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Brain correlates.... - Dhamma Wheel

Brain correlates....

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Myotai
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Brain correlates....

Postby Myotai » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:08 pm

Just listened to Leigh Brasington talk about Jhanas - "Focus and Freedom" - he often spoke of brain chemistry in terms of Jhanic states.....always makes me feel uncomfortable. If what the Buddha taught can be reduced to chemical changes in the brain, why not just develop a Jhana pill?

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Ben
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:36 am

It's just a different perspective. Keep in mind that the dominant paradigm at the moment appears to be scientific materialism. By presenting the jhanas in such a way, he is making the Dhamma a little more accessible to people who may ordinarily dismiss it.
Kind regards,
Ben.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Myotai
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby Myotai » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:03 am

Thanks Ben, this is of course true of the moment! :)

Best evidence I have seen for brain not being synonomous with mind is the Pacebo effect....no other explanation needed IMHO. If the brain make changes when a non-placebo is administered, then what else evokes physiological changes when a placebo is used...?

Mind!

:)

lbrasington
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby lbrasington » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:09 pm

Yep, I'm assuming that the mind is (at least a partial) reflection of brain/nervous system activity in response to the environment in which it finds itself embedded. Is this the whole story? I'd say we don't know -- but I personally have yet to see any evidence of some part of the mind outside of brain/nervous system activity.

The placebo effect proves nothing IMHO. The mind affects the body and vice versa. For an example of the mind affecting the body go to this page and sit back and watch for 15 seconds as the pictures flip by: http://leighb.com/pix2013/Portugal/R001 ... tugal.html
Did the 3rd picture generate any bodily reaction when you realized what you were look at? Maybe not -- I may only get it because I took the picture. But for sure I get a tightening in my gut when I look at that picture -- and its all in my mind.

Given that the jhanas do arise in correlation with distinct brain states, I want to understand those states. Doing so just might make it easier to teach people how to enter and use these states. As for a jhana pill -- our understanding of how the brain works is far too primitive at this time to do so. You'll just have to use the ol' sittin' on a cushion method to get to the jhanas.

Leigh Brasington

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fig tree
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby fig tree » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:03 am


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Myotai
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby Myotai » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:50 am

I would say that the WHOLE of Buddhism as a viable and legitimate religion is based almost exclusively upon the existence of past and future lives.

If the mind dies with the brain then there isn't anything (apart from constructed morals based upon an inconsequential fantasy) to stop us being utterly hedonistic....


I am going to start a new thread re this but thought I would answer here first - hope thats ok?

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kirk5a
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:05 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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clw_uk
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Re: Brain correlates....

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:09 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken


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