“Mind meadows” are an adaptation of Technique: Meadow brought to us by Justin Slocum-Bailey of Indwelling Language

“Imagine you’re on an island,” our leader starts. The room fills with smiles and muffled laughs; being smack dab in the middle of the Bering Sea, it’s not hard to imagine such a far-fetched situation. “You’re on an island with no food or drink. A plane drops by offering to bring you an unlimited supply of three food items for the rest of your life. What do you choose?” The scheduler throws one minute on the clock, we turn to the person next to us, don our silliest thinking caps and begin to discuss our gastronomic fate. And thus, we initiate what we, in WAYKian theory, call a “mind meadow.”

Drawing on the meadow (a physical place in the classroom to go and relax), mind meadows are one minute breaks, during which you bring your project to a complete halt, pair up with someone random and throw all your energy into some inane, but oddly contentious debate. In forcing us to think about something—anything—entirely different, the exercise provides reprieve from mentally-draining activities, allowing our brains a moment’s break and acquiring a notable sense of refreshment. With little to no set up and only one minute spent, mind meadows are ideal for tight and/or thinking-heavy schedules.

To offer another example, a few days prior, our fearless leader innocently posed the question “Are graham crackers cookies or crackers?” and the room fell into chaos. Friendships lay broken, lives forever changed; you could cut the tension with a knife. I kid, of course, but after morning entirely devoted to the big wide world of archive training, we were happy for the break. Our answer didn’t matter (though we all know, it’s a cookie, am I right? (or am I right?)); what mattered is that our minds were taken away from our present situation, that we returned with renewed energy and perspective.

Post authored by Rachel.

Written by Evan Gardner