Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  I was listening to a tape by Rick Hanson (author of Buddha's Brain) and wondering about a point he was making about the brain and sensory stimulation.  If I understand correctly, and my experience supports the notion, the more we pound into our brain via sound, sight, movement, smells, and touch, the more the brain requires further stimulation.  As if the brain becomes habituated to the intense level and almost "needs" that level in order to recognize information.  The less we cram in there, the more the brain "relaxes" with what is, and turns down the level of input needed for survival.  I remember the first time I got into my car, after years of constant listening to music on transistor radios, record players, and then i pod, when I turned on the radio to my favorite channel, listened for a few moments to a perfectly wonderful song, and then turned it off.  I just wanted to drive along in silence!  What an interesting moment.  Seems as if those weeks of retreat had started something...or ended something.
  So it seems as we deepen into our silent sitting practice, we notice a quieting and an appreciation of that quiet.  The initial fears of boredom or facing our inner self recedes like a wave out into the ocean of experience.  We ride the quiet flow of noticing the Now.  May we all find peace and joy within this delicious emptiness.