Happiest man in the world?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Happiest man in the world?

    MRI scans showed that he and other long-term meditators - who had completed more than 10,000 hours each - experienced a huge level of "positive emotions" in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with happiness. The right-hand side, which handles negative thoughts, is suppressed.
     
  2. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    But I like the right side of my brain! And I am pretty happy, even if this is supposed to be the most miserable day of the year. :confused: :)
     
  3. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Can't get this one off my mind. Not sure which "half" it is stored in, but it is still there. :D

    So, from a Buddhist point of view, would giving up my "attachment" to my right brain creativity, emotion, spontaneity, etc. be a good thing? A "letting go," so to speak?

    Some say there are two "selves" in each of us. I don't buy it, really. But what does that do in terms of realizing one's "self" or letting go of it?

    Interesting.

    Also, I found this--thought it was kind of fun, although I don't know if it is all that relative to the thread. I guess it could be....

    Left Brain : Right Brain

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  4. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    If the right-hand side of the brain is suppressed, what's the difference between this... and drugs or a partial lobotomy? Just how authentic is this "happiness"?

    Wouldn't it be much more impressive to achieve high levels of "happiness" with an unsuppressed right-hand side? Wouldn't that be a better comparison?


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Mark, In Love...

    I sorta had the same contemplations but the way I read it in the end is he sees less negative. You know how we immediately think the worst (no kid hollers to their mom..."there are angels under my bed")

    Is it that they are saying he is able to see or chooses to see the good in people and situations?

    Isn't that what many of us would like to strive for?

    10,000 hours......
     
  6. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Come to think of it, they don't, do they? Well, maybe some kid, somewhere...

    And that makes much more sense to me than actively seeking to part with half of one's brain functions. I am thinking that this was not his goal, but an observation (hopefully not a conclusion) made by the researchers.

    And I think that many do practice it. And I do think that there are many spirits (minds and/or hearts, if you prefer) in the world as we know it that would make quite an impact on the body of scientific research if the researchers knew where to look. (I know it sounds as if I'm knocking science, but I'm not--at least not as a whole.) Very few have the celebrity or the connections to attract that much attention. As for the 10,000 hours of meditation, there are many who do not count the time. According to scientific research, they would most likely be referred to as "right-brainers". :)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  7. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    The right hand side, must have me by the short and curleys....

    It all seems "fantasy land" happiness.... Like someone else said... I can simply use drugs If I want to get that happiness... Whats the difference?
     
  8. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Take note the article is talking about the right pre-frontal cortex not the whole right side. As I understand it, the right brain-left brain model is considered a limited model. Language for example comes from both parts of the brain. More about Matthieu Ricard in Daniel Goleman's book Destructive Emotions: How can we overcome them? There is a wealth of information in this book and features the work of many including Richie Davidson et.al and the work at the Mind and Life institute in Boulder.
    Peace
    Mark
     
  9. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    The practice of tummo / psychic heat, has a similar story. The heat produced through this practice is not the goal, but a remarkable side-effect. Yogis are able to live quite comfortably in extremely cold conditions, wearing nothing but a thin muslin cloth.
     
  10. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    So it is more about losing (or overcoming?) perceived physical limitations than it is about losing the existing function?

    I am thinking about how I hate the cold winter winds where I live. I know this may sound rather kindergarten-ish, but what I do is simply imagine it is the middle of summer and I am in a garden surrounded by the blossoms I know will result from the present season. Something like that?

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  11. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    How's that working for you? :)
     
  12. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    You could say that. Perception, is just that, a perception - not right, wrong, or I, me or mine. When you realise the interdependence of all things, perception finds no more footing.

    This is called pure vision. This is the view of the Buddhas, where there is no suffering.
     
  13. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    LOL! I stay inside a lot! But when I have to get out there, it helps tremendously.:)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  14. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Yes, the "big picture", perhaps. But I suppose even looking at things this way could be considered "perception" as well. The details may be just as beautiful and important. There have been times in my life when I have actually enjoyed the cold winds for what they are, but so far it hasn't been in a thin muslin cloth. :)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  15. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi again--

    I was re-reading my last post, and I just want to make it clear that I am not making fun. What I mean is that I have a long way to go before I can realize that sort of control over my body and mind. But for the perceived :)))time being, maybe my vision is becoming purer....

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  16. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    This is an interesting discussion. The reading I've done confirms that the right and left argument for brain function is mosty an information processing differentiation. By the way women's brains have more and richer left-right side interconnections than men's brains. There are specialized parts in the brain on both the left and right sides, but there are singular bodies in the brain that help to coordinate emotional and sensory inputs so that our consciousness' are supplied with complete pictures of what we perceive. Beyond pictures sometimes, perhaps even alternative versions of realities around us. I believe that this is where the Bhuddist claims of mental and emotional healing and health through ritualized meditation practices fits in.

    The singular bodies include the amygdala, the pineal , the superchiasmic nucleus, the hypothalamus, the pituitary, etc. Brainscans tracing sensory inputs and pathways that they follow show that the brain lights up all over in processing and evaluating informational input. There is no specialized function that the brain cannot adapt and adjust for over time so that sensory inputs and perceptions may be retained and maximized.

    A little known fact that I find interesting is that the brain contains about two and a half billion particles of magnetite. This is an iron-based substance in our blood that can align themselves in distinct patterns depending upon the brain's activities, or even electromagnetic fields that the barin is exposed to, ie. cell phones, power lines, etc. So theoretically this might play a part in memory storage of images in the brain. The more emotionally charged the memory to be visually stored becomes, then perhaps the longer and deeper the memory retention.

    17th you are correct to a point since the brain has built in receptors for cannaboids, opiates, and other naturally occurring substances that were widely used by our ancestors as medicines and palliatives, and by us as recreational escapes. But some of them have been refined and distilled to such an extent that they can be hazardous to our physical and mental well-being when one succumbs to the law of diminishing returns syndrome. It's like, why drink a pint of 100 proof vodka, when a few pints of ale will do the job nicely and give you some nourishment to boot, and not to mention some exercise in walking back and forth to the WC ?

    flow....:p
     
  17. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    Since everything is but an apparition, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.

    ~Longchenpa(14th century Tibet)
    :)
     
  18. Tariki

    Tariki New Member

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    Glad to see that Flow is advocating - at least implicitly - the downing of multiple pints of ale as one means of gaining "happiness". At least this is one "technique" I would be able to follow - if so inclined - to its conclusion.....................Nevertheless, whatever sides of the brain are involved, I tend to side with Chuang Tzu (if only because it excuses me from any strenuous effort) who has said......

    "My greatest happiness consists in doing nothing whatever that is calculated to obtain happiness. If you ask 'what ought to be done' and 'what ought not to be done' on earth to produce happiness, I answer that these questions do not have a fixed and predetermined answer to suit every case.............."

    As Thomas Merton has said, "the way of conscious striving is fundamentally a way of self-aggrandizement".

    Anyway, speaking of Merton - as I often do! - I was thinking of posting the following on the "Thomas Merton" thread now on-going. Perhaps it is more appropriate here, for anyone interested....

    From his journals dated December 1964......

    "Lay in bed and realized what I was: I was happy. Said the strange word 'happiness' and realized that it was there, not as an 'it' or object. It simply was. And I was that. And this morning, coming down, seeing the multitude of stars above the bare branches of the wood, I was suddenly hit, as it were, with the whole package of the meaning of everything: that the immense mercy of God was upon me, that the Lord in infinite kindness had looked down on me and given me this vocation out of love, and that he had always intended this, and how foolish and trivial had been all my fears and desperation. And no matter what anyone else might do or say about it, however they might judge or evaluate it, all is irrelevent in the reality of my vocation to solitude, even though I am not a typical hermit. Quite the contrary, perhaps. In the light of this simple fact of God's love and the form it has taken in the mystery of my life, classifications are ludicrous.............The only response is to go out from yourself with all that one is, which is nothing, and pour out that nothingness in gratitude that God is who He is. All speech is impertinent; it destroys the simplicity of that nothing before God by making it seem as if it had been 'something'......."

    Also perhaps a chance to give another favorite quote of mine, by Eckhart, that seems to relate - in part - to the theme of "happiness" and its pursuit ( or non-pursuit)....."They can truly enjoy the feast who would just as willingly fast"

    :)
     
  19. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Leave it to "advanced" modern societies, huh? :rolleyes:

    One of my all-time favorite quotes. :)

    That's a new one for me! Thank you!

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  20. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    When you put it that way, yes.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     

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