17 thoughts on “left brain, right brain and a stroke

  1. Jeff

    Hello Isabella,

    The video and audio that you have shared in your Blog today was fascinating to me. I am always struggling to understand the internal conflict going on in my mind and Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s explanation of these two sides of the brain was so enlightening. I thought watching the video and listening to the audio was very educational and what a spiritual realization for Dr. Taylor, it’s to bad it took her having a debilitating stroke to achieve it.

    Thank you so much for posting this today!

    Enjoy Life!

  2. Sean Orr

    I have a similar experience, but with drugs and manic episodes, not with a stroke. Shivers ran up my spine. She explained it perfectly.

  3. isabella mori

    jeff, yes, i thought she explained left vs. right brain very well. it’s one of the things in psychology that i’ve always had a hard time understanding for some reason, so i was grateful to this.

    sean, it’s interesting – i know a therapist who has done a lot of experimentation with LSD and the second i saw this video, i thought of him!

  4. Siobhan

    WOW!! That was an amazing video. I work in a facility offering treatment for substance abuse and co-ocurring disorders. We spend a good deal of time talking about changing the inner dialogue and encouraging spirituality. One of the first things that an addict hears in an Anonymous meeting (any kind) is that their best thinking got them here. The video spoke to this so clearly. I’m fascinated! I would hazard a guess that those of us who are addicts somehow discount or deny those thoughts that are right brain oriented. Encouraging meditation and spirituality may be a way to support the ‘re-ignition’ of right-brain activity. I’m wondering if anyone out there has links to sites discussing EEGs of addicts and/or alcoholics.

  5. tanya

    Amazing! I was deeply touched… What Dr. Taylor described sounds strangely familiar to me, exactly like the feeling I’d had when reading books written by Dr. Chopra, and Eckhart Tolle…
    Thank you so much for posting the video!

  6. Merav

    I recommend Amazon as the place to get Jill Bolte Taylor’s book MY STROKE OF INSIGHT because they have a wonderful interview with her on Amazon that offers new content I haven’t seen anywhere else – that link is: http://www.amazon.com/My-Stroke-Insight-Scientists-Personal/dp/0670020745/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211471755&sr=1-2

    The book is an absolutely wonderful journey by a brain scientist who suffered a stroke. She recovered fully, back to teaching at Medical School no less (and she gives great tips on how and what to do to recover from a Stroke or help others recover).

    Dr Taylor also learned to fully be present in the part of the brain/mind where we experience full inner peace and Nirvana. SHe teaches that too, and that’s why everyone should read this book.

    This story is as inspiring as The Last Lecture or Tuesdays with Morrie – and it has a Happy Ending!

  7. Allison

    I had a strange experience when I fainted once while dehydrated from illness. When I woke I felt something pressing on my side very hard and couldn’t figure out what was trying to push me. As my mind woke more completely, I realized I was lying on the floor and that it was gravity I was feeling. How strange that was! I wonder if my left brain was the last to “awaken”…

  8. Rankin

    I read “My Stroke of Insight” in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it’s a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her TED.com speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I’ve ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.

  9. Celeste

    Thank you for that. Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight is one of the most incredible stories I’ve heard in a long time. Her TEDTalk video blew my mind wide open to new possibilities. On the one hand, there’s what she went through and how she emerged from it. On the other hand, there’s what she can teach all of us.
    I saw the 4 part Oprah interview on Oprah dot com Soul Series and I did learn a lot from that, but I’d like to find our more of how to do what Dr. Taylor did, without having a stroke of course!
    Thin how many of us are living too much in the head, and not the heart. And of course, you can’t get more left brain than a Harvard Brain Scientist. Isn’t it ironic that she should be the one to have the stroke and transform from the quintessential left brainer into this “”seen the light”” disciple of finding inner peace?
    I hope this movement keeps going. Maybe there will be My Stroke of Insight classes where we can practice what Jill Bolte Taylor is preaching.

  10. Allison

    I hate to be cynical, but I fear that Bolte Taylor’s and Tolle’s experiences will be packaged into expensive 10-step programs and retreats, marketed as surefire ways for us to experience nirvana without having a stroke or falling into depression. I know there are already workshops that create minor personal crises for members and then try to put the participants back together again, leaving them crying and thankful for what they believe to have been a life-changing experience.

    I lean towards the idea that physiological or deeply emotional personal experiences are prerequisites for many of us to come to an understanding of the “nirvana” Bolte Taylor describes -its not a true understanding that we can all buy at a conference. I prefer the passionate and generous teachings of Tolle, Bolte Taylor and the multitude of Buddhist teachers across the globe to the artificial emotional laboratories that are bound to spring up to sell us nirvana.

    The take-away message for me from both Tolle and Bolte-Taylor is that my personal “stroke of insight” will come when I’m emotionally and spiritually open enough to comprehend it.

    Allison’s last blog post..Left Brain, Right Brain and the Ego

  11. isabella mori

    in the buddhist teachings that are closest to my heart, the intention is to “chop wood, carry water” – i.e., live a normal life in the now, in serenity.

    an emphasis on paranormal experiences such as ms. taylor’s is discouraged because WANTING to have them would still be that desire for acquisition which causes us to live in suffering.

    just as early experimenters with LSD did, an experience like that COULD lead to a more intentional, serene an compassionate life (just as it did for ram dass, for example). but will it, and is it the only way?

    why not start right now, this moment, and make this very moment meaningful. are hearts have the capacity of being open right now. our compassion can bloom this very minute.

  12. Angela

    This was so interesting to watch! It is an amazing way to look at something differently and understand it so much more. Thanks for the great post.

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