Unity of practice and enlightenment as a neurological phenomenon

One of Dogen’s key insights is the unity of practice and enlightenment. If we adopt the position of neurotheological congruency, that insight must have a physioneurological analog. I’d hypothesize something along the lines of a low-level neuronal adaptation process which raises the organism’s fitness level in the immdiate present while simultaneously creating conditions for improved future fitness.

3 Responses to “Unity of practice and enlightenment as a neurological phenomenon”

  1. Doug Seiden Says:

    I\’ve seen enlightenment referred to as \”sensory interfusion.\” Accounts of enlightenment resemble experiences on hallucinogenic drugs in which one sense perceives characteristics normally perceived by other senses. Is it possible that zazen and intellectual dissociation from body and mind unblock the sensory areas of the brain from a learned habit of sensory differentiation beginning in infancy, and that the intellectual component of the enlightenment experience is shaped by the content of the religious context of the practice?

  2. Lisa Mann Says:

    Enlightenment, as I have been taught, is simply being aware of the present moment, supremely aware, dissolved into it, so that there is no separation between subject and object. As Dogen says, to be “actualized by myriad things.” This is the state of the Mirror Samadhi. The initial enlightenment experience, as opposed to enlightenment as a state of being, perhaps could be likened by some as similar to a hallucinogenic experience based on the accounts of those who have had them, but that is because no words can truly describe the experience.

  3. Brian Richmond Says:

    Life has no meaning without living.

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