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Where Does Consciousness Come From?

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Where Does Consciousness Come From? ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2009) — Consciousness arises as an emergent property of the human mind. Yet basic questions about
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 19, 2009
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      Where Does Consciousness Come From?
      ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2009) — Consciousness
      arises as an emergent property of the human mind.
      Yet basic questions about the precise timing,
      location and dynamics of the neural event(s)
      allowing conscious access to information are
      not clearly and unequivocally determined.
      Some neuroscientists have even argued that
      consciousness may arise from a single "seat"
      in the brain, though the prevailing idea
      attributes a more global network property.
      Do the neural correlates of consciousness correspond
      to late or early brain events following
      perception? Do they necessarily involve coherent
      activity across different regions of the brain,
      or can they be restricted to local patterns of
      reverberating activity?
      A new paper suggests that four specific, separate
      processes combine as a "signature" of conscious
      activity. By studying the neural activity of
      people who are presented with two different
      types of stimuli – one which could be perceived
      consciously, and one which could not – Dr. Gaillard
      of INSERM and colleagues, show that these four
      processes occur only in the former, conscious
      perception task.
      This new work addresses the neural correlates of
      consciousness at an unprecedented resolution,
      using intra-cerebral electrophysiological recordings
      of neural activity. These challenging experiments
      were possible because patients with epilepsy who
      were already undergoing medical procedures requiring
      implantation of recording electrodes agreed to
      participate in the study. The authors presented
      them with visually masked and unmasked printed
      words, then measured the changes in their brain
      activity and the level of awareness of seeing the
      words. This method offers a unique opportunity to
      measure neural correlates of conscious access with
      optimal spatial and temporal resolutions. When
      comparing neural activity elicited by masked and
      unmasked words, they could isolate four converging
      and complementary electrophysiological markers
      characterizing conscious access 300 ms after word
      perception.
      All of these measures may provide distinct glimpses
      into the same distributed state of long-distance
      reverberation. Indeed, it seems to be the convergence
      of these measures in a late time window (after 300 ms),
      rather than the mere presence of any single one of
      them, which best characterizes conscious trials.
      "The present work suggests that, rather than hoping
      for a putative unique marker – the neural correlate
      of consciousness – a more mature view of conscious
      processing should consider that it relates to a
      brain-scale distributed pattern of coherent brain
      activation," explained neuroscientist Lionel
      Naccache, one of the authors of the paper.
      The late ignition of a state of long distance
      coherence demonstrated here during conscious
      access is in line with the Global Workspace
      Theory, proposed by Stanislas Dehaene,
      Jean-Pierre Changeux, and Lionel Naccache.
      ________________________________________
      Journal reference:
      1. Gaillard et al. Converging Intracranial
      Markers of Conscious Access. PLoS Biology, 2009;
      7 (3): e61 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000061
      Adapted from materials provided by Public Library
      of Science, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
    • anil shrotriya
      No Dimensions Meditation This is a powerful method for centering one s energy in the hara - the area just below the navel. It is based on a Sufi technique of
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 19, 2009
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        No Dimensions Meditation

        This is a powerful method for centering one's energy in the hara - the area just below the navel. It is based on a Sufi technique of movements for awareness and integration of the body. Because it is a Sufi meditation, it is free and non-serious. In fact it is so non-serious that you can even smile while you are doing it.

        This one-hour meditation has three stages. During the first two stages the eyes are open but not focused on anything. During the third stage the eyes are closed.
        The music, created especially for this meditation, begins slowly and gradually becomes faster and faster as an uplifting force.


        First stage: SUFI MOVEMENTS 30 minutes
        A continuous dance in a set of six movements. With your eyes open, begin by standing in one place and placing the left hand on the heart and the right hand on the hara. Stand still for a few moments just listening to the music to get centered. This stage of the meditation starts slowly and builds up in intensity.
        If you are doing this with others you may get out of synchronicity with the others and think you have made a mistake. When that happens, just stop, see where the other people are, and then get back into the same rhythm and timing as everyone else.

        When the bell rings, start the sequence as described below. The movements always come from the center, or hara, using the music to keep the correct rhythm. The hips and eyes face the direction of the hand movement. Use graceful movements in a continuous flow. Loud "Shoo" sounds are made from the throat in synchronicity with the sounds from the recording.
        Repeat this six-movement sequence continuously for 30 minutes.

        The sequence:
        1) Touch the backs of the hands together pointing downward on the hara. Breathing in through the nose, bring the hands up to the heart and fill them with love. Breathing out make the sound "Shoo" from the throat and send love out to the world. At the same time move the right arm (with fingers extended, palm downward) and right foot straight forward, and move the left hand back down to the hara. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        2) Repeat this movement with the left arm and foot. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        3) Repeat this movement with the right arm and foot, turning sideways to the right. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        4) Repeat this movement with the left arm and foot, turning sideways to the left. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        5) Repeat this movement with the right arm and foot, turning directly behind from the right side. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        6) Repeat this movement with the left arm and foot, turning directly behind from the left side. Return to the original position with both hands on the hara.
        This stage is over when the music comes to a stop. The second stage begins with new music.


        Second stage: WHIRLING 15 minutes
        Begin by placing the right toe over the left toe. Fold your arms across your chest and embrace yourself. Feel love for yourself. When the music starts bow down to existence for bringing you here for this meditation. When the tempo changes, begin whirling either to the left or to the right, whichever feels best for you. If you whirl to the right put the right foot and the right arm to the right and the left arm in the opposite direction.. As you start to whirl you can change your hands to any position which feels good to you.
        If you have not whirled before then go very very slowly at first and once your mind and body get acclimated to the movements the body will naturally go faster. Do not force yourself to go too fast too soon. If you do get dizzy or it feels like it is too much for you, it is okay to stop and stand or to sit down. To end the whirling, slow down and fold the arms over the chest and heart.


        Third stage: SILENCE 15 minutes
        Lie down on the belly with your eyes closed. Leave your legs open and not crossed to allow all the energy you have gathered to flow through you. There is nothing to do except to just be with yourself. If it is uncomfortable to lie on your belly, lie on your back. A gong will indicate the end of the meditation.





        From: medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
        To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, 19 March, 2009 9:18:23 AM
        Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Where Does Consciousness Come From?

        Where Does Consciousness Come From?
        ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2009) — Consciousness
        arises as an emergent property of the human mind.
        Yet basic questions about the precise timing,
        location and dynamics of the neural event(s)
        allowing conscious access to information are
        not clearly and unequivocally determined.
        Some neuroscientists have even argued that
        consciousness may arise from a single "seat"
        in the brain, though the prevailing idea
        attributes a more global network property.
        Do the neural correlates of consciousness correspond
        to late or early brain events following
        perception? Do they necessarily involve coherent
        activity across different regions of the brain,
        or can they be restricted to local patterns of
        reverberating activity?
        A new paper suggests that four specific, separate
        processes combine as a "signature" of conscious
        activity. By studying the neural activity of
        people who are presented with two different
        types of stimuli – one which could be perceived
        consciously, and one which could not – Dr. Gaillard
        of INSERM and colleagues, show that these four
        processes occur only in the former, conscious
        perception task.
        This new work addresses the neural correlates of
        consciousness at an unprecedented resolution,
        using intra-cerebral electrophysiologica l recordings
        of neural activity. These challenging experiments
        were possible because patients with epilepsy who
        were already undergoing medical procedures requiring
        implantation of recording electrodes agreed to
        participate in the study. The authors presented
        them with visually masked and unmasked printed
        words, then measured the changes in their brain
        activity and the level of awareness of seeing the
        words. This method offers a unique opportunity to
        measure neural correlates of conscious access with
        optimal spatial and temporal resolutions. When
        comparing neural activity elicited by masked and
        unmasked words, they could isolate four converging
        and complementary electrophysiologica l markers
        characterizing conscious access 300 ms after word
        perception.
        All of these measures may provide distinct glimpses
        into the same distributed state of long-distance
        reverberation. Indeed, it seems to be the convergence
        of these measures in a late time window (after 300 ms),
        rather than the mere presence of any single one of
        them, which best characterizes conscious trials.
        "The present work suggests that, rather than hoping
        for a putative unique marker – the neural correlate
        of consciousness – a more mature view of conscious
        processing should consider that it relates to a
        brain-scale distributed pattern of coherent brain
        activation," explained neuroscientist Lionel
        Naccache, one of the authors of the paper.
        The late ignition of a state of long distance
        coherence demonstrated here during conscious
        access is in line with the Global Workspace
        Theory, proposed by Stanislas Dehaene,
        Jean-Pierre Changeux, and Lionel Naccache.
        ____________ _________ _________ _________ _
        Journal reference:
        1. Gaillard et al. Converging Intracranial
        Markers of Conscious Access. PLoS Biology, 2009;
        7 (3): e61 DOI: 10.1371/journal. pbio.1000061
        Adapted from materials provided by Public Library
        of Science, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.



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