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Hello I am interested in brain health and in particular maintaining the health of the pre-frontal cortex involved in decision-making and judgement. Does the Buddhist faith say anything about psychology neuroscience and brain health? Are there any exercises or meditations I can do which will help maintain the health of my brain and improve my judgement and decision making? Thank you
Thanks for the question. Buddhism has been recognized as a science which analyses physical and mental aspects of not only human life but also other beings in the universe. Hence the Buddha is called ' a physician'. The interest thing is the way he did found all these information. He did it by developing his mind. in other word he seeks the causes of becoming a being into that state. He found it and explained to the world. This is why he is called the 'Buddha' the awakened one. Although the Buddha did not use those scientific words to the different parts of the body he has talked about them and also importance of maintenance of the body. It is a prime importance to have good health not only physical health but also mental health. He once said ' good health is the highest wealth'. Brain in Buddhism is only a material organ of our body but the Buddha has talked about mind consciousness which can have a direct relationship with the brain. According to Buddhism it is one of the main organs that is important in decision making process. In certain discourse he said how people create ideas. Let's take a human and see how a thought a thought arises. There are five physical senses; eyes ears nose tongue body. and the mind is the sixth sense. When the person sees anther person the eye and picture meet together and eye consciousness arises there. it is scientifically sending signals to brain. the function of the mind in Buddhism and brain in science starts the process to recognize the person analyze him and within a fraction of second the process is done. Instead of talking about the brain the Buddha here has addressed the connection of all the possibilities. In decision-making he or she bases on what is stored in the mind. We cannot point out a particular place of our body for our mind. In Buddhism mind is only a process of physical and mental actions. However brain as well as our heart function to decide something. According to my knowledge both our brain and heart facilitate our mind to exist. Almost all the meditation subjects in Buddhism develop decision-making ability. Also meditation regulate the function of the brain and the other organ of the body. Simply it is the method for a healthy living. There are forty meditation objects described in Buddhism. Out of them meditation on in & out breathing is mostly popular because of many reasons. Another meditation is cultivating friendly thoughts to oneself and to other beings. There are other techniques but these two are mainly practice by many people. By practicing meditation at least with one of the objects we can develop the capacity of brain and heart also the organ. To know more information I would like to recommend you some sources; 1) http://www.protobuddhism.com/ (the venerable Madawala Punnaji is a well-known scholar who studied modern psychology and has a vast knowledge on Buddhist mediation. please read his writing) 2) http://www.bhavanasociety.org/ (Bhante G is a well-know meditation master who has been in USA nearly fifty years. He has authored many books. Listen to his talks and other venerable monks in the web) With Metta Bhante J
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Do not be angry to protect me
Monks, if others speak in disparagement of me, of the Dhamma or of the Sangha, you should not be angry, resentful or upset on that account. If you were to be angry or displeased at such disparagement, that would only be a hindrance to you.
If others disparage me, the Dhamma or the Sangha, then you must explain what is incorrect as being incorrect", saying: ‘That is incorrect, that is false, that is not our way, that is not found among us.’
Monks, if others speak in praise of me, of the Dhamma or of the Sangha, you should not on that account be pleased, happy or elated. If you were to be pleased, happy or elated at such praise, that would only be a hindrance to you." If others praise me, the Dhamma or the Sangha, you should acknowledge the truth of what is true, saying: ‘That is correct, that is right, that is our way, that is found among us’.
The Buddha (Brahmajala sutta - DN 01)