Brain and Mind?

Somebody asked me yesterday are mind and brain the same thing?  Here is ONE answer.  Makes sense to me. Buddhism has quite a bit to say about ‘mind’.  We tend to say ‘keep your mind on the ‘job’ at hand’, and elaborate from there. 2004_04_029

For many people, the mind and brain are interchangeable. They use one word or the other to talk about the same thing: the organ in our skull that we use to think.

However, the mind and brain are actually two very different, but interconnected, entities. As a neuroscientist, this reality is the foundation of my life’s research and work: The mind works through the brain but is separate from the brain.

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We Offer Merit

blackberries

Yes, lots going on in the world and in this country specifically. Massive changes with the Queen’s passing.

Lets us remember, let us celebrate (her life) and welcome our new Benefactor. Each morning at the end of Morning Service we offer the merit (our best efforts) of the service to the Four Benefactors (the first is the Queen/King) who make it possible for Buddhism to be practiced in peace in this country. (The other three are The Buddha, Our Parents and All People.)

Note: It would seem that blackberries are universally loved, appreciated and fondly remembered, too, judging by the record number of ‘likes’ and comments left on my Facebook page: Houn Mugo.

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Say Goodbye to Swithering

I saw this word in a BBC News item this very morning, what pray does it mean?

swither v. to be uncertain or perplexed about what to do or choose; doubt; hesitate; dither.

wither is a word that many Scottish people use without realising that it is a relative stranger outwith Scots and Scottish English. My spell-checker has in fact just proven the point, underlining both ‘swither’ and ‘outwith’, which have clearly bemused its limited lexicon. A number of stealth Scots words like these have so comfortably established themselves across all Scottish linguistic contexts, from the formal to the informal, that speakers may only become aware of their exotic character when quizzed about them by puzzled non-Scots. The Official Report of the Scottish Parliament (2000) includes former MP and MSP Winnie Ewing’s account of events when she uttered the word in the House of Commons: “The members all stopped and said, ‘I don’t understand’. I wondered what the English word for ‘swither’ was, and they shouted, ‘prevaricate’ and ‘hesitate’. Neither of those words is exactly the same as ‘swither’ … That illustrates part of the strange experience of speaking Scots”.

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I might suffer from Swithering. Another word would, could be, confusion. Which when recognized, I’ve found to great benefit, can be dismissed, said goodbye to. ‘Hello confusion (swithering) goodbye confusion’. Works every time.

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Treading Lightly

lloyd-loom-bath-chair
This chair came to me a few weeks ago. It’s a classic LLoyd Loom ‘Lusty’ product with a sprung drop-in seat, probably a rare piece too. Before restoration can begin, it needed to be taken apart and cleaned. You never know what you’ll find, in this case there was just the degraded ‘innards’, no messages or photographs or hints at its history. I know its history already, one careful owner passed down to the son of the family – then on to me.

I’ll be spray-painting the chair Graphite today then reupholstering the drop-in seat with new yet classic, materials. In this blog post, The Traces We Leave…. the author ponders on ‘legacy’ along with wondering about a photograph he had found taped to the underside of a drawer of a bedside cabinet he was about to recycle. There is much to be said on the matter of legacy, what remains of our footprint in the world, after we stop walking? Good to tread lightly, me thinks.

Shall I leave a ‘little something’ within the upholstered seat? Perhaps a scrap of the original fabric in an envelope tucked between the stuffing? Perhaps a message to the future, like a message in a bottle, indicating the history of this piece? So far?

This company offers a wealth of information about restorations. Heck! One day I might need to know How to fix Queen Ann legs!

Thanks to Julius for the link to the blog post.

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‘Gone to Visit my mother’, Bertha Benz drives home 1888.

In 1888, Bertha Benz, wife of automotive inventor Karl Benz, set off on a groundbreaking trip.

A pioneer and investor in her own right, Bertha took the world’s first combustion engine-powered car on the world’s first long-distance car journey.

The 100km journey was full of inventive problem-solving. Bertha made numerous stops to source fuel, fix the carburettor and the brakes. Her trip became a vital road test of the car’s good points as well as highlighting teething issues.

More video clips and references to the film.

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives