Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quieting Your Brain to Connect with God

I was recently introduced to a story about Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who suffered a sudden stroke that left her with serious brain trauma and debilitation. In her story, she tells how this experience was a blessing that connected her with God, by allowing her to quiet the logical/scientific part of her brain in order to experience the rest of it...the part of the brain that is more connected to the Divine. Faith has been described as belief in the absence of proof, which would require that we rest the logical and proof-driven side of our brains that currently dominate our world and rely on the more intuitive, feeling, knowing side of our brains, which have often sat dormant for most of our lives. We rarely allow ourselves to think without proof, because we have been so conditioned not to believe something that can't be proven.

In our hurried and logically trained Western minds, we seldom go to the quiet place in our brain, the place of our soul's thoughts, the place of God. We have heard, "Be still and know that I am God", which directs us in how to connect with God but which we rarely practice. Our lives are full of action, talking, doing, and are very rarely still in the quiet for long enough to really connect with God or with our soul, our true selves. Our worship, for the most part, means listening to others for our God-connection, or telling others about our God-connection, but involves relatively little of the true quiet where we can be one with God without worldly distractions...where we can be what we feel rather than what we are expected to be. The Holy Spirit (which I relate to our connection to our Highest Self) wants to reside in us to fully reunite us with God, but we seldom hear its call, being too involved in our thinking-and-doing modes to truly listen. Instead, we listen to others' versions of God and deny ourselves the full and real experience. God becomes a thought process of rules and edicts, rather than a direct feeling of Oneness.

Jill Bolte Taylor, an intellectually gifted woman, was forced to quiet her mind due to the stroke, and now sees her experience as a wonderful blessing despite the tremendous difficulties that she encountered. She urges us to go to that place of quiet solitude, that place of feeling rather than thinking, that place of profound expression that we seldom reach in our culture. Her message is powerful, especially since she is a scientist who has spent most of her life heavily ensconced in the logical portion of the brain.

This is a great story to help explain the real connection to God that is not in the things we do outwardly, is not based in a particular belief system, is not based in logic or even in studying what other people or institutions tell us to believe, but in finding our own truth, in finding our own soul deep within us. We cannot find truth until we are willing to relinquish some of our pre-conditioned thoughts, but once we access that place, our lives are changed miraculously because that is where God resides within us. True faith is birthed in this place where we release our need to make God work logically or to satisfy others' litmus is where we access a power beyond what we have ever thought possible, where miracles evolve and begin to flow through us and to us. Jill Bolte Taylor's experience is a great example of that, and worth discovering.

CLICK HERE for a video of one of Jill's speeches.
CLICK HERE for Oprah's series of web interviews with Jill.

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