meditate?

I've done many tests including official ones and it's always INFP.



Myers Briggs functions

So I tend to have strong feelings about how I do things introvertedly but I need the extrovert intuition to develop a better worldview by looking at other aspects otherwise I'm too internal. Meditation was pretty much expected (since INFPs can be emotionally agonized) and has greatly improved my introverted sensing. The self-bashing that INFPs do to themselves is massively reduced. I'll continue using my second auxiliary function to improve how the feeling can judge to round myself out since it's easier to develop yourself with your strengths than to pretend you have different preferences.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/25/13 11:54 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I like your approach Richard. I believe that using the personality type as a (rough) guide for growth can be useful. I've been exploring the Enneagram in a similar way. There's some good pointers there as well. One question that I hit sometimes is do I got with my strengths or do I challenge my weaknesses? I vaguely remember Jung saying somewhere that the way to wholeness goes through our weakest functions. I think that's because our weakest point is where we would have the most baggage (e.g. self criticism), the most blocks (e.g. self limiting beliefs), etc. For example, in my case (I'm a huge introvert by default) working with the physical body can be very helpful as well as acting in the world but both are also very challenging. Meditation on the other hand is natural... So which do I go with? It's a difficult balance to strike. I sometimes find that I'm pushing myself toward difficult practices because I think that's what I _should_ be doing. Other times, I allow myself to hide from the world with meditation or study or Internet without really stopping to check if this is what I need. So... yeah, interesting question. Thanks!

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/25/13 2:42 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
So glad you brought this up. I dug deeply into the Myers-Briggs type theory last year and found a lot of invaluable information. It's given me an understanding of how people's personalities and their relative frequencies likely evolved in much the same way as every other aspect of us, and an appreciation of how finely balanced and cohesive the result is. The conservative, traditional types that I once had very little time for can now be seen as performing a very useful role as the "glue" of society, and seen as part of the whole, it's much easier to value their contributions.

I think it also played a pretty big role in my success in meditation, as I was able to use my understanding of my type (and more importantly, my type's functions - see this for the most in-depth descriptions of the 8 functions that I've found) to reject the prevailing technique on this site (i.e. noting) in favour of a more intuitively-guided, broader, less-quickfire approach (that wouldn't fall under any particular technique). Noting strikes me as more suited to types with a high 'Ne', and body scanning possibly 'Si'.

how would this affect your interest or how you meditate?

Well, all I'm prepared to venture on that is those with a preference for intuition are probably a little more likely to be into this, as that suggests an openness to new ideas and unconventional lifestyles that isn't as common among sensing-oriented types. The rest is probably down to how much one has suffered and understood one some level the fundamental causes of that.

How one's type affects their approach to meditation... is a tough question. I'd imagine it gives some indication of the kind of pitfalls they're likely to fall into moreso than the technique they end up using, which probably has a lot more to do with whatever's being taught at their nearest centre/retreat/etc. - INTPs over-thinking everything, ISxJs clinging to black-and-white, dogmatic, paralyzing views, types with a high Fi getting lost in emotions/psycho-analyzing, etc.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/25/13 7:31 PM as a reply to B B.
I don't know if being an INFP was the reason I meditated. Certainly at a corporate "Colours" meeting where they take Myers-Briggs and colour code it, (Blue 23 Green 17 Gold 7 Orange 7) the host said that Blue types were more likely to meditate.

I still like noting (when done very subtly). I think people use it badly and forget that you need to sometimes note (and eventually all the time) without labeling. Noting is just noticing what's happening. Then you have to notice when you get obsessive thoughts about a topic in your mind and learn to dislike the pain it causes and let go. When I feel I'm thinking about something 20 times there should be a little stress and cortisol developing so I should let go because deliberate thinking is different than letting the automatic likes and dislikes takeover.

For Myers Briggs I think it helps to use your extrovert function more, so the introvert functions get better information to judge. The last two functions will also operate better with better information when you develop your main ones. Try and look at your strengths as your areas where you don't get as exhausted easily and find ways to use them at work and life in general. As an accountant (not an INFP job LOL!) I'm a global learner so I need to go from the big picture down to detail instead of the opposite way, in order to learn and retain more information. Others may need to do the opposite. Myers-Briggs to me is only preferences for thinking and communicating. Over time, under the theory, you will develop other parts due to life experience (but that takes enormous time). So it's okay to develop the lesser functions but always knowing that developing the functions you use easily is the gift you have and you need to find an outlet to use it.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/26/13 6:02 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I also test out to INFP. I have had a lot of thoughts on how this affects me at work, in work-relationships and complicated situations related to it, as it is so totally explanatory and helpful, but I had thought little about how it relates to meditation, which is strange considering that is my favorite thing after noodles and oxygen.

I will go back and read up on the standard blurb about INFP-types and post back when I get a better sense of how it applies. I will bet it is explanatory there also.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/26/13 7:52 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks! I've also read that extroverts like more phyiscal practices like yoga while meditating while introverts prefer the typical sitting practice. I also remember Gil Fronsdal making a joke about more introverts showing up to meditation centres than extroverts. emoticon

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/26/13 8:08 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Myers Briggs describes functioning differences in people in thought/action, (not the emotions, intelligence, interests, dicipline, ect) so I don't imagine it has much to do with fundemental insight or the practices leading to fundemental insight, besides in how we plan our meditation practice.

Enneagram describes the Emotions we are likely to dig up when doing vipassana and there are a good couple books out there that tie it into meditation insight. Sandra Maitri's books take the point of view of "understanding" (or groking, if you know that term) our enneagram emotions will eventually lead one to fundamental insights. Other books and authors don't usually go quite as in depth as her.

@Daniel Ingram: I'm surprised you turned out to be INFP. I was thinking more INTP/J.... The emergency room is more of a place to have one's tasks and priorities straight rather than build emotional connections, especially as a doctor with lots of new patients every day. INTP/J would be VERY skilled at that type of thing (thanks to NT, which is understanding and planning. And speaking of understanding and planning, didn't you write a book with emphasis on a pre-defined Map of Insight with TONS of practical tips in those areas?).

INFP's have a weak Thinking function, so they in theory would be poor at setting priorities and getting tasks done in an efficient manner, both required things to do in an ER. Maybe you are just a very empathetic, people-person INTP/J?

A Feeling type spiritual author would be someone like AH Almaas, with his flowery descriptions of exact emotional states and emphasis on the teacher-student connection and his 500 page book Pearl Beyond Price which describes personal relationships from spirituality (the Feeling types calculate their priorities based on relationships).

What do you think?
Oliver

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
6/28/13 8:36 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I found this interesting post on how to experience the different functions. Possibly if you practice it enough you can strenghthen it a bit:

MBTI Experiencing the different functions

The exercises

To experience Introverted Intuition:

• As you come across any sign (e.g. an advertisement, a sentence, a logo, a choice of color for a restaurant's decor, even a non-man-made sign like a cloud), say to yourself, "So I'm supposed to think ______ but really this is just ______" and fill in the blanks. This creates conscious awareness of the assumed interpretations of things, and distances you from them. For example, if you see a restaurant sign with very ornate, curly characters in thin white strokes on a black background, say, "So I'm supposed to think this is a posh place for high-class people, but what I really see is just a slab of plastic with black paint on it, minus some curlicues where the white shows through." If you see a sign on a door inside the restaurant, that says "MEN", say, "So I'm supposed to think there's a bathroom behind that door, and it's only socially appropriate for men to use it, but really it's just a piece of wood with some marks on it." You must name the thing you're supposed to think in words, and describe the object in words; no mere pointing or saying "like that" is allowed. A feeling of smugness may set in at first. Keep going, until it becomes a feeling of freedom.


To experience Introverted Feeling:

• As you come across the action of any mammal engaged in any activity (including humans), say to yourself, "He/she is feeling ______ because he is needing ______" and fill in the blanks. Guess the mammal's emotion as accurately as you can, by paying close attention to every detail of its behavior and trying to imagine what emotion that you might feel if you were that kind of mammal and acting that way. Guess the need by intuiting the inner calling of the animal that is emerging in the way it's responding to its environment, by recalling a similar need of your own. For example, if you see a Scotty dog sniffing around at a new suitcase, you might guess, "He is feeling apprehensive because he has a need to know he's safe." Or you might guess, "He is feeling curious because he has a need to learn all about the world around him." It depends unpredictably on exactly what you really observe. Key is to watch the mammal extremely closely, so your guess emerges spontaneously from empathizing, and not, say, by consciously reasoning on the basis of something you've read. Your guess must come from the fact that you yourself genuinely feel it. It must come from the heart.

• Try the same exercise on yourself at odd moments: self-empathy. Simply monitor how much you like or dislike something, and what in your nature is being fulfilled or frustrated to cause that feeling of like or dislike. Note that attending to your emotion alone is not enough; you must trace the emotion back to a need that is being fulfilled or frustrated. However, if you're having trouble with this, you might try just consciously noting your emotion for a while, as a starter exercise.


To experience Extraverted Feeling:

• Make a list of people you have some culturally recognized relationship with: different relatives, your spouse or boy/girlfriend, your boss/employees/co-workers, etc., and identify your ritual obligations to them that derive from (or define) these relationships. For example, whose birthday must you remember? Who must you send a Christmas card to? How must you dress at different occasions to indicate your relationship to your co-workers? Whom do you call by their first name and whom by an honorific (even "Mom")? How is it made obvious to all that you have this relationship? How would you feel or how would they feel if someone did not perform their ritual obligations?

• As you come across the action of any person engaged in any activity, say to yourself, "he did ______ because he wants to show ______ relationship." For example, if a man tips his hat to a lady, say to yourself, "He tipped his hat to her because he wants to show that he is loyal to her." If a woman quotes Proust in a conversation, say to yourself, "She quoted Proust to show that she wants to be seen as the expert and she wants others to defer to her authority." This can get very complex and tricky. For example, what does it mean if someone doesn't show up at your baby shower? Does that show that they don't consider you an important person in their life? If a friend you haven't seen in a long time addresses you as "Mr. Tibbs" (assuming your last name is Tibbs), what does that show about your friend's understanding of your friendship? That's an awfully formal way for friends to speak, so it seems like a cold gesture, aimed at showing that he wants to keep you at a distance. See any Seinfeld episode for lots more analysis of this kind.

• Try to get someone to treat you a certain way that defines a role for you. For example, try to get someone to treat you like royalty, or like a disposable slave, or like an expert authority, or like an eager student who wants to learn from them. You will have to, in some way, define a complementary role for them at the same time, through your actions. You can't ask explicitly that they treat you that way, except as a very last resort. You have to get the mutual roles going by, in effect, painting them in the complementary role first so they find themselves naturally playing along and painting you in the role you want. You may find that it's tricky to get painted in a positive role, but it can be done if you give the other person a complementary role that they really like. In effect, an implicit contract is created: you paint them in a role they like, and they paint you in a role you like.


To experience Extraverted Thinking:

• While engaging in some activity, define criteria of successful completion for each stage as you go. Make no move until you have stated clearly defined criteria--in words, out loud. For example, if you are washing the dishes, mentally divide the process into stages before you begin. If the first stage is to run water and get some suds going, then state how much water you're going to pour into the sink (perhaps point to the level in the sink at which you will turn off the water, but stating a numerical measurement is better), whether the water will be hot, warm, or cold, and where would be the best place to squirt the soap. If the second stage is to put the dirty dishes into the water, then say, before you begin, where you will put them to begin with and what sequence you will put them in. And so on. Do nothing until you have deliberately decided to do it and said out loud what you are about to do.


To experience Extraverted Intuition:

• "The Caption Game." Get a pile of drawings, but not intentionally funny cartoons. A large deck of Tarot cards is ideal. Put the pile face down and turn up one drawing. Think of a caption for the drawing by imagining something outside the picture, which changes the meaning of what's inside. Say the caption aloud, and move on to the next drawing. For example, if it's really a picture of a Scotty dog sniffing at a suitcase, your caption might be "Sorry, ma'am, I'll have to open the suitcase before I can let you on the plane." See how many completely different captions for each cartoon you can come up with. Try to think of at least three. "Pack your bags, Laika, you're going to test new satellite!" (in Russian accent). "Toto, we're going back to Kansas!" Some of your captions might be funny, but don't try to be funny. Non-funny captions are just fine.

• "The Drawing Game." For this, you need at least two people. One person draws something small on a large piece of paper--something quick, which you can draw in a few seconds. The next person draws something in the remaining space, which somehow relates to it, so both objects make sense as a picture. You can add lines to what's already there, but you can never erase a line once it's drawn. Back and forth you go, filling in more and more of the picture, letting it develop into something that neither of you envisioned when you started. At some point, you give the picture an appropriate title, and you're done. If you can't draw well, it's OK to say out loud what you intended your drawing to depict. For example, person A draws the face of a clock. Person B draws a grandfather clock shape around it. A draws an old-fashioned teller cage nearby. B draws a man with a bandanna over his face, holding a gun. It's a bank robbery!


To experience Introverted Sensation:

• Pick a category of object and practice spotting it in a crowded room. Not something easy like a color, something you have to learn how to identify. For example, learn how to recognize cotton and distinguish it from other fabrics, and then try to spot all the cotton garments in a room full of people (or in your closet, if you don't want to embarrass yourself). Alternatively, learn how to identify several species of tree that live in your area, and spend an hour or so walking around identifying each kind of tree that you come across. Other possibilities: models of cars, breeds of dog, categories of differential equation. In other words, through deliberate practice, become an accurate recognizer of specific types of object, so they "jump out at you" in the midst of other things.

• While driving on a long trip (in the U.S.), note all the out-of-state license plates you see. Stay focused. Carefully check every car as it goes by. Notice everything you can about each state's plates: state mottos, colors, placement of text, pictures, any other special differences. For the full effect, write these things down in a log book.

• Do a Where's @Waldo? book. (Might be too difficult to really work as an exercise.)


To experience Extraverted Sensation:

• Walk around downtown in a city during the day, when lots of people are around (even a small town will do). Note what gets your attention, and what kind of attention it gets. Just walk around and let things grab your attention. Don't be deliberate. See what's exciting and what's boring. If a place looks exciting, go inside. The second you feel bored, leave and look around for something new. Don't think about this, don't reflect on it as you're doing it, and don't think ahead. Just go with your immediate gut reaction moment by moment--enter or exit the store before you have a chance to entertain a second thought.

• Walk again, and this time note what's grabbing other people's attention. Where's the crowd?

• (An exercise for brave people.) At a party or a bar or some other gathering of people, attract as much attention as you can to yourself. Anything that works is acceptable: feigning a heart attack, dressing better than everyone else there, dressing in a different color than everyone else there, putting a lampshade over your head--whatever works (it doesn't have to be dramatic, though, especially if you're just testing this out). Keep one eye on how much attention you're getting, and what kind of attention. As you try this at different gatherings, practice getting specific kinds of attention: intrigue, fear, disgust, sexual, laughing at you, laughing with you, etc. Cultivate some techniques for gaining specific positive kinds of attention. You will notice that you need to adjust your approach to fit your audience. As you practice, you'll develop a sense for what "plays" and what doesn't.

To experience Introverted Thinking:

• This is a multi-stage exercise. Give yourself at least half an hour, alone and in a quiet place where no one will disturb you.

1. Stare at this picture a while, without talking or verbalizing:



2. Draw an additional three rows and columns of lines around the ones already drawn, continuing the pattern. (You'll probably want to print out the picture.) Don't verbally reason out where the lines should go, just draw them to fit the pattern that you see. Use your hand, not your voice (even your internal voice).

3. Understand the pattern. Now it's OK to reason about it. Describe the pattern in the simplest way you can, without sacrificing any aspect of the pattern. Your description must capture everything that is going on inside the picture. It's OK to start with a vague description and/or a description that doesn't imply everything in the pattern (or, for that matter, a description that's wrong). Keep hammering away at your description to make it simpler and simpler, until it seems that you have captured in a single tiny nugget everything there is to say about the pattern. Your ultimate nugget of description should imply: all the lines that are actually there, where the lines would have to go in additional rows and columns outside the ones shown, and where the lines would have to go if you drew more rows and columns in between the ones shown.


A possible misinterpretation

It would be a mistake, based on these exercises, to turn to all other forms of human activity and attempt to categorize them as one or another function attitude. With the vast majority of activities, you have a lot of flexibility in how you engage in them. Typically, during any activity, people find a way to orient themselves in a way consonant with a favored attitude. That's why it was necessary to specify that when doing these exercises, you need to let them carry you away--away from your usual manner of orienting yourself.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/13/13 1:30 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
A most overlooked feature of Si is its perception of internal bodily sensations— the body as felt and experienced from within. More than any other function, Si perceives a raw and basic sense of "being" that exists apart from thought or outward stimuli. Historically, Eastern philosophical and religious traditions have done a better job exploring this aspect of human experience than those of the West. This dimension of Si is engaged during activities that direct attention to one’s internal bodily state, such as yoga, Tai-Chi, or meditation. INFPs interested in exploring this element of Si may find great delight and benefit from these sorts of practices.

Drenth, Dr. A.J. (2013-05-05). The 16 Personality Types: Profiles, Theory, & Type Development


Since INFPs have Si as their Tertiary function it makes sense to turn to that. What I would find more intriguing is to know if Si would be too draining for people who have the Se function as a preference (ESTP Promotor/Athletic). Would meditation manifest itself differently for an Se?

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/13/13 8:52 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
... Myers Briggs ...

...is a superb example, ranking alongside others like astrology, phrenology, and ISO-9001, of revenue-generating mass hysteria arising from pseudo-science. Sure some people pull in information more one way than another (for example), but cats, carpets, and dustbunnies are all fluffy objects. MBTI is bollox. Ignore it.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/14/13 12:02 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I really like the Myers-Briggs. I think it's a great tool for self-understanding and I have found it very important in my own process. But that said, I feel like many presentations of it do a poor job of contextualizing it within Jung's overall developmental teaching. In Jung's view, typology isn't fixed, per se. What you test as actually reflects your conscious personality, your ego in Jungian terms. The typology is a tool for becoming more integrated, for following the path of individuation. This is a big topic not often addressed in popular presentations of the tool.

For instance, in Jung's view, individuation is facilitated by actually digging in to your inferior function, bringing it into consciousness. There are sub-routines or sub-personalities in each of our psyches which would test differently which Jung called the Shadow, or the Anima/Animus (inner gender opposite) etc.

But basically Jung considered an individuated adult to have access to all the functions in whichever situation was appropriate. Such a person would have passed through a stage of more one-sided development based on the interaction of temperament and family dynamics or other early experiences, into a stage of more fully unfolded humanness.

Also, many pop presentations of the test suck. There's a version called the SLIP test which shows how you score on each function. It should change and become more balanced over time with practice (with practice towards individuation). For instance I used to by strongly INFP but in the past several years have become very balanced T/F and I/E. I think these functions were always pretty close in fact. I still test strongly N and P but have become more conscious of S and J functions so they are becoming less crude and more refined and accessible when relevent.

I can see many many ways this understanding can benefit meditation practice but I gotta run right now!

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/14/13 11:56 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Yes I'm aware of the individuation side from Jung but there seems to be a debate on whether people should use their top two functions MORE and their bottom functions will naturally follow. That hasn't been explained to me adequately so I'll stick with the people who believe the weaker sides should be actively pursued as well as the stronger sides.

With meditation I think defining the MBTI term "drained" regarding the shadow functions is needed. Because right now in my practice I feel drained only when aversive thoughts take over. When they subside the energy comes back. Meditation may reduce some of that draining and you can pursue shadow functions (Introvert vs. Extrovert of the same function), and even if you suck at them for sometime they will get better with practice. There's probably no scientific literature on this. I did Myers Briggs and the corporate version of Colours and I came up a huge blue and the presenter said meditation is a "blue" activity almost like the other types are less likely to try it or keep it up.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/17/13 11:22 PM as a reply to Robert McLune.
I get your point but as you can see from my posts I'm not misusing Myers Briggs like some HR people do. Many of them aren't even aware of the 4 cognitive functions and just use the general blurbs they read in some pamphlet. I'm sure because I disclosed I was INFP in one organization I didn't get that job but Myers Briggs don't advocate psychological bigotry. That's unfortunate for some companies who lose out on people with a variety of skills. At least my organization does the opposite. It's all about how to communicate and approach people for efficacy.

What I did gain from it though was the individuation process (which shows these preferences can be malleable) and also shows how draining works. The official test I did also noted the variation between strong and weak preferences and doesn't say that a person is 100% introverted or 100% extroverted which I have never seen in any official Myers Briggs information. If you were 100% one way or another you wouldn't be able to interact with the world (100% introvert) or reflect on anything (100% extrovert).

In my experience knowing draining is helpful. When I talk like an INFP and talk about subjects and with a huge depth that many extroverts don't like they get aversive because it's draining. It's no different than listening to a lecture you don't understand and then feel bored. Draining does happen and knowing how people talk and take in information is helpful and gets you to notice the difference. Some of those differences are stark. The INFP description also explains my learning style so well that I'm now able to adapt and ask questions to develop my big picture first so that when I go into detail the meaning of doing so is intact and I'm able to do a better and faster job. Most finance people I deal with go from sensing detail up to big picture so when we communicate it can be difficult if we both haven't bridged the big picture and sensing gap. If I'm too "big picture" my connections may not be accurate enough and those who are too "sense detail" can lose the significance of their findings.

When it comes to meditation I find that the draining aspect is decreased and I can pay attention to more sense detail than before but I still get drained by conversations that are meaningless and shallow and I do love to regenerate by being alone (very much so). I don't think meditation will ever change that. It's also true (as we can see in our own meditation practices) that habits die hard and unless people are relentlessly changing their habits they will default to their typical preferences for taking in information and communicating. Most people don't meditate and most people don't push themselves to change their habits drastically. Otherwise diets would be more successful and addictions would be non-existent. If anything many people double-down on their habits and make it even worse. There are other tests that measure different things like FIRO-B (wants and needs from other people) but I haven't taken those tests yet.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/19/13 1:22 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Yes I'm aware of the individuation side from Jung but there seems to be a debate on whether people should use their top two functions MORE and their bottom functions will naturally follow. That hasn't been explained to me adequately so I'll stick with the people who believe the weaker sides should be actively pursued as well as the stronger sides.



Hmm, that is interesting! I was not aware of that debate. I certainly have found that by putting more attention into my inferior functions, in combination with dreamwork and other related modalities, I experienced profound changes in my personality and growth in self-understanding that resulted in my maturation and much better function in everyday life.

In fact what worked for me was to put myself in a radically different work environment-- from working as a manager in a service job (so lots of interpersonal skill required) to working in a factory (so lots of extraverted sensation and judgment involved). I mean, I really needed to take that step of putting myself in an environment that would force me to engage life with my inferior functions.

Richard Zen:
With meditation I think defining the MBTI term "drained" regarding the shadow functions is needed. Because right now in my practice I feel drained only when aversive thoughts take over. When they subside the energy comes back. Meditation may reduce some of that draining and you can pursue shadow functions (Introvert vs. Extrovert of the same function), and even if you suck at them for sometime they will get better with practice. There's probably no scientific literature on this. I did Myers Briggs and the corporate version of Colours and I came up a huge blue and the presenter said meditation is a "blue" activity almost like the other types are less likely to try it or keep it up.


I would love to hear more about the concept of draining. It resonates and I think I get it but if you could point me in the right direction or share more of your own experiences of how this works I would really appreciate it.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
7/19/13 7:16 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
Richard Zen:
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Yes I'm aware of the individuation side from Jung but there seems to be a debate on whether people should use their top two functions MORE and their bottom functions will naturally follow. That hasn't been explained to me adequately so I'll stick with the people who believe the weaker sides should be actively pursued as well as the stronger sides.



Hmm, that is interesting! I was not aware of that debate. I certainly have found that by putting more attention into my inferior functions, in combination with dreamwork and other related modalities, I experienced profound changes in my personality and growth in self-understanding that resulted in my maturation and much better function in everyday life.

In fact what worked for me was to put myself in a radically different work environment-- from working as a manager in a service job (so lots of interpersonal skill required) to working in a factory (so lots of extraverted sensation and judgment involved). I mean, I really needed to take that step of putting myself in an environment that would force me to engage life with my inferior functions.


Yeah that makes sense to me as it's similar to meditation. You have to put in huge amounts of effort to make lasting brain changes, otherwise the brain feels it's not worth keeping so it let's the new knowledge fall away. Your strengths on the other hand are more developed so you can go hours and hours using them and if a person can find work and relationships that can enhance those strengths it should be rewarding. Not using your strengths would be like repression and the strengths would naturally be yearning to come out. That's why some people find certain jobs "soul crushing" because their potential is not being used.

How to develop lesser functions

How to be extroverted

. Jake .:
Richard Zen:
With meditation I think defining the MBTI term "drained" regarding the shadow functions is needed. Because right now in my practice I feel drained only when aversive thoughts take over. When they subside the energy comes back. Meditation may reduce some of that draining and you can pursue shadow functions (Introvert vs. Extrovert of the same function), and even if you suck at them for sometime they will get better with practice. There's probably no scientific literature on this. I did Myers Briggs and the corporate version of Colours and I came up a huge blue and the presenter said meditation is a "blue" activity almost like the other types are less likely to try it or keep it up.


I would love to hear more about the concept of draining. It resonates and I think I get it but if you could point me in the right direction or share more of your own experiences of how this works I would really appreciate it.


Draining has to do with your shadow functions. When you see the graph above and how it's split between introvert and extrovert it's talking about where you get your batteries. Introverts recharge by reflection alone, and extroverts recharge by interacting with people. For an INFP example trying to increase your Fe when your strength is Fi will drain you. So an Fe person would be very cognisant of how other people feel and would want that harmony where as an Fi would be focused on internal values along with the harmony. So a person who is focused outwardly would care less about internal values because how the group feels is more important. An INFP would dislike the political correctness of that and be quite disturbed if their personal values are violated in the process. Again this is very basic. Different INFPs could easily have different values but they would both be similar in how emotionally invested their are their particular values they've chosen as important.

An Ni wants to work on existing ideas/historical patterns and make intuitive connections whereas an Ne wants to look for connections with new ideas and add to what exists. The routine of Ni would bore the creative Ne.

Shadow Functions! Avoid them!

So which functions you have may bore others and some people's functions will bore you.

Myers Briggs errors

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/13/13 6:16 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Here's Shinzen Young's quick description of his classification of (4) paths towards enlightenment, which I found connected with Myers Briggs' INFP:

When outer expands but inner contracts, one has that delicious experience that you described. When inner expands and outer contracts, people typically are lost in the default mode network--memory, plan, fantasy, judgment, problem solving, confusion, etc. However, it is possible for outer activity to contract and inner activity to expand without necessarily being caught in our thoughts and emotions. The Focus In technique is designed to allow that to happen. This is one instance of the "divide and conquer" paradigm for enlightenment.

So one way that enlightenment can occur is when outer completely expands and inner collapses to zero, and we notice it. You're starting to taste that. Another way that enlightenment can arise is that inner expands, outer contracts, but there's huge concentration, clarity, and equanimity with regards to the arising of inner. Another way that enlightenment can occur is that outer and inner both simultaneously expand into activity but they're both in a flow state, so they become a single wave of emptiness. Another way that enlightenment can arise is that both outer and inner both simultaneously contract. There's no self and there's no world. One abides in the Unborn. Zen Master Línjì (Rinzai臨濟義玄) describes this in his Four-Fold Summary (四料简). (See addendum below.)


link

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/13/13 6:31 PM as a reply to PP.
I'm not sure if that fits with Myers Briggs so you would have to elaborate on that but that is the best description of expand and contract that I've seen from him. From his audio book I wasn't sure what he meant but it's obviously the inner and outer experience expanding or contracting. Right now I'm really enjoying the outer expanding and inner contracting.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/14/13 12:34 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
No big elaboration, just some connections between Myers & Briggs' Eight Function-Attitudes with some (of many) Shinzen Young's classifications:


ZEN / Taoism --> Outer Expands / Inner Contracts: suited for ES & EI ?
Therava Noting --> Outer Contracts / Inner Expands: suited for IS & II ?
Magick / Taoism --> Outer Expands / Inner Expands: suited for ES & IF ?
Advaita --> Outer Contracts / Inner Contracts: suited for II & IT ?
Deity Worship/ Magick --> Nurture Positive: suited for EF & IS ?

-&-&-&-&-&-&

Extraverted Sensing: Acts on concrete data from here and now. Trusts the present, then lets it go.
Introverted Sensing: Compares present facts and experiences to past experience. Trusts the past. Stores sensory data for future use.
Extraverted Intuition: Sees possibilities in the external world. Trusts flashes from the unconscious, which can then be shared with others.
Introverted Intuition: Looks at consistency of ideas and thoughts with an internal framework. Trusts flashes from the unconscious, which may be hard for others to understand.
Extraverted Thinking: Seeks logic and consistency in the outside world. Concern for external laws and rules.
Introverted Thinking: Seeks internal consistency and logic of ideas. Trusts his or her internal framework, which may be difficult to explain to others.
Extraverted Feeling: Seeks harmony with and between people in the outside world. Interpersonal and cultural values are important.
Introverted Feeling: Seeks harmony of action and thoughts with personal values. May not always articulate those values.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/14/13 7:07 PM as a reply to PP.
I agree that it's possible to make some correlation but I've learned from everything except Magick (not sure what I'm supposed to do with it).

There are so many meditation practices you would have to label each practice to a function according to what it's supposed to do instead of whole traditions. Each tradition has many practices.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/17/13 12:18 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Yep. Shinzen Young gives a detailed connection of his methods with different practices within big traditions. You may want to check pages 147-148

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/17/13 12:51 PM as a reply to PP.
Yeah I haven't read that book in a while. I'll have to look at it again. It's the pull between reading based (hopefully without attachment) or to continue practicing because all this stuff is hitting my consciousness anyways, whether it's gone or not it's about continuity.

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/18/13 12:45 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Hey, I reread my last post after your answer. Forgive my poor English skills. When I say "you may want to check..." I was translating word for word from Spanish . It means "if you are curious on the subject, have a look at this", and definitively not implying "you're probably overlooking something, you'd better check this".

RE: Myers Briggs - Can this affect how you approach meditation?
Answer
8/18/13 3:24 AM as a reply to PP.
Don't worry I got your meaning the first time.