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12.10.2014
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One of the most interesting aspects of the martial arts philosophy of Rory Miller is the way that it expresses the essence of the sword of Zen within a 21st century context. The questions that emerge from a careful comparison of premodern and 21st century brain training methods may very well lead to a completely new paradigm of consciousness and the effects of meditation on functional performance enhancement during situations of extreme violence. There is a story that sometimes is believed by Zen practitioners that when a monk achieved enlightenment without any training he could pick up the sword and effortlessly cut down a trained opponent expertly. Recently I met a Korean Zen master named Chun An who is the abbot of the Amitabul Zen Center in Seattle, Washington. As you meditate upon the exquisite detail of the beauty of nature captured in our scenic videos you will enter into a very deep state of relaxation.
When the brain is in Alpha or Theta wave states the brain increases the production of serotonin which is an extremely beneficial neurotransmitter that facilitates mental and physical relaxation.
The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword.
An enlightened understanding of the Art of War has been an essential aspect of East Asian civilization, which often considered the highest level of martial arts to be the actual completion stage of meditation—the rediscovery of the Original Mind.
There also appears to be esoteric Buddhist meditation practices like dream yoga, which may be extremely useful in reducing the tendency to temporarily freeze in situations of extreme violence, when the complexity of sensory data overwhelms the ability of the brain to process and react to combat sensory bombardment with functional efficiency. There is much confusion that surrounds meditation, awakening, the sword of Zen and its Taoist origins. Additionally his poetry, calligraphy and all the other Zen cultural arts would suddenly reach a sublime level of expression at the level of the legendary ancient masters.
The text, The Unfettered Mind, by Takuan Soho, is based on a Zen abbot telling a sword master how consciousness really works in extreme battle conditions. The heart of this is that the sword you wrest from your adversary becomes the sword that cuts him down. He is in his mid-60s but looks much younger with a glowing presence that fills the room with a powerful, tranquil enlightened feeling. Getty Images reserves the right to pursue unauthorized users of this image or clip, and to seek damages for copyright violations. Slower brainwave frequencies such as Alpha and Theta waves produce endorphins that make you feel better for a natural "high". Although he may not realize it, Rory Miller gives the same instructions for getting out of freezes that Tibetan lamas give for practicing dream yoga.


He has spent more than 20 years in meditation retreat in the mountains of Korea, with a total of over 40 years of practice.
Before I describe some of their research results, here’s a question for you.What do you think of the following experience?I stood in my bathroom ready to go into the shower and realized I could no longer define the boundaries of my body, of where I begin and where I end. From the perspective of the Zen sword it means instantaneously killing your opponent with one movement completely without thought.
Many elite highly proficient combat professionals tell their students that the entire concept is superstition and martial arts mythology. Fifteen years ago he experienced an overwhelming indescribable experience of all-encompassing golden light. Since this time he has glowed from within and appears radically different from the Western practitioners that I have met. For a moment I was shocked to be in total silence… I felt enormous and expansive, and my spirit soared. How can the mental training of the combat professional be improved by rewiring the brain using esoteric Asian meditation methodology? What happened to Ueshiba's brain when he saw an all encompassing golden light and experienced the love of the universe, which enabled him to create the gentle art of Aikido based on compassion and kindness?
He says that he has achieved the ultimate goal in life, which is enlightenment, and that he is one with the universe. It should be noted that golden light experiences are at the core of Taoist meditation, and sometimes called the Golden Flower or Golden Elixir. What I realized when I saw him was if you put a sword in his hand this is what Musashi must have really been like in terms of visible internal power and overwhelming presence. Maybe it’s even the start of an enlightenment experience?Wrong.It’s the start of a stroke!The stroke happened to brain scientist Dr. As Rory Miller points out emotionally balanced high-level combat efficiency results in the individual acting as protector and guardian.
Jill Bolte Taylor (whom I mentioned in my article 7 Factors of Good Luck) She suffered a severe stroke in her thirties.
In the course of four hours, she noticed her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, and self-awareness. So they process information differently, they think about different things, they care about different things, and I would say that they have very different personalities.Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically.
It’s designed to take that collage of the present moment, and pick out details after details, categorize them, associate them with all of what we have learned in the past, and project into our future possibilities. It thinks in pictures, Information in the form of energy streams in simultaneously through all of our sensory system and then it explodes into what this present moment feels like. As a Zen teacher, I’m forever encouraging my students to let go of internal chatter, of linear thoughts, and of ideas about the ‘self’. Bolte Taylor’s description, I began to wonder whether what we’re doing in Zen is to train people to use their right, instead of their left brain.


Bolte Taylor’s experience challenges his own research that pinpoints the left prefrontal cortex as an area of neural activity strongly associated with deep meditation. Bolte Taylor maintains that the brain research performed by Andrew Newberg and the late Eugene D’Aquili earlier this decade have helped her understand exactly what was going on in her brain. Using SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography), these two scientists identified the neuroanatomy underlying our ability to have a spiritual or mystical experience. They were asked to tug on a cotton twine when they reached either their meditative climax or felt united with God.Here is what they found.
At that moment there was a decrease in the activity of the left hemisphere’s language centres resulting in a silencing of their brain chatter.a decrease in the activity of the orientation association area. Bolte Taylor explains: “This is the region that helps us identify our personal physical boundaries.
When this area is inhibited we lose sight of where we begin and end relative to the space around us.”In terms of Buddhism, such insights are not new. Many ancient and contemporary descriptions of meditation experiences include the two aspects of quiet mind and boundless body. It neither diminishes their value nor negates it.Regular meditation has retrained my brain of some obvious things like clearer thought, better focus, more peace, calm, kindness, compassion, etc. It makes good sense that occurs because meditation makes real and measurable changes on my brain chemistry.And I wonder how Dr. It’s inspiring to read the story of her life and see how that changed her whole outlook in life. It’s lovely to see that you can track changes in your life that have come about through spiritual practice.
The greatest experience can just become a memory if we don’t learn to express it in every moment of our life. On the one hand I do value sesshin and koans and teachers, due to my experiences of connectedness and love and vastness through them.
I brush my teeth and when I listen fully, the ordinary sound of it contains the vastness of the entire universe and is also the precise sound only of brushing my teeth, nothing else, the taste of the tooth paste contains the vastness of the entire universe and yet is precisely the taste of toothpaste, the feel of the brush on my gums and teeth contains the vastness of the entire universe and is precisely the sensation of brush on gums and teeth. Mostly I just brush my teeth without noticing so deeply.My thanks and respect to scientists studying scans of brain activity and increasing the vast body of human knowledge. May the diligent and labouring scientists on the frontiers of our knowledge also hear, taste and feel the brushing of their teeth. It was a fantastic book (I heard it’s a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement!
No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives.



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