Those Pesky Frontal Lobes

William B. Turner
2 min readFeb 2, 2022
The Buddha

Our frontal lobes are sort of the ultimate mixed blessing. They are why the Buddha said that a human birth is precious. They are the part of our brains that make us human, that differentiate us from other mammals.

They are why we are annoyingly self conscious and neurotic, and why we have the idea to meditate and follow the Buddhist path. They are why we suffer and why we can stop our own suffering.

The Buddha told us that we suffer because we cling, which is a hugely important observation, but also kind of annoying. Okay, so now what do I do?

Follow the Noble Eightfold Path. Parts of that are pretty obvious. Right livelihood is pretty easy. Don’t be an arms dealer or a drug dealer.

But right view? Right mindfulness?

Those may require some explanation, and explanations of them are not hard to find, especially in the age of the world wide web. Read up on the Noble Eightfold Path. You will almost certainly learn something very useful.

But also, keep up your consistent meditation practice. Ultimately, the Buddhist path is about the experience of awakening, which is in some ways indescribable and so defeats the language processing that is a key function of our pesky frontal lobes.