Book: My Stroke of Insight

I recently read renowned neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight – A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, in which she describes her experience of having stroke. The knowledge she gained from the break down and recovery of her brain, (allowing her to once again comprehend, speak, walk, etc), illuminates how to access the mystery of our brains to recover our own lives.  I confess it’s both terribly inspiring and practical.  I’m also pleased that she discovered Feldenkrais work to alleviate the pain in her neck and she also recommends it as an effective a way to map and feel our physiology. Below are excerpts and a video.  She shares her insight at the end of this 20 video, so try to find a full 20 minutes to watch.

“What makes My stroke of Insight not just valuable but invaluable – a gift to every spiritual seeker and peace activist – is what I would describe as Taylor’s fearless mapping of the physiology of compassion, the physiology of nirvana.  This book is about the wonder of being human.

Robert Kelhler, Tribune Media Services

Here are some excerpts from her book:

Our right brain perceives the big picture and recognizes that everything around us, about us, among us and within us is made up of energy particles that are woven together into a universal tapestry.  Since everything is connected, there is an intimate relationship between the atomic space around and within me, and the atomic space around and with you – regardless of where we are…

The more attention we pay to the details of how things look, sound, taste, smell against our skin and feel physiologically inside our body, the easier it is for our brain to recreate any moment.  Replacing unwanted thought patterns with vivid imagery can help us shift our consciousness back toward our deep inner peace (note: right brain).  Although it is great to use our senses to rebuild an experience, I believe the real power in experiential re-creation is located in our ability to remember what the underlying physiology feels like. 

Here’s a video of Dr. Jill describing her experience and insight: