Being more present in the right brain - how-to's

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Initial post: May 21, 2008 11:37:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2008 11:52:57 AM PDT
I'd like to open this Amazon discussion forum to ask others what works for them to get into their right brain and be fully present and find their inner peace and the Nirvana that Jill Bolte Taylor described so beautifully that we all "want what she's having", to paraphrase that famous line.

Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight is life-changing for us as individuals, and offers tremendous hope for humanity at large. If everyone could read or hear Jill's story and quiet the brain chatter and be more in the right brain and see one another with love and compassion and without all the baggage, the world would definitely be a better place.

It was amazing to hear Jill say to Oprah on Oprah's Soul Series that she would have her stroke all over again for what it taught her. It sounds like Jill can fully access her right brain and be present there very easily because of what she experienced. What I'd like to find out from you, and see shared in the world, is how others do it.

What has worked for me are: focusing on gratitude; meditating; and practicing yoga, especially hot room "synergy" yoga. Doing yoga, where I feel most fully present in my right brain are in the moments BETWEEN the Asanas. This is where I feel the deepest healing and balancing taking place, more so than when I am in the postures themselves. Has anyone else had that experience?

What works for you? Please share so we can all try new things that we recommend to one another and better and more easily access and spend time in that right brain Nirvana bliss : )

Thank you in advance for sharing! Ellen

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2008 11:41:00 AM PDT
Ron Rink says:
I'd love to share some of my own experiences with being in the present. Until Dr. Taylor's T.E.D. talk, which I saw several months ago, I wasn't aware of the left-brain/right-brain connection. I'm not a scientist, nor do I know much of anything about the brain, so I have no problem accepting that this may be how it all works.

I have been living according to many of the teachings of Buddha for many years. As a result, I meditate for at least one hour every day. As an experienced meditator, I am able to quiet the chatter of my thinking mind during my meditations and rest in the beautiful peace of the stillness. Also, since I've been having the experience of being in the NOW most every day for years, I am able to find that same presence even when not meditating. However, the caveat here, is that I don't do it as often as I should. There are many times in the course of a day where I should avoid my reactions to certain events taking place in my life, but don't.

Dr. Taylor has given me a huge insight as to how I can improve on that -- and that is to be more mindful of my thoughts -- AND -- feelings. She was fortunate (and odd word for a stroke -- but she says it herself) in that she did lose all her baggage from her past. If people try to bring that "stuff" back into her life, she make a conscious decision to say, "No thanks!".

Plus, she also does that in her new life. This is the lesson we can all learn -- if we're thinking negatively -- if whatever is poking into our existence doesn't feel right -- we can do the same and just say, "No thanks!" We always have that choice -- we just need to become more aware of that fact. As Eckhardt Tolle says, we need to become better at observing our thoughts. We need to get back in charge of that 1/10th of 1 percent that represents the ego of us.

Nirvana bliss -- I'm ready to spend a lot more of my life hanging out with you!

Peace is just a thought away.


In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2008 2:06:32 PM PDT
Hi Ron,

Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad everyone brought to Jill Bolte Taylor's page here on Amazon to check out "My Stroke of Insight" can benefit from valuable Insight such as yours.

I was very interested in what you wrote about being able to be in the Now even when you are not meditating just from having spent so many years meditating. I know Yogis who can be driving in a bad traffic jam and they can tap into their Yogic breathing to keep themselves present.

Have you ever stopped your daily meditation practice for a period of time? If so, what have you noticed?

I'd like to think if more people practiced meditation, yoga, or whatever other practices keep them present and mindful, there would be less things like road rage because as a whole, we would have more tranquility to deal with the stuff that happens in life, like traffic jams or worse, and to do so without medications or "losing it".

As you pointed out, just saying "no thanks" to certain things is very freeing. It clears the way for more of what makes our life most worth living and makes us happiest. Life is about de-selecting as much as it is about selecting. Do you cleanse or do any other detoxification processes to also clear out the negatives?

Thank you for sharing. Wishing you all the best, Ellen

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 7:54:28 AM PDT
Ron Rink says:
Hi Ellen -- Good to hear from you. I've been offline for a couple of days and just logged on today even though it's a holiday.

Interesting questions you have! :-)

I began a practice of daily meditation in the early 1980s. I had been studying the teachings of Buddha sporadically before that time, but didn't put heart and soul into it at first. In truth, to me the teachings I follow are more the basic teachings rather than following one school or another. I call it Ron's Basic Buddhism 101. :-) For me it's about a lifestyle which includes daily practice. So, the answer to your first question is, "No, I've meditated daily since the early 1980s."

It took many years before I could avoid letting stressful situations take me over. But again, to be truthful, there are still times when I let that "peanut portion" of my brain take over. As Jill Taylor said, "It's all about paying attention to your thoughts and your feelings." That's also the lesson from Eckhardt Tolle in both "The Power of Now" and "The New Earth". Whenever you forget to be the observer -- once you let the ego grab hold of you -- it takes more effort than necessary to bring your self back to the peace.

If you are interested, I've been writing a series of articles about meditation -- (and the last couple of articles tied in some of my Buddhism 101) -- in my blog at ---stop by. I'd love to have you as one of my readers.

I have done some cleansing in the past. These days (I'm getting older) I'm paying much better attention to what I put into my body. That seems to be working for me.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. -- and thanks for responding.

Be well -- Be in Peace.


In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 2:33:28 PM PDT
Thanks for inititating this dialogue. We find in our mind-body coaching practice many ways to trigger right brained awareness. One of the simplest, most mechanical methods is to buy a $5.00 eyepatch from a drugstore, and (make yourself look like a pirate at the same time) by placing it over your right eye, often in left brained people the dominant eye. This appears to quickly shut down the dominant hemisphere's was of maintaining visual dominance and control, thus breakthoughs in perception and feeling recovery might start surfacing after a few minutes of getting over initial discomfort. Don't do this while driving or working machinery though! See what becomes pleasantly unfamiliar and challenging, or easy! Try for at least 20 minutes, ambulating around, drawing, writing, musing, rexamining your challenges, and assumptions about everything. Allow perceptions to shift, and they may shift. Your non-dominant hemisphere may have been waiting your WHOLE life for this moment to not be overly controlled by your left hemisphere! I call it homeostatic rebalancing! Jouneying into wholebrained-ness!
Andrew Delany,

In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2008 5:46:34 PM PDT
In some of the Buddhist teachings I've read, a goal is to have the control and strength of will to choose which hemisphere to use at any given time. You see this with the martial arts too, and with the practice of Zen.

On Wikipedia, Zen is defined as a school of Buddhism notable for its emphasis on mindful acceptance of the present moment, spontaneous action, and letting go of self-conscious and judgmental thinking... The aim of Zen practice is to discover this Buddha-nature within each person, through meditation and mindfulness of daily experiences. Zen practitioners believe that this provides new perspectives and insights on existence, which ultimately lead to enlightenment.

Thank you for sharing your other website, the leader inside. I will definitely, and I'm sure a lot of the readers of "My Stroke of Insight" will want to read your writings there too. We can all use help to keep our Peanut from taking over!

My best, Ellen
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Participants:  3
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  May 21, 2008
Latest post:  May 26, 2008

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My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor (Audio CD - July 3, 2008)
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