Awakening Through Mindfulness

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Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Fri May 26, 2017 10:04 pm

One of the reasons for much of the suffering that we go through in life is taking life too seriously. It is not uncommon though; almost everyone is so serious about the drama of life. So, everyone has assumed that there is no way out of it. But, there is a potential for a change in your attitude towards life which will make you to treat life as the lifelong movie in which we all are just characters. There is also a potential to remove all the unwanted suffering that we have imposed on ourselves by removing the serious identification with the character called ‘you’ and your story.. I went through a journey myself that helped me to realize this potential and make it possible. (You can read more about my journey here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-journey-of-a-seeker-my-story/). I will call that whole process as ‘Awakening Through Mindfulness (ATM)’.

If you believe in God, you can use the belief itself as an aid towards changing your attitude. Many people consider themselves as a puppet of the God’s hands. That helps them change the way they react to the situations and stop taking everything personal. But it is just a coping mechanism; No one is actually sitting up there and directing your life. Life and the force of the life itself is a deep and interesting mystery. If you want to call that force God, you can. That is a beautiful personification. Warning! For many people, beliefs have actually been a hindrance in the whole process.

There is a way to really experience life as a movie and to be not affected by your self-image. You can completely detach yourself from the identification you have with the self image. .. Changing the attitude is the first step to ending the self created suffering and experience the life impersonally.. Your personality and your ego that projects the personality are just a part of the mask that you, as the character of this movie, are wearing. What hurts the mask doesn’t hurt you anymore, once you start experiencing life this way. Not only your ego and personality, but every thought, emotion, experience and knowledge that you witness in your consciousness is a part of that mask. Remembering this analogy of the mask and contemplating on it can help you to change your attitude to be favourable in the process of awakening.

As you proceed with this journey, you will eventually have to drop a lot of your beliefs and directly choose to know what you believed is true or false. Then, either you know or you don’t know. There is no need in believing something. The sense of security that we get from beliefs will not at all be needed anymore once you start experiencing the life devoid of self-created suffering. You don’t need any solace from the beliefs anymore. That life experience which stands apart and independent from your identity is what I call as an ‘awakened life’.

What you Call as Self is an Illusion!

The next step is just to realize and remember always that there is no self; I am not kidding! It is a scientific fact. What you perceive, think and experience every moment is the result of millions of neurons in your brain communicating with the neighboring neurons through electrochemical signals. This constant perceptual activity gives an illusion that there is a static self. This self which is experienced as being the one who inhabits the body, being the one who is thinking the thoughts, being the one experiencing emotions, being the agent of actions and having free will is an illusion. Also, every person you see is a complex network of forces communicating with each other in cell level, chemical level and atomic level. 2500 years ago, a man called Gautama Buddha revealed the truth of the no-self for the first time.

Seeing this in neuroscientific perspective, what you experience as you and your story is just a result of activity happens in a combination of brain structures called Default Mode Network DMN). This network is active when you are mind-wandering,thinking about others, thinking about yourself, remembering the past, and planning for the future. Hyperconnectivity of the default network has been linked to rumination in depression. Studies have shown that meditators and people who claim spiritual awakening have less or almost no activity in DMN.

This illusory self is not consistent and static; it is ever changing. But the only thing which is consistent and constant throughout your life is your existence; the conscious, moment to moment experience that you are alive.

Three Aspects of the Absolute Reality

There are three aspects to what that is consistent: Existence, Consciousness and experiencing.

Existence can be defined as whatever that exists in the ultimate, absolute level. You perceive and know that objects exist because of this. It is the sense of being alive.The objects may keep changing but the existence itself is something that is constant. It is not a ‘thing’ though. It is the basis of anything that is subjective.

Consciousness is like a light that shines up everything in the existence. It can be compared to the light in a movie screen using which your thoughts, emotions, perceptions and experiences are constantly being played. The movie screen is static all the time. It also exists in sleep, but there is nothing to show. Since consciousness is completely dark and since voluntary functions of the mind are shut off, there is actually nothing much is happening that is worth to be recorded in the brain and stored in long term memory.

Experiencing is not about various experiences that you go through every moment. It is the base of all experience, which is naturally peaceful. Peace is always the first and last experience of the lifetime. Even in death, the final moment is peace; a lot of scientists believe that a neurotransmitter called Dimethyltryptamine or DMT released in the brain during the last moment of death which gives peace and bliss. You are so peaceful during the birth too. You can obviously see that in the new born babies. Even throughout the life, you go through a lot of peaceful moments where you are ultimately content, all drives seem to be temporarily satisfied and you experience the ultimate peace and contentment. That peace is not really something that comes and goes. It is the subtle backdrop of all the noisy perceptions happening in the mind and never changes too. It is the base experience of all the experiences. An awakened person may often go through peak experiences (rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter – Abraham Maslow) when they touch the ultimate level of peace. During peak experiences, the boundaries of experiencer, experiencing and the experience dissolve and they all become one. The same happens with the knowledge as well. The knower, knowing and the known become one.

Note that, when I say experiencing, I am talking about the ‘experiencing’ aspect of your existence; not about an independent experience. Any experience, including the peak experience com and go. But the ‘experiencing’ part of that which is consistent never changes. It would be better to use a different word than experiencing but I can’t think of anything that comes closer right now.

So, whatever that is consistent which has the aspects of existence, consciousness and experiencing can be called with any name you want to use. You can call it XYZ if you want! Some words that have been used in eastern traditions are absolute, Om, brahman, Sat-Chit-Ananda etc… Some call it as your ‘true self’. The problem with all these labels is that you start to see this XYZ as some object, a thing; Something that can be either perceived, experienced or known. But it is actually like the space or the field in which everything is perceived, experienced or known. So, it is very important to not to get too attached to the word.

Seeing the illusory self for what it is and completely removing the identification with it lets you to relax yourself in the truth of being alive and conscious. It will eventually let you free from hedonic treadmill and the pursuit of subjective self worth. You will feel liberated from the prison of this illusory self. This will give you a tremendous acceptance of what is; You will see life as a game with its own rules and challenges. But seeing that as just a game which will eventually end, makes you to play it with enjoyment and a great sense of peace.

Many practices have been suggested which help you to go through this process of awakening; self-inquiry, contemplation of the truth and so on. The practice that I can suggest for you is the one which worked for me.. It is called Sati in buddhism, Shikantaza in Zen, Shakshi bhav in Upanishads and mindfulness by buddhists as well as modern psychologists. Mindfulness is used not only as a path to awakening, but also in modern therapies as a means to decrease depression and stress, increase well being, control addictions, slow down emotional reactivity etc.

What is Mindfulness and How to Practice it?

Mindfulness can be defined as focused nonjudgmental attention to experiences of thoughts, emotions, and body sensation in the present moment that is practiced by simply observing them as they arise and pass away. The paper ‘Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition’ which was published by University of Toronto in 2014 suggests a two-component model of mindfulness:

1) Regulation of attention in order to maintain it on the immediate experience

2) Approaching one’s experiences with an orientation of curiosity,openness, and acceptance, regardless of their valence and desirability.

When you try to observe your thought process, you may lose your attention many times. Once you notice that the mind has wandered, you just bring it back to the awareness of thought process or body sensations again. No matter how many times the mind wanders away, you must take it easy and accept it. You can do this while doing whatever you are doing, like walking, eating, working out, waiting in a queue etc. Notice the flow of thoughts as if you are watching a stream flowing or traffic moving. Eventually you can extend the time that you practise mindfulness to most of the waking hours of the day. This may take years and years of practice.

When practicing mindfulness, don’t approach it as if you are working towards a goal. That would simply mean that you are enhancing the self-concept and strengthening the identification with it .Awakening is not an achievement. It is getting rid of the craving for any achievement that increases your self-worth or enhances your self-concept. Seeing mindfulness as a means for something to be achieved itself is a trap which may slow down the process of awakening.

In a couple of months of practice you may start noticing gaps in your thought process.You may also notice reduction in the number of thoughts. Also, a lot of unconscious patterns and repressed thoughts may start to come up and appear in the light of your conscious observation. It is quite normal. Just pay attention to whatever that comes up without reacting to it. But if you do react to it, that’s ok. Just notice that and wait to see what comes up next. As you do it more and more, the gaps will be more frequent and you may even start to wait for the next thought or feeling to arise. In a few months, you will start to feel more peaceful and relaxed. Your emotional regulation would also have improved.

While practising, become aware of the defense mechanisms of the ego whenever you notice them. Notice the repeated thought patterns and your attempts to maintain and protect your self-esteem.

Reading the authentic sources of Zen and Advaita can help you a lot in moving through the process. Personally for me, reading the transcribed talks of Osho and J.Krishnamurti were helpful in understanding how mindfulness works and how to go about practising it. Osho called it ‘witnessing’ and J.Krishnamurti called it as ‘Choiceless awareness’. The names are different but the meaning is exactly the same.

Once you have practised mindfulness for long term for a year or two, you may go through a crisis at times, usually called ‘Spiritual Crisis,’ a form of identity crisis where you experience drastic changes to your meaning system (your unique purposes, goals, values, attitude and beliefs, identity, and focus). It may cause a lot of disturbance, but don’t be alarmed. It happens to everyone but it will pass. The fruits of mindfulness always outweighs the disturbances caused by spiritual crisis.

Benefits of Mindfulness

I came across an interesting paper ‘How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Proposing Mechanisms of Action From a Conceptual and Neural Perspective’ published in 2011 by Association For Psychological Science. It lists 5 major benefits of mindfulness and also lists the details of studies which support them.

Here are those five benefits:

Attention regulation

Body awareness

Emotion regulation, including a. Reappraisal b. Exposure, extinction, and reconsolidation

Change in perspective on the self.

The fourth one, ‘Change in perspective on the self’ is very important, which explains in detail about a lot of what we discussed about ‘Self’ in this post. You can search for this paper in ‘Academia’ and download it for free.

There have been many other studies done on mindfulness which show that mindfulness decreases suffering and increases subjective well being. Buddha prescribed mindfulness as the path to spiritual enlightenment. Whether you are looking for spiritual enlightenment or just improved well being, there is no doubt that mindfulness is the way to go.

Also published in my blog: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2 ... rituality/
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby dijmart » Sat May 27, 2017 3:37 am

Hi,

Just an FYI, of you do shorter posts you will get more responces. It's a bit overwhelming to read it all.

You said-
If you believe in God, you can use the belief itself as an aid towards changing your attitude. Many people consider themselves as a puppet of the God’s hands. That helps them change the way they react to the situations and stop taking everything personal. But it is just a coping mechanism; No one is actually sitting up there and directing your life. Life and the force of the life itself is a deep and interesting mystery. If you want to call that force God, you can. That is a beautiful personification. Warning! For many people, beliefs have actually been a hindrance in the whole process.


What about the dharma field? I would call Isvara, with the 3 gunas and vasanas? I think you know what I mean.... of couse Isvara is not some entity in the sky.

Ps, I much prefer your own posts vs. you know who...
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Sat May 27, 2017 3:59 am

dijmart wrote:Hi,

Just an FYI, of you do shorter posts you will get more responces. It's a bit overwhelming to read it all.

You said-
If you believe in God, you can use the belief itself as an aid towards changing your attitude. Many people consider themselves as a puppet of the God’s hands. That helps them change the way they react to the situations and stop taking everything personal. But it is just a coping mechanism; No one is actually sitting up there and directing your life. Life and the force of the life itself is a deep and interesting mystery. If you want to call that force God, you can. That is a beautiful personification. Warning! For many people, beliefs have actually been a hindrance in the whole process.


What about the dharma field? I would call Isvara, with the 3 gunas and vasanas? I think you know what I mean.... of course Isvara is not some entity in the sky.

Ps, I much prefer your own posts vs. you know who...


Hi Dijimart, I used the word God to actually mean the generic image of God that most people have, someone sitting in the heaven.... I wrote this article keeping those people who have no idea about spiritual awakening in mind. I didn't want to bring in the concept of Ishwara in Vedanta to make it more complicated for them.. This is just a simple version intended to give an idea of the potential people have in them...

This is actually my own post... 8)
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby dijmart » Sat May 27, 2017 4:57 am

Gotcha!... oh, and I know it's your own post, that's why I said I prefer it...
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:48 pm

dijmart wrote:Gotcha!... oh, and I know it's your own post, that's why I said I prefer it...

Will be doing mostly my own posts here after... :) I have a lot of things on the list to write about...
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:53 pm

borris83 wrote:There is a way to really experience life as a movie and to be not affected by your self-image.

If there is a way to experience life as a movie and be not affected by 'your self-image', what is this self that has an image? Tens of thousands of NDE's have reported that consciousness is not dependent on the brain. While consciousness may be focused in the body through the brain and other physical avenues, there is ample evidence that physicality is a perspective limiting mechanism more so than an originating one.

So what is this self aware consciousness that transcends the body and lives on in a larger reality beyond this physical environment?

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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:22 am

Webwanderer wrote:
borris83 wrote:There is a way to really experience life as a movie and to be not affected by your self-image.

If there is a way to experience life as a movie and be not affected by 'your self-image', what is this self that has an image? Tens of thousands of NDE's have reported that consciousness is not dependent on the brain. While consciousness may be focused in the body through the brain and other physical avenues, there is ample evidence that physicality is a perspective limiting mechanism more so than an originating one.

So what is this self aware consciousness that transcends the body and lives on in a larger reality beyond this physical environment?

WW


The word 'self' in self-image actually means the illusory self that we take it as real.. The illusory self has been created by self-concept and projected as self-image... But the whole story or the movie of this little illusory self-image is actually playing in the screen of the absolute reality, which many people call as the True self...

Regarding the consciousness being outside of the body, I don't think NDE's actually mean that consciousness is actually outside the body but it is perceived so in the brain. Even in dreams, we perceive ourselves being somewhere outside but you are actually sleeping in the bed. Brain can create almost anything and make us perceive it to be real. The visions that Ramakrishna had on Kali (he actually talked to Kali, the Goddess, which were perceived as authentic experiences by him) should also be something that his brain has produced. In fact, the entire world with the dimensions of space and time, are all recreated in our brain and that is how we perceive the world.

But it is possible that consciousness actually exists outside the body. Science doesn't have enough evidence on that yet... NDE's and OBE are not considered as evidences for consciousness being outside the body.

But, scientists are struggling with a problem, the hard problem of consciousness. They wonder how consciousness can originate from something which is physical...

Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning German physicist and the father of quantum theory has stated “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”.. I think Quantum physics may have answer for the question about consciousness.

I suspect if matter and consciousness are inseparable...It may be different dimensions of the same thing. That is why we are probably able to explain it in both ways...If we look from the perspective of matter, it looks like everything happens in the brain. But if we look from the perspective of consciousness, it looks like everything, the whole world is happening in our consciousness.
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:43 am

borris83 wrote:The word 'self' in self-image actually means the illusory self that we take it as real..

So your saying that there is a self, it's just not the illusory self? It's the self that takes the illusory self as real?

But the whole story or the movie of this little illusory self-image is actually playing in the screen of the absolute reality, which many people call as the True self...

What do you call this 'screen of absolute reality some call 'True self'?

borris83 wrote:Regarding the consciousness being outside of the body, I don't think NDE's actually mean that consciousness is actually outside the body but it is perceived so in the brain.

It's fair enough that you don't think NDE's are outside the body, but have you had such an experience yourself as those whose heart and or brain stopped functioning and found themselves more conscious and in a different reality than before their body ceased functioning? Does actual experience matter in the exploration of consciousness and being?

Brain can create almost anything and make us perceive it to be real.

How do you know that it's the brain creating perceptions rather than a function of consciousness that utilizes the brain and body for certain types of experience - that of being human?

Science doesn't have enough evidence on that yet... NDE's and OBE are not considered as evidences for consciousness being outside the body.

There is plenty of evidence for the authenticity of NDE's. That materialist scientists don't accept it is more a reflection of their own belief in a fully material universe than a fair study of the evidence. How much NDE/OBE study have you personally done? What have you read? What workshops and conferences have you attended? What is the depth of your study? On what basis do you believe there is not enough evidence?

I'm not trying to be too hard on you, but you made some pretty conclusive statements here.

But, scientists are struggling with a problem, the hard problem of consciousness. They wonder how consciousness can originate from something which is physical...

Note to scientists: It can't. To say it has to is not science, it's religion.

Why are you waiting for scientists to tell you about your true nature? Do your own homework and don't be afraid to look outside the box of brain science. Read the works of Eben Alexander, or look him up on YouTube. He is a top neuroscience and brain surgeon who came from the materialist community. Then his brain died. He got a bad case of meningitis that destroyed his brain. Had virtually no brain activity. After a week in a deep coma, he came back to tell quite a tale of life beyond his brain. Talk about a wake up.

I suspect if matter and consciousness are inseparable...It may be different dimensions of the same thing.

I kind of agree with this, but it's not because consciousness is born of matter, it's because matter is born of consciousness - including the brain and body.

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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:41 pm

Webwanderer wrote:
borris83 wrote:The word 'self' in self-image actually means the illusory self that we take it as real..

So your saying that there is a self, it's just not the illusory self? It's the self that takes the illusory self as real?

But the whole story or the movie of this little illusory self-image is actually playing in the screen of the absolute reality, which many people call as the True self...

What do you call this 'screen of absolute reality some call 'True self'?

borris83 wrote:Regarding the consciousness being outside of the body, I don't think NDE's actually mean that consciousness is actually outside the body but it is perceived so in the brain.

It's fair enough that you don't think NDE's are outside the body, but have you had such an experience yourself as those whose heart and or brain stopped functioning and found themselves more conscious and in a different reality than before their body ceased functioning? Does actual experience matter in the exploration of consciousness and being?

Brain can create almost anything and make us perceive it to be real.

How do you know that it's the brain creating perceptions rather than a function of consciousness that utilizes the brain and body for certain types of experience - that of being human?

Science doesn't have enough evidence on that yet... NDE's and OBE are not considered as evidences for consciousness being outside the body.

There is plenty of evidence for the authenticity of NDE's. That materialist scientists don't accept it is more a reflection of their own belief in a fully material universe than a fair study of the evidence. How much NDE/OBE study have you personally done? What have you read? What workshops and conferences have you attended? What is the depth of your study? On what basis do you believe there is not enough evidence?

I'm not trying to be too hard on you, but you made some pretty conclusive statements here.

But, scientists are struggling with a problem, the hard problem of consciousness. They wonder how consciousness can originate from something which is physical...

Note to scientists: It can't. To say it has to is not science, it's religion.

Why are you waiting for scientists to tell you about your true nature? Do your own homework and don't be afraid to look outside the box of brain science. Read the works of Eben Alexander, or look him up on YouTube. He is a top neuroscience and brain surgeon who came from the materialist community. Then his brain died. He got a bad case of meningitis that destroyed his brain. Had virtually no brain activity. After a week in a deep coma, he came back to tell quite a tale of life beyond his brain. Talk about a wake up.

I suspect if matter and consciousness are inseparable...It may be different dimensions of the same thing.

I kind of agree with this, but it's not because consciousness is born of matter, it's because matter is born of consciousness - including the brain and body.

WW


''screen of absolute reality some call 'True self' has been already called by many names... I still haven't chosen which name I should consistently use for it.. :lol: .. I have used the word 'Absolute reality' for it, in this post..

I have never had an experience myself where my heart or brain stopped... If you have any link for a study that claims the brain stopped completely during an NDE experience, please give me the link.. I would love to read it.

How do you know that it's the brain creating perceptions rather than a function of consciousness that utilizes the brain and body for certain types of experience - that of being human?


It might be... I don't know.. When I say that brain can create almost any experience, it is also possible that consciousness utilizes the brain to create such an experience..

I have gone through many studies... I am not saying that NDE experience were not authentic. The subjects really perceived as if they are out of the body.. But scientists still don't take it as an evidence for consciousness really being out of the body.. You may find a few scientists claiming that it is an evidence.. But the whole scientific community doesn't agree with it..When the evidence for 'consciousness' being out of the body is so strong as the fact that earth revolves around the sun, we will start seeing it mentioned in school textbooks.

I haven't made any conclusions on this at all.. Even science doesn't make any conclusions.. Once you conclude, it is the end of the research.

I am certainly not waiting for scientists to tell me about my true nature... But I am looking forward to see scientific findings regarding enlightenment.. Many scientists are already working in it. I certainly believe that sometime in the future, they can put you through an fMRI scan and tell you if you are enlightened or not...Thanks for suggesting Eben Alexander,I will look him up..
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:36 pm

Here's a lengthy interview that may help. Not sure it goes to quite the detail in his book Proof of Heaven, but it's close.

http://skeptiko.com/154-neurosurgeon-dr ... xperience/

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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:56 pm

I certainly believe that sometime in the future, they can put you through an fMRI scan and tell you if you are enlightened or not..

Certainly believe? Based on what? I thought you were waiting on evidence rather than taking such leaps of faith. You said:
When the evidence for 'consciousness' being out of the body is so strong as the fact that earth revolves around the sun, we will start seeing it mentioned in school textbooks.

That suggests that you require conclusive evidence for belief, yet you 'certainly' believe enlightenment can be scanned in the brain? Do you see any contradiction here?

As to evidence for NDE's and OBE's the science you refer to only accepts physical evidence. As it is a non physical experience it's likely to be a long time coming. There are however more types of evidence than the physical version. There is also anecdotal and circumstantial. Both are acceptable in a court of law where people's lives are at stake.

One eye witness stating they saw the crime is one thing and could be easily questioned. Ten eyewitnesses is not so easily dismissed. Ten-thousand is fairly conclusive. Ad to that the physical evidence of medical monitoring showing death of the body at the time of the experience and it becomes even more conclusive. Of course there is much more, but this is enough to give honest consideration where science is blind.

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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:00 pm

I don't really see any contradiction between the two... First, let me say something.. I am not waiting for any scientific evidence for my own journey.. There has been already a transformation and it is getting deeper. Whether consciousness can exist without the body or not personally doesn't make any difference to me at all. I am concerned about how to get things about spiritual awakening across to people. When science says something, it creates a strong appeal. So, once science and spirituality agrees with each other, there will be more human transformation in the world.

Measuring enlightenment in the brain is easier than solving the hard problem of consciousness. Solving the puzzle of consciousness is a long way to go, but measuring enlightenment is the brain can happen quickly and neuroscientists are already doing it. Co-operation from people in the only thing required.

Let me give you an example of how experiments can be conducted... Choose about 500 people who claim to have enlightened. Measure the brain activity, noticeable functional and structural differences in the brain, especially the areas which are related to sense of self and well being. For example, some enlightened people and also mediators have already shown that they don't have much activity going in the default mode network of the brain. Compare their brain structures with people who are not enlightened. By this we can actually figure out how an enlightened brain looks like.

There have been already some studies conducted.. Check out these links:
http://nonsymbolic.org/wp-content/uploa ... rticle.pdf
http://nonsymbolic.org/PNSE-Summary-2013.pdf

I looked up Eben Alexander... It looks like a lot of other neuroscientists have criticized his work as unscientific..Also, the doctors who were in charge of him have reported that he was in a medically induced coma and he was conscious but hallucinating. Brain can create all kinds of hallucinations.. He was brought up as a Christian, so he has seen something that appeared as a christian heaven. If i go to the same state, I may see Mount Kailash with all the clouds and Lord shiva sitting with a king cobra over his shoulders, since I was brought up as a Hindu. But the experience will certainly convince the person that he was out of the body. Everyone who has gone through NDE's and OBE's believe that they really traveled somewhere without their body because it is seems very real.

But Eben Alexander talks about some findings in quantum physics , which suggest that the possibility of consciousness existing separate from the matter. I think the research on quantum physics may more likely solve the hard problem of consciousness rather than the research done on OBE's and NDE's...

OBE'S and NDE's raise another question. If the person is really out of the body, how can he see things? Even if consciousness can exist without the body, how can any sense perception be perceived without the brain?
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby dijmart » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:09 am

Whether consciousness can exist without the body or not personally doesn't make any difference to me at all.


Really?? I must have seriously been misreading your posts or assuming you knew something you dont.


Measuring enlightenment in the brain is easier than solving the hard problem of consciousness.


Imo, measuring "enlightenment" in the brain will never, ever, ever happen, ever. It is not an "experience" it is Self knowledge. So, imo, it wouldn't cause physical changes in the brain. The brain is just "hardware" that's all.

So, meditators or really peaceful people may have altered what areas of the brain they predominantly use (?), but that doesn't mean these people know who they truly are, ect? (Have obtained Moksha/liberation)

So, a little history about my brain. I have M.S., therefore I have plaques (demyelinated lesions) scattered throughout. You would think this would absolutely diagnose MS? Well, it doesnt. You also need other factors not associated with the brain (abnormal spinal fluid, 2 exacerbations, ect). This is because of other disorders that can happen to the brain and anomalies, ect. so, to think enlightenment will ever be "diagnosed" with a brain scan is wishful thinking at best, imo.

And on the flip side of it, my brain might look a hot mess :lol: , like Swiss cheese on MRI, but Im fine! I work as an administrative nurse full time, have a family, function in society, yada, yada... so you can't get a full picture from a brain scan.
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby borris83 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:00 am

Whether consciousness can exist without the body or not personally doesn't make any difference to me at all.


Really?? I must have seriously been misreading your posts or assuming you knew something you dont.


When you are no longer identified with your body, what difference is it going to make?

Imo, measuring "enlightenment" in the brain will never, ever, ever happen, ever.


If you learn more about the brain, you wouldn't say so... Your every thought rewires the brain.. When you study and contemplate on Vedanta and do self-inquiry for example, you eventually stop identifying with your story... It will reduce a whole lot of self-referential thought, reduce emotional reactivity and much more.. read this article: http://psychologytomorrowmagazine.com/j ... ring-end/..

For a normal human being, most of the thoughts are connected to the idea of egoic self..So, they would have a lot of activity in Posterior cingulate cortex, Medial prefrontal cortex and certain other areas. Also, when their self-image is threatened, they will react emotionally, which will activate amygdala and initiate a fight-flight response..

So, meditators or really peaceful people may have altered what areas of the brain they predominantly use (?), but that doesn't mean these people know who they truly are?

When the experiment is done, it should be done targeting only those people who claim enlightenment.. Again, there may be people who are self-deluded... But when they study the results of experiment, they can observe what are the significant differences between enlightened and non-enlightened people... After that, they have to compare the observations within the enlightened group... After noticing how much deviation is there in certain values from unenlightened people, they can look for the maximum deviation. It will take a lot of studies, not going to be simple. But I don't think it is not possible to narrow down to certain noticeable differences.
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Re: Awakening Through Mindfulness

Postby dijmart » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:03 am

.. Your every thought rewires the brain..


I guess I don't have enough study on the topic to go further with the discussion. I only have a slight interest, to be honest, so I won't research it. All the best trying to prove it though. I was just saying my opinion and you know what they say about opinions! :mrgreen:
Take what you like and leave the rest.
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