Brain vs. Body

Sun on the tops of leaves, Sun on the tops of our heads.... seeping into our brains and bodies, loving each without difference.

Sun on the tops of leaves, Sun on the tops of our heads…. seeping into our brains and bodies, loving each without difference.

When I was growing up there was a weekly magazine that came with the newspaper which had a column written by the person with the highest recorded IQ. I really enjoyed it but one thing she wrote has always stuck in my head. She said the brain is just like your body, it needs to be exercised to perform better. My first thought was that is stupid…. Some things are physical and some are mental and there is no room for crossover. But my second thought was, wait a second, this is the SMARTEST person in the world (more or less, I won’t argue about the quality of IQ tests, etc, but suffice to say she is an extremely intelligent person!).. so if the smartest person in the world says this about the organ that makes you smart, I have to trust she knows what she is talking about!!

We must take care of our bodies, eat well, exercise, etc. But we must also take care of our brains… brain exercises! Puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku, singing, math, etc, etc… anything that gets the brain firing!!

Now, how we take care of our physical bodies also affects our brain chemistry, which affects our well we do brain exercises. However, the converse is true as well, our well we take care of our brains affects how well we look after our bodies…

If we are depressed, we tend to not exercise, not eat well… and then this rolls over into our brain, and a negative cycle, feedback loop, is created.

If we don’t exercise or eat well… this can roll over into our brain chemistry and we can become depressed and/or have decreased mental abilities, and this again, can create a negative feedback loop.

Of course the converse is true… if take care of our bodies, it helps our brain and if we take care of our brains, this helps our bodies….

So, we need to be kind to ourselves, both mentally and physically, and realize how important or rather, realize how not unimportant taking care of our brains truly is. (and our bodies too, but most of us already now that, regardless if we follow through, lol).

All of this can extend into the spiritual, if one considers this another level, in addition to mental and physical. We must make sure we exercise not only our bodies and our brains, but also our hearts (I don’t mean the raw physical heart, but rather our Buddha-heart, our Buddha-nature, our Buddha-mind, our spiritual heart).

Tending to each, supports the others and all grow together. Ignoring each, lessens the others and all regress together. Let us be kind to ourselves.

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Buddha Super Hero!

Buddha

Buddha

Buddhism is rich with examples of ‘supernatural’ experiences and abilities. Things such as prophecy, telepathy and telekinesis are found throughout Buddhist texts and stories. So, it is natural after this exposure that one may think of the Buddha as a super-duper supernatural superhero!! He said things such as he wouldn’t explain the utter complexity and underlying realities unseen in an unenlightened state because they would not be believed. When I read that I wonder, wow, what did the Buddha see?! Maybe he could realize the myriad of Universes overlapping the one we know so well? Are there overlapping Universes? I don’t know! Did he mean that the world is secretly run by a tribe of Yeti’s?! I doubt it, but again, I don’t know!

Does it matter?

In Zen, it is taught that when doing zazen meditation, many glorious and interesting images will arise in your mind. In Zen, these are thought of almost as traps, as the ego mind gets seduced by the beauty and mystery and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, we end up in a cycle of feeding our ego. It would be very hard to not be attached to a vision in which a council of Bigfoot’s are gathered discussing global warming!! Lol. But that is just it. It is hard…. but also very easy. The hardest and easiest thing to do is to not be attached to our thoughts. That is different from ignoring our thoughts. That is not wise. A subtle yet monumental difference.

So, the Buddha. Was he a superhero who could read our minds and fly in the air?! Perhaps. Perhaps not. If true, it must be contemplated why he never flew around the skies for 50 years proclaiming “Look at me, I am enlightened, I am super awesome, I am flying in the air!” What a promotional tool that would have been! Lol. But he didn’t do that. Why? Well, the Occam’s razor answer is simply that he couldn’t. It goes against known science. But suppose he could, we must think about why he didn’t fly about. … A Superman who doesn’t fly… just eats when hungry and sleeps when tired. That’s the magic, the power of the Buddha. Nothing special, just living within our natural function.

Syncing Out of Time

Blossoming in Autumn

Blossoming in Autumn.

Winter is coming. How do you prepare? Well, in the tropics, it is more of a name than an event. Outside of the tropics, it is more profound. Nature can be seen to be hunkering down, closing up shop…. Sometimes though, we see things blossoming, coming to life…. Is it Spring? lol.

It is our conception of what autumn and winter are that makes us question a blossoming flower. The flower knows what it is doing, lol. What about ourselves? How do we prepare for Winter? Do we do it consciously? Subconsciously? Do we do it at all? lol.

My mind tends to turn more inwards during the Winter months. A natural flux, a transition that my being lets flow. What does this mean? I don’t know! haha.

Let us stop to smell the flowers, so they say, and contemplate our connection with the smell, the sight, the wonder and beauty… How many times have we danced with this flower? The flower with us? …countless times yet this is the only time ever it has happened…

Our Fire

fire

Sometimes the winds come and without warning, extinguish our fire.

Our fire was built long ago.

We gathered the wood throughout many lifetimes.

Our parents provided the spark and BAM!

We became alight…alive!

We may have gathered the best wood, nice and dry, or maybe it’s a bit green. Maybe we gathered just a little bit of wood, or maybe a whole forest.

Sometimes even the strongest fire cannot survive the strongest storms. It happens. Sometimes, the weakest fire, just barely alight, can continue on and on for a very long time.

Circumstances…. Sometimes our fires endure many storms, sometimes they endure few. Sometimes our fires end oh so early, sometimes they burn and burn and burn.

Let our fires be our lamps upon ourselves and take good care.

 

fire2

 

This post is dedicated in the honor of relative who recently passed away. She was proud of her Native American heritage. For you Bunnie.

The photos used in this post are not mine.