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Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.
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On march 12 2008
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by Dragan_dolvich, on March 12 2008:
This, for me, Ranks as one of Best talks i've ever heard.
by Patricia, on March 12 2008:
Wow Dragan! This video is really amazing. The experience this woman had is quite something. I even went to her site: to learn more about what happened to her... and by the way,... I choose the right half of my brain! ;-)
by Dragan_dolvich, on March 12 2008:
The two sides of my Brain are always fighting each other. I still don't know which one will win out in the long run :(
by Andres, on March 13 2008:
What a great talk! Thanks Dragan!

As she explained it "being" on the right side seems wonderful and expansive, to her even spiritual, but initially its all very confusing. I'd rather not stay in a sea of confusion and noise where everything seems too mechanical and senseless. At the moment, I'd rather "be" on the left side. Her experience does sound amazing though after she stayed there for a while. It would be great to learn to go in and out of that state at will.
by Budley, on March 16 2008:
Incredible doesn't even begin to describe the impact of this video on my thought processes. The last 10% is definitely on a spiritual plane for me. Worth 11 stars on a scale of 10.
by Soulcoachmelanie, on March 16 2008:
Yes, yes and yes! We need our left brain to choose broccoli over squash, to balance the checkbook but we need the right brain for a life worth living. Thank you Dr.
by Andres, on March 18 2008:
Welcome Budley and SoulCoachMelanie to Thoughtware.TV :-)
by Seeker, on March 26 2008:
This inspiring video provoked several thoughts. First, when I meditate, the challenge for me is to quiet the left hemisphere so that I can have an experience of the right hemisphere. Second, like Dr. Taylor, Freud once described an "oceanic" feeling (that came about as a result of experimenting with meditation). Finally, I once heard a talk in which a brain scientist at Stanford was quoted as saying that, after studying the right hemisphere of the brain for 20 years, his conclusion was that its function was to provide us with "a capacity for awe."
by Christopher reynolds, on March 27 2008:
I have seen different forms of this same choice by different teachers.
It is a transformative wave moving through at this time. The attributes are
someone who holds the space and honors what occurs and then persons
who are willing to surrender the control to invite new possibility and imagine it happening.

Christopher Reynolds, M.Ed.
by Marnie, on April 11 2008:
I have a son with Autism in the most severe form and when I listened to to this video I was reminded of the similarities in my Autistic child related behaviors and learned even more about his brain and body going in and out not being able to put something together and trying so hard and taking so long, How astounding and what a wake up call, thank you I can understand my child even better, I love learning and hearing other peoples experiences. thanks marnie
by Andres, on April 15 2008:
Seeker, you said:
"I once heard a talk in which a brain scientist at Stanford was quoted as saying that, after studying the right hemisphere of the brain for 20 years, his conclusion was that its function was to provide us with a capacity for awe."
-Do you happen to know if there is a video or audio version of that talk? If thats the case, it would be great if you could share it with us. : )
by Andres, on April 15 2008:
Dear Marnie,

Thank you for sharing your experience and insight with us. I'm really glad you enjoyed this video, even more so that it helps you understand your child better. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Thoughtware.TV. : )
by Ellen, on May 17 2008:
I've been recommending a book by Jill Bolte Taylor called "My Stroke of Insight" to everyone I know. It's an amazing story, both uplifting and powerful on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual, but the spiritual aspect alone makes this the best book I've read all year.

How often do you get to hear a neuroscientist describe having a stroke, nearly dying and finding Nirvana, and then making a miraculous recovery so that she's back to teaching medical students!?!

I came away with a renewed sense of understanding, wonder and hopefulness about the capabilities of the human brain. I give "My Stroke of Insight" highest marks!

You can get the book for just $16.47 with free shipping from Amazon!
by Artist3d, on May 24 2008:
Fascinating positive take on a stroke experience! I have to be honest and say that I have familiarized myself with this experience many times in the past, under the influence of psychedelics, very lucid and very clearly. I now choose many years later, the third option. ;-) The awareness I am of both and more.
by Summar, on May 29 2008:
The New York Times Sunday Newspaper on May 25 had a great two page article on Jill Bolte Taylor and her book, "MY STROKE OF INSIGHT". Her book is a must read and this NY Times article - called "A Superhighway to bliss" is worth checking out too.
by Jillesa, on May 30 2008:
I read "My Stroke of Insight" in one sitting - I couldn't put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it's a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I've ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.
by Cacarr, on February 28 2010:
What's with all the ridiculously over-simplified pop psychology about lateralization? And as regards her stroke account, I've one word: confabulation. She has constructed a story to fill in the gaps. It's not out-right fiction, and I'm sure she believes what she's saying. But I don't.

This is a silly and rather hugely over-rated presentation.
by Andres, on November 20 2012:
[This post has been updated - adding proper thumbnail, new embed and removed comment spam]

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