Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

Let’s talk wellbeing, happiness!

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Wellbeing or happiness is not dependent on situations, geography, status, accomplishment or achievement.

 

Wellbeing or happiness is not excluded because of loss, crisis, sadness, attitude, poverty or handicap.

 

Wellbeing or happiness does not exist in the past or future.

 

Wellbeing or happiness hides inside each breath, each mundane event, each visual our eyes encounter, only in this current moment.

 

Our goal is to not get stuck on any joyous, sad or traumatic moment.

 

Change is inevitable, we wither and die, so do not get stuck and waste one breath.
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“Altered Traits”: IN A NUTSHELL .

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“The brain’s default mode activates when we are doing nothing that demands mental effort, just letting our mind wander; we hash over thoughts and feelings (often unpleasant) that focus on ourselves, constructing the narrative we experience as our “self.”

 

 

The default mode circuits quiet during mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation.

 

 

In early stages of meditation this quieting of the self-system entails brain circuits that inhibit the default zones; in later practice the connections and activity within those areas wane.

 

 

This quieting of the self-circuitry begins as a state effect, seen during or immediately after meditation, but with long-term practitioners it becomes an enduring trait, along with lessened activity in the default mode itself.

 

 

The resulting decrease in stickiness means that self-focused thoughts and feelings that arise in the mind have much less “grab” and decreasing ability to hijack attention.”
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“Altered Traits”: the happiest point in your life?

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“The Dalai Lama’s emotional life seems to include a remarkably dynamic range of strong and colorful emotions, from intense sadness to powerful joy.

 

His rapid, seamless transitions from one to another are particularly unique—this swift shifting betokens a lack of stickiness.

 

 

Stickiness seems to reflect the dynamics of the emotional circuitry of the brain, including the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens.

 

These regions very likely underlie what traditional texts see as the root causes of suffering—attachment and aversion—where the mind becomes fixated on wanting something that seems rewarding or on getting rid of something unpleasant.

 

The stickiness spectrum runs from being utterly stuck, unable to free ourselves from distressing emotions or addictive wants, to the Dalai Lama’s instant freedom from any given affect.

 

 

One trait that emerges from living without getting stuck seems to be an ongoing positivity, even joy.

 

When the Dalai Lama once was asked what had been the happiest point in his life, he answered, “I think right now.
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WHat is Terrifying

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The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

 

—Carl Jung
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My two cents: We always have plans to improve, to overcome flaws, to accomplish goals, becoming more worthy, peaceful.

 

That places well-being and happiness in the future, a fallacy of the highest order.

 

Accepting oneself completely is a strenuous daily practice.

 

I still struggle with this task.
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Multitasking and attention

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“Many denizens of the digital world, for instance, pride themselves on being able to multitask, carrying on with their essential work even as they graze among all the other incoming channels of what’s-up.

 

 

But compelling research at Stanford University has shown that this very idea is a myth—the brain does not “multitask” but rather switches rapidly from one task (my work) to others (all those funny videos, friends’ updates, urgent texts . . . ).

 

 

Attention tasks don’t really go on in parallel, as “multitasking” implies; instead they demand rapid switching from one thing to the other.

 

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Tender and compassionate!

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“There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate.”

 

~Robert Frost
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My two cents: Our purpose on this planet is to be happy, Matthew Ricard expounds wholeheartedly.

 

That is not chasing pleasure, avoiding the awkward or accumulating toys, status and power.

 

It has to do more with gratitude and giving, kind of like sending and receiving compassion each hour of the day.

 

Include difficult people, enemies and those who drive us nuts.

 

Only look down on another if you are giving a hand up.
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Prefrontal cortex and Attention!

 

 

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“Altered Traits”

In humans the prefrontal cortex takes up a larger ratio of the brain’s top layer, the neocortex, than in any other species, and has been the site of the major evolutionary changes that make us human. 

 

 

This neural zone, as we will see, holds the seeds of awakening to enduring well-being, but it is also entwined with emotional suffering. 

 

 

 

We can envision wonderful possibilities, and we also can be disturbed by worrisome thoughts—both signs of the prefrontal cortex at work. 

 

 

 

While William James wrote about attention as though it were one single entity, science now tells us the concept refers not just to one ability but to many. 

 

 

Among them: 

 

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