BEYOND THE HEMISPHERES – integration of mind, body and world

  • BEYOND THE HEMISPHERES – integration of mind, body and world

    Posted by Don Salmon on April 29, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Tibetan Buddhism has a fascinating practice, they call it “analytic meditation.”

    By itself, it is a wonderful integration of LH and RH. By itself, it makes absolutely clear that meditation is NOT just about shifting to a RH modality.

    But the Tibetans go way beyond that. For one thing, they don’t consider the physical world to exist in the way we assume it does. Notice this is not nihilism – they don’t say it doesn’t exist, but not in the way we assume it does.

    So it’s not at all about brain integration but simply integration.

    I know this probably sounds mysterious – I’ll write more about it soon….

    Mike Todd replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Lucy Fleetwood

    April 29, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Aha! Middle way philosophical system — Madhyamika — relative and ultimate reality. Look forward to your posts.

  • Whit Blauvelt

    May 1, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    Ah, shifting. The gears, the transmission of mind.

    Is the transmission automatic, or manual? Or perhaps an automatic transmission with an optional manual override?

    Is the gearing such that we can shift to LH, shift to RH, or shift to both — sort of like the switch on an electric guitar which can use either one of two pickups, or both?

    How does one, from within one mode, willfully shift to another, when will itself is partially a product of the mode? It would seem we may have to surrender the very will-as-product which would choose its own surrender to the new constitution of will in the other modality.

  • Mike Todd

    June 13, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    I found the following article an accessible gateway to a more nuanced contemplation of some of the ways in which different aspects of reality integrate.

    Reality is undeniably multidimensional, whichever metaphysic one favours. My own view allows that the relative dimension of reality, as the article calls it, may itself be multidimensional, comprising at least one dimension amenable to perception, and at least one further dimension transcending perception though tangentially amenable to other modes of cognition; I consider the absolute dimension of reality, on the other hand, to be unconditionally one – and approachable only through contemplative oractices – which I feel lends it a qualified primacy congruent with the primacy afforded the RH by Dr. McGilchrist.

    The left and right hemispheres, in my own experience and as evidenced in the words of more seasoned meditators, appear equally necessary, though perhaps not equally ancillary, to meditation. Mindfulness-based meditation, for instance, as the following video suggests, appears to require, at the very least, a combination of focussed attention (LH) and sustained attention (RH), to use Dr. McGilchrist’s terms.

    Finally, the link below suggests that meditation may entail a spectrum of hemispheric involvement, from predominantly LH (“close focus to our breath or a sensation” – sustained, focussed attention), through an equilibrium of LH and RH (“a breath, a pain in our legs, a thought about dinner, a feeling of sadness” – sustained, focussed and divided attention), to predominantly RH (“experience the mind’s awareness as open, boundless and vast” – broad, vigilant attention, as Dr. McGilchrist calls it, or if you prefer, pure sustained attention).

    Despite demurring otherwise, the author tacitly elevates predominantly RH involvement. (After all, the article’s title and the obligatory Buddha quote both allude to it.) This left-to-right progression (and implicit promotion) is also evident in a method for developing increasingly effectual meditation expounded by B. Alan Wallace in his excellent book, The Attention Revolution. (Yes, that was a plug.)

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