Meditation

I knew him, he was arrogant, narcissistic and racist. It was his arrogance that caused his accident in which he lost his legs. He had prosthetic legs, he was a fearless fighter pilot but treated his ground crew and others appallingly, was cruel to his batman as well as causing huge trouble for his fellow inmates at Colditz because the Germans took his antics out on them. He is feted as a hero because the War Department needed him and others to bolster morale during the war. He was disliked by most in the RAF for a lot time afterwards. I have to mention this, sorry, but he needs to be remembered as what he was.
Yes, theres a classic film about him staring Kenneth Moore called, Reach for the Sky, where hes played more sympathetically, but hes well known for being a very.difficult man!
 
It seems one of the effects of long term meditation - non-dual awareness - has a possible neural explanation.


In summary, normally, we monitor and process three levels of sensory input 1) Interoceptive level如rocessing the signals from internal organs, 2) Exteroceptive level如rocessing of stimuli from the outside world 3) Mental level如rocessing of personality and memories. 3, tends to take precedence over 1 and 2.

In 3), there are two systems at work: Default Mode Network, which is strongly activate when we daydream or our minds wonder in reverie, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which manages many cognitive processes like planning and memory.

fMRI brain scans indicate that advanced meditators show decreased activity in the default mode network (and thus decreased mental self-processing) and increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (increased ability to focus attention) and at the same time these two areas increase their communication with each other!

Advanced meditators are able to shift their attention away from the self and synchronise the three levels of sensory processing! They are able to focus more on exteroceptive and interoceptive signals, and less on the mental self, they achieve non-dual awareness, and become present in the moment. Rather than being distinct from each other, the inner and outer world join in one, undivided continuum, and the self, body, and environment are strongly aligned!

SCIENCE, B*tch!
That's really fascinating... and makes alot of sense. The preoccupation with 'self' and 'my' thoughts/emotions etc (ownership thereof) is often seen as the barrier to deeper awareness... cheers for sharing!
 
That's really fascinating... and makes alot of sense. The preoccupation with 'self' and 'my' thoughts/emotions etc (ownership thereof) is often seen as the barrier to deeper awareness... cheers for sharing!
It does make me wonder if this state is useful, though. What is its benefit?
 
It does make me wonder if this state is useful, though. What is its benefit?
That's quite a topic haha... many Zen masters would give the answer "of no use or benefit whatsoever." Haha.. It has no use, I guess you could say it comes about of its own for earnest, sincere seekers of truth. Searching out the "state" for it's own sake is not the idea and counterproductive. For those wanting a deeper understanding of life and what they truly are (as a fundamental identity instead of the many roles/identities we assume we are) is what the trajectory is about... Less baggage and identification with suffering, if we want to look at benefits.

There are times when the state is beyond overwhelming and functioning is impossible, but many teachers advise not getting stuck or attached to it, but learn to integrate the transcendent with the everyday world. And often a really good place for people to start is to notice what's already here and present, prior to you making an "effort" to meditate or "find yourself"..
 
That's quite a topic haha... many Zen masters would give the answer "of no use or benefit whatsoever." Haha..
Theyre just being awkward, _Simon_, and hiding the gift of levitation it brings and I want!

It has no use, I guess you could say it comes about of its own for earnest, sincere seekers of truth. Searching out the "state" for it's own sake is not the idea and counterproductive. For those wanting a deeper understanding of life and what they truly are (as a fundamental identity instead of the many roles/identities we assume we are) is what the trajectory is about... Less baggage and identification with suffering, if we want to look at benefits.

There are times when the state is beyond overwhelming and functioning is impossible, but many teachers advise not getting stuck or attached to it, but learn to integrate the transcendent with the everyday world. And often a really good place for people to start is to notice what's already here and present, prior to you making an "effort" to meditate or "find yourself"..
One of the other practical benefits Ive heard Zennists present is these states generate happiness internally rather than us seeking them from external and exhaustible sources. I often think this type of explanation is an attempt at providing motivations to those in a world who are generally a little unhappy: Zen for the modern generation.
 
Theyre just being awkward, _Simon_, and hiding the gift of levitation it brings and I want!
Hahahaha the true prize!!! :D
One of the other practical benefits Ive heard Zennists present is these states generate happiness internally rather than us seeking them from external and exhaustible sources. I often think this type of explanation is an attempt at providing motivations to those in a world who are generally a little unhappy: Zen for the modern generation.
Yeah for sure.. for lack of better words (as words and concepts truly do fall short by trillions of miles when talking this sorta stuff) it's connecting us with the source of life and an "identity" that isn't flimsy and doesn't crumble so easily. There's alot of "cute" superficial Zen being cited and quoted (you hear it alot, "I'm so Zen right now!"), but yeah it's very much pointing to a deep change of orientation and awareness. People too often go the extreme and renounce the world (this in itself can be coming from denial/avoidance), whereas renunciation of attachment to the world/external is what's emphasised. Zen is a very embodied practice, and contrary to the idea that it's about shutting yourself away and meditating, it very much is all-encompassing, everyday life is no different to sitting on the cushion. Connecting the two in an inseparable way so that you're not just "peaceful and blissful" while meditating and a loose cannon when out and about haha.
 
It seems one of the effects of long term meditation - non-dual awareness - has a possible neural explanation.


In summary, normally, we monitor and process three levels of sensory input 1) Interoceptive level如rocessing the signals from internal organs, 2) Exteroceptive level如rocessing of stimuli from the outside world 3) Mental level如rocessing of personality and memories. 3, tends to take precedence over 1 and 2.

In 3), there are two systems at work: Default Mode Network, which is strongly activate when we daydream or our minds wonder in reverie, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which manages many cognitive processes like planning and memory.

fMRI brain scans indicate that advanced meditators show decreased activity in the default mode network (and thus decreased mental self-processing) and increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (increased ability to focus attention) and at the same time these two areas increase their communication with each other!

Advanced meditators are able to shift their attention away from the self and synchronise the three levels of sensory processing! They are able to focus more on exteroceptive and interoceptive signals, and less on the mental self, they achieve non-dual awareness, and become present in the moment. Rather than being distinct from each other, the inner and outer world join in one, undivided continuum, and the self, body, and environment are strongly aligned!

SCIENCE, B*tch!
Have you ever read Bodhidharma?

His sutras are so awesome at this whole non-dual thing. It's like he could spit Koans freestyle.

Example of something he might say: "the sky is blue. The sky is not blue".

It is, and it isn't.
 
The purpose or usefulness of Zen is somewhat missing in Japanese culture but has its roots in the buddhist religion. The buddhist doctrine states life is suffering. Suffering is caused by your pursuit of the things you want, need and desire. You could think of this as the things that give you immediate pleasure and a dopamine kick. The meditation is designed to ameliorate the suffering. Not so much create happiness but meaning.
Modern people don't care much nowadays about suffering but 2500 years ago life really was suffering. Poverty, hunger, sickness and death. There is still suffering but its hard to convince a millennial reading this on his iPhone sitting in his bed room the value of the practice.
 
The purpose or usefulness of Zen is somewhat missing in Japanese culture but has its roots in the buddhist religion. The buddhist doctrine states life is suffering. Suffering is caused by your pursuit of the things you want, need and desire. You could think of this as the things that give you immediate pleasure and a dopamine kick. The meditation is designed to ameliorate the suffering. Not so much create happiness but meaning.
Modern people don't care much nowadays about suffering but 2500 years ago life really was suffering. Poverty, hunger, sickness and death. There is still suffering but its hard to convince a millennial reading this on his iPhone sitting in his bed room the value of the practice.
And not just dopamine either.

How about cortisol, adrenaline, and glutamate. These things can protect you, or make you ill.

And a lot of that is well within mental control, when you really consider the mind and stress.
 
Have you ever read Bodhidharma?

His sutras are so awesome at this whole non-dual thing. It's like he could spit Koans freestyle.

Example of something he might say: "the sky is blue. The sky is not blue".

It is, and it isn't.
I have read some of his stuff but I generally find very old texts (across all genre) very hard to understand. I just dont get it. Its a question of language I suppose. I dont really get Christopher Hitchens but Richard Dawkins really chimes with me.
 
There is still suffering but its hard to convince a millennial reading this on his iPhone sitting in his bed room the value of the practice.
Or those ingrates who read books <rolls up scroll>
 
Well said! One might even say freedom from the burden of happiness haha.
The expectation seems to be one of being euphorically happy, most of the time when a more reasonable expectation is just being content.

There are plenty of ideas about from where that expectation comes.
 
I have read some of his stuff but I generally find very old texts (across all genre) very hard to understand. I just dont get it. Its a question of language I suppose. I dont really get Christopher Hitchens but Richard Dawkins really chimes with me.
The whole point is not trying to understand. That's why the Koans aren't meant for interpretation, but to free your mind from the trap of interpretation.

Is the sky blue? Is it not? Does it depend on the time of day? The weather?? Wavelengths???? WHY ARE YOU PONDERING THIS?

Knock that off. I know this is especially hard for doctors, it's their job and stuff, but I've watched Dr. Strange. A little ancient knowledge goes a long way with the right mind.
 
The whole point is not trying to understand. That's why the Koans aren't meant for interpretation, but to free your mind from the trap of interpretation.

Knock that off. I know this is especially hard for doctors, but I've watched Dr. Strange.

A little ancient knowledge goes a long way with the right mind.
Im sorry, I dont understand you, Oily Dragon.
 
Im sorry, I dont understand you, Oily Dragon.
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What happens if when one does awaken, one doesnt like it? Like Cypher?
 
"As miserable as ever" to quote the enlightened monk.
This is the hard part to swallow for many.

Ha, the day I forgot about my own suffering, suddenly a thousand others filled that void.

Every now and then it returns but the best medicine, I've learned, is to focus on them.
 

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