Saturday, 19 October 2013
This and That
I can understand people being concerned with the physical ailments connected to ageing but for me it is the mental deterioration that matters.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is an intriguing book. Interesting that she started writing it through NaNoWriMo some years ago. I have two unfinished novels started during NaNoWriMo that hang over me - as does the patchwork quilt I started working on in 1964 and never finished. I will one day if I live long enough. Maybe.
Given the introductory paragraph of this blog, you can understand why Neuroplasticity features in my reading at present. Recently, I finished Barbara Arrowsmith-Young's book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain. and, apart from her ... 'earnest' literary manner, the book held my attention throughout. I would have liked her to give more examples of her techniques but I imagine she holds those close to her chest - that being her living. If the training to teach in her schools wasn't held in Canada I would be tempted to enrol. I was lead to her book through Norman Doidge's book, The Brain that Changes Itself. I am still working through that.
Learning Sanskrit chants seems like a good way to keep the brain from deteriorating. I find Sanskrit difficult although the Ganesh chant is easy to remember and one that I use often in meditation. My friend and Yoga Teacher, Rakini, taught me the chant when I went to Bali with her last year.
Yoga Philosophy is profound. Working toward understanding, even on a basic level, takes immense concentration. Swami Venkatesananda's books are one of my entry points, together with the work of Georg Feuerstein. Sometimes I despair at ever gaining any sort of grip on the philosophy until I realise that "grip" isn't what it is about! Then, I forget.
Asana helps both focus and concentration. I have found that some of the movements I'm learning at the gym in Pump are also helpful. The left brain/right brain work can only be good for the neural pathways. Learning to juggle is proving difficult! My hand/eye coordination is not good. I close my eyes and remind myself, "Use the Force, Luke!"
Todd Sampson, in his TV series Redesign My Brain features the importance of creativity in improving the brain. The imagination and intricacy of plot in Erin Morgenstern's book fires up my creativity. The threads of the story she winds and weaves so skilfully remind me of a perfect tapestry; it is not only the front of the tapestry that is in view, the reverse is equally as accessible and those are my foci.
Another novel that draws me in and leads me down pathways, through labyrinthine passages and imaginative situations (albeit far more violent and explicit than Morgenstern's) is Kraken by China Miéville.
So many books to read.