Believe nothing because a wise man said it,

Believe nothing because it is generally held,

Believe nothing because it is written,

Believe nothing because it is said to be divine,

Believe nothing because someone else believes it,

But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.

The Buddha

विश्वास करो मत इसीलिए कि, लिखा यही किताबों में।

विश्वास करो मत इसीलिए कि, देखा तुमने ख्वाबों में ॥

विश्वास करो मत इसीलिए कि, बुद्धिमान का कहना है।

विश्वास करो मत इसीलिए कि, इस दुनिया में रहना है॥

विश्वास करो मत इसीलिए कि, करे  गुरू     विश्वास ।

विश्वास करो बस मात्र उसे, हो स्वयं का निर्णय साँच ॥


It is more natural to forget something than to remember it.  If you intend to remember something, apply as many of the following techniques as possible.


1.     Be flexible.  Experiment with many learning procedures.  Be willing to abandon outmoded and faulty learning procedures so you will be free to acquire new and more efficient methods.


2.     Overlearn.  In order to retain anything learned, you must practice and reorganize it into your current ongoing activity.  One way to do this is to incorporate the learned material as part of your present habit system.  Use it in speaking and writing.  Act out the material as a rehearsal of a part in a play-a process known as role-playing.  This is especially helpful in learning a foreign language.


3.     Schedule.  Schedule your study time so that the time at which something is learned or relearned is close to the time at which it will be used.


4.     Rephrase and explain.  Try a little role-playing.  Take the point of view of the teacher, for a change.  Rephrase and explain the material, in your own words, to a classmate.  Allow your classmate to criticize your presentation.  Then let the classmate be the teacher, while you criticize.  If you can’t explain something, you don’t really know it.


Many students adopt the so-called warm-body attitude toward learning.  A “warm” feeling toward one particular answer becomes the basis for its selection, regardless of whether one really knows why the answer is correct.  This attitude is the result of classroom examining procedures in which true-false and multiple-choice items are used exclusively for testing.  Testing in this manner encourages the attitude that mere recognition of the most probable answer constitutes learning.


Even though a particular course may not require adequate recall by using more penetrating recall-type questions, don’t allow yourself to fall into this warm-body learning trap.  Insist on testing yourself!  If you can explain the material, most certainly you can pass any “objective” test calling for superficial recognition.  However, the reverse is most certainly not true.  Learning only to a point of recognition, and depending on your ability to ferret out the correct response, is insufficient for total-recall kinds of tests.  Sooner or later this habit will result in total failure in a demanding test situation.


5.     Eliminate accidental and unrelated associations.  A study situation in which a phone is constantly jangling produces breaks in the mental association process.  Remove the receiver.  The only suggestion that can be made for the elimination of television during the study period is to donate the set to a family that is not involved in higher education.


6.     Eliminate previous mistakes.  Take note of all previous mistakes and make every effort to eliminate them from future practice.  It has been shown experimentally that consciously reviewing mistakes, making note of exactly why they were incorrect, helps to reinforce the correct response.  This process is sometimes referred to as negative practice.


7.     Decide on an order of importance.  Some things are more important than others.  In a particular study unit, decide what these are and organize the important material into an outline or framework.  “Over-learn” this particular framework.


8.     Become emotionally involved.  Assume the attitude that you fully believe the viewpoint of the author.  Strive for perfection.  You may never achieve it, but you will most certainly improve your performance.  Learn to discuss your current beliefs calmly with people holding different attitudes.  Cite authorities to back up your position.


9.        Use mechanical memory aids.  When material is complicated, it may be necessary to use mechanical memory aids.  For example, suppose you had reason to believe that a certain table showing all of the endocrine glands of the body with their secretions and functions would be called for in an examination.  In order to be sure that you would be able to recall all of the glands, you memorized the first letter or syllable of each gland, and organized them into three very strange words: Anpothy Paramed Adcorpan, the novelty of which aided recall.  This could be deciphered as follows: An=anterior pituitary, po=posterior pituitary, thy=thyroid, par=parathyroid, amed=adrenal medulla, adcor=adrenal cortex, pan=pancreas, etc.

   Tips for Keeping Your Brain Healthy


1.       Wear your seatbelt. If driving or as a passenger in a car, truck or airplane wear your seat belt. Motor vehicle accidents are the greatest causes of brain injuries (30-50%).


2.       Wear a helmet! If biking, skating or on a motorcycle, a helmet will protect you if you fall.


3.       Stay away from unnecessary drugs! Illegal drug and some legal drugs alter brain function. Some of this is reversible however; some drugs may change brain function permanently. Avoid routine or excessive alcohol intake and never drink and drive.


4.       Know the risks involved with sports! This applies mostly to boxing, football and martial arts, however, even rock climbing, horseback riding, and skiing have risks. Wear proper safety equipment. Be in good physical condition for your sport. Each year sporting accidents account for about 300,000 concussions.


5.       Look before you leap! People have been known to dive into empty swimming pools! Dive only in deep ends of pools. Know where rocks are located in lakes, ponds, or rivers before diving. About 1,000 spinal cord injuries occur each year in the US from dives into water.


6.       Look both ways before crossing the street! Pedestrian accidents do happen.


7.       Stay away from guns! Firearms are responsible for over 38,500 deaths per year. Injuries resulting from firearms are estimated to be five fold higher than deaths. 


8.       Make sure your home is safe. This is to help prevent falls and head injuries.


9.       Eat right! Your brain needs energy to work its best.


10.    Dispose of chemicals properly! Pesticides & cleaners, contain toxins that can damage/kill nerve cells. 


11.    Avoid monotony and strict routine in your daily lives. This causes mental lethargy and decreases motivation.


12.    Keep a positive attitude about your mind. Do not focus on why you forget or what you cannot remember. Focus on what you do remember and what you can do.


13.    Give your brain a daily workout. Spend 30 minutes a day exercising your brain. Don’t do exercises that are frustrating, confusing or cause you stress. Choose ones that challenge you and that you enjoy.


14.    Avoid playing the same games all the time. The same brain neuron regions are constantly used and everything else remains unused.


15.    Herbs and Supplements. Not one pharmaceutical or herb has been proven to preserve or improve memory. If you think that one does, one must always consider placebo effect. Just wishing to improve your memory will improve memory by 20 to 30%. Also important is that not everything eaten reaches the brain, which is protected by the “blood brain barrier” which filters the passage of material into the brain.


16.    Proper diet and water intake. Keep your weight in moderate ranges, keep cholesterol levels low and drink plenty of waters unless told otherwise by your health care provider.


17.    Exercise. Building up cardiovascular endurance with exercise can improve some mental abilities up to 30%. This helps circulate oxygen to the brain. Find an exercise that is right for you. You must enjoy it to stick with it. Do not do exercises that are painful. Swimming, walking or biking is ideal for most.


18.    Stop smoking. It is never too late to reap benefits of quitting.


19.    Get help for depression & anxiety. High anxiety and depression affects focus and concentration and therefore impair the registration process of memory.


20.    Stay socially active: Persons with good social network live longer & are more cognitively fit.


21.    Relaxation. Reduce stress through relaxation. Stress affects focus and concentration.


22.    Recreation. Stay active with hobbies, leisure interests, volunteering and other things that give you pleasure. 


23.    Medications. Take medications prescribed for you as directed. Do not take meds prescribed for others. Check with your MD before taking herbal remedies. Limit over-the-counter drugs. Avoid Benadryl or anything with Diphenhydramine such as Tylenol PM


24.    If you have diabetes or hypertension. It is imperative that you follow your doctor’s recommendations. Uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension can have a permanent, detrimental effect on your brain.


25.     Actively using memory. Can be compared to actively using muscles. A muscle not exercised will wither or atrophy. Memory exercises are highly recommended. Use of memory aides (notes, diary or recorder) and improved organization (keeping the keys in one consistent location) can greatly enhance our memory success while reducing the memory workload.


26. Good communication is vital for remembering

·         Active listening: Watching and listening play a big part in good communication. The goal  is to understand the words and the emotion the person is trying to get across.

·         Timing and setting: Some settings make communicating easier, just as certain times seem to be better than others. Be sensitive to potential problems and eliminate distractions.

·         Make sure you are facing the person you wish to speak to.

·         Try to relax and gather your thoughts, if you are angry, anxious or frustrated, it gets more difficult to remember what you want to say

·         Talk about one thing or topic at a time

·         Make certain the person you are speaking with is paying attention to you before you start speaking. (Turn off the television).

·         Jot notes down about what you want to tell someone when you think of it.

·         Create and use a hint book.

·         Repetition, Repetition, Repetition! It is the easiest way to put information into your memory. 


27. Remembering what is told to you

·         Only try to remember the important stuff!!!

·         Take notes if it is important

·         Sort information by putting information into categories. Group by dates, people,  etc.

·         Studying new information the same day you heard or read it will improve memory significantly. 

·         Use humor: Information stays in memory longer if it is related to something interesting. Make up something funny or that ties into what needs to be remembered.

·         Color code: Use colored pens, highlighters, or post-it notes.

·         Make visual aids: Draw pictures or cartoon characters, graphs, tables, charts, time lines, etc. to aid memory.

·         Rehearse aloud: Verbal rehearsal is an effective memory tool.

·         Use rhyming and/or singing to help remember phrases. 

·         Use a tape recorder. (Such as when going to the doctors)


Exercise Your Brain With Neurobics
  By Lawrence Katz, PhD, James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Millions of people pursue exercise regimens to help them stay physically fit as they age. But what can you do to help your mind stay resilient and youthful as you grow older?

The good news is, quite a lot. Just as you can exercise your body to fight off the effects of physical aging, you can keep your brain stronger longer with special mental exercises. These exercises, which I call “Neurobics,” are based on the latest findings from leading neurobiology labs at Duke and around the world.

Brain cells learn by literally making new connections with one another. For a long time, it was assumed that these connections could only be established during youth. But new scientific evidence shows the opposite: Even quite late in life, the brain has quite a lot of residual capacity to reorganize and “rewire” itself.

Because a huge area of our brain is devoted to processing sensory inputs, Neurobics uses the full range of senses (often marginalized by modern conveniences and daily routines) to help forge new connections among the different sensory structures of the brain. The exercises are easy, fun, and simple. Yet, if done on a regular basis, they will help keep your mind fit to meet any challenge–whether it’s remembering a name, mastering a new computer program, or staying creative in your work.

To be a Neurobic exercise, an activity must involve one or more senses in a novel way, engage your attention, and add an unexpected element to a routine activity. Try some of the following, and discover the value of “cross-training your brain.”

• Wake up and smell the vanilla. Instead of waking to the usual smell of freshly brewed coffee, try smelling something different–such as vanilla, peppermint, or rosemary. Linking this new aroma with your morning routine will activate new neural pathways.

• Go through your morning rituals–such as combing your hair, brushing your teeth, styling your hair, applying makeup, getting dressed, eating your breakfast, and so on, using your nondominant hand.

• Shower with your eyes closed. Locate the taps, soap, and so on, adjust water temperature and flow, and wash yourself using just your tactile senses. Also try closing your eyes as you get into your car, find your keys, and start the car–and when finding your keys and opening the door when you return home.

• Make a “sensory canister” containing such aromatic substances as sage, thyme, or cloves and take a whiff when you dial a certain phone number. See if it helps you remember the number.

• Learn the Braille numbers for the various floors in the elevator of your office building.

• Turn the pictures on your desktop or shelf upside down.

• Go to new markets, such as an ethnic market, farmers’ market, or bakery, to experience new sights and aromas.

• When traveling abroad, don’t get around in a tour bus, sleep in an American-style hotel and eat at McDonald’s. Instead, rent a car, figure out the roads and drive to a small town where you don’t speak the language, stay in a local bed-and-breakfast, and try unfamiliar foods.

For more information about Neurobics, see “Keep Your Brain Alive,” by Lawrence Katz and Manning Rubin, published by Workman Publishing Co. For information about health care at Duke, call 1-888-ASK-DUKE or visit

PLEASE NOTE: This message is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Implementation of any health-related advice should be undertaken in consultation with your physician, particularly if you have an existing condition, are currently receiving medical treatment, or are taking medications of any type.

Try out this exercise for size: the next time you return home, close your eyes in front of your door, find your keys, open the door and turn on the inside light – all without re-opening your eyes.

Or, if you’re right-handed, brush your teeth one morning with your left hand.

While both activities may sound like exercises in frustration, they are actually healthy exercises for your brain.

Call it neurobics, a term coined by Duke University neurobiology professor Lawrence Katz. It means using oneor more of your senses in an unusual way.

“The basic idea is that you are using sensory systems or pathways that are not usually used to perform a given task. What’s that is doing is making different groups of cells more active than they normally would be,” explains Katz, an internationally recognized expert on the development and function of the cortex in mammals.

“This, in turn, can strengthen connections between cells and cause them to release growth factors, which are molecules that help cells stay healthy,” he says.

By creating these additional pathways, you give your brain different routes to process information. And that can be helpful if one of your pathways gets blocked by a stroke or blood clot, for example.

 Do Them Now

Katz says that while anyone can do neurobics at any age, the concept is targeted at Baby Boomers.

It’s between the ages of 40 and 50, he says, that people begin to notice that their mind might not be as sharp as it used to be. And that makes many Boomers begin to pay more attention to lifestyle issues that will affect their health down the road.

Neurobics “is an approach that is designed for people still young enough that doing the exercises will make a difference,” Katz says.

While such mental exercise are “appropriate for anyone at any age,” they are great for Boomers, he adds.

Katz’s research is part of a growing body of academic studies showing that the human brain’s capacity for growth doesn’t stop as early as previously thought.

“There’s no question that the adult brain does have a capacity for forming new neurons and that these are incorporated into circuits,” says Dr. Caleb Finch, a professor in biological sciences and gerontology at the University of Southern California,

But Finch cautions that while “that part is clear, it’s not clear how important this is to human memory and age changes.”

Growth sometimes means adding new cells, but at other times, it means that the cell gets new contacts, like a tree sprouting new branches. This plasticity is maintained during adult phases of life but, in general, most of the neurons we have in our brains are in place by the time we’re 10 or 15, Finch says.

Part of Daily Life

Katz stresses that the point of neurobics isn’t to create a “super brain” that can memorize half the phone book. Instead, the exercises in mental agility are intended to keep the brain flexible, growing and able to process information on different pathways.

Do them in little ways throughout the day, Katz says. It’s a similar approach to incorporating exercise into our daily routine by, say, parking the car in a far-away spot from the mall.


“The whole book is suggestions on how you can use the activities of daily living, but do them differently so that you increase production of brain healthy chemicals,” he adds.

So what does Katz, 47, do to exercise his brain?

“Some of my favorite ones are taking different routes to work and shopping in farmers markets. I’m also a big fan of trying to do things with my sense of touch versus the sense of sight,” he says.

While the area of brain research continues to expand continually, it is known that exercise of all types helps the brain stay healthy.

“The key point is that, almost without exception, the same advice for keeping a healthy heart applies for keeping a healthy brain. Lower blood pressure, cholesterol … The whole package also appears – and this is a new point of view – helpful in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Finch says.

So tomorrow, instead of waking up to the smell of coffee, try taking a whiff of vanilla bean after you stagger downstairs into the kitchen to make that pot of coffee.

And then, go take a walk – with your eyes open, of course.

Getting older shouldn’t mean losing your mind, an expert on brain functions told a group of Windsor seniors Thursday.

Graig Schisler, a Windsor chiropractor who specializes in reducing the effects of aging on the brain, took members of the University of Windsor’s cardiac rehabilitation program through a series of brain exercise called neurobics, which help prevent the brain from aging.

“Neurobics is based on research about the nature of how the brain learns, stores and creates memories,” said Schisler. “It’s different from the solitary mental exercise such as crosswords, logic puzzles and testing. It’s the way the brain actually learns.”

Schisler said nerve cells need to keep communicating and an important way to do that is to break routine activities. “Routine does not engage your brain. We need to do things that trigger new associations in the brain, especially things that are fun,” Schisler said.

“Take a different route to work, roll down the car window and turn off the radio. You’ll notice more and you’ll work your brain…

“Have fun in the shower with your eyes closed, guess the denomination of coins in your pocket, have sex with someone you love because it really works your brain, fondle fruit and squeeze the Charmin,” said Schisler.

Schisler has been presenting his seminar Keep Your Brain Alive, ways to prevent memory loss and increase mental acuity, in Canada and the U.S.

Passing around a bowl of popcorn Schisler encouraged participants to engage in another example of a neurobic – to eat it with their non-dominant hand. Using the non-dominant hand for a week would force the brain to think differently.

Schisler said there is a neuro link between the heart and the brain and biofeedback shows people can be taught to control their heart rate and blood pressure.

“There have been hundreds of papers written on heart rate variability, showing the connection between the brain and the heart.”

Researchers at Stanford university in the U.S. say the science of psychoneuroimmunolgoy (PNI), shows that complex pathways run between the brain and the body’s nervous, endocrine, circulatory and immune systems, and that the entire body is literally “wired” by the brain.

“New stimulations are certainly a contributing factor to keeping your brain young and strong,” Hanna said. “You also have to develop a positive outlook on life.”

Corina Lachance thought Schisler’s advice was helpful and the brain exercises would be useful, but she tought the men probably needed them more than the women.

“Most women are always doing two or three things at one time, so their brains are always stimulated,” she said laughing.

Schisler uses a piece of equipment called a Bioscope to measure the way the brain works, one of only two in the world, he said.

“We can hook people up and an watch the way their brain waves respond to tasks presented on a screen,” said Schisler.

“You can improve your mental ability regardless of age.”

“There’s a lot of truth in the use it or lose it theory.”


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