How Meditation Builds Your Metacognitive Intelligence
There are a lot of understated superpowers that come with learning meditation.
But there’s one that most people just don’t know about.
And no, I’m not talking about yogic powers like walking through walls or flying over mountain tops or even dissolving your body into rainbow light when you leave this world for good.
I’m talking about metacognitive intelligence.
What is that, you ask?
What Is Metacognition?
Technically, metacognition is our ability to become aware of our thinking processes. But it’s more subtle than that.
One way to describe metacognition is this. It’s our capacity to decouple our self sense from our thought stream.
And when we do that, a new level of intelligence and awareness emerges.
Another way to say it is that our subjectivity—our sense of “I” or “me”—is usually embedded in and not separate from our thoughts.
So for most of us, our sense of self and our thoughts are fused together. That’s just the software we came with.
However, in mindfulness meditation we begin the process of defusing or decoupling our sense of self—our subjectivity—from our never ending thought stream.
When that happens, we are nurturing and developing our metacognitive intelligence.
What we’re doing is creating objectivity and space in relationship to our inner experience – thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
The Benefits of Metacognitive Intelligence
As you might have already guessed, the value of developing metacognition is that we’re less victim to the ever shifting nature of our inner experience.
And potentially, we’re a lot less reactive.
In essence, we’re developing a thirty thousand foot view on our own habitual patterns of thought, feeling, rumination, and reactivity.
Previously, we might have been triggered by certain memories, thought patterns, rumination, and grudges. Instead, we now find that we have some space from those triggers and habitual behaviors.
Thanks to our metacognitive awareness, we can now see the patterns of reactivity emerging before we get hooked into them.
Why? Because we’re no longer embedded in those reactive habits.
And more than that.
We recognize that we have a choice. We have much greater agency in relation to our inner experience than we realized.
In short, increasing our metacognitive capacities translates to more freedom and more choice.
How does meditation help us build this metacognitive intelligence? That’s a great question.
To learn more, check out one of our mindfulness meditation training courses. We offer them every two or three months.