Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The left and right hemispheres of our brain

The following is the excerpt from Thay's dharma talk of Singapore Retreat in 2010. Watch the following video from 1:21:00 to 1:26:00.

If you are a neurologist or neuroanatomist,  you may like to study these two exercises in the light of neuroscience. Our brain has hemispheres, one on the left and one on the right. And on the left side, we have a capacity to think in terms of concepts and language. We can distinguish and we can analyze. We can discriminate very well. We do a lot of speculation and reasoning on the left hemisphere of our brain. And in daily life, we use the left hemisphere of our brain a lot. And because we do it so much, that is why we have a feeling that we are the solid self completely separated from the world outside. It's like a block of ice feels that she is separated from the rest of the river that is still water. Because of that kind of function, we feel that there is a self separated from the world. And the left hemisphere of our brain functions a lot in terms of thinking, judging and analyzing

But the right hemisphere has another talent. It functions more in terms of feelings. It functions more in terms of direct intuitions than reasoning. And it allows the right hemisphere to function more and then we experience more peace, more joy and more compassion. By practicing the third and the fourth exercises, we allow the left hemisphere to rest and allow the right hemisphere to play the important role. When you focus your attention on your breath and when you focus your attention on your feeling of your body, you release all thinking, all analyzing. And if you know how to get in deeply touch with your body, you can also get in touch with the world that is the foundation of your body. 

(Cf.) http://www.slideshare.net/compassion5151/goodbye-to-brain

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