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2 - Sit Down and Shut Up ep 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Mé-tsal Wangmo and Ja'gyür Dorje introduce meditation support techniques and discuss possible meditation postures.

So we've talked last week about how distracted we are and how distracted we notice we are when we start paying attention to how distractively are, how much of our lives we are conducting basically on some kind of auto pilot where we are bumbling around with without being particularly aware of the present moment. I wanted to say a little bit more. I mentioned last week that there were various, numerous studies that have been done, scientific studies that have been done into what happens when people meditates, benefits meditation. I just wanted to highlight one of those I find particularly interesting, which was it's from a while now, while ago now. It's back in two thousand and seven, and this was a big neuroscience study conducted primarily by Professor Norman Far at the University of Toronto, and he worked out a way of by plugging people's brains in, by measuring the activity within the rain. He worked out a way to study how we actually extence, moment by moment, experience, the experience being by measuring activity within the brain and within particular areas of the brain, and it was him that first and his team who talked about or discovered in terms of science. It's been discovered. Of course we're not, but discovered in the science that people have two distinct ways of interacting the world and who different sets of networks within the brain get used at different times, and he identified these, and...

...they get talked about now generally within neuroscience, as the first one, as the default network or narrative network, which is what far called it, and this is mainly reasons of the brain and the medial prefrontal cortex there and also, crucially, the memory legions of the brain, that the areas of the brain they're active when memory is actives like they come hast in particular, and he called this network a default network because it was the one that was active most of the time when not much else was happening and they were looking at the brain activity. It's basically when we are judged of sat thinking and mainly about ourselves in fact, which what we discover through meditation. Will come back to that next week. But he realized or noticed that this particular network of areas of the brain was what was lit up effect most of the time when we're just going around doing things, and this is the the network that becomes active when there's any kind of pause really in what we're doing. So if you are sitting out in the garden, hed a, lucky enough to be able to sit in a garden a moment, if you're sitting out in a garden in the sunshine, as quite a little breeze going today as well, although you're there in the sun with the cool breeze blowing, maybe a Nice Cup of tea in your and actually, what you do? Start thinking about what the lady uses, what you're going to have for dinner, what somebody...

...said to you yesterday, what you're going to do about that meeting for work, and your mind is completely busy with something other than what you're doing. This is the default network in action. So it's the network that's involved in daydreaming, but also planning, planning, daydreaming, ruminating, going back over things. This is the network that is active when we're engaged in all of those kinds of thinking, and it's also the network that's active whenever we're thinking about ourselves or other people, the people in our lives. It holds together a narrative and narrative about me. So this is why Farb also called it a narrative net. Circuitry that was involved here. So a narrative here is anything, any storyline with characters that interact with each other over a peer time. The brain holds vast stores of information about our own and other people's history. It's all kind of woven together in this big tapestry and when the default network is active, when that part of the brain is active, we're thinking about a history, future or the people we know, the connections with people, and this is how this giant tapestry of information weaves itself together, and that's why far called it narrative circuitry. That's a play here in the brain. Now, if we experience the world using that narrative network, if those are the areas of the brain that we experience the world through, then we...

...take in information from the outside world, we process it through a filter of what everything means and how it fits into narrative network, adding our own interpretations there. So this is why sat outside in the garden in the sunshine, with the cool breeze, with my cup of tea. The cool breeze is either not noticed at all or it's just a sign that the weather's changing. Everything's changing, winter's coming, the world's going to pot in everything is dire. It's an indication of something else, or it leads to a thought. The Cup of tea takes me off thinking about having tea with my mother and I start thinking about its endless is streams of thought that we get taken off into. And that's what happens with the narrative circuit being active, because that's what the narrative network does. So this default network is active for most of our waking and a sleep time moments and it doesn't test to operate it. It just kind of does its thing and there's nothing wrong with it, of course, per se. But it's very sad, as we were saying last week, if we only experience the world a network, then we're just caught entirely stories about ourselves, the world and everything is just related back to me through my narrative network. When we we talked last week as well, didn't we am that when, when that network is active, then we're going to be much less present for everybody around us. But fortunately FARB's study did show...

...there also is another, whole other way of experiencing experience, and the neuroscientists called this direct experience, and the areas of the brain that are mostly and this direct experience is occurring, are a different network within the brain to the default narrative network. This includes the insular which relates particularly to perceiving bodily sensations, and this will become more interesting, and or I hope it will, as we get into talking about the senses and the sense fields within Batriana. But it's also the anterior singular, singular cortex, and that area of the brain is a region that's particularly involved in switching attention, being able to move attention from one thing to another. So when the direct experience network is active, when or is activated, we're not thinking intently about the past or the future or about other people or about ourselves or about our all fits together, but thinking about very much at all. We're just experiencing information coming into our senses in real time. So sitting there in the garden with the sunshine and cool breeze and Hot Cup of tea, that's where our attention is, on the warmth of the sun, that we can experience the field, the breeze in our hair, the sensation of the taste of the tea as we drink it. So the the interesting thing for us and in terms of what happens.

Started looking at people who practice meditation is they found that people who meditate and had a lot of medicine experience, it's actually not even very much meditation experience, were able to recognize whether they were in a narrative network activity or direct experience, and not only could they recognize it, they could also choose at will to switch. So then they recognized that they were quarter in narrating, they were able to drop it and return to direct experience. So this is a direct measurement of what meditation can give us in terms of capacity to train the mind to behave differently. So this is because the mind is plastic, which is why we talked about neuroplasticity. It is possible to train, its possible to actually physically change the physiological makeup of the brain in terms of developing particular areas of it. Because a series of other studies followed on from FIB and they showed something that was, of course, also hugely interest into us as people in Meditate, was that these two networks within the brain were inversely correlated. So what I mean by that is that, whilst one is active, the more one is active, the less active, the other one becomes so this means that if you are thinking about an upcoming eating whilst you're doing one up our breakfast, you are much more likely to overlook a bit of broken glass in the washing up pole and cut yourself on it, because the rain part that's involved in visual section is much in active when the Arras Network has taken over. But also foruse vice versa and you, when you focus your tenser and on incoming days are you have your dialectic spiritce network active.

So if you are really aware of watching that water as you do and feeling it on the hands, then reduces the activity within the narrative circuitry. So this means that even if your narrative stucker is going bananas and you're really worrying about something, then just taking a deep breath, focusing on something within your sense foods will allow some of that narrative surgery to become less active. So these two networks are inversely correlated. So this means that you quite simply do not see as much or here as much or feel as much or sense anything as much when you're lost in thought. Now probably we all need that anyhow, but the scientists likes to prove it for. So there are the direct so when we're thinking about other things, the cup of tea, it pays just good, but it does when we are paying attention to cup of tea. So I think that's probably as much as we have time to say about the isn't it six months? I'll say something else. So when we have experience, if we had act experience network and more active, they are going to be experiencing the world more directly, we will have a larger amount of sensory information being perceived and, in effect, we're going to be getting closer to the reality of any particular moment or experience and we'll be coming on what to look at this when we starts to talk about what we mean by reality in Vayana. In terms of mundane benefit, though, being able to notice more real time information, so noticing it much closer to actually what's happening rather than through the filter of our narrative network. That think this is much more flexible in terms of how we respond to the world. It makes us less prisoned by the past, by our habits or by our expectations and the...

...subtions future based thinking and more able to just respond to invest and situations as actually unfold rather through this narrative filter. Is, of course, what winners the distractitioners, and this makes us more likely to be able to be kind in a particular situation, to because we are actually more likely to be perceiving a situation as it actually is rather than throughout notives. So these this are the follow from special shows. The people who meditate regularly basically had a higher rating on the capacity for by moment awareness. So people who meditate become able to be aware in the moment to far graded degree with people we don't, and you could strains plastic and because dictating can give you this quintter awareness. It's credit is something that even scientifically, you can show. It is something that the more we do it, more likely we are to be able to do it. So the more practice meditation, the more we practice paying attention in the moment, the more we are able to do that. We know about the brains. NEUROCLASSIC they intends to be able to train areas of the brain. So people who sort of the black cab drivers in London, they used to have to the knowledge that they probably don't anymore stuffing. Do they start to do it answers dismiss as still that has been caused from roots. Yeah, just say like buxomly disposed funny way. Don't so it's in a disire. Neuroscience designed. If Study of black cat drivers and discovered that people who gather a process of learned a huge outknocks that they remember have got greater developed Piper Pumpie. So the areas of the brain are involved in the mental physically bigger in someone who's that Gone Fla Prada. There are loads of examples of brain changes through developing a particular activity. So, however we find out...

...minds to be, however we find our brains to be, everything is possible in terms of changing them, and men's agent is the place to start. So, as we mentioned as well last week, you don't get anywhere, particularly with an Attasan as you don't make if you just have goes every now and then. The developing a daily practice is really the way that we're going to make any headway with changing anything in terms of mind. So once or twice a day for a few minutes is the way forward. So if you can find five minutes twice a day or ten minutes once a day or fifteen minutes to them. That's the way to start the practice. Next week will go through some of the things we might start to discover when we actually stick with this for a week. Or we find out if we sit for ten minutes each day attempt to remain as uninvolved as possible with whatever is a rising mind, using the counts to twenty on the back, what starts to happen? What do we start to discuss? If we have a routine, which I'm aware many people's routees have either disappeared entirely or radically altered of late. If you have a routine, then you may need to play around when it's a good time to sit. For some people, sitting first thing in the ring is really useful and it works well. For other people, if they sit first thing in the morning, they do is have a head full of all the things that are going to happen during the day and they find it more useful to sit in the evening when the day is having let go. For other people trying to sit in the evening, all they're going to do is think about the day and what's happened, and letting go is going to...

...be difficult and they might finally easy to sit in the morning. So you play around, you might find it in the middle of the afternoon and the people find foot of sleeve. They do it then. So use the unusual substances that most of us have at the moment to experimented and find out what really suits you in terms of the time of day when you can sit. You can be relaxed enough to have a chance of letting go of what's in mind, but you're also awake enough to be alert and, as I said lettle on to day we shall put her a video of some ideas for posture in terms of ways to sit, how to sit and what to sit on. We're going to work out what Jack is going to wear for that, hopefully in my prices later atually, very promptly finishing. Nice to see him.

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