Advayavada Study Plan – week 7

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 7] As stated before, in Advayavada Buddhism the Noble Eightfold Path is fully personalized: it is firmly based on what we increasingly know about ourselves and our world, and trusting our own intentions, feelings and conscience. Adherence to the familiar five precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) and a well-considered understanding of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs of being and the Buddha’s four noble truths suffice to start off and proceed on the Path at any time. When the Path is followed conscientiously and methodically, it becomes a strong neuroplastic factor and hence one of the main karmic factors in one’s life. In weeks 1 to 5 we again treated the preliminary subjects, in week 6 we again honestly took stock of and responsibility for our personal situation at this time, and to continue with this quarter’s 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP), this week we shall again take an appropriate and timely decision to adjust our course, bearing in mind that truly commendable deeds are those which are in agreement with wondrous overall existence and take us forward at the fundamental level of our life. This task is based on the 2nd step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-sankappa (Pali) or samyak-samkalpa (Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism: our very best resolution or determination; in Dutch: onze beste beslissing (de tweede stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Feel free to share this post.

Advayavada Study Plan – week 6

[Advayavada Study Plan – week 6] In Advayavada Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path is fully personalized: it is firmly based on what we increasingly know about ourselves and our world, and trusting our own intentions, feelings and conscience. Adherence to the familiar five precepts (not to kill, not to steal, sexual restraint, not to lie, and refraining from alcohol and drugs) and a well-considered understanding of the three (in Advayavada Buddhism, four) signs of being and the Buddha’s four noble truths suffice to start off and proceed on the Noble Eightfold Path at any time. When the Path is followed conscientiously, it becomes a strong neuroplastic factor and hence nothing less than one of the main karmic factors in one’s life, i.e. in one’s fleeting share in the universal interdependent origination process (madhyamaka-pratityasamutpada). The 13-week Advayavada Study Plan (ASP) is repeated four times a year for this lofty purpose: in weeks 1 to 5 we therefore again treated the preliminary subjects and, to continue with the current first quarter of 2019, this week we shall again honestly take stock of, and responsibility for, our personal situation at this time with respect to whatever we are presently doing or are concerned with, or about, such as our health, relationships, work, study, our place in society, etc. This task is based on the 1st step on the Noble Eightfold Path: samma-ditthi (Pali) or samyag-dristi (Sanskrit), in Advayavada Buddhism: our very best comprehension or insight; in Dutch: ons beste inzicht (de eerste stap op het edele achtvoudige pad). Feel free to share this post.

Social Influences on Neuroplasticity (Davidson and McEwen)

Experiential factors shape the neural circuits underlying social and emotional behavior from the prenatal period to the end of life. These factors include both incidental influences such as early adversity as well as intentional influences that can be produced in humans through specific interventions designed to promote prosocial behavior and well-being. Key extant evidence in animal models and humans is reviewed. While the precise mechanisms of plasticity are still not fully understood, moderate to severe stress appears to increase growth of several sectors of the amygdala while effects in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex tend to be opposite. Structural and functional changes in the brain have been observed with cognitive therapy and certain forms of meditation and lead to the suggestion that well-being and other prosocial characteristics might be enhanced through training. (Richard J. Davidson and Bruce S. McEwen, in Social influences on neuroplasticity: Stress and interventions to promote well-being, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491815/)