April 5, 2007

Buddha Break 2007.04.05

  • The World Health Organization defines health as, "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

  • "The suffering itself is not so bad, it's the resentment against suffering that is the real pain." -Alan Ginsberg

  • "Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind." - Buddha; Guilt, shame and the Buddhist practice.

  • Gifted students who feel the pressure of their ability could be using Heavy Metal music to get rid of negative emotions.

  • "A Tibetan scholar once complained to me of Zen’s severe reductionism. The scholar was right. Zen is so reductive by nature that it actually self-destructs. The longer I practice Zen the less I have of anything, including Zen itself." -- Lin Jensen; More.

  • Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) can help you literally think yourself out of depression.

  • People who bought this book also bought: Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley; The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind by B. Alan Wallace; The Dalai Lama at MIT by Anne Harrington; Genuine Happiness: Meditation as the Path to Fulfillment by B. Alan Wallace; The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge.

  • Scientific studies of meditation and other forms of contemplative experience have only recently become a subject of scientific interest.

  • Saletan on brain damage, evolution, and the future of morality.

  • The concept of Nirvana from a psychological point of view.

  • Paul Broks reviews Nicholas Humphrey's take on consciousness: "One day I'll be dead. It's an oddly exhilarating thought. Something unimaginable—nothingness—awaits us all. I have a hunch that getting an imaginative purchase on mental nothingness would help us also grasp the "somethingness" of sentience. What else was conscious in that summer's evening scene? The tree? No. The bugs? I doubt it. The cat? Who knows? I had an intuition that it felt like something to be the cat, that the animal had some awareness of the cacophony of the cicadas' mating calls, an awareness to which I would ascribe the sensory quality sound. As it stretched and rolled, I imagined it experienced a bodily sensation, which might be labelled pleasure. And I am pretty sure that if I had walked over and stamped on its tail, then it would have experienced pain. But it was just an intuition. An intuition, yes, but one I could surely back up with neurology."

  • "The biggest obstacle [today for contemplative practitioners] is that Western 21st century culture provides very little support for spiritual practice and in fact its major thrust (consumerism) runs counter to spiritual growth." More.

  • Being human: Nussbaum and capabilities.

  • The latest NEWSWEEK poll shows that 91 percent of American adults surveyed believe in God—and nearly half reject the theory of evolution. Maybe it's because humans hard-wired for faith.

  • Computer-based therapy for such things as depression should be available to all patients in England from April, says the government.

  • "The reason we experience disgust today is that the response protected our ancestors," said Dan Fessler, associate professor of anthropology and director of UCLA's Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture. "The emotion allowed our ancestors to survive long enough to produce offspring, who in turn passed the same sensitivities on to us."

  • Would you kill one person to save five others? Your intuition is probably wrong, says Peter Singer.

  • Slate on The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga. Read with a grain of salt.

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