Sutta Class Video Clips (Part 1)
These video clips only help demonstrate some of the key concepts taught in the Sutta Classes. They are not the teachings of the Sutta Classes whether explicit or implied.
IMPORTANT: All the comments accompanying these video clips are the contributions of individual well-wishers, they do not represent the teachings in the Sutta Classes.
Upādāna is the process of personalization of our environment. The subjective self is personalized (upādāna) and the objective world is alienated (anupādāna), with this personalization the subjective "Self" (atta) and the objective "World" (loka) comes into being.
Some Western Cosmologists are beginning to theorize the Universe undergoes continuous and endless cycles of expansions (eg the Big Bang theory) and then contractions. There was not just one "Big Bang", there had been countless and there will be countless more.
According to the Pattica Samuppada, all phenonmenon arises from having the right conditions come together. This Benjamin Libet experiment shows that even when we consciously "will" or decide to do something "out of the blue" without any prompting (an example of "conscious free will"), the brain has already engaged in some unconscious neural activity ("conditions") about 2 seconds before the conscious free will arises - so do we really have conscious free will?
When we are emotionally aroused, we have a tendency to react, this reaction is "Tanha".
More about the construction stage ("Sankhara" in Pali) in forming complete visual images, and the personalization ("Upadana" in Pali) of perceived mental objects.
More about the Perception of Pain based on this demonstration of the Phantom Limb condition.
Consciousness and rational thinking are activities of the mind of the human species. But even without consciousness and rational thinking, primitive life forms such as single cell bacteria are capable of communicating.
All phenomena are the outcomes of necessary conditions. This is clearly explained in the "Paticca Samuppada" which we call "Antecedental Concurrence" (popularly translated as "Dependent Origination". Life on earth began as the result of various necessary conditions coming together giving rise to the formation of DNA molecules.
When light comes into contact with the light sensing cells (optic cells) lining the retina at the back of the eyeball ("Cakkhu" in Pali), it stimulates each light sensing cell individually which gives rise to "eye-consciousness" ("cakkhu-vinnana"). This process of "contact" is known as "Phassa" in Pali. Individual optic cell transmits optic signals to the brain via the optic nerves giving rise to the sensation ("sanna") of light and a feeling ("vedana") of the light impression. The brain organizes the collection of individual optic stimulation and assembles and constructs ("sankhara") them into a perception ("vinnana") of the mental image ("rupa").
We do not really see full images. Individual optic cell captures one tiny part of the image like the individual piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Mind is the activity of the brain, and the Mind begins to construct ("sankhara") the collection of individual pieces of jigsaw puzzle to form the perception ("vinnana") of the full mental picture ("rupa").
Pain is a kinesthetic perception formed in the brain based on stimulation of certain touch receptors under the skin. Perception of pain in the brain begins with a touch sensation ("Sanna" in Pali) and a sensory feeling ("Vedana" in Pali) which are the first 2 stages of the 5-stage process of perception commonly known as the "5 Aggregate". Mind is the activity of the brain, and the Mind begins to construct ("Sankhara" in Pali is the mental construction stage) the sensation and feeling to form the perception of pain ("Vinnana") and a mental image ("Rupa") of the pain perception.
In this video, Hypnosis is applied to demonstrate and explain the perception of pain. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness with highly focused attention and deep relaxation, and when hypnosis is coupled with mental programming ("hypnotherapy") it is capable of blocking out mild pain perception.
Western medical science treats depression and anxiety by prescribing "MEDICATION" such as anti-depressant drugs (eg Prozac) to maintain presence of neurotransmitter "serotonin" in the brain's synapses. Serotonin is often refered to as the "happiness hormone". Eastern contemplative practice prescribes "MEDITATION" instead which is known to stimulate release and increase presence of serotonin in the Pre-Fontal Cortex.
The Amygdala is a small tissue found within the brain's emotional center (Limbic System), it detects and reacts to threats automatically and unconsciously. When the Amygdala senses danger it triggers various neurochemical activities in the brain which in turn activates physiochemical reactions in the body such as releasing adrenalin and cortisol hormones representing the "Fight or Flight" response. Sometimes the perceived threat turns out to be a false alarm as cognized by the brain's rational command center (PFC or "Pre-Fontal Cortex") and this causes "cognitive dissonance" when the thinking brain sees no threat but the threat reaction center ("Amygdala") is still reacting to an apparent perceived threat. When the Amygdala fails to release its stranglehold on the threat reaction, this is known as "Amygdala Hijack".
FEAR and ANGER have arouse near identical reaction in the body. A chemical message ("neurotransmitter") from the brain sends a message to the adrenal gland to release adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol (hydrocortisone) into the blood stream. The heart beats faster to increase blood flow to vital parts of the body, respiration deepens to increase oxygen intake, muscles become tense ready to spring into action, pupils dilate to improve visual focus, hair stand on end (remnant of evolutionary past), and blood rushes to the capillaries in the face distorting facial expression. In addition, intestinal movement (eg disgestion) ceases, blood sugar increases due to glucogenesis, and body's immune system is momentarily suspended.
Last modified: July 19, 2011