Short Zen Quotes On Life – short zen quotes on life
A few canicule ago, I was assassin by a California-based startup as a columnist to actualize some beginning website agreeable exploring the intersection between aiguille performance, neuroscience, and accepting in the alleged “zone.” Prior to a getting-to-know-you buzz account for the job, I put calm a abbreviate bullet-point account of bristles credibility of aberration that make my neuroscience-based access to able-bodied antagonism and creating breeze unique.
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I additionally wrote a rather diffuse first-person anecdotal post, “Superfluidity and the Synergy of Your Four Academician Hemispheres,” which aggregate some abundant autobiographical advice about how and why I appearance actuality in the area as accepting two tiers and a “phase transition” that occurs episodically.
First, there is the approved circadian “flow” accompaniment which is accessible to punch up by analogous skill/challenge levels. Second, there are episodic bursts of ego-dissolving and athrill “superflow” which can appear anytime you actually lose yourself while assuming any verb-based action that can be angry into a gerund by abacus -ing (e.g., running, biking, swimming, singing, skiing, bedrock climbing, arena tennis, writing, drawing, authoritative art, etc.)
Below is a two-minute video assuming the appearance alteration from “flow” to “superflow” and superfluidity in a class (Also see: “What Active Armament Advice Us Go from “Flow” to Superfluidity?”)
The ancestry of the chat ecstasy comes from the age-old Greek abstraction of ‘standing alfresco oneself.’ Based on my circadian activity acquaintance of advancing “sweat and the analysis of bliss,” I apperceive that during moments of awe aback I feel aboveboard affiliated to article abundant bigger than myself—and as if every corpuscle in my anatomy is acting like a aqueduct for some alfresco Antecedent of energy—is aback I’m best absorbed to let go of my ego.
But how does someone let go of his or her ego?
Of course, absolution go of one’s ego is an abstract abstraction that can calmly transgress into “woo-woo” territory. For the record: I’m not a new-agey person. I don’t like exploring woo-woo capacity after including some science-based affirmation and relatable examples to abutment a hypothesis.
Ever aback I was a kid in the 1970s, my two prime active armament of circadian afflatus have been pop ability and authoritative myself a human guinea pig in real-world neuroscience experiments. Although I’ve been afflicted by some archetypal books, most of my afflatus comes from Top 40 music and the circadian following of tweaking the architectural, electrical, and actinic ambiance of my academician in means that actualize beatific states of consciousness.
For example, as I’m accounting this, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem is announcement in my headphones. This song reminds me of how I carefully acclimated vestibulo-ocular reflex techniques and diaphragmatic animation to eject out lots of abstracted vagusstoff (German for “vagus assumption substance”), which helped me abstain asthmatic at the starting band of every high-stakes all-embracing antagonism at the aiguille of my sports career.
“Of this I am actually certain, acceptable a neurosurgeon was a absolute aftereffect of my eye for the ball.” —Richard Bergland, M.D. (20th-century neurosurgeon, neuroscientist, and racket-sport aficionado.)
Over the accomplished few days, I’ve done a abysmal dive into my anamnesis banks and approved to affix the dots of a archival timeline that explains how I stumbled on some arbitrary Zen-like, ego-dissolving methods that are abiding in neuroscience. This column is a result of that thought experiment.
My backward father, Richard Bergland (1932-2007), was a neurosurgeon, neuroscientist, columnist of The Fabric of Mind (1986), and an ardent reader. Dad constantly apprenticed me to apprehend more books. Although my ancestor was an academic, he was additionally afflicted by Eastern philosophies and spent a lot of time in India with his additional wife (who was a yogini) when I was in college.
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“The archer ceases to be acquainted of himself as the one who is affianced in hitting the bull’s-eye which confronts him. This accompaniment of benumbed is accomplished alone when, absolutely abandoned and rid of the self, he becomes one with the perfecting of his abstruse skill, admitting there is in it article of a absolutely altered adjustment which cannot be accomplished by any accelerating abstraction of the art.” —Eugen Herrigel from Zen in the Art of Archery (1948)
Here’s a quick account account of five life-changing books my ancestor and stepmother encouraged me to read during adolescence in the 1970s and as a academy apprentice in the mid-1980s. Over the years, these books accept decidedly afflicted how I appearance able-bodied mindset and civil Zen-like states: The Inner Game of Tennis (1974) by W. Timothy Gallwey, The Alleviation Acknowledgment (1975) by Herbert Benson, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Abstraction in Human Nature (1908) by William James, Beatitude in Civil and Religious Adventures (1961) by Marghanita Laski, and Zen in the Art of Archery (1948) by Eugen Herrigel.
“Listen to how D.T. Suzuki, a acclaimed Zen adept describes the furnishings of the ego-mind in his foreward to Zen in the Art of Archery:
‘As anon as we reflect, deliberate, and anticipate the aboriginal asleep is absent and a anticipation interferes. . . The arrow is off the cord but does not fly beeline to the target, nor does the ambition angle area it is. Calculation, which is miscalculation, sets in. Man is a cerebration reed, but his abundant works are done aback he is not artful and thinking. ‘Childlikeness’ has to be restored.’
Perhaps this is why it is said that abundant balladry is built-in in silence. Abundant music and art are said to appear from the quiet base of the unconscious, and accurate expressions of adulation are said to appear from a antecedent which lies below words and thoughts. So it is with the greatest efforts in sports; they appear aback the apperception is as still as a bottle lake.” —W. Timothy Gallwey (From p. 15 of The Inner Game of Tennis)
Last night, I tossed and angry because my academician was aggravating to affix the dots of all these accidental activity experiences, countless literary passages I’ve memorized, and assorted neuroscience-based methods into article accessible to abstract and linear. Finally, I gave up on aggravating to abatement aback to sleep, got out of bed in the predawn hours, and started stream-of-consciousness accounting what you’re account now.
This column offers two easy-to-master means to let go of your ego. To be clear: These techniques are based on a collection of insights gleaned from bestselling books, neuroscience-based advice I abstruse during conversations with my backward father, and road-tested anecdotal experiences.
The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). A circling of the arch is detected, which triggers an inhibitory arresting to the extraocular muscles.
Source: Wikipedia/Creative Commons
Relaxing the tonus of your argot and throat while locking your eyes on a anchored ambition and affective your arch from side-to-side (while abdomen breathing) curtains into the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in a way that I’ve begin through years of brainwork and ultra-running creates an ego abandoning zen-like state. I alarm this address “REM beddy-bye in reverse” because it creates a alive dream state.
When you’re in accelerated eye movement sleep, the VOR unclamps in a way that allows your eyes to zoom move aback and alternating while you’re dreaming. Aback you’re conscious, and lock your eyes assimilate a ambition and move the arch from side-to-side while your argot is airy for a few minutes, it’s accessible to lose yourself in a dream-like transcendent state.
When I was a apprentice at Hampshire Academy (which is currently on the border of defalcation and disturbing to survive) in the 1980s, I did a lot of brainwork and spent a January appellation in India for my apriorism project. Because my neurosurgeon ancestor had accomplished me about VOR actuality key to “keeping your eye on the ball” while arena tennis, I speculated that locking my eyes assimilate a ambition while apperception was apparently application the VOR arrangement in addition way.
Christopher Bergland acclimated vestibulo-ocular reflex abetment to actualize trance-like states while apperception and long-distance running. (Seen actuality accomplishing a focused brainwork at Hampshire Academy about 1986.)
Source: Photo by Christopher Bergland
I acclimated this VOR-based address to advice me breach a Guinness World Record while active six back-to-back marathons in a row on a treadmill in 24 hours. Best bodies get apathetic while treadmill running. But artlessly by locking my eyes on a ambition (like a red blinking ablaze on a affectation screen) and accomplishing some argot manipulations, I could lose myself in the aeon of superfluidity for hours on end.
Even aback my anatomy was experiencing acute concrete pain, this VOR-based address facilitated ego-dissolving states of “transcendent ecstasy.”
Early anatomical cartoon of the vagus nerve. One annex of the vagus assumption squirts an inhibitory actuality alleged “vagusstoff” (acetylcholine) anon assimilate the affection every time you breathe and calms the parasympathetic afraid system.
Source: Wellcome Library/Public Domain
The additional accessible way to briefly let go of your ego is by hacking into your parasympathetic afraid arrangement for a few account by accomplishing diaphragmatic animation while visualizing your vagus assumption squirting the inhibitory actuality “vagusstoff” (acetylcholine) assimilate your affection with every exhale.
Secreting vagusstoff on appeal is addition universally-accessible way to calm the apperception that I abstruse from my ancestor on the tennis cloister as a youngster. Before every serve, dad accomplished me to booty a abysmal abdomen animation followed by a long, apathetic breathe as a way to drudge my vagus assumption and actualize adroitness beneath pressure.
Anytime your apperception is antagonism or you feel actually fatigued out, instead of aloof adage “take a abysmal breath,” bethink that the breathe appearance of abysmal animation is aback you actually activate a alleviation acknowledgment by squirting abstracted substances into your afraid system.
A simple calculation of 4:8 inhale/exhale is a acceptable abode to alpha in agreement of accepting the vagusstoff pumping into your autonomic afraid system. In agreement of briefly abandoning ego-based thinking, I acquisition that accomplishing about two account of a 4:12 arrangement of demography a four additional abysmal diaphragmatic drag followed by about 12 abnormal of exhaling through pursed aperture (like you’re alarming out lots of candles on a altogether cake) quiets what some Zen Buddhists ability alarm “mind monkeys.”
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