Brain’s Waste Removal System More Active During Sleep

James' World 2

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Even our brains need to take out the trash.

Researchers from the University or Rochester Medical Center found that a waste-flushing system in the brain, called the glymphatic system, is most active when we sleep — nearly 10 times more so than during periods of wakefulness, in fact.

Plus, during sleep, brain cells shrink in size by 60 percent to better allow for the removal of waste from the brain.

“This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and when awake,” study researcher Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., the co-director of the university’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine, said in a statement. “In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”

The findings, which are published in the journal Science, are based on brain imaging…

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Diseases – Part 2

Continued from Diseases – Part 1

Sage Patanjali in his yoga sutra (1:30)  says:
vyâdhi-styâna-sanåaya-pramâdâlasyâvirati-bhrânti-daråanâlabdha-bhûmikatvânavasthitatvâni cittavikæepâste ‘ntarâyâï
vyâdhi = sickness
styâna = apathy
sanåaya = doubt
pramâda = carelessness
âlasya = laziness
avirati = sexual indulgence
bhrânti = false
daråana = vision, perspective
alabdha = failing to attain
bhûmikatva = developmental stages
anavasthitatvâni = inconstancy, instability
citta = consciousness
vikæepâï = distraction, stirring up
te = these
antarâyâï = obstacles

Sickness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, hedonism, delusion, lack of progress, and inconstancy are all distractions which, by stirring up consciousness, act as barriers to stillness. These are not isolated individual problems tampering the steadfast quality of the citta. Instead, these are all connected and evolve from one to another.

Prevention of disease and thereby distractions, is always better than their respective cures. For a cure, is a process of reverse engineering from analyzing the effect to reach and identify the cause. It is an overhead, it is time consuming, because the effect, may not be a benign one and would steadily or rapidly aggravate whilst the analysis is in progress. Or even if the effect is a benign one, it might not be an irreversible one. Even if it is irreversible, restoring the human body or mind to its original state needs time, this is time required in addition to the time already invested in reaching from the cause to the effect.

Systems like Yoga, pranayam, meditation and others are programmed for nipping the bud of distractions in their early stages. Simple body language techniques reveal,when we think about some event in the past, we tend to look downwards. We access the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobes are involved in the retention of visual memories, processing sensory input, comprehending language, storing new memories, emotion, and deriving meaning.

Similarly a person who is thinking about the future, or the next step of action focuses upwards towards the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, and motivation.

Most yoga, meditation and mind control mechanisms are well aware of this natural tendency of the human mind. They are scientific approaches to preventing the mind from wandering and improving concentration.

Research in Ayurveda, goes deeper into analyzing the chemical composition of these lobes and regions of brain at the time of duress, distraction and depression; as well as the chemical composition of the brain in states of ecstasy, happiness, calm and meditation.  Certain Ayurvedic herbs are powerful anti-stress agents and also help induce a sense of well-being and calm.

Having said all that, the benefits of eating full timely meals, avoiding over indulgence, exercising and adequate rest should not be underestimated. They are almost necessary prerequisites for any further developments, physical or mental.

5 Reasons why Running is as good as Meditation

I consider, running to be as powerful as meditation, I would say it is the best form of active Zen meditation.

1. All Running needs is our body and some determination

 All that we need for running, is a completely operational body (all limbs intact) and some initial determination to counter any inertia or laziness. A treadmill is not necessary, nor is a professional running track.

Although running outdoors has its own advantages, we can even run on one spot, inside our house, without having to wear any running shoes or gear.

2. Running improves circulation, improves health and improves mental health

Running utilizes 16 different muscles of the body, classified under 3 types of muscles (primary, supporting and auxiliary). It is a powerful exercise to boost blood circulation to the body and to the brain. The Cerebral Blood Flow constitutes 15% of the blood flow to the entire body.

Our blood carries all the nutrition in an assimilable to each cell of our body. Our skin, organs, muscles, cartilages, bones, tissues, membranes, nerves, and tendons, are made up of cells. When these cells are nourished, our body is nourished. Toxins and free-radicals are duly flushed out. The body is healthy. A healthy body is free from distractions. The mind within the healthy body is less distracted and more focused. A mind focused on a singular objective is a mind in meditation.

3. When Running the focus automatically shifts on breathing

It is noticed that when we run regularly, our breathing becomes regulated and deeper, our concentration shifts towards breathing and fills the lungs to their designated capacity. In spiritual practices, regulation of breath is a precondition to further advancement. Is it not meditation then, to have the mind and body together watching the inflow and outflow of breath? Inhaling through the nose twice and exhaling through the mouth twice in the same like letting out steam, helps establish a rhythmic pattern while running. This pattern helps build repetition and establish a mantra like effect on the mind.

4. Running exercises both the left and right brain

The human brain is divided into two distinct cerebral hemispheres. Due to contralateral (criss-cross) wiring of nerves, the right hemisphere of the brain, controls the muscles in the left side of our body and the left hemisphere of the brain controls the muscles in the right side of our body. Running is among a few other exercises which coordinate both the right and left major limbs and muscles of the body, thus employing both hemispheres equally, for a prolonged duration. This is just the physiological advantage. The esoteric advantage is that, the Ida and Pingala naadis (energy meridians), start clearing and get equal attention, thus facilitating a faster spiritual growth.

5. Running elevates Serotonin and Dopamine activities in the brain

Serotonin, also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine is a hormone in the pineal gland, the digestive tract, the central nervous system, and blood platelets. A hormone is a substance our body produces that regulates and controls the activity of certain cells or organs.

Dopamine in the brain,  functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior.

Some sources say that prince Gautama, after he renounced all worldly possessions, he went on to meditate beneath a tree. For his daily meal he had a bowl of freshly condensed milk and rice for seven consecutive days. On the seventh day the consumption of pure milk induced high levels of serotonin and dopamine in his brain. This catapulted him instantly in a very deep state of trance, following which he attained enlightenment, becoming the Buddha!

Unfortunately, we live in a world where we can neither vouch for the purity of the milk nor the rice. We do not often practice strict penances, limiting our meals to rice and milk only.

Irrespective of whether we want our lives to model the Buddha’s or not, when we run, we elevate the serotonin and dopamine levels in our brain, promoting healthier brain and body activity. In the esoteric sense, the brain of a person in a meditative trance is shown to have maintained optimal levels of serotonin and dopamine.

There are other exercises that are equally good, but they require additional accessories (skipping), or need a certain space and facility (swimming), or place a heavy premium on body nutrients and hormones (sex).

How much should we run?

It is always safe to exercise within our physical capacities. Studies reveal that running for 30-40 minutes at a pace of 4-5 kmph, 3-4 times a day promotes optimal health.

Why run and not walk?

A walk if brisk or fast is permissive, however, running is a more engaging for the mind and body, because of the kines-thesis and dynamism involved.

Expectation, Belief and Love

Belief is nothing but relentless expectation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with expectation, it is in fact a very honest human construct. Human beings can never be devoid of belief, the very effort of negating all beliefs (nihilism), is also a belief. It is very simple to understand this principle.

We are bound within causality of this universe. Every effect tangible or intangible is not without cause. The reason I believe that god can disappear and re-appear is because, I “expect” him to achieve this with tremendous ease. There is an idea and then there is a belief in possibility of this idea. But where does this idea come from ?

Either there has been substantial evidence of such an event in the past, which makes me expect a recurrence.
Or, I simply am the first to imagine such an event and expect it to manifest some point in time. In this case it is also a certain intuition a more inherent form of expectation. Something inseparable from my existence.

In either case, the root premise is expectation. So much so that belief itself is Ego! Expectation is nothing but the self-individuation, the projection of existence in this material frame , the reflection of our awareness in this world. As long as the ego remains, expectations will remain, beliefs will be formed, destroyed and reformed. Only when the ego dies, expectations die.

Love is nothing but the death of ego. Love is not an emotion, say like compassion. It is merely a state, a very high state of the mind. Ego is the barrier between the higher mind and its smaller projection that we struggle with in our day to day life. The Ego dies and connects us to a something gargantuan, something beyond measure.

Bhakti, Gnyaan, Karma et al

Bhakti yoga, Gnyaan yoga or Karma yoga, it really does not matter. Our breath is in fact a perpetual chant. A chant that is on even before our birth and continues even after we die. Each sentient being is chanting the ajapa japa, literally meaning – the unchanted chant, at all times, periodically, rhythmically and diligently. Thus we are automatic proponents of bhakti yoga.
Since all doing or non-doing constitutes karma, merely by breathing we are automatic proponents of karma yoga.
When we summon our limited attention and knowingly mingle it with the breath, we are automatic proponents of gnyaan yoga.
The said nature of our true self is unlimited, stead fast attention. Observant, silent, formless, pure energy.
The said expression of the self is a limited attention encapsulated in a corporeal form.
Param atma – {Universal set, mathematically} all knowledge, eternal infinite ocean of knowledge
Atma – {A set}, contained knowledge, atoll lagoon of the ocean
As instruments of scriptures (theory) and theosophy, the three margas {paths, ways} can be understood thus:
Bhakti {like fusion reaction},
Advocates complete submission of the limited attention = {ego, intellect, mind and memory} to infinite attention. The objective is to bring the four faculties of the conscious self together, like bringing together four quadrants of a hollow cylinder {fontanelle to coccyx}
It is comparable to nuclear fusion, it takes considerable amount of effort to combine the four faculties, however when done, results are tremendous.
The moment they connect, the body then becomes a conduit for pure energy flow. When there is infinite attention, it can access all knowledge. Thus proponents of bhakti can savor gnyan as a definite side-effect.
Gnyaan {like fission reaction},
Uses a variant of the divide and rule modus operandi. It pits three faculties together{intellect, mind and memory}, to collectively quell the {ego}. Starving the ego, of gratification of the other three, eventually arm-twisting it to join forces with them. With systematic questioning, we drill down to the singular root cause of all thought, belief  and conditioning of the mind.  The ego is simultaneously the most formidable adversary and ally.
Once quelled and humbled, the ego is pure dark energy that instantly dissolves the {intellect, mind and memory}, liberating them from causality, by merging into a singularity {the cause of all causes, the root cause}.  Again we see the unification of the four faculties into a single channel of pure energy. As the proponents of gnyaan, unravel each thought, ego begins to disintegrate, love for the process and a resulting devoted state develops. Thus gnyaan reinforces bhakti, and proponents of gnyaan can enjoy bhakti as a side effect.
Karmaa {Action, Reaction}, Pure Karma : Sat Karma {Radioactive Decay}
Happens spontaneously. There is always something being done. Whether we act or don’t act, we are still doing {different from akarma or inertia}. Unless there is a cessation or inertial dissolution of all faculties physical and internal, there is always action, ergo there is always karma.
Karma yoga path, relies heavily on the art of misdirection. The energy of the {ego} is kept busy in performing rational {mind, intellect and memory aided} action. Thus employing all four faculties collectively, again forming a channel for the flow of pure energy. The {ego} here is devoted ~ bhakti. The {mind, intellect and memory} are involved in gnyaan.
So we observe that none of the paths undermine the other. All are equidistant from the desired destination. Since the distance {d} is constant, it is the velocity {v} that will determine, how soon the destination arrives.

Soul Karri Recipe: Nirvana

What you are and what you have is the best place to start. Objectively access the persona that your name means and put it in a box clled EGO component and paint it black to signify darkness, creator, or use your imagination and call it a black hole…”a hole in a heart shaped box”. It retains all the past till this moment. Dont take the mind for granted, treat her with respect, you got to know she’s a sensitive kind. Tell her you love her with your life. If you believe i know you will find, a finger and a ring that sets in your eyes.
Then magic happens. With no lingering past and the mind comfortable that it is squeezed into a blackhole and all of it has come to naught… the future too dissolves. Welcome to paradise UVWXY
I am the alpha and the omega.

Ramsai Karri

To be a like a child … and not childish!

” There is a great difference between being like a child, and being childish”

A child is often used as an example by many spiritual leaders, self-management advocates in their books and speeches. We often hear them say “be like a child” or “do not let the child within you die” and so on. What does it mean?Before we attempt to question the meaning of the metaphor, let us first analyze the need of such a statement. A child is closer to the beginning of life, it is a simpler version, less thought crowded and more observant version of a grown up. It is also very submissive to life The use of this example prompts us to be simpler in life.

Most children try to do or actually do the things they are told not to. So does this mean “be like a child”. Yes! and No!

Most children act without a prior thought to the consequence of the action. Does this mean “be like a child”. Yes! and No!