Metronomes & Mindfulness Contemplation

[I stole this idea from Joe Hanson, host/writer of PBS Digital Studios, through my buddy Chris Thompson]

Here we see exactly 32 metronomes unite in synchronous play with no help from human hands. The secret lies in the platform on which these metronomes are set up parallel to each other. This platform sits on rollers that can roll from side to side in the same direction that the metronome arms strike.

When any two metronome arms hit, their forces on the platform either cancel out or add together, depending on how out-of or in-sync they are. Any arms that are out of sync will experience a force in the opposite direction that inches them closer to the pack.

Eventually all 32 arms find the same rhythm and sync up. It is interesting to note that 32 is the fifth power of 2. The sixth power of 2 is 64. So, this may happen with 64 metronomes too.


Similarity to Mindfulness contemplation

The metronome model may explain in an earthly manner what happens during mindfulness contemplation. Correctly done contemplation will bring up realizations that will allow discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies to level out.

In contemplation, breathing is allowed to have its own free rhythm that is not interfered with, and the attention is allowed to roam to allow free associations. Like the platform on rollers that does not put up any resistance, the person does not put up any resistance to the experiences which contemplation brings to view.

After some practice with this contemplation,  the things that are bothering the person seems to settle down with realizations that make them continuous, harmonious and consistent with reality.

Then a mindfulness guided process may be used to introduce an inconsistency. One may then sit back and watch that inconsistency level out by itself. Wonderful realizations may follow in the wake of this process.

NOTE; Synchronization will not occur in either of these cases (metronomes or meditation) if the platform, or self, offers resistance.


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  • vinaire  On June 10, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    The problem with individuality is that it considers itself to be the source of creation and finds itself in competition with other sources of creation.

    The process of creation occurs naturally without the consideration of individuality.

    Individuality enters only as a “force function” or an “inconsistency” introduced during the meditative state.



    • Chris Thompson  On June 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      It seems that individuality is a composite of all these synchronous motions. Hence as you’ve described your “weighted center.” When every metronome is synchronized, we can observe the swing jogging to the left and to the right with each oscillation. This tray, together with every metronome, swinging, is for me a metaphor for the individual.


      • vinaire  On June 10, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        An individuality is a composite if tightly knit considerations whether they are synchronized or not. The individuality is not aware of these considerations. It is very likely that it is the filter that poses as individuality.

        Synchronization does not seem to have anything to do with individuality.



  • vinaire  On June 10, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    There is constructive and cooperative individuality, such as that of Buddha and Christ.

    But there is also destructive and uncooperative individuality, which seems to hold considerations such as,

    (1) My God is better than his God.
    (2) My culture is better than his culture.
    (3) I am better than he is.
    (4) I am right and he is wrong.
    (5) He is stealing my ideas.
    (6) He is in competition with me.
    (7) He is using my blog to promote his blog.
    (8) My blog has better statistics.
    (9) After all I am an OT 8.
    (10) I have achieved the highest level offered in Scientology.
    (11) I have had wonderful gains.but I am going for more gains now.
    (12) I am going to be a super thetan.
    (13) I am now opposing even Scientology.
    (14) I am guiding all these little sheep to a better future.



  • simple meditation  On July 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Thanks for another informative site. Wheere else
    could I am getting that kind of information written in such
    a perfect manner? I have a project that I’m just now running on, and I have been on thee look out for such info.


  • vinaire  On June 1, 2017 at 9:30 PM

    I updated this essay to make it consistent with the discipline of mindfulness.


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