Here’s an 61-min recorded video Dhamma Talk (346MB .mp4).

Topics:

  • The Master and His Emmisary, Iain McGilchrist, left hemisphere, right hemisphere, brain, ethnic Asian culture, Chinese garden, Portland, Ajahn Sudanto, cat-like nature, red dragon vases, prosody, theory of mind, modulation, empathy, emotional awareness, emotional maturity, spaciousness, intuitiveness, melting away of a sense of self, anatta, not-self, Eureka! moments, metaphor: poetry, singing


Sutta References:

  • MN 127 - Anaruddha

    1. “What, householder, is the immeasurable deliverance of mind? Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will. He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion…He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy…He abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity…abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will. This is called the immeasurable deliverance of mind.  
    2. “And what, householder, is the exalted deliverance of mind? Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the root of one tree, pervading it as exalted: this is called the exalted deliverance of mind. Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of the roots of two or three trees, pervading it as exalted: this too is called the exalted deliverance of mind. Here a bhikkhu abides resolved upon an area the size of one village, pervading it as exalted … an area the size of two or three villages…an area the size of one major kingdom… an area the size of two or three major kingdoms…an area the size of the earth bounded by the ocean, pervading it as exalted: this too is called the exalted deliverance of mind. It is in this way, householder, that it can be understood how these states are different in meaning and different in name.
  • From the chant “The Buddha’s Words on Lovingkindness”, pg. 136 in “A Bhikkhu Manual: Essential Chants”), spaciousness is very right-brained:

    • so with a boundless heart, should one cherish all living beings (empathy)

    • raidating goodness over the entire world (spaciousness)

    • spreading upwards to the skies, and downwards to the depths (spaciousness)

  • backing away from left-brained argumentation so as to allow right-brained goodness: from the Atthakavagga, below are Bhikkhu Bodhi’s SNp verses 909, 910, 911, 912):

    1. “Seeing, a person will see name-and-form; having seen, it is just these that he will know. Granted, let him see much or little, the skillful say purity is not won in that way.

    2. “A dogmatist is not easily disciplined, one preferring a formulated view. Claiming that the good is found in what he depends on, as a proponent of purity, he saw things that way there.

    3. “Having comprehended, a brahmin does not take up mental constructs; he is not a pursuer of views nor a kinsman of knowledge. Having known the commonplace opinions, he maintains equanimity while others grasp.

    4. “Having loosened the knots here in the world, the muni does not take sides in arisen disputes. He is peaceful among the restless, equanimous, without grasping while others grasp.

  • SN 1.61 - Name (left-brainedness is sticky, precludes the happiness over in the right hemisphere)

    “What has weighed down everything? What is most extensive? What is the one thing that has All under its control?”

    “Name has weighed down everything; Nothing is more extensive than name. Name is the one thing that has All under its control.”

Other References:

  • From Iain McGilchrist’s “The Master and his Emissary”:

    • pg. 46:

      THE WHOLE VS. THE PART

      …The right hemisphere sees the whole, before whatever it is gets broken up into parts in our attempt to “know” it. Its holistic processing of visual form is not based on summation of parts. On the other hand, the left hemisphere sees part-objects. … The right hemisphere, with its greater integrative power, is constantly searching for patterns in things. In fact its understanding is based on complex pattern-recognition.

    • pg. 50:

    …The right hemisphere deals preferentially with actually existing things, as they are encountered in the real world.

    • pg. 58:

      …The right hemisphere has by far the preponderance of emotional understanding. It is the mediator of social behaviour. In the absence of the right hemisphere, the left hemisphere is unconcerned about others and their feelings… Patients with right frontal deficits, suffer a change of personality whereby they become incapable of empathy.

    • pg. 458:

      …What the evidence suggests, if reviewed in greater detail than I have here, is that the East Asian cultures use strategies of both hemispheres more evenly, while Western strategies are steeply skewed towards the left hemisphere. In other words, the emissary appears to work in harmony with the Master in the East, but is in a process of usurping him in the West.

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