Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Good news Friday: ‘Nirvana! I found Nirvana!’

Jill Bolte Taylor was thirty-seven years old, a brilliant neuroscientist, when she woke one morning with a strange pain in her head. This is her story.

In case you would like to see her words as well as hear them, following are the last few minutes of her talk, transcribed. She is speaking here of the moment when she surrendered to the change in her body, when she realized she was “no longer the choreographer of my life.”
My spirit soared free, like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria. Nirvana! I found Nirvana!

And I remember thinking there was no way I would be able to squeeze the enormousness of myself back into this tiny little body. But then I realized, I’m still alive! I’m still alive, and I have found Nirvana, and if I have found Nirvana and I’m still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana, and I pictured a world full of beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people, who knew that they could come to this space at any time, and that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemisphere, and find this peace.

I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a source of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated me to recover.


So who are we?

We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.

Right here, right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are, I am: the life force power of the universe. I am the life force power of the fifty trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with All That Is.

Or, I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere, where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the we inside of me.

Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when?

I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be

I thought that was an idea worth spreading.

May each of you be well and deeply blessed, as deeply and as well as you desire.


We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Sharon said...

This video was totally unexpected. I thought I would hear a story about strokes, symptoms, remedies, effects. Instead, I heard about a pathway to peace that is within each of us, right now. I heard a clear, passionate voice of intellect and reason telling me how she found a way, and I respond by thinking, I must find that We pathway to peace.

Hayden said...

I LOVE Jill Bolte Taylor. She's so amazing in the work she's doing, and has stirred up quite a lot of controversy. Some want to see "injury" in the message she spreads, as if the message of peace can only come from a damaged brain. To me, that's the craziest of all.

I think I could listen to this vid 1000's of times and never tire of it.

Claire said...

It was Jill who first stopped me short with the convincing realization that our mind can be managed--that it does what we want it to do -- yet, is SOOO good and fast that it can become a runaway train over time (my words).

"My Stroke of Insight" is as beautiful as are her (3) podcast interviews with Oprah.

Jill took me through the starting gates of peace that led to Byron Katie (The Work).

Now, I have a tool (The Work) to work with the thoughts in my mind--those that lead to a distracted, confused and overwhelmed mental life with the ensuing emotional cacophony.

Now....a more quiet inner life. Wow. Me? Yes.

It's beautifully possible...that's only one of Jill's gifts.

Deb Shucka said...

I adore her! Everything about her. Much of what I read in her book, plus just the energy of her presence in the TED lecture, have stayed with me long after I first experienced both. I love that you know her now, too.

Kathryn Grace said...

Sharon, I agree. Until I saw her video, saw her taking those steps from one side of the (figurative) brain to the other, I could only intellectualize her words. Now, in a tough situation, if I remember in time, I can imagine myself stepping into the right hemisphere of my brain and all that magical oneness. Thank you for underscoring that.

Hayden, you bring up a good point. Scientists have to ask those questions, of course. It's their job, and I'm so grateful to have the experience of a trained, scientific observer, who specializes in exactly these kinds of problems, on the experiential side. How much she brings to the inquiry! Like you, I could watch that video over and over and over again--and have done.

Claire, welcome and thank you for sharing a bit of the ways Taylor's experience and work have changed your life--a valuable contribution to this discussion. I failed to include a link to Taylor's website in the post, which includes the Oprah links: My Stroke of Insight. While I'm at it, here's a link to Katie's website: Byron Katie: The Work. You are always welcome to include links in your comments. I know they'll be good ones!

Deb, yes, her being and her message beautiful, calming, energizing, and so important to all of us just now. I have had a similar experience since first being introduced to her work (Thank you, Claire!), but this video was new to me and brought it home in a visceral way, right to the gut and the heart.

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