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View Diary: *New Day* Our Brains = 3 lbs. of Tofu (167 comments)

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  •  It takes concentration and repetition (19+ / 0-)

    to reinforce or change neural pathways. I try to accomplish it through meditative techniques.

    If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

    by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:57:19 AM PDT

    •  What's your practice, Darryl? (9+ / 0-)

      I have a daily morning practice but it's a but unusual. Buddhism with headphones.

      buddha-headphones

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:33:38 AM PDT

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      •  I try to adhere to Vipissana (5+ / 0-)

        I usually employ the simplest and clearest visualization rather than a mantra, when I am able. This could get very verbose if I let myself do that so I'll avoid it and (very briefly) say that I'll first get in touch with sensation then try to set those aside or incorporate them into the visualization until they're indistinguishable from one another.

        What about you? Does music help you? I am assuming it is music you listen to but as I'm writing I recognize that it is an assumption.

        If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

        by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:44:59 AM PDT

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        •  I listen to various brain entrainment programs. (8+ / 0-)

          I'm not certain about the "science" behind them, but they do give me a point of focus.

          For example, they studied monks' brains in an fMRI during compassion meditation and saw they went into gamma wavelengths. So a recording was made at the same frequency, with the idea that while listening to it your brain would be trained into matching those gamma wavelengths.

          So, first thing in the morning I sit up, snuggle a doggy on either side of me, put on the headphones, and listen to an hour of whatever brain entrainment program strikes my fancy that day, while attempting to dispassionately observe the thoughts that come and go without responding to them. Some days it goes very well. Some days I fall back asleep (which I figure I must need more). Other days it's nattering nabobs of negativism all the way. But no matter, it's the practice that counts!

          Oh, I used to be disgusted
          Now I try to be amused
          ~~ Elvis Costello

          by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:51:06 AM PDT

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          •  The best part (9+ / 0-)

            is when the music stops...the dogs are "trained" that when the headphones come off it's time for a happy puppy pile of wiggling and giggling.  It's a fabulous way to start a morning!

            Oh, I used to be disgusted
            Now I try to be amused
            ~~ Elvis Costello

            by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:09:01 AM PDT

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          •  Interesting! (7+ / 0-)

            I've used entrainment at times and found it to be sporadically effective but when it is, it is very powerful. For myself, it seems most effective for physical healing.

            I have a deep affinity for percussion music and Mickey Hart has produced several spiritual albums that can send me into states that accelerate healing.

            Oh, and I do know about all of those intangible details that make daily practice so different and, at times, frustratingly difficult.

            If we are going to live at the speed of code, we need to remember the stillness of eternity. -- dharmasyd

            by Darryl House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:10:48 AM PDT

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            •  "Let whatever happens be ok." (5+ / 0-)

              Advice from Bill Harris, the creator of Holosync, the first program I started listening to and still listen to at times. That was the best meditation advice ever. Monkey mind? Let that be ok. Fall asleep? Let that be ok. Ugly thoughts? Let that be ok. Blissful release? Let that be ok. No one response is better than any other.

              I found a track for releasing endorphins and seratonin that p50 listened to a LOT during his treatments last year. He can say whether he thought it helpful for healing.

              Oh, I used to be disgusted
              Now I try to be amused
              ~~ Elvis Costello

              by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19:41 AM PDT

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              •  I would like to be hooked up with the last one (7+ / 0-)
                I found a track for releasing endorphins and seratonin that p50 listened to a LOT during his treatments last year. He can say whether he thought it helpful for healing.
              •  but if you let all thoughts to be equally ok (4+ / 0-)

                then it would mean you don't purposefully choose your thoughts and don't focus on some more than others and let the negative exist side by side with the others. Isn't that opposite to what paradise50 said:  

                Purposefully and proactively directing your attention to something will change your brain over time. It takes effort and dedication, but it does happen. You have to do it repeatedly for a while to achieve a truly differently wired and thus differently thinking brain.
                •  You got it. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mimi, paradise50, Darryl House, dharmasyd

                  Neither getting sucked into any particular thought nor actively pushing it away. Just viewing all of them equally as energies that naturally rise and fall, come and go.

                  I have thoughts, but I am not my thoughts.

                  Oh, I used to be disgusted
                  Now I try to be amused
                  ~~ Elvis Costello

                  by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:18:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Cogito ergo sum ? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    paradise50, smileycreek, Darryl House

                    You think, therefore you are, but you are not your thoughts? If you are not your thoughts, what are your thoughts then? They exist only because you are. Wouldn't that mean that you are your thoughts?

                    I should go to sleep... sigh... I am so addicted and uncontrolled in my thinking.

                    Please forgive. I have the feeling my comments offend and I don't want that.

                    •  I am not offended in the least! (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mimi, Darryl House, dharmasyd, paradise50

                      I will attempt a clumsy explanation: If there is an "I" who can witness my thoughts, then who AM I? Am I my thoughts, or am I the Witness who can sit back and dispassionately observe them?

                      In this type of meditation I try (and often fail) to be the clear witness to my thoughts. I don't KNOW where they come from! But I can watch them without approving or disapproving...sometimes for entire milliseconds at a time.

                      My willingness to keep attempting this, day after day, comes from a sense of having a higher consciousness that is capable of watching the electrical activity generated by the busy, busy brain. Perhaps this consciousness survives after the brain has died...who knows?

                      I do this because all my life I have pushed away what I consider to be  negativity, and I've never seen it work. That which I push down or push away just comes back stronger. But simply witnessing and accepting "negative" thoughts, instead of trying to deny or repress them? That, sometimes, leads to inner peace. For a few milliseconds. And that is the point of meditation, for me....to be able to accept myself including "good" and "bad" thoughts, and to find those moments of inner peace.

                      Crazy way to spend time, innit?

                      Please to pardon any typos; it's very hard to write on an iPad!

                      Oh, I used to be disgusted
                      Now I try to be amused
                      ~~ Elvis Costello

                      by smileycreek on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:42:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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