Fundamental Strategies

One of my favorite parts of yoga teacher training is finding gems in the treasure trove of assigned reading.  Like this, presented abridged, section from the “Buddha Brain” by Rick Hanson:

<…> Our ancestors developed three fundamental strategies for survival:

  • Creating separations <…>
  • Maintaining stability <…>
  • Approaching opportunities and avoiding threats <…>

<…> Neural networks evolved to create pain and distress under certain conditions: when separations break down, stability is shaken, opportunities disappoint, and threats loom.  Unfortunately, these conditions happen all the time, because:

  • Everything is connected.
  • Everything keeps changing.
  • Opportunities routinely remain unfulfilled or lose their luster, and many threats are inescapable (e.g., aging and death).

-Rick Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD. “Buddha’s Brain.  The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom”

I love the clarity and matter-of-fact tone.  The section ends with this enthusiastic introduction to the next section: “Let’s see how all this makes you suffer.”

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