Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Friday, 22 November 2013

Leftie or Rightie?

So loved this beautiful image that I found while wandering across the internet this week (I am unsure of the owner - so if you know please share so I can give credit where due).

Following on from my recent post about current research into meditation and the challenge science has in understanding a subjective, internal and contemplative experience; I was doing some further research and came across this amazing picture which represents what we most commonly understand to be the traits of our brain - and where we might be when meditating.

According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Today, neuroscientists know that the two sides of the brain actually work much more closely together to perform a wide variety of tasks than thought, and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus collosum. 

So we definitely have a left and right brain and there are common traits that are attributed to each hemisphere of the brain that can be interesting to note: 

The left brain is analytical and task-oriented. This is where most of us reside, most of the day ie.- most of us are left brain dominated in life.  The left-side of the brain is considered strongest in tasks involving logic, language and analytical thinking.  Here is where solutions are found and critical thinking happens, where numbers and language preside, where we access past and present experience to evaluate and decide on how to move forward. 

The right brain is our ‘wild child’ invoking creativity, free thought and expression .. where new ideas develop and intuitive thought flows.  The right-side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks, where we recognise colour, images, read and express emotions.  We often feel 'unbalanced' by not nourishing our right brain in life. 

From ancient times and practices we have exercises that support us in shifting from left brain to right brain focus. You might like to try some of these exercises and notice how they might 'free' up your creativity and focus. 

1. Left Hand Focus: by bringing our awareness and focus to our left hand we tap into our right brain - the home of imagination and expansiveness.  I have also read that this also happens if you balance on your left foot for a short time. 

2. Breathe: By holding our right nostril and breathing for a few moments ONLY through the left nostril we are also tapping into our right brain (the yoga tradition believes that each nostril aligns with the opposite side of the brain). 

3. Writing with the ‘wrong hand’: so for me that means using my left hand for writing or easy tasks (not boiling cups of coffee) as this is controlled by the right side of my brain - read more here 

I would definitely recommend also watching this AMAZING Ted talk by Jill Bolte Taylor who experienced a stroke that flooded the left hemisphere of her brain, deteriorating her ability to process information, and tossing her into a right brain world "where inner peace was just a thought away".

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