Ever feel like your brain's stuck in Separatist territory, full of tangled thoughts and emotional droids running amok? Fear not, citizens of the Republic (and beyond!), for the wisdom of both meditation (or neuromeditation) and The Bad Batch offer a path to inner peace and mental mastery!
If you've not watched this arc of the Star Wars universe, I will do my best to not spoil anything, but please don't eschew this because it's a cartoon. Dave Filoni and the other creators at Disney have created some of the best storytelling ever put to screen - and it certainly has plenty to keep adults engaged.
One such arc through The Clone Wars and into their own spin-off show focuses on a clone trooper regiment, Clone Force 99. The take the moniker "The Bad Batch" because in a world where being a direct-copy clone was prized, they were created differently - each with a unique strength (and some of the problems that go with that).
As someone who considers himself neurodiverse, I find them to be some of the most engaging characters and I am (not so) patiently awaiting its final season when my family and I will gather in front of the television 99 seconds after it drops and enjoy it together.
But this is not a Disney commercial. Instead, I want to draw a parallel between these characters and types of meditation styles that are presented by Dr. Jeff Tarrant in his book Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain (affiliate link*: Amazon). Working with ADHD and other NDs, I often encourage meditation, but virtually everyone says, "I can't do that."
When we explore this resistance, they often have a mediation styles knowledge limited to Rafiki in The Lion King, sitting quietly with his hands upward on his folded legs, looking peaceful and serene. Most ADHDers feel their brain looks more like the wildebeest stampede. Hopefully, as we leave Pride Rock and head out into space, you will think differently.
Just like our ragtag squad of clones boasts diverse skillsets, neuromeditation presents four distinct styles to target different brainwaves and cultivate specific mental strengths. So grab some blue milk and buckle up: we're blasting into the fascinating world of rewiring your noggin ... Bad Batch-style!
1. Wrecker and Omega: Open Your Heart, Clan Brother!
The bookends of Wrecker, the lovable brute with a hidden well of compassion, and Omega, the tech-savvy orphan with a knack for connection, embody the Open Heart style. The largest and the smallest of the batch are anything but calm. They are both passionate individuals. The open heart practice focuses on cultivating kindness, gratitude, and forgiveness, activating brain regions associated with empathy and compassion. Imagine Wrecker showering Tech with praise after a successful mission, or Omega offering words of comfort to a distraught Hunter – that's Open Heart in action!
2. Tech and Echo: Mindfulness Masters, In Sync and Silent.
Tech, the stoic genius, and Echo, the loyal, observant clone, represent the Mindfulness style. This practice emphasizes present-moment awareness, observing thoughts and emotions without judgment. Picture Tech calmly analyzing battlefield data while Echo silently tracks enemy movements – they're attuned to the present, getting the lay of the land before jumping into action.
3. Hunter: Quieting the Mind, A True Jedi Creed.
Hunter, the wise, introspective leader, embodies the Quiet Mind style. This practice aims to achieve a state of inner stillness, reducing mental chatter and fostering deep relaxation. Imagine Hunter meditating atop a mountain peak, quieting his thoughts to find strategic clarity – that's Quiet Mind at its core!
4. Crosshair: Sharpshooter Focus, A Laser's Precision.
Crosshair, the skilled marksman with unwavering purpose, exemplifies the Focus style. This practice emphasizes sustained attention on a single object, honing concentration and mental clarity. Just like Crosshair lining up the perfect shot, Focus helps you laser-focus on your goals, blocking out distractions.
Remember, clones (and humans!), finding your ideal neuromeditation or meditation style is a journey, not a destination. Experiment, have fun, and who knows, you might even unlock your inner Force potential!
This week I'll be posting some meditations that embody each of these, so keep checking back!
Bonus Tip: Channel your inner Bad Batch member during your practice! Visualize Wrecker's strength for Open Heart, Tech's calm for Mindfulness, Hunter's serenity for Quiet Mind, or Crosshair's focus for, well, Focus!
May the Force (and good brainwaves) be with you!
*If you want to check out more about these, find Jeff Tarrant's book Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain (2017). This is an affiliate link to my Amazon account. I may receive some small compensation for purchasing it through this link, but that's not why I link to this book. It's one I have in my personal and professional library and I use it in both dimensions.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or psychological advice.