"Nothing is ever forgotten, it's simply stored."
Some of us are born with a good memory – the ability to remember and retain information - and some of us can easily forget a person's name.
This article will look into the ways in which our ability to remember can be negatively affected and the ways in which we can improve our memory.
Memory In Depth
The ability to memorize will be different from individual to individual.
What determines one’s ability to memorize comes from one's inherent mental endowment and one's subconscious habit of taking in and absorbing information.
Some people are born with certain advantages. That fact cannot be changed. But Self-Improvements can always be created through practice and effort. In terms of improving memory permanently, it can be as difficult as trying to change one's personality. It is not impossible, but it is possible much like working through one's fears. But in terms of temporarily improving the memory, it can be done easily through simple techniques.
To understand better, let us study how the mind actually memorizes an event.
First – Memory first begins with Self-Awareness. One has to first be aware of what is happening in the present moment. The more one is aware of the Present moment, the more efficient the Mind will be in absorbing that particular event.
The quality of the memory is also determined by the quality of the state of the mind at that moment i.e. if the mind is fatigued or not very focused then the event will be more blurry. As age can influence one’s ability to focus, the older one becomes the more one’s ability to memorize will become affected.
The second aspect to memorizing has to do with one’s subconscious habit of memorizing. This usually has to do with one’s habit of always recalling things from the past. If one is always using this mental muscle then one will be able to recall things easier.
The third aspect will have to do with one’s desire to memorize. For those who are usually bored or apathetic, lacking passion etc. they will find it harder to memorize or remember. This is because the more one perceives an event as exciting, intense, *impressionable*, the deeper the experience will be imprinted into the consciousness. So if the experience is boring then it will be less memorable for the mind.
To improve one’s inherent ability to remember thus can be done through these three ways.
1. To transform one’s ability to focus.
2. To transform one’s habit of memorizing.
3. To transform one’s quality of perception to make the event more impressionable.
Practices such as Meditation and Yoga can be used as tools to improve one’s memory because through them one can develop their ability to focus on the Present Moment. The importance of a healthy diet also should not be ignored as a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mind. For instance, the prolonging of a vitamin-B12 deficiency can lead to serious memory problems, so in this regard it is advisable for one to have their blood checked from time to time for any possible deficiencies.
Usually it can be easy to transform one’s quality of perception by simply exaggerating everything that one sees in life. I.e. by exaggerating small events i.e. if one wants to remember seeing a bird with certain colors in the park, one can just imagine seeing a dragon in a park and that memory will stay in one's mind longer. This is an easy skill to learn and does not require the work of Self-Transformation.
The other way to make the mind hold onto information is to alter it so it becomes more easily digestible to the mind. For instance instead of memorizing complex equations after complex equations for science exams, one can create a simple story behind each formula so that the mind can associate and relate to the formulas.
Other techniques that can be practiced to transform one's habit of remembering can be done through playing a game called Dual N-Back. This has been scientifically proven to help short-term memory recall. What happens when one plays this game is that one is creating the habit of activating the mental muscles associated with memory. And this habit can often be carried forward into one's daily lives. The link to this game online is here - Dual N-Back
However these latter ways are skills that needs to be practiced daily. Without practice, one can easily recede back to square one.
Thus let us look at the ways in which we can use to permanently improve our memory through Self-Transformation.
Path Of Creator
Memory In Relation To The Path Of Creator
There are ways to permanently improve our memory.
And this is done through improving our ability to be aware, improving our overall health, improving our ability to be more focused.
To improve these things, we have to work on addressing the inner issues that have a negative impact on our awareness, focus and health. After addressing these issues then naturally our levels of awareness will be improved.
The cause of these will always come back to our Sufferings - i.e. our fears, negativities, disease, unhappiness and so forth.
So by simply working on our Sufferings, then our ability to memorize and remember will naturally improve.
I.e. by working on our fears, then naturally our mind will become more Still throughout the day. By transforming and releasing our negativities, our health will naturally improve. By working through these we will be able to have less worries, wandering thoughts and negative reactions throughout the day naturally making the mind more clear, less distracted and more open to absorbing everything which passes by.
Wandering thoughts are actually the key reasons as to why some experiences are not absorbed properly by the mind. Ever had those moments when you can't remember what happened a few moments before? That is because you've just wandered off in the mind.
Ultimately, the goal of the Path is not to become a master of memory, rather is to simply become a master of ourselves i.e. to be happy and to live without fear and negativity. Improvements to the memory are just a bonus.
Thus there is no need to become attached to the need to record certain memories or to destroy particular memories. All experiences will all be recorded and filed away by our deeper mind anyways as all memories are precious to the Deeper Mind – as each experience we go through help us to know who we are. So memories cannot really be destroyed or forgotten.
So the focus of the journey has nothing to do with developing memory, but rather to develop happiness within. The ability to memorize naturally comes as we become healthier at all levels of The Self.
As the Seed Cause of all forms of Sufferings will always come back to Negative Ideas, let us look at some of the Negative Ideas that can create affect one's memory.
A Possible Negative Mental Declaration
"It is not ok to be boring"
--->I reject myself and others when I am/they are boring
= There will be fear when I appear boring because it is not ok.
For the mind which carries the negative declaration, the person will tend to reject boring experiences thus have a hard time retaining focus and remember things which are not extraordinary.
The journey of developing Self-Acceptance is about transforming the Negative Idea from "It is not ok to be boring" -> "It is ok to be boring"
The transition towards the positive declaration begins when one realizes that the cause of such is because one has a lack of acceptance towards The Self. Thus to transform the Idea will be a journey of grounding oneself and learning to Accept and Observe the present moment as is rather than to react negatively to it.
And to do so will be challenging especially in times of impatience or judgement. Throughout the process one will learn to be more patient, loving, and forgiving.
For the mind which carries the positive declaration is one that is in a state of acceptance and love towards all things that are boring.
The journey is balanced through moving towards the opposite declaration
"It is ok to be boring."
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Try to maintain a level of Stillness and awareness throughout the day and this will allow you to remember things a lot easier. You can practice the 5 Present Breaths to address the wandering thoughts happening within which can prevent you from absorbing the experiences properly throughout your day.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
Maintain a state of Stillness throughout your body journey and this will help you to remember where you were each time you experience yourself wandering off.
Know and Transform The Self!
Try the 22 Days Creators Meditation Course to learn how to master your mind. When one is able to learn how to Still their mind, then all things are possible.