Saturday, December 10, 2011

The brain featured in Men's Health magazine

The December 2011 issue of Men's Health magazine has a relatively large section dedicated to the brain and emotions.  One article in particular goes into a concept that describes being the witness, not resisting what emotions come up, letting it be okay, and letting the emotions run their course.  Keep an eye out for it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Henry Grayson: Change in an Instant

Tami Simon interviews Dr. Henry Grayson about the role of thoughts in relationships, but also goes into a bit on the different brain waves we experience as we grow up and even goes into a bit on quantum mechanics. Take a listen to Change in an Instant from Sounds True.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Surrender and action

Recently I was wondering when I needed to surrender and let the universe take me where it will and when I needed to make a move. It seems like a very fine line. One can not move when it is needed and thus miss an opportunity or can move too much and sabotage what one is trying to accomplish.

It's still a riddle for me, but shortly after pondering this, the following idea came to me: It first starts with desiring something.  That action places me into a school, where the universe is the professor.  The universe gives the lessons and assignments to help accomplish this task - it could only be a few or many before achieving my desire.  It is then up to me to do those assignments.

Of course, it still brings up the question as to when being still may be the assignment.  It's not like there's always immediate feedback to know if you are heading in the right direction or not.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Smartphone Brain Scanner

Milab at the Technical University of Denmark used a Nokia N900 and an Emotiv EEG headset to have data from a brain processed and displayed on the phone. The raw data can be passed along to a storage device or computer for further processing. A brief synopsis can be found at the Milab site and a brief article can be found at Singularity Hub.

It would be interesting to have this record what happens during meditation, especially with something like Holosync that leads you through the different brain wave stages. Of course, the program is not located on the Android Market and probably not on Apple's App Store.

Monday, August 22, 2011

There is No Enemy

From Buddhist Geeks: Ken McLeod presents "There is No Enemy". He talks about "moving beyond ‘us vs. them,’ embracing the mystery of the human condition, and changing the world. Ken speaks about the futility of fighting our lives, explores what it means to make an something an enemy, and how to realize that there is no enemy."

I especially like his quote: "Obstacles in your path should not be regarded as obstacles. They are simply features of the landscape which have to be negotiated." It makes me think of the concept known as "the Witness" as well as "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Don't Take Consciousness for Granted

From TED: "After a catastrophic car accident that left him in a coma, Simon Lewis found ways to recover -- physically and mentally -- beyond all expectations. At the INK Conference he tells how this remarkable story led him to concern over all threats to consciousness, and how to overcome them."

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Reflection on Life and Lucid Dreaming

In many cases, a dream tries to reflect reality. However, for whatever reason, there are usually elements in the dream that are out of place. The conscious mind can notice these out of place elements, but generally only if there is enough awareness to catch the tuggings of the conscious mind. Usually we are so buried in the dream that we don't notice those oddities, accepting them as they are, until after we wake up - if we even remember the dream at all.

If you have enough awareness to hear those tuggings of the conscious mind, your conscious mind can rise up to where you realize that you are in a dream. Thus begins a lucid dream, where you can just watch or start to take control of your dream. Sometimes the conscious mind can rise up too much to where you begin to wake up.

One analogy that has been used about life is that it is a dream. How our perception of life is actually a dream and that if we wake up, we can be enlightened, in the world but not of it, etc. And how does that waking up happen? Awareness. And how can awareness happen? Meditation.

In the waking world, I see that the ego, shadow self, or whatever you want to call it, acts just like that part of the brain that gives us dreams. Then there is the higher consciousness, or super consciousness, that tries to tell us that we are dreaming. How well we hear it depends on our level of awareness.

I recently had an experience that brought me much pain in the past. This time, however, I could see that it was the ego making noise, trying to protect me. Despite noticing this, it still produced stress, as I had no idea what to do about it. I could clear my mind, but not too much later it would come back. It's like not being knocked over by an ocean wave, but not too much later the next wave comes along.

How to describe what happened next is difficult. I guess I could say that I listened closer to what the ego was saying. It was saying something, though, that suggests that I made a conscious decision. It was then when I saw it for what it was, as I had not made that conscious decision at all and was (and still am) trying to figure things out enough to come to a decision.

Now I am at a point of realization that if I make a particular decision, the voice of that ego will come back. I'm not sure what I would do, but am trying to not let that influence my decision. But I do have it in the back of my mind, trying to figure out how to bring peace to that part of me, as no matter what decision I make, it is likely to come back sooner or later.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Happens in the Brain During an Orgasm

New Scientist has an article on how an orgasm affects the brain and the experience of the female reporter being hooked up to an fMRI scanner as she brought herself to orgasm as well as when she imagined what would be happening as she brought herself pleasure.

The article also includes the image of what was going on in the reporter's brain as she experienced her orgasm. It also briefly mentions a difference found in another study due to the orgasm being brought on by a partner. I found it particularly interesting that using the imagination activated the same parts of a brain (though to a lesser extent) as the actual act itself.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Meditation Reduces Pain

A study by Wake Forest University School of Medicine finds that meditation reduces pain by 40 percent and reduced pain more than pain-relieving drugs.

Of course trying to meditate while in pain can be challenging.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Study Supports the Power of Positive Thinking

While the Law of Attraction is not mentioned, it did pop into my mind. Men's Health gives a report on a study where positive thinking could protect you from a cold.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meditation in a High-Security Prison

NPR tells the story of the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility and their Vipassana meditation program. One of the results of this program: "...a 20 percent reduction in disciplinary action."