"It's not a spectator sport!"

Keep an eye on the scientists. They seem to be getting closer to the truths of existence. And not just quantum physicists, biologists are finding awareness in our molecules. They have found brain cells in every part of the human body - a discovery which destroys the myth that we "think" only with our heads. They are postulating that these cells scurry through our bodies distributing information as our emotions.

The June, 1995 issue of National Geographic featured a wonderfully in-depth article on the human brain. Candace Pert, a former National Institutes of Health pharmacologist who now heads her own research firm has been studying the chemical effects of morphine on the brain. Through this study they have found a deep inter-relatedness in our systems. She says this, "Emotions are neuropeptides attaching to receptors and stimulating an electrical charge on neurons." Neuropeptides are strings of amino acids that float throughout the body. When an emotion is triggered they start scurrying about with their information. Happy peptides stimulate the immune system.

This may seem a dry and unromantic way to view ourselves, until you begin to see the deep implications. If I walk up to you with a smile and a hug and say, "My. You look enticing today!" My kind act sends neuropeptides popping happily through your body and makes you healthy. It shows a deep connection between my well-being and your well-being. We are interrelated through our effects on each other. You can return the favor to me, or turn and snarl, "What's it to you!" And leave me walking through my day with depressed neuropeptides.

Seen from a meditative point of view this idea contributes a great dignity to our daily actions. I am your happy drug - I am also your pain if I don't watch out. You are the same for me. We are not isolated beings. We need understanding, attention and respect from others for our very health. We are built to live with community. This gives a new urgency to the precepts of mindful speech, compassion, community harmony and right livelihood.

Part of true harmony is chemical harmony. We have our whole bodies picking up information from each other; let us be kind, courageous, and joyful.

This makes so much sense to me. My world feels broader with my whole body capturing information. My poor little head always felt inadequate for the job. I learn better with my emotions activated. When excited, I soak up information; if I'm angry or fearful - an imprint is left which is not easily forgotten.

This explains why Zen mystics used stories when teaching. A story evokes an emotional response. It teaches in a way that theories can never teach. Sometimes words fail and you have to resort to a story. The mystic is saying, "It is so obvious, it is like this..."