Memory – Integration – Recall

Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

During the third loop around the spiral we examined memory recall, learning how to improve dream recall through practice, and how to become more conscious, more lucid in your dreams. In this way we hoped to recall forgotten events by literally dreaming them up.

In our walking meditation presented next week we’ll be concentrating on simply using that walking time to practice chunking, encoding, storing, refreshing and retrieving memory. This week however we suggest a way to try and recall a lost memory though simply talking a walk.

You’ll have often found yourself at a loss to remember something, sure that you know it yet equally sure that it won’t come to mind.

How to make it come to mind

You are reminded of things, you recall them, when your memory systems are in a similar state to the one in which you first stored that memory. Your associative memory will follow an associational link, a chain of reminding which leads to a more and more detailed description of the missing information.

This is one of the main functions of a psychotherapist or councillor. Perhaps you’ve heard people say that they can’t remember much of their childhood, but still those people when in counselling do spend hours talking about it, answering the well chosen questions from the therapist with stories which remind them of more stories, the details of which remind them of yet more stories, always homing in and refining detail until the issues are recalled clearly enough to find resolution.

Likewise when you struggle to remember some thing in your life, the key to finding it isn’t just to concentrate harder, but to think of something which will remind you of that thing. If going a direct route is difficult, a more circuitous path may be more fruitful. But how to let your mind wonder enough that it may find something to remind you of your target memory?

This is where our suggested walking meditation comes in. This is perhaps best done without earphones and a voice reminding you what you should be thinking about all the time for the point of the walk is to look for things which might remind you of the target memory. Be aware of your surrounding and have those surrounding constantly changing as you ambulate though them. Always keeping the target in mind, looking out for things which may remind you of it.

So next time you find you can’t remember something, just try thinking about it while you take a walk. If the walk isn’t convenient immediately, write down what you hope to remember and give it a whirl on your way home.