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I’ve been using a mind palace since my teens and never thought it odd until I saw tumblr’s reaction to Sherlock’s use of the technique. A couple days ago I found myself building an extension in order to cram for my philosophy exam the following day and I figured I’d use this as an example and get you all exploiting the genius of this method.
If anyone’s any further questions just hit up my ask and we’ll talk.
I completely sympathised when Sherlock wanted distraction banished. I need sense deprivation myself; eyes shut and ear plugs in. Sherlock’s pose is optional, but highly enjoyable as you do feel a bit of a badass.
For first-timers I suggest some classical music and to close your eyes. You might find yourself suited to different conditions; that’s just the way I prefer to do things.
Do prepare yourself. It’s a bit like meditation, a bit disorientating but oddly refreshing.
Storing Things: Advanced
Mind Palaces can be a bitch to get right at first. I went through several different styles concerning everything about mine before I found the one I’m happy with. You need to know the place like you do a lover; so intimately that it sometimes hurts in such a wonderful way.
Most people use mind palaces for temporary storage of things like shopping lists and phone numbers. If you’re going to use it for an exam have everything in place at least a month before, do not do as I did; that was a dumbass move prompted purely by whatever devil decided to broadcast TRF three days before my exam.
A long-term palace is a commitment as your mind’s a bit like your muscles; if it’s not used your palace will atrophy. You don’t have to update it every day, just check in and review and ensure everything’s where it’s supposed to be. I do this each night while lying in bed.
If you do this you’ll be able to remember things years down the line just by accessing the trigger; I was talking to a woman in her 70s t’other day who had a mind palace as a student 50 years ago and could still remember the exact layout of the eye by returning to it.
[None of these gifs are mine. The Elvis ones are the-strangest-love, but I’ve forgotten where I got the others. My apologies!]
UPDATE 23/1/2012, 21:00 GMT:
The response to this thus far has been fantastic and I’m utterly thrilled.
Addendums will occasionally be added as others contribute and any answered questions can be seen via my 'How To Build a Mind Palace' tag; everything under this tag is under a CC license.
If the current answers are no help then ask away; if you’d prefer your answer privately just let me know.
UPDATE: 7/2/2012, 22:41 GMT:
You guys are doing incredible and you’ve no idea how happy it makes me that so many of you now have your own palaces! If you’re reading for the first time then take this as proof that you can do it.
At some point I’ll do a basic diagram of the part of the Divination classroom I used for the exam - I don’t want to bog you guys down by the insane detail I have in there for the entire subject plus none of those triggers are too personal so I don’t mind sharing. Expect this in the summer.
Hopefully that’ll cover everything as it’s what most have been requesting, but if there’s anything else in paticular you’re craving do let me know.
UPDATE: 23/2/2012, 2:44 GMT:
I just realised this thing has been up for over a month, judging by the first update. Insane.
UPDATE: 4/6/2012, 16:12 GMT
It’s been about five months since this was first posted and it’s still going strong! Utterly incredible. Thank you very much for your visit, no matter how you got here; I hope I’ve been of some use to you.
I’ve created an email should anyone need to contact me privately, in relation to this post or otherwise. You can also chuck questions at me here if you haven’t tumblr: email@example.com
UPDATE: 15/7/2012, 4:46 GMT
I had the utmost pleasure a couple days ago to inform a certain Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch about this mind palace business; he’s also got his own personal print out of the above which he’s promised to share with everyone on the show. He was suitably impressed and amazed that it really works. Let’s continue to prove to him that it does; I really don’t believe I could be any more ecstatic.
Here I am explaining the whole thing to BC, hence our grins. He’s looking at the print out (minus the GIFs; thought that’d be a bit mean).
UPDATE: 25/7/2012, 15:04 GMT
On the small chance any of you want a way to thank me for all this, I’d be heavily indebted to anyone who’d be willing to sponsor my friend Claire for her trek across Iceland. She’s fundraising for Maggie’s, a cancer charity which focuses on palliative care for not only the sufferer but also friends and family. Even a quid would help someone out so if you can afford it, please do. Thank you.
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