Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Words we don't have in English for emotional states we don't have in the West

Daniel Goleman on dealing with negativity:

"The other research underway now is looking at beginners. And now that we know what to look for, we're starting to see similar shifts in people who are just in the first two months of meditating. In another study of meditation, they taught it to highly stressed workers at a tech firm. The researchers found that they shifted the brain set-point for emotions from the "distressed zone" to the "good zone." That was after two months of an hour [of meditation] a day.

Here's the other most interesting comment on some limits of English:

"...The paradigms can be so different. For example, it turned out that in Buddhism there's an emotional state called sukha, which is an ongoing, imperturbable sense of joy that you feel regardless of what happens to you in life. What was remarkable in this dialogue is that there's no parallel in Western psychology and it made us wonder, 'What are we missing? What else are we missing?'

"He [the Dalai Lama] made another point which was that in Tibetan, and actually in all Asian Buddhist countries, the word for "compassion" means both compassion for yourself as well as other people. Whereas in English it only means for other people, not for yourself. He said, "You're missing a very important word." I thought that was a good insight."


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