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Nothing stays the same. Life regularly changes things up on you. ~ Jill Bolte Taylor "Stroke of Insight" TED Talk


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Nothing stays the same. Life regularly changes things up on you.

Stroke of insight is Jill Bolte Taylor's inspiring TED Talk about starting over:

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Jill Bolte Taylor's book is also called Stroke of Insight:

Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body. In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left halves of her brain. Having lost the categorizing, organizing, describing, judging and critically analyzing skills of her left brain, along with its language centers and thus ego center, Jill’s consciousness shifted away from normal reality. In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.”

Based upon her academic training and personal experience, Jill helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can ‘tend the garden of our minds’ to maximize our quality of life. Jill pushes the envelope in our understanding about how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel, and how we react to life’s circumstances. Jill teaches us through her own example how we might more readily exercise our own right hemispheric circuitry with the intention of helping all human beings become more humane. “I believe the more time we spend running our deep inner peace circuitry, then the more peace we will project into the world, and ultimately the more peace we will have on the planet.”

My Stroke of Insight is available at your local bookstore or online merchants including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I've seen this video.  It's truly amazing that she passed through that experience, and was able to tell the world what it was like.  

I've wished I could feel at one with the universe and not so caught up in my own individual experience.  Unfortunately, easier said than done...

Isn't that the essence of buddhism: learning to let go of individual experience so we can feel the universe?

perhaps...unfortunately, I don't practice buddhism.   - you?

Not yet. Maybe in the future. But Zen philosophy... Yoga... Meditation... All have an appeal!

As a possibility, any daily, physical practice in which you extend deliberate, methodical and unbroken effort for between 50 to 60 minutes will achieve a contemplative mental state and suffice to get you into your right mind.  No matter how inspired we get in the watching of videos, seeing images and definitely in the reading of words, we just can't get there by exercising our left brains more and more.  Which is why all esoteric systems have physical foundation methods that must be practiced to achieve rightmindedness before attempting more advanced work.  The physical alignment allows one to feel connectedness and energy flow as awareness of the way unfolds.  

So if you just want to hang out in rightmindedness and enjoy the buzz, survey the global offerings for your favorite flavor of daily practice and pick one that tastes the best to you in the moment: yoga, tai chi, zen, martial arts, etc.  Daily practice means you'll be physically engaged on doing proven fundamentals that inexorably moves you into the foundation of rightmindedness... and, it's then that you might uncover a desire for advanced feeling to unfold by intention.

However, at this point the masters say "better to have never begun".  As such paths are obvious to the left brain looking backwards yet inscrutable to it looking forwards.  And so it is preferable, if not necessary, to find and feel a living master's guidance in order to learn rightmindedness safely without shorting out the left mind in less than a lifetime.  Again, all this above is offered only as a possibility.

"Find and feel a living master's guidance." I like that.

Me too.  It's awesome...

"we just can't get there by exercising our left brains more and more" - reminds me of Osho/Rajneesh's story about a Tibetan monk who had thousands of followers and even wrote books on meditation. One day the monk and Osho met, and Osho figured the monk had never actually meditated in his whole life - just wrote about it! 

Your quest for the best living master will inevitably lead towards you, yourself - warts and all. There is perfection within you, you just have to plumb the depths through meditation.

The simplest way to get into meditation is by sitting at ease and watching the breath and not being attached to thoughts. Or during other moments making every action so deliberate that it is the only thing that exists in your field. Like Spiderman making time slow down!

The best way to minimize thoughts, outside of meditation, is to journal like crazy and give plenty of thanks/forgiveness at the end of the day - a simple practice to dump all the clutter.

All of Buddhism, Taoism, and such -isms stem from Yoga, not just the physical asana practice, but the full form best described by Maharishi Patanjali.  This site http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras.htm seems to have a quick overview - with some architecture of the mind diagrams thrown in for good measure to tantalize the left brain - but don't get sucked into this trap!

"we just can't get there by exercising our left brains more and more" - reminds me of Osho/Rajneesh's story about a Tibetan monk who had thousands of followers and even wrote books on meditation. One day the monk and Osho met, and Osho figured the monk had never actually meditated in his whole life - just wrote about it! 

Your quest for the best living master will start & end with you, yourself - warts and all. There is perfection within you, you just have to plumb the depths through meditation.

The simplest way to get into meditation is by sitting at ease and watching the breath and not being attached to thoughts. Or during other moments making every action so deliberate that it is the only thing that exists in your field. Like Spiderman making time slow down!

The best way to minimize thoughts, outside of meditation, is to journal like crazy and have a gratitude/forgiveness practice - a simple way to dump all the clutter.

All of Buddhism, Taoism, and such -isms stem from Yoga - not just the physical asana practice, but the full form best described by Maharishi Patanjali.  This site http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras.htm seems to have a good overview - with some architecture of the mind diagrams thrown in for good measure to tantalize the left brain - but don't get sucked into this trap!

Srini, this is truly fascinating. I need to learn more!

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