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Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?

I have a bunch of exams in May/June that I can't really afford to fuck up, has anyones practise helped them in terms of being able to memorise and apply large amount of information? Or being able to stay icy calm in times of extreme pressure?

I meditate to be rid of suffering in myself and to reduce the excess suffering I inflict on others( so it's not really a massive concern if meditation didn't have some sort of cognitive benefits)but it'd be nice if it had incidental side-benefits that applied to other facets of my life.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 1:25 PM as a reply to D..
I screwed one exam period really pushing vipassana technique. You could say it left me low functioning.
Maybe a bit samatha each day to clear the mind?
In the end the studying does it anyway emoticon

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 1:55 PM as a reply to D..
The best way is to not look at meditation as developing your intellect, but instead something that gets the stress out of the way of your energetic motivations so you can study better with less distraction. You can note to keep your brain on task, and then it's recommended that you stretch and drink water every hour so that you can get some refreshment for the next hour or else each progressive our without rest will yield less and less. Practicing early and often reduces so much stress that you won't need the meditation as much. Cramming can sometimes work but it's more stressful and you'll forget all of it after the test.

For me, understanding my MBTI type and the Gordon Lawrence book about Learning Styles helped to see how I could use my creative INFP mind to study. Looking at your learning style for your personality is looking at your flow state and trying to use it in such a way that you can study. For me I need some creativity and the ability to start at all of the forest and eventually drilling down to the trees. Some people go from the trees until they have the forest. Whichever way energizes you is how you approach your studying because energy and emotions help make the studying work better. Make the studying "juicy" for YOUR pesonality type.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 2:22 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I think I was an INTJ when I did a MBTI test to pass the time a little while ago. What do you think INTJ means in terms of  learning style?

In all honesty, I trust psychology a lot less than I trust meditative traditions. Mostly because I can't really experientially confirm what an 'INTJ' actually is.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 4:31 PM as a reply to D..
There's lots of resources including Psychological Types by Carl Jung, and then Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs-Myers who organizes the MBTI. Basically there are 2 conscious functions you developed since childhood and then 2 conscious functions that are ill developed in early adulthood that are dry and hard to use, but you are aware of them. Then there are shadow functions which are the opposite introverted or extroverted of your conscious cognitive functions. Eg. Intuition Introversion, it's shadow is brainstorming (Extraverted Intuition), and so on down the list. They are basically skills, and there are 8 general skills that occupy different areas of the brain. The important thing is doing a test that verifies your skills that you prefer. That's what the test does. It's not an intelligence test, but a preference test. Jung abandoned Typology in a lot of his literature, and he didn't want people to identify with a type but just to understand your type and then continue developing the rest of your brain (individuation)

To not bog you down, as there are endless theories on how to individuate, but an INTJ is this, and its shadow is ENTP functions:

Your top function you developed in your early youth is Intuition Introversion. That is a gift to have. It allows you to take in lots of points of view and narrow them down into a prediction of what will happen, and also you can imagine the possible future vividly. This is an automatic process for you (if you did the test properly). It's the general in your mind so other functions work in service to it. Your second function is Extraverted Thinking which is plans, processes, process maps, and especially objective thinking based on facts that you feel others can verify, not just your own opinion. So basically, if you are an INTJ, you have visions of plans and how they can work. You want to see the plan and then take action to make the vision real. Some like to term INTJ the Mastermind. Your third function is Introverted Feeling which is personal values but it is less developed, and Sensing Extraversion is your goal of integration (Beebe model). It's savouring sensing experiences as they are (food, sex, sports, learn by doing), photographic detail with attention, and pleasure with flow states as you engage in activities. 

There are many theories on how to develop which includes going into the shadow, which is the opposite Introverted Extraverted version of your conscious functions (Developing ENTP functions down the ladder with your conscious functions), or the typical way which is to start with your top function and go down into the weaker conscious functions as per below:

The experience with this theory would be like, having a vision of your study plan, actually planning it out, thinking a bit about how valuable it is to you, and then just doing the plan. Your main energy is in the top two so using them more will give you more energy.

I personally look at the functions as working in tandem so if you jump to your opposite you become like an ESFP, with Sensing Extraversion (just do it! as Wayne Dyer an ESFP would say), and personal values with Feeling Introversion you may feel drained. Learning to integrate these opposites is a life-long endeavour that is difficult. We often hate our opposite because of their weaknesses.

For learning styles an INTJ needs to look at what energizes him/her or drains him/her. Doing your homework because it's personally valuable and "just do it" without a plan is not your strong suit if you are an INTJ. An ESFP would like that. 

The learning styles book says that INTJ's like self instruction, and want to measure how they did against their plan, often with high standards. There is a lot of unconscious problem solving coming up with a-ha moments of insight imagining how things could be done. The best environment is one without distractions of emotional concerns. This is an analytical type that wants the big picture first (symbols) before moving into the details.

So I would say finding a quiet place to study alone, and then take your textbooks and focus less on the details at first and map out your study plan and schedule. Then find a way to test yourself to get a measure of how well you know the knowledge as you go along. The pleasure an INTJ can get is having a vision of this study plan in a big picture and then break it down into chunks of studying. Then methodically move through the course work and enjoy testing yourself and only moving on when you are good at your periodic tests. Measuring is very enjoyable to Thinking Extraverts because it's clear tangible evidence that you are learning the material. As you put chapters/modules behind you then your confidence grows. The early vision of the plan (based on textbook learning objectives) and the pleasurable studying and testing and moving onto another chunk will be give you more energy. The pitfall is getting to stuck on your a-ha moments and get sidetracked. Write down those a-ha moments somewhere and move onto the next chunk to finish off. The more you put behind you the more confidence you will feel. Closure is enjoyable to an INTJ.

Remember meditation is all about your attention span. If you put your attention too much on the breath you will have less bandwidth for studying. It's better to find your energy and make the plan. Then use Thinking Extraversion to measure by testing to give your mind scientific proof that you are getting better and it will be scientific proof for your instructor who finds your answers accurate as well. You trust accurate plans that appear accurate to others as well.

If you are not sure if you are an INTJ you can take Dario Nardi's test below, which is pretty good. Answer the questions based on your actual preferences, addictive enjoyments, and answer accurately to what you find boring, pointless, or incomprehensible. Your likes and dislikes.

For example, I'm an INFP. I'm doing some studying and taking a break but I'm going to be making YouTube videos out of them based on what I find personally valuable in the material. This charges my brain with INFP energy, which I use the exact same way on my hobbies, which are another signpost to your passions.

Good luck on your courses!

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 4:08 PM as a reply to D..
Shamatha will develop concentration. Which should help a lot. In ways, it's like taking adderall without the side effects. 

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 5:49 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
I have a different question and probably more to the point of the aim of buddhism: 

Has the results of meditation ever helped you in overcoming the anxiety before Exams? 

An experience familiar to every student: You have been studying for a month before an examination. You have been very diligent and meticulous during your study, you simply did everything what was necessary to be well prepared. Now it is the time of the examination. Probably everyone is anxious to some degree. But WHY? Your fear can't have any influence on the result of the exam. You just absolutely meaninglesly and irrationally suffer.

In my opinion to get rid of this kind of useles suffering is the main goal of buddhist meditation.

In my view until I am not able not to succumb to any such irrational suffering I have no attainment at all.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/21/17 6:28 PM as a reply to Alesh Vyhnal.
I agree with that part of the question. When I failed an exam I was too sick to study for, I just went in and did the best I could with what I remembered with as little fear as possible. That's what insight in particular can do for you. Concentration won't so much because it fades so quickly. If anything, do the Burbea welcoming, allowing practice and that would also help a lot.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/22/17 1:54 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Interesting. I took the linked test from Dario Nardi 2 times and got the INTP and then the ISTJ type. The 2nd time was a little more accurate, but INTJ seems to describe me alot better, mostly because your description of a suitable INTJ learning style is pretty much a description of my actual style of studying.

I tend to get the very basics down, and gradually increase my understanding of a subject/module to be more complex, and then try recalling the entire thing from the ground up. Only then can I move on. I manage my time with the Pomodoro technique so slicing things into managable chunks seems to be a recurring pattern in my life.

Very interesting stuff. I actually didn't know much about my learning style until recently, mostly because intensive studying wasn't actually required for the exams I took. End of Secondary school exams in the UK are very,very easy for anyone who pays the slightest amount of attention in class.

The exams that come after those ones(A-levels) are a different beast entirely, and I basically have to to learn emoticon because the previous exams were far too easy for me to cultivate any serious study habits. I'm actually quite curious if anyone else has had to do this as well.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/22/17 8:18 AM as a reply to D..
According to empirical trials, the most important thing you can do to enhance your learning is to get plenty of sleep as soon as possible after a study session.

RE: Has the results of meditation ever helped you in Exams?
10/22/17 1:21 PM as a reply to D..
It's very possible that you developed INTP and ISTJ skills as everyone is slightly individuated due to cultural influences. An INTP is someone who uses Thinking Introversion to look at logical frameworks and leverage. Eg. Look at a blueprint for a building and want to change a part of the plan. You would use leverage thinking in anticipating how the overall structure would change, then an INTP would use Extraverted Intuition to brainstorm possibilities with different blueprint changes and go back and forth learning that way. An ISTJ would use your planning skills in the same territory but they would be more of an accountant and try to verify the plan with what is in memory "Is that correct? Does that make sense to what I already know? Do I remember it being this way?" 

In the end you can learn all the functions and you become just yourself. You don't identify the self with any of the skills as "me", but instead you pickup and put down the skills according to usefulness. You may type more and more types as you develop. I used to type on the Enneagram only 4, but recently I've typed 4, 5, 9, and 2.

I still think testing and spacing is the best since if you are doing a test then practicing what you will do on the exam will be more efficient. Breakdown your studying into your preferred way, but you will still have to test yourself so it becomes automatic at exam time. You can also use Mnemonics for any lists you want to memorize quickly.