Dementia & Alzheimers seem to be on the increase, especially in the West. I’ve certainly noticed an increase in people mentioning during treatments, their fears around the symptoms. But do you know, there’s a way to slow down the process and maybe even cure the symptoms? I’m really not joking, and I’ve absolutely no idea why we aren’t told about it – Meditation.
But would you know the difference between Alzheimers & Dementia? This is a powerful question and for most of us, the answer would be NO. First let’s understand the differences, and then how a simple practice like meditation can help reverse the symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease destroys neurons and their connections in the parts of the brain controling memory. These include; the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. It later affects areas in the cerebral cortex responsible for language, reasoning, and social behaviour.
Dementia is a group of symptoms affecting our mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning (for example, making sense of the world) Dementia is a kind of umbrella that Alzheimer’s disease stands under, and it has many causes. The most common is Alzheimers. Please note… there are different types of dementia too.
To be exact, Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche -but who’d have thought it? On the 17th floor of a council block?
At a very young age, Rinpoche was identified by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the hermit Lama Lobsang Tenzin. A year later, he was enthroned as Tulku in Gaden Jangtse Monastery. There, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted to the congregational debate on the first chapter of Abhisamaya (Perfection of Wisdom), and six years later, to the congregational debate on Madhyamika (Middle Way). He studied Pharchen (Perfection of Wisdom) for six years, Uma (Middle Way) for three years.
I first met Rinpoche when he came to deliver some teachings & Puja in my hometown of Rochdale at a holistic centre. At that time I’d pretty much finished writing my first book but needed a foreword. The book was about death and dying from a Buddhist perspective and he agreed to read it through. True to the Tibetan way, for several weeks I heard nothing and then it was there in an email along with a self invitation to meet with me and my then group of Buddhist students in my home. This is really how we became friends and now each year Rinpoche comes with blessings teachings & laughter to eat and spend time with us. Ive never met anyone who’s laughter ricochets around so many people leaving them in hysterics so quickly. Some people identify one main teacher in life whom they stick with until death & sometimes beyond. For me, life has brought many great teachers, and subsequently many great lessons – Rinpoche being one of them. This year I expect we’ll be seeing him again for tea & teachings. Who is your greatest teacher?
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We’ve all wondered at sometime -Where did it all begin?
At school, we’re told its apes – then it’s dinosaurs, not to mention a Big Bang somewhere in space & then God. But where do we come from? Could we have evolved from Amimals? For me, the possibility of originating from apes or any other kind of animal is not possible. As humans we have different levels of consciousness. For example: When an animal is hungry, it hunts, kills and eats. During this feeding frenzy, it has no comprehension of the pain or fear its prey is subject to. The animal’s only concern, is feeding it’s hunger. Then with blood around its mouth, it will curl up and sleep peacefully until the next desire to feed arises. Humans on the other hand have a different level of consciousness & understand compassion, right & wrong etc. They understand, if we kill it will cause pain to another person or animal. This is why most humans don’t act in the way the animal does. Just like the animal, some humans eat meat but usually cook it. We don’t have the same primal instinct the animal does.