Astonishing Moon Day Story

Want to REALLY learn something about left and right brain processing? Want to see a scientist deliver a talk that delves deeply into the experiences one has in meditation, yoga, art-making and drug-taking?

Twenty minutes well spent on a Moon Day.

Ted Talks


12 Responses

  1. YES ma’am! Brilliant stuff.

    I would write more about psychedelic experience on-blog, except that I have lingering anxiety about wanting to “take the fifth” where that’s all concerned.

  2. It made me think about how I’ve landed where I am — the right brain switched on and nurtured via art studies and an interest in mysticism. The exploring with drugs, neurological effects of migraine, and meditation. The further cultivation via kinesthetic pursuits — all the physical practices. And then, late in life, the left brain put to work via single-mom scheduling-and-attention-to-detail requirements & introduction to the corporate world.

    This really helps me understand why I am sometimes so frustrated with work: lots of left brain stuff for a gal who’d like to melt totally into a right brain reality. At the very least, though, this argues for keeping the left brain in perspective. I’ve already sent the link to a couple of people at work… If the organization is an organism, it needs to have consciousness of the importance of its right brain to stay healthy.

  3. Oh, thank you for posting this! Great stuff. I am always fascinated with how neuroscience and yoga are connected. My father had two strokes and he did not completely recoverd his spreech. It was interesting to imagine that he was going through a similar experience.

  4. That’s some of the most thought-provoking stuff I’ve heard in a while. It’s fascinating and also quite scary at the same time. Her right-brained experience sounds remarkably like what one reads of the higher levels of meditation. I guess that’s what makes it scary.

    One of the few brief memories I have from the time immediately following my accident was of lying face upward in the CT machine and trying to read the text of the manufacturer’s nameplate. I knew I recognized the characters that were etched into the metal panel but I couldn’t put them together into anything I knew of as “reading.” It was an especially peaceful moment too, completely absent of worry or preservational thoughts.

  5. Why is it scary, Carl? Because “mystical” experiences might be physical?

    Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and author, writes about a lot of these kinds of experiences. Very interesting to read. Here’s a synopsis of a case study in “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” that might appeal to you:

    “This is a case involving damaged proprioception. Dr. Sacks interviews a patient who has trouble walking upright and discovers that he has lost his innate sense of balance due to Parkinson’s-like symptoms that have damaged his inner ears; the patient, comparing his sense of balance to a carpenter’s spirit level, suggests the construction of a similar level inside a pair of glasses, which enables him to judge his balance by sight.”

    Somehow, that strikes me as the sort of thing you’d think of!

  6. I kind of “woke up” on my back in an MRI tank after the accident–now over five years ago–that precipitated my yoga thing. Was unable to feel my lower body or move my legs for several hours. (Had been advised that my neck was broken… I will always marvel that misdiagnosis could yield temporary paralysis in me.) I went back into shock after I came out of the MRI tank… spending hours STILL strapped to a gurney in critical care. But the sensory deprivation and pulsing hum of the tank were completely beautiful and peaceful. I had some sense of: “Oh… guess my whole existence is different now.” The fight went out of me. Anyway. Seemed relevant.

  7. Is that “fight” abhinivesha? I always assume so.

  8. Must be.

    Funny, I’m glad I got my abhinivesha back the next morning… though I do feel like the emotion of it is gratitude/revelry more than it’s fear. If that makes ANY sense. I could be missing something. 🙂

  9. Yeah, maybe you’re missing that klesha!

    I find it a most mysterious concept. More than the others.

    [Just imagined it a shining silver turnstyle to the next plane.]

    Match your crazy and raise you! 🙂

  10. It’s a scary idea because it’s about subversion of a mechanism that helps keep me alive from moment to moment.

  11. Your brain in general, or the left hemisphere in particular?

  12. I don’t know. Fear isn’t rational!

    It was easy to relate to parts of her experience, which was almost fatal, and maybe that’s what’s scary. After we suffer trauma we avoid situations that might bring us the same kinds of experiences, whether or not those situations are really ‘dangerous.’ I won’t stop meditating or other mindmeddling merely because I watched the TED talk but it does cause me to think that “super consciousness” is just a clever means to escape reality. Why do we need it if only half our brain is involved? Isn’t it ideal to integrate ourselves so that we get the fantastic perception of reality and we’re “ourselves” at the same time?

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