Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Blog

Welcome to Lumbini, Nepal – the birthplace of Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Living News’

Good News: You Are Not Your Brain

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 8, 2012

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, and Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Director, Genetics and Aging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Like a personal computer, science needs a recycle bin for ideas that didn’t work out as planned. In this bin would go commuter trains riding on frictionless rails using superconductivity, along with interferon, the last AIDS vaccine, and most genetic therapies. These failed promises have two things in common: They looked like the wave of the future but then reality proved too complex to fit the simple model that was being offered.

The next thing to go into the recycle bin might be the brain. We are living in a golden age of brain research, thanks largely to vast improvements in brain scans. Now that functional MRIs can give snapshots of the brain in real time, researchers can see specific areas of the brain light up, indicating increased activity. On the other hand, dark spots in the brain indicate minimal activity or none at all. Thus, we arrive at those familiar maps that compare a normal brain with one that has deviated from the norm. This is obviously a great boon where disease is concerned. Doctors can see precisely where epilepsy or Parkinsonism or a brain tumor has created damage, and with this knowledge new drugs and more precise surgery can target the problem.

But then overreach crept in. We are shown brain scans of repeat felons with pointers to the defective areas of their brains. The same holds for Buddhist monks, only in their case, brain activity is heightened and improved, especially in the prefrontal lobes associated with compassion. By now there is no condition, good or bad, that hasn’t been linked to a brain pattern that either “proves” that there is a link between the brain and a certain behavior or exhibits the “cause” of a certain trait. The whole assumption, shared by 99 percent of neuroscientists, is that we are our brains.

In this scheme, the brain is in charge, having evolved to control certain fixed behaviors. Why do men see other men as rivals for a desirable woman? Why do people seek God? Why does snacking in front of the TV become a habit? We are flooded with articles and books reinforcing the same assumption: The brain is using you, not the other way around. Yet it’s clear that a faulty premise is leading to gross overreach. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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How the Buddha Would Interpret the Law of Attraction

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 18, 2011

By Peter Baksa

I think it’s safe to say everyone is seeking happiness; even if they are not aware of it. Aristotle once posited that we all seek happiness, but as humans we do not share the same path. Well, is there a sure fire path that will bring us lasting happiness, or as I would call “joy?” The Law of Attraction (LOA) must be included in any discussion; it plays a key role in where we actually end up in life.

What I find troubling about some LOA perspectives is the advice to pursue whatever “feels good.” I was re-reading my own book, “The Point Of Power,” and I noticed that I used a similar descriptive. I now realize how this wording can be severely misconstrued inaccurately.

The wildly popular movie, “The Secret,” goes so far as to say that anything we think will make us feel good is fair game — a million dollars, a dream house, a sexy red sports car. It goes on to imply that each of us has some sort of supernatural power to make the world do our bidding, suggesting that we each are the center of the universe. It also implies that spiritual growth is all about fun, lightness and pleasure as we jump from one blissful experience to the next.

Let’s bring this all back down to earth. In my experience, what “feels good” is a pretty faulty indicator of what’s in our best interest. All we need to do is remember the last time we indulged in a gallon of ice cream or six shots of Don Julio Anejo tequila to know that. And I’m sure we’ve all experienced what usually happens after we get that one thing we wanted so much. The grass quickly starts looking greener on the other side. Read the rest of this entry »

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