Friday, July 30, 2010

Jill Bolte Taylor : A Stroke of Insight

Many of you may have seen the Ted video by Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist and spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center who survived a stroke in 1996, at age 37, to describe the shifts in her brain that took place as part of her recovery.

Fascinating stuff. And very useful and inspiring to not only those recovering from neurological disorders, but also psychological ones.

Right Brain:

  • Nonverbal
  • Thinks in pictures
  • Kinesthetic
  • Present moment
  • Holistic thinking
  • Seek similarities
  • Perceives energy
  • Compassionate
  • Noncontroversial
  • Time lost in the flow
  • Joy

Left Brain:
  • Thinks in language
  • Details
  • Linear/sequential
  • Past/future
  • Seeks differences
  • Critical analysis
  • Judges right/wrong
  • Competitive
  • Confrontational
  • On the clock
  • Stress
  • Sense of urgency

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reaction / Response

Suddenly, a cockroach flew from somewhere and sat on her. I wondered if this was the cockroach’s response to all the glory that was spoken about it! She started screaming out of fear. With panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group got cranky to what was happening.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach to another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed and threw it out with his fingers.
Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior? If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed? He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.
I realized even in my case then , it is not the shouting of my father or my boss that disturbs me, but its my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me. Its not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. More than the problem, its my reaction to the problem that hurts me.
Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
 I should always respond.
 The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.
 Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always intellectual

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Om Mantra

Before the beginning, the Brahman (absolute reality) was one and non-dual. It thought, "I am only one -- may I become many." This caused a vibration which eventually became sound, and this sound was Om. Creation itself was set in motion by the vibration of Om. The closest approach to Brahman is that first sound, Om. Thus, this sacred symbol has become emblematic of Brahman just as images are emblematic of material objects.
The vibration produced by chanting Om in the physical universe corresponds to the original vibration that first arose at the time of creation. The sound of Om is also called Pranava, meaning that it sustains life and runs through Prana or breath. Om also represents the four states of the Supreme Being. The three sounds in Om (AUM) represent the waking, dream and deep sleep states and the silence which surrounds Om represents the "Turiya" state.

Because the first of the three states of consciousness is the waking state, it is represented by the sound "A" pronounced like "A" in accounting. Because the dream state of consciousness lies between the waking and the deep sleep states, it is represented by the letter "U" which lies between the "A" and "M". This "U" is pronounced like the "U" in would. The last state of consciousness is the deep sleep state and is represented by "M" pronounced as in "sum." This closes the pronunciation of Om just as deep sleep is the final stage of the mind at rest.

Whenever Om is recited in succession there is an inevitable period of silence between two successive Oms. This silence represents the "fourth state" known as "Turiya" which is the state of perfect bliss when the individual self recognizes his identity with the supreme.

Just as the sound of Om represents the four states of Brahman, the symbol Om written in Sanskrit also represents everything. The material world of the waking state is symbolized by the large lower curve. The deep sleep state is represented by the upper left curve. The dream state, lying between the waking state below and the deep sleep state above, emanates from the confluence of the two. The point and semicircle are separate from the rest and rule the whole. The point represents the turiya state of absolute consciousness. The open semicircle is symbolic of the infinite and the fact that the meaning of the point can not be grasped if one limits oneself to finite thinking.

The Power of Chanting Om

  1. The chanting of Om drives away all worldly thoughts and removes distraction and infuses new vigour in the body.
  2. When you feel depressed, chant Om fifty times and you will be filled with new vigour and strength. The chanting of Om is a powerful tonic. When you chant Om, you feel you are the pure, all pervading light and consciousness.
  3. Those who chant Om will have a powerful, sweet voice. Whenever you take a stroll, you can chant Om. You can also sing Om in a beautiful way. The rythmic pronunciation of Om makes the mind serene and pointed, and infuses the spiritual qualifications which ensure self-realization.
  4. Those who do meditation of Om daily will get tremendous power. They will have lustre in their eyes and faces.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kahlil Gibran

Quote's from Kahlil Gibran

1. A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.

2. Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood.

3. Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.

4. If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.

5. Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.

6. Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.