The Eternal Student

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About The Eternal Student

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  1. Has science found enlightenment?

    Nor do I, "Its that simple" might be a better phrase even though it still fails to encompass the entire journey that is cultivation. However I still liked the presentation.
  2. Has science found enlightenment?

    I posted a TED conference video in a reply on AstralProjectee's topic and it made me think about this wonderful TEDtalks I heard in the past. I didnt want to hijack Astral's topic as it was relative to genes and this is about physical structure of the brain. I found it extremely interesting and it advances the discussion of cognitive practice leading to moments of enlightment such as meditation. Cultivation and meditation really might just be training your mind into focusing more on one hemisphere more than the other. Here a little snippet about the video, link is at the bottom. "Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained brain scientist who suffered a stroke in 1996--at the age of 37--in the left hemisphere of her brain. She spoke of her experience at the 2008 TED Conference and wrote a book titled "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey". In both the talk and the book she describes what the four hours felt like during which she was having the stroke and she watched her brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process information, and what life was like afterward. In addition, Dr. Taylor explains her discovery that through the right hemisphere of the brain, the part of her brain that was untouched by the stroke, inner peace is just a thought away. "Pay attention to what you are thinking, and then decide if those are thoughts that are creating the kind of life you want created," she says. "And if it's not, then change your thoughts. It's really that easy." Today, Dr. Taylor works with the Indiana University School of Medicine and is the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank). She travels the country as the Singin' Scientist educating audiences about the beauty of the brain and the value of brain donation for research into the severe mental illnesses" Its 20 minutes but for anyone interested in the link between science and spirituality will wish it was 40
  3. Where spirituality and science meet, Genes and Taoism.

    I would have to agree with MIke. I dont see any logical way spirituality could have an impact on genes. However mental plasticity most definately is involved through cultivating a spiritual lifestyle. Mental Plasticity is the ability for the brain to rewire cognitive functions despite what it was wired to before (think of changing habits or athletes training to the point where they have unconscious physical reactions that dont occur in nature) If we could study the minds of people who are enlightened or highly spiritual we would be able to find the specific areas of the brain that are in use during different activities. Meditation, prayer, etc. This could not be replicated in others, but being able to specify parts of the brain used in spiritual pursuits could lead to knowledge of different mental excercises that would help increase the rate of change in the pasticity of those parts of the brain. There is amazing research in brain plasticity that could possibly be applied to spirirtual applications in the distant future. For example look at this speech from a man doing studies to help the elderly with alzheimers and dementia and possibly more importantly those suffering from learning disabilities. Michael Merzenich on re-wiring the brain (TEDTalks)
  4. Comedians as Daoist Missionaries

    I am constantly amazed as to where the path leads me. I am actually an aspiring standup comedian who was successful at open mics and after a few invitations from comedy clubs I was looking to do my first proffessional gigs. Unfortunately I have found it extremely hard to overcome writers block and my prospective new job has come to a grinding halt. Before that issue, I was much more spiritual and genuinely trying to cultivate every day. When I wandered off the path is when I found it difficult to be creative. Searching for a Taoist community led me to TTB and the relevance of your article convinced me to signup. I have only been doing open mics in the short time i have been performing. 3-5 minutes each time. But when the material and the performance is good I always recieve comments about how people liked the intelligent aspect of my comedy. This always makes me laugh because some nights I do not do anything political or touch on topics that people consider highly cerebral but if it touches on aspects relevant to the Tao; I truly believe a small spiritual connection is made between people. I find when the Tao is at the forefront of your mind it is easier to find what I will call the "spiritually silly" behavior that the mind engages in inevitably. Comedy is finding these rough stones of unclear thought, polishing away the useless (that which is not one with the way) and showing others the gem that was buried underneath so to speak. Comedy for me is cyclical. When speaking the performer is the masculine, the audience is the feminine taking it all in, when they laugh the performer is the feminine and the audience is the masculine. Each completion of the cycle cultivates the tao. When the crowd laughs they are saying in their head "Without knowing it, I have carried that knowledge with me all along!" to me it is a short yet extremely blissfull period of time in which the performer is reassured they are on the path, and the listener realizes that there was a path beneath their feet the entire time. All I seek is to reach a point where I learn as much as from them as they forget because of me.
  5. Hello brothers and sisters

    I am very grateful that I was led to this site. It is unfortunately impossible to find a Taoist community in my area, so it is a relief to find a forum that is active. I look forward to learning from all of my kinship no matter what path you have chosen!