am pleased to announce one of my poems is featured in the Human/Kind Journal Issue 1.3 https://www.humankindjournal.org
Kimberly Burnham's Contributor's page
Adam T. Bogar
Terri L. French
David J Kelly
John C. Mannone
This is a poem from the same series as the one accepted:
Empathy Haiku, a Found Poem
strengths and weaknesses
sharing internal states, brain,
From the Nature Neuroscience Abstract: "The last decade has witnessed enormous growth in the neuroscience of empathy. Here, we survey research in this domain with an eye toward evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. First, we take stock of the notable progress made by early research in characterizing the neural systems supporting two empathic sub-processes: sharing others' internal states and explicitly considering those states. Second, we describe methodological and conceptual pitfalls into which this work has sometimes fallen, which can limit its validity. These include the use of relatively artificial stimuli that differ qualitatively from the social cues people typically encounter and a lack of focus on the relationship between brain activity and social behavior. Finally, we describe current research trends that are overcoming these pitfalls through simple but important adjustments in focus, and the future promise of empathy research if these trends continue and expand. - Zaki, J. and K. N. Ochsner (2012). "The neuroscience of empathy: progress, pitfalls and promise." Nat Neurosci 15(5): 675-680.
#haiku #haibun #tanka #cherita #art #photography #senryu #haiga #shahai
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The Poets Involved in This Project
Akane, Mike Andrelczyk, Stacey Balkun, Dainy Bernstein, Jan Benson, Adam T. Bogar, Dave Bonta, Stephen Briseño, Morwen Brosschot, Kimberly Burnham, Sondra J. Byrnes, Erin Castaldi, Norman Darlington, Chris Dominiczak, Jacob Fowler, Terri L. French, Joshua Gage, Mary Ellen Gambutti, Mark Gilbert, John Hawkhead, Tia Haynes, David He, Kyle Hemmings, Peter Jastermsky, David J Kelly, Nicholas Klacsanzky,
J.I. Kleinberg, Deborah P Kolodji, Kat Lehmann, Eric A. Lohman, Antonietta Losito, Carole MacRury, John C. Mannone, Callie McCann-Eros, Marietta McGregor, Babs McGrory, Lori A Minor, Gautam Nadkarni, Kit Pancoast Nagamura, Ashish Narain, Réka Nyitrai, Laura Page, Marianne Paul, Madhuri Pillai, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Bryan Rickert, Alexis Rotella, Agnes Eva Savich, Rich Schilling, Olivier Schopfer, Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, Sheila Sondik, Debbie Strange, Alan Summers, Rachel Sutcliffe, Hansha Teki, Julie Warther, Bill Waters, Lucy Whitehead, Matthew Yates
"This paper is a humanities-based inquiry, applying Huizinga's framework of homo ludens ("man the player") to consider "play" in the context of two participatory arts programs (TimeSlips and the Alzheimer's Poetry Project) for people living with dementia. "Play," according to this Dutch historian, is at the heart of human activity and what gives meaning to life. Despite empirical research on play across the life course, play in dementia care is a relatively new idea. In addition, there is a dearth of reports based on humanistic inquiry which has slightly different goals than the growing body of qualitative and quantitative studies of participatory arts interventions. Play is not used to infantilize and trivialize people living with dementia but as a way to explore potential for expression, meaning-making, and relationship-building in later life. The arts programs were conducted at two residential care facilities, Scharwyerveld and De Beyart, in the Netherlands over 10 weeks. Close readings of the transcripts and notes from the programs resulted in three observations: people learned to play again, there is power in playing together, and play often led to expressions of joy. Overall, the notion of play may be a helpful framework for future research into innovative arts-based approaches to dementia care." - Swinnen, A. and K. de Medeiros (2018). ""Play" and People Living With Dementia: A Humanities-Based Inquiry of TimeSlips and the Alzheimer's Poetry Project." Gerontologist 58(2): 261-269. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28329857
A Piece of Peace
Absence of war or other hostilities.
considered as a unit or an element of a larger thing, quantity, or class; a portion: a piece of string
An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities
A coin a ten-cent piece
Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
A portion or part that has been separated from a whole: a piece of cake.
Public security and order the peace.
an object that is one member of a group or class: a piece of furniture.
Originally Posted in Our Community of Humanity at Inner Child Magazine
A Happy New Year the Neurotheology of Dopamine
This year eat, sleep, move your body, meditate, sing, love and if you can do it in community even better.
According to Kenneth Blum et al (2015) “Finding happiness may not only reside in our genome [genetic material or genes] but may indeed be impacted by positive meditative practices, positive psychology, spiritual acceptance, love of others and self, and taking inventory of ourselves-one day at a time.”
Will the new year be happier for you?
Do you have a meditative practice that also involves movements, like Qigong, Taichi, breathing exercises, yoga, chanting, running, etc.
Do you seek to bring new awareness to your psychological state and how you feel?
Do you practice love of self and others?
In the 2015 article entitled, "The Molecular Neurobiology of Twelve Steps Program & Fellowship: Connecting the Dots for Recovery," in the Journal of Reward Deficit Syndrome 1(1): 46-64, Blum and his colleagues outline each step of the Twelve Step Recovery Program in terms of what is happening in the brain and how dopamine (pleasure and anti-stress brain chemical) is involved.
The researchers note, "A breakdown of this Brain Reward Cascade will lead to the dysregulation and dysfunction of dopamine homeostasis [balance]. Dopamine has been established as the pleasure and antistress molecule. Any reduction in dopamine function can result in a deficiency in reward that leads to substance seeking behavior [addictions]."
While the article focuses on people with significant addictions who are trying to recovery, there are some lessons for all of us in how we seek community and how we look for rewards and support in our lives.
First, let's consider these questions:
How can we use the sensations we experience in the world and our beliefs about our surroundings to feel better and help our communities function better?
How can we bring more awareness to our lives and see the path forward more clearly?
This is really at the core of the neurotheology or the spiritual neuroscience of brain health and dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or a small molecule that is produced in the brain and helps nerve signals travel from one place to another. It also helps us feel good, feel rewarded, and move comfortably.
In a simplistic way, Parkinson's disease, with its tremors, tight muscles, chronic back pain can be described as not enough dopamine, as is also true of some people with significant addictions. At the opposite end of the spectrum, schizophrenia with it hallucinations and breaks with reality can be described as too much dopamine.
Brain Cross Talk and Well Being
The researchers continued, "There is evidence that through the 12-step program and fellowship cross-talk [communication] between the Pre-Frontal Cortex-Cingulate (site of decision-making) and the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) (site of craving behavior) is developed.
The site of the brain where one experiences feelings of well-being is called the Mesolimbic System and has been termed the reward center. The reward center is where chemical messages, including dopamine (DA), serotonin, enkephalins, and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), work together, to provide a net release of dopamine in the Nucleus Accumbens. "
"Dopamine, as stated earlier, has been associated with pleasure and is the primary neurotransmitter modulating the activation of the reward system of the brain. It has been called the anti-stress molecule and the pleasure molecule. When dopamine is released receptors are stimulated and feelings of well-being and stress reduction increase."
Food, Sex, & Exploration
"Drugs of abuse are considered to be stronger positive reinforcers than natural reinforcers (like food and sex). Natural rewards include satisfaction of physiological drives (like hunger and reproduction and exploratory locomotion), and unnatural rewards are learned and involve satisfaction of acquired drives. Acquired drives involve hedonic sensations and pleasure derived from alcohol, other drugs, as well as, from gambling and other risk-taking behaviors."
When an individual is trying to make up for not enough dopamine they may use drugs and other non-natural rewards. Think about your practices around food and sex. Do you feel like you have a healthy relationship to both? Are you stimulating the brain reward centers naturally?
Is Chocolate the Answer?
Certainly chocolate and salty grease foods can be satisfying for a short period of time but when was the last time you ate delicious healthy food prepared with love that brought you pleasure and a deep sense of satisfaction?
Move Your Body
"Exploratory locomotion" is the third natural reward. How often do you move as you explore your environment? Many of us drive cars and are moving in space as we see new sights but our bodies are not moving. This research implies that we have a physiological drive to move our bodies and explore new things in our environment. And that our brain rewards this "exploratory locomotion" with a better balance of dopamine and a strong sense of satisfaction.
Other research indicates that consciously long walking or taking long steps can also enhance the balance of dopamine in the body. One of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (too little dopamine) is the development of a shuffling gait or walking with short steps. One way to counteract this and improve walking, balance, and muscle relaxation is to consciously take long steps.
"The reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse such as cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, food, and music are mediated in the NAc, a site within the ventral striatum. Indeed, it is believed that this structure directs motivated behaviors, elicited by natural rewards or incentive stimuli."
In what ways do you involve music in your life? Do you sing to or listen to music in a community setting? Does performing or listening to music bring you pleasure and satisfaction?
"Other work by Davidson’s group on mindfulness reveals the importance of mediation in terms of brain activation of the reward circuitry. Understanding this could suggest that meditation coupled with enhance spiritual belief may indeed induce dopamine release" and a happier new year.
Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine)
860-221-8510 phone and what's app. Skype: Kimberly Burnham (Spokane, Washington)
Chat with Kimberly about Parkinson's, Poetry or other Brain related issues.
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
Please share and write a review on Amazon.
I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)