Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Prayer and Meditation’

Buddha Nature and the Divided Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 10, 2012

By John Stanley and David Loy

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a world that honors the servant, but has forgotten the gift.
–Albert Einstein

Except in the light of brain hemisphere lateralization, nothing in human psychology makes any sense.
–neuroscientist Tim Crow

An Old Tale

There’s a traditional Buddhist story about a statue of incomparable value, which is lost and then forgotten. For generation after generation, various kinds of human rubbish and debris accumulate to bury it. Nobody ever suspects that anything important lies under the ground. Eventually a clairvoyant person happens by who comments: “If you dig here, and clean up what you find, you will discover something invaluable.” But who would follow such advice?

Our Divided Brain

In his remarkable book, “The Master and his Emissary,” neurological psychologist Iain McGilchristprovides a wealth of scientific evidence to support his contention that two opposed realities are rooted in the bi-hemispheric structure of the human brain.

Although each hemisphere is specialized, neither functions as an “independent brain.” They integrate their activities to produce physical movements, mental processes and behaviors greater than, and different from, their individual contributions. With functional NMR scanners, real-time brain imaging is now routinely used to determine the functional effects of all kinds of strokes and brain injuries, and in that way we can observe how the hemispheres act together as “opponent processors.”

Basically, the right hemisphere is mute, perceives in a holistic Gestalt manner and synthesizes over space. The left hemisphere, the seat of language, analyzes over time. The right hemisphere codes sensory input in terms of images, the left in terms of words and concepts. Specialization of function offers all kinds of advantages, but integrating those functions is a special point of vulnerability. When it comes to the large and complex human mind-brain, harmony can easily be lost. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We Are All Meditators (Or at Least We Should Be)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 29, 2012

By Deepak Chopra

Today is a special day. Almost 30 years ago to the day, I formally learned to meditate in Cambridge, Mass. I had tried meditation before growing up in India, been preached its many benefits by my dutiful mother, even studied some of the early scientific research around it in medical school, but it wasn’t until years later when I was stressed-out physician, often abusing alcohol and cigarettes, that on a recommendation from a friend I turned to meditation as a tool for reducing my stress load.

My life has never been the same. And so today in many ways is a celebration of my discovery of meditation. And here are the three things I am doing in observance of that celebration:

1. The Chopra Center, which I founded over 15 years ago, is launching the 21-Day Meditation Challenge, which invites you to participate along with me in a free daily meditation program. The challenge will make meditation a part of your daily routine, and may be the fastest way to reap the many physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual benefits of its practice. For both beginners and longtime practitioners of meditation, the challenge promises to deepen your experience, expose you to different types of meditation, and open you to a community of others who share your interest in meditation.

2. “The Meditator” — a playful, guided daily meditation launches on my new YouTube Channel, The Chopra Well. Every day, “The Meditator” will enable you to join along for a short guided meditation situated somewhere in the world. The show is meant to be a primer, offering those who have never meditated before a very easy way into the practice, and those that already are experienced meditators a fun way to share meditation with their friends. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Buddha is Culture

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 24, 2012

By Lary Yang, Buddhist Meditation teacher HP


2012-06-15-GarrisonLGBTQ1550.jpg
By2012 LGBT retreat at Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY

Towards a Multicultural Buddhist Practice

The three “jewels” or the Three Refuges is one of the core elements of Buddhist spiritual practice connected to all Buddhist traditions. In this series, the Refuges of Buddha’s Teachings — the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha — are explored through the lens of culture and cultural experience. These Refuges were offered by the Buddha to create safety and sense of spiritual home so that each practitioner can be invited to relax into the present moment of one’s Life, to be able to explore what this Life is for us, and to cultivate the Life we really wish to live. Even the word “Refuge” has a connotation, a feeling, of a safe haven wherein to go. It is said that when we invoke the Refuges, as happens in the beginning of meditation retreats or practice sessions, there is always someone else in the world taking on the Refuges at exactly the same moment. Across cultures, the intentions to create peacefulness and safety in the world are that prevalent.

And the Buddha is about Culture.

The Buddha’s expression about Freedom and Awakening has always been about culture, about diversity, and about the infinite variations in human experience with all the 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows of this life. This remains a controversial issue within some Buddhist circles, including my home lineage of Buddhist practice. It may be different for other Buddhist traditions, but within communities of Vipassana or Insight Meditation, there is sometimes a predisposition to idealize the aspirations of spiritual practice, and to assume that the highest intention is to transcend the vicissitudes of this life, to somehow obviate the sorrows of this lifetime so that we only experience the pleasant, peaceful or sublime. I have heard dharma teachers bemoan conversations in diversity and culture, and say something like “Why do we dwell on our differences? The point of practice is to see our similarities.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: