The Astral Pulse

Astral Chat => Welcome to News and Media! => Topic started by: coolbreeze on February 28, 2005, 03:06:14

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: coolbreeze on February 28, 2005, 03:06:14
From National Geographic, March 2005 issue:

"To focus the mind and increase awareness of self, Shingon Buddhists like Souei Sakamoto practice takigyo, chanting for hours while standing in frigid waterfalls at the Oiwasan Nissekiji Temple in Toyama, Japan.
For 2,500 years Buddhists have employed such strict training techniques to guide their mental state away from destructive emotions and toward a more compassionate, happier frame of being. Spurred by the cascade of new evidence for the brain's plasticity, Western neuroscientists have taken a keen interest. Can meditation literally change the mind?
For the past several years Richard Davidson and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been studying brain activity in Tibetan monks, both in meditative and non-meditative states. Davidson's group had shown earlier that people who are inclined to fall prey to negative emotions displayed a pattern of persistent activity in regions of their right prefrontalcortex. In those with more positive temperaments the activity occurred in the left prefrontal cortex instead. When Davidson ran the experiment on a senior Tibetan lama skilled in meditation, the lama's baseline of activity proved to be much farther to the left of anyone previously tested. Judging from this one study, at least, he was quantifiably the happiest man in the world.
Davidson recently tested the prefrontal activity in some volunteers from a high-tech company in Wisconsin. One group of volunteers then received eight weeks of training in meditation, while a control group did not. All the participants also received flu shots.
By the end of the study, those who had meditated showed a pronounced shift in brain activity toward the left, "happier", frontal cortex. The mediators also  showed a healthier immune response to the flu shot, suggesting that the training affected the body's health as well as the mind's.

"You don't have to become a Buddhist" says the Dalai Lama himself, who is closely following the work of Western cognitive scientists like Davidson. "Everybody has the potential to lead a peaceful, meaningful life."

This makes so much sense!!!! I guess I knew i felt better ever since i started serious meditation, but this is a good scientific explanation for those who need it.

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: Ivanda on February 28, 2005, 03:42:57
Nice! I hope more people meditate or pray. It definitely saved me from depression.  :)

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: CaCoDeMoN on February 28, 2005, 17:12:12
Thanks for posting! It's really nice to see that such kind of research is conducted.

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: snic on March 01, 2005, 13:41:11
G,day I too have read that story to day but from a different source. I read it in the NEW DAWN magazine, which got it from THE WASHINGTON POST (Feb 1st 2005). But I,ll look out for the National Geographic.

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: Kazbadan on March 01, 2005, 21:50:16
scientists are discovering the my opinion the most important things that scientists will ever discover about our happyness and human condition were found at 2500 ago by Budha: the nature of the self, the reeincarnation, etc,etc

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: Ivanda on March 02, 2005, 02:49:58

I totally agree with you!  Happiness is an internal thing and those wise guys ages ago already knew things that science is only discovering now.

Title: Meditation and the Brain
Post by: RTCovenant on March 05, 2005, 04:57:20
Thanks, this information is a great reason to keep meditating.