Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

The video linked here runs 18 minutes.  If you can possibly view it, I urge you to do so.  It’s a true story, told by a woman — a brain scientist who speaks plain English — who had a stroke. A friend, who also had a stroke, sent me the link months ago.  I watched it, and it’s haunted me in a lovely, pleasant way, ever since.  I want to share it with you.

If you watch it, I promise you will not be despressed — quite the opposite.  You will feel uplifted — not only because the speaker, Jill Bolte Taylor is fuly recovered and able to tell this story in an engaging, even funny way, but also because of what it taught her, and can teach us, about life, spirituality, and hope.

Next to the video  (I’ll give you the link below) is a transcript of the talk (you will have to click on the link to the right of the video that says “Open interactive transcript.” )  You don’t necessarily need the transcript, but what is outstanding about it is that if you want to hear Jill repeat something, you can click on a phase and the transcript will take you to the right place in the video. You can also turn on subtitles in any of 33 languages.

If you’re on dialup, go to the library with a set of headphones and listen to it there.  Or, at home, you can start the video, put it on pause, and let it download all the way before you watch. You can also read the transcript without the video, but I recommend you listen and watch if you possibly can.

Before I give you the link, a word about TED, the  organization that provides programs such as this.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. The format is fast paced: 50+ talks over the course of four days (to say nothing of the morning and evening events). This immersive environment allows attendees and speakers from vastly different fields to cross-fertilize and draw inspiration from unlikely places. This is the magic of TED.

Everyone can join TED.com as a website member, free. To attend a TED Conference, you must submit an application to be invited.

Watch Jill Bolte Taylor and then look around the site.  You don’t have to join to watch presentations.  All talks run 18 minutes. The range of subjects is amazing. This is what the Internet was made for.  You’re going to want to thank me for this, as I’ve thanked my friend who sent the link to me.

Watch Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight.

Taylor has also published a book, entitled My Stroke of Insight. Of course it has more detail than the presentation, including a very accessible description of the brain’s two hemispheres and how they complement each other.  Finally, she has a web site full of information on how your brain works.  Her life and her work are a gift for us to treasure. Don’ t miss this chance to learn about inner peace and joy from a very unusual woman.

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2 Responses to “Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight”

  1. Another great reason to lobby our lawmakers and policy makers for universal broadband access everywhere in the nation. That any of us still have to deal with dial up connections instead of having access to modern methods of online communication dumbfounds me. Which reminds me to ask how things are working out regarding IT in your town, Miryam. Maybe you could give us an update on that one of these days.

  2. Miryam, I just watched the Jill Bolte Taylor video on my computer at the library (WiFi here, dialup at home where I had been ineffectual using pause button to down load). Even with having absorbed so much by reading My Stroke of Insight both in print and via CD, to watch her in action was a treat. Thanks.

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