Archive for November, 2005

In the moment

by admin Nov 30, 2005 2 Comments

I was reading one of the other posts about meditation, and I started thinking about what meditation means to me, and why it is important. I think it’s important each day to take some time to clear your mind. It’s akin to the process of taking a sip of wine with your food to clear the palate. Not only do you appreciate the food more, but the taste, the sensation of the wine swirling in your mouth, stimulating your taste buds is a complementary experience in and of itself.
One of my favorite books is Jack Kornfield’s collection of wisdom called Buddha’s Little Instruction Book. That’s where I first came across the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” This was a very useful way for me to think about meditation. It helped me to realize that meditation was not about sitting in a room by yourself contemplating your navel. You could enter a meditative state anywhere where you could be along with your thoughts. I found myself entering a meditative state while running (the steady rhythm of my feet hitting the ground was a pleasant catalyst). I also find it relaxing and comforting to meditate while walking around the streets of New York, arguably one of the most chaotic places in which to meditate. As Kornfield suggests in his guide to meditation (which is an appendix to the book), “When you eat, just eat. When you walk, just walk.”

The “Indian Flap”

by admin Nov 30, 2005 Add comment

A colleague’s husband recently underwent a surgical procedure known as the “Indian Flap� for reconstructing his nose. This was the first time I have heard of this 1000 year old technique, and on digging around the web a little, I finally found an article that sheds light on the history and the details of this wonderful procedure.

The first successful transfers of human tissues to heterotopic sites were done via what are now referred to as “pedicle” flaps. Such transfers are never even transiently deprived of their blood supply (2). The pedicle flap principle was initiated largely by trial and error at the time of its inception. In about 600 B.C., the Indian surgeon Susruta first described many types of facial flaps, including how flaps from the cheek, for example, could be used to repair the nose (3).

He wrote “…. first the leaf of a creeper, long and broad enough to fully cover the whole of the severed or clipped off part, should be gathered; and a patch of living flesh, equal in dimension to the preceding leaf should be sliced off from the region of the cheek.” The “Indian flap,” or forehead reconstructive rhinoplasty, was introduced later and performed near Delhi from 1000 AD until the 20th century by the same family–members of the brickmaker caste.

The technique was a treasured family secret: a daughter-in-law would be allowed to watch and assist, but a daughter, who might subsequently marry and take the secret outside the family, was prohibited from observing the procedure. Throughout the operation, the patient would be sitting upright to minimize blood loss, and prior to cutting the flap, a handkerchief would be briefly tightened as a tourniquet around the neck to visualize the congested veins of the forehead which would be included in the flap.

The contemporary use of the “Indian flap” for nasal reconstruction testifies to the practicality and success of a procedure which was first developed in the pre-Christian era. It appears to have taken centuries for the principle and the procedure to travel from its origin in India to Europe, where use of the technique was first documented in the fifteenth century (2).

read more by clicking the source link below.

The History of Flaps
by Elizabeth K. Hale
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (Dec 2002)

Moment of Zen

by admin Nov 30, 2005 Add comment

russell“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.”
-Bertrand Russell

What are we doing when we look away during a conversation?

by admin Nov 30, 2005 Add comment

cricketI have always wondered about this, and now this post at Congnitive Daily provides an insight into the possible reasons behind this behavior.

Personally, I can think of three reasons why I would look away during a face to face conversation: one when I am concentrating, two a lack of interest, and finally just being uncomfortable when stared at during a conversation.

Meaning of Dharma

by admin Nov 29, 2005 Add comment

The meaning of Dharma can best be realized in the story of the yogi and the scorpion. As the story goes, a yogi was one day taking a bath in the river, while his followers waited for him on the shore. In the midst of his daily routine of bathing in the river, the yogi noticed a fallen scorpion struggling to get out of the water. Without hesitation, the yogi immediately scooped out the scorpion, and withstanding the intense pain of the scorpion sting racing through his veins, the great yogi waded through the water towards the shore, to rescue the scorpion.

His followers observed as the yogi, withstanding multiple stings from the scorpion, continued to hold onto the scorpion, and make his way towards the shore. Seeing the yogi in pain, the followers started shouting at the yogi to drop the scorpion, but the yogi continued to head towards the shore, being careful not to drop the scorpion back into the water, with each step the pain becoming unbearable. Finally the yogi collapsed in pain as he reached the shore, only then letting the scorpion rush out of his palm.

The confused followers of the great yogi, rushed to his side, confused to see a smile of content on the yogi’s face. One of them asked him how he can still smile after almost being killed by the very scorpion he rescued. To which the yogi responded, that the scorpion was only following its dharma, its nature, which is to sting; while he was following the dharma of a yogi, which was to save the life of the scorpion. To the yogi everything was natural, the way it was supposed to be, followers of dharma, performing their dharma, which was the reason for his content.

Dharma is not something forced, or instilled, it is something that one is born to do, a natural instinct in all of us that stimulates us to act at a subconscious level, without thought. It is the essential function or nature of a thing.

Lateral Thinking

by admin Nov 29, 2005 Add comment

A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, “Thank you,” and walks out.

Moment of Zen

by admin Nov 29, 2005 Add comment

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. “

- Albert Einstein

Did you Know

by admin Nov 27, 2005 1 Comment

cricketthat tree crickets are called the poor man’s thermometer because temperature directly affects their rate of activity. Count the number of chirps a cricket makes in 15 seconds, then add 37. The sum will be very close to the outside temperature in farenheit

Moment of Zen

by admin Nov 26, 2005 Add comment

“Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of the universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not – the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows – or perhaps he does not know.”

Rigveda, 10. 129.
English translation by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty
in The Rig Veda: An Anthology

Did you Know

by admin Nov 26, 2005 Add comment

flamingoFlamingos are pink because they eat shrimp

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