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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mind, Brain & Meitation

“The brain has a fixed location. The mind has no such definitive location, mainly because it can't be ascertained what it is. Though some might say the mind is around the head area, but then there is a question as to what is there. Absent content what is mind? The brain needs nourishment. Does the mind? The mind doesn't have blood flowing through it.”

“We have no experience of what it's like to be a brain, unless this is what it's like. Though I don't feel wet in the head.”?

“If mind is equated with consciousness then mind is the aware aspect of being. This aware mode may be an epiphenomena or the foundation of all that is
It has been commonly accepted by the majority of experts in the fields of neuroscience, brain research and other related fields that the mind exercises significant influence over the brain and also can affect actions and behavior independent of the brain.

In her book “Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain”, Sharon Begley provided a clear and well-researched description of the mind and it’s potential. More recently, Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Ms. Begley have greatly expanded on the topic and related it to many facets of quantum physics and the latest developments in brain research in their recently published “The Mind & the Brain”.
The fact that we are endowed with a mind as well as a brain isn’t exactly hot news. There is a clear differentiation between the two dating back hundreds of years. In Latin we have “mens” as name for the mind and “cerebrum” for the brain. Although up until very recently, the scientific community ignored the existence of the mind and its functions, my father explained how the mind was the only source of answers when it came to complex, non-mathematical problems over fifty years ago (he said the brain was just a calculator or adding machine) .

My own exploration of the mind, its functions and capacities began with my study of Buddhism. Then, a few months ago after my wife suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, I started reading everything I could find about the brain and the mind. In parallel with this, I had almost accidentally discovered a way to use my mind to sharpen my tennis game. The major problem most club players experience in tennis sooner or later is a failure to watch the ball and like many others, I recognized my weakness but couldn’t correct until I started focussing my attention on the seams of the tennis ball rather than the ball itself and this simple maneuver put me straight into “the Zone”, an experience very similar to meditation exercises I’d practiced in India two years ago. Suddenly the brain dropped into a passive secondary position and the mind took over. As a result, I was hitting the ball with the center of my racket (the “sweet spot”) getting to the ball much faster and making shots I never before had even attempted.
Now, the big question is “If I can do this with a tennis ball, what else can I do to focus the amazing power of the mind?

Mind is much bigger than brain. Mind includes talking to other folk, it includes typing stuff, reading, and doing things generally. To think is to do.

If so how do you measure the mind?By intelligence? From what I understand, the mind is abstract, more or less like our consolidated experiences since birth. Perhaps at death it is the mind that lives on. Maybe the mind is the soul.

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