Meditation Can Transform Your Brain
Can Meditation Change the Brain
In the 1970s medical doctors like Dr. Herbert Benson tested the benefits of meditation under the name of the relaxation response. One thing they found (see graph) was that meditation could make you much more relaxed than when you are sleeping.
This means that meditation creates a unique physiological state that is never experienced otherwise. This is a more relaxed state than when you are sleeping. As listed the benefits of it included reducing of hypertension that is also called high blood pressure, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, hostility, depression and more. They have also learned that meditation can greatly extend lifespan, as well as give you a reason to want to live longer.
Dr. Benson tried many different types of mediation and found that they did equally as well. His goal was to find which ones worked the best. Now the goal of the people that do Transcendental Meditation is to sell your on their type of mediation which costs $1,000. So their research shows that nothing works nearly as well as their type of meditation.
Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with their meditation except the comparisons they make to other kinds of meditation. Transcendental Mediation is done by The Beatles still alive, by Dr. Oz, Oprah, Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump and many more celebrities.
Look at the article Richard Davidson: Advancing the State of Mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. It is like a mediation in action. When I was 12 years old I was learning to do tai chi that is a martial art that is done in extremely slow motion. Also I was learning Chinese kenpo karate (a martial art) and yoga when I was 12 years old. The above article says:
Anyone researching meditation and mindfulness is bound to come across the work of Richard J. Davidson. A prominent neuroscientist (who studies the brain) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he’s at the leading edge of research into how we can train our minds to improve human health and performance.
While earning his Ph.D. at Harvard in the 1980s, he traveled to India to study the meditation practices of Buddhist monks. He soon began actively practicing meditation himself and grew eager to spread the word. “I clearly felt that these practices could be of great benefit in helping people cultivate well-being and resilience,” Dr. Davidson told me in a recent interview.
He feels that many more Americans will start to do meditation when they learn what it can do. Article, What Happened When Tibetan Monks Underwent Brain Scans, says:
"Davidson’s team flew in monks from Tibet & Nepal for the study and asked them to meditate while undergoing EEG, MRI & FMRI scans. When they 1st looked at the scans, Davidson said the results were so shocking, he thought the equipment was malfunctioning.
“What we saw in these individuals, not a burst of gamma [gamma waves], but a long duration [of activity] for minutes while they were meditating, which is crazy,”....
“This had never been seen in a human brain before.” Typically in an “untrained mind,” a burst of activity would last for about 1 second, but the monks could sustain it.
Gamma waves are the fastest brain waves and normal people would have them for about a second every once in a while. But the monks would have them for several minutes. Read about Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard Happiest Man Known to Science. It says:
Matthieu Ricard, a French Buddhist monk, says meditation fundamentally rewires the brain towards joy, and research suggests he's right.
The monk, molecular geneticist and confidant of the Dalai Lama, is passionately setting out why meditation can alter the brain and improve people's happiness in the same way that lifting weights puts on muscle.
"It's a wonderful area of research because it shows that meditation is not just blissing out under a mango tree, but it completely changes your brain and therefore changes what you are," the Frenchman said.
Here is fascinating information from a book about psychology. They have found that there is no difference in the happiness of someone who wins the million dollar lottery and going blind. They have found that one goes back to the happiness they had before the event about 2 years after it happens.
So the person will feel great after he wins the lottery for about 2 years and then will return to what he felt like before. The person who loses his sight will feel like it is end of the world! But after about 2 years after this happens, his happiness level will return to where it was. So I am saying that you will not find happiness by changing the circumstances of your life. The only thing that is certain about life is that you will die.
Here is a website where you can see a video of Dan Harris interviewing Dr. Davidson. Harris is an announcer that had a panic attack. He was told that he should meditate and it changed his life. He has been doing it 30 minutes a day for 6 years. Then a few weeks ago he changed it to 2 hours a day. He does not know why. He says that knowing what is in this article may help you try out meditation, but what will keep you doing it is seeing that you are nicer and kinder to yourself and others. See 10% Happier.
Here is a video of Dan Harris and Dr. Davidson talking to the Dalai Lama about meditation and scientific research. 10% Happier with the Dalai Lama. Now I have been trying different meditations many years ago and found one that I feel gets you to where you want to go faster than the other kinds. It is so different that the teacher of it, Prem Rawat, does not like to call it meditation.
It is free to learn. People want to know why it is free to learn. Prem Rawat says that if there were a price for it, you would never to be able to afford it. In other words, it is priceless. You can learn about it at Words of Peace. Prem Rawat comes from a line of masters that all taught the same meditation.
The Indian saint and poet, Kabir (@ 1500 A.D.) says
The night you passed in sleep
And the day in visiting your false friends;
Alas! Thus you have wasted
The diamond of your life on naught.
You will die one day, perhaps tomorrow;
Grass will grow on your grave,
And your friends will forget you.
Therefore know your true self soon.
This world is a house made of wood, and lo it is burning furiously;
He who stays in it dies.
The yogi withdraws from it in meditation
And he is saved.
Prem Rawat says:
Man can be identified by three qualities: space, time, and energy. His body lives in space, his mind in time, and his soul lives in infinite energy, in the infinite self. By meditation, you will be able to cross those limits of space and time that all human beings exist in. Once you do that, you will be able to find out who you really are.
Please listen to his 4 minute video and 7 minute video below. It is about you and just listening to it can make a big difference in your life. Try it and see!
Also see Is Being in the Present Moment the Key to Happiness.
More Information on Brain Waves Associated With Meditatation
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created TM. He wrote a book about it called Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation. I read it. He said that the more meditation you do, the less thoughts that you have. The less thoughts that you have, the deeper and more powerful each one is. This means that this person's thought has a much better chance of becoming reality. That is why there are many people that meditate but only one Buddha.
Also he taught in this book that the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. He said:
Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness.
So, according to his book, the more you meditate, than the more happiness that you feel. Meditation can be associated with more theta waves that are associated with dreaming and sleeping but also with creativity and also with spirituality. Painters, musicians and other people who do a creative work tend to have more theta waves and produce even more theta brain waves when they are, for example, playing on the painting or playing the piano
There is an article called What are Brain Waves (Theta, Delta, Alpha, Beta brain waves)? It says:
Gamma brain waves tend to occur more often in very smart people, when they are doing something, what they enjoy very much. For example, when Albert Einstein was working on his relativity theories, he must have had a lot of gamma brain wave activity.
Gamma brain waves range from 40 Hz to 100 Hz. There is a subtype of gamma waves, namely “hyper gamma waves”. Their frequency is 100 Hz and more!
I like to call them “the genius brain waves." They are also extremely fast and reach all parts in the brain.
So meditation would also be associated with making people more intelligent since they can change brain waves. These brain waves are increased with meditation. Gamma waves are talked about in other article and is more recently discovered. Among its benefits are better memory, increased focus, can give people feelings of extreme bliss, enhanced senses, compassion and high amount of these act like an anti-depressant. Although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock therapy, is a lot quicker.
Being in the Present Moment
This is not something that you do, but something that you are. You are either more or less in the present moment or time. Enjoyable things cause you to be more in the present moment. That is why you prefer them. Uncomfortable things cause you to be less in the moment. Say that your spouse and kids die right in front of you. You do not say to yourself, "let me take it all in."
Eckhart Tolle got into this state from being depressed. The way to be more in this state of being present is by doing meditation. That is when you are practicing being in the present. There is no mindfulness. It is just something that you say like light saber. It only exists in your imagination. So meditation is the practice of being more in the in the present. Being more in the present makes you happier.
At age 12 I did tai chi. You can do that and be more mindful. At age 12 I also did yoga and martial arts. They can make you more mindful. You can kill a cat, drink some beer or rape a woman and think that you are practicing mindfulness and thinking makes it so.
Now meditation can also be a word that you say. Like someone can say that they are in meditation when they do everything like getting drunk or taking heroin. Taking drugs will get you less in the moment since they make you more unconscious. Drinking green tea helps you to be more in the present. It contains caffeine but also thousands of other chemicals like theanine that relaxes you and makes you more calm. See quote above by Prem Rawat.
To use another terminology, you feel like you are in heaven. Children can enter this state the easiest. Say you are playing a game with a child. The child can get to a state where everything else vanishes or disappears. Psychology or Positive Psychology calls it the flow experience. Freud called it the oceanic experience. Jesus says "If you want to enter heaven, then be like a child."
The back of the book, Flow, says "These investigations have revealed that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow-- a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity." Dr. Selgman was president of the American Psychology Association.
In his book, Authentic Happiness (© 2003), Dr. Seligman describes the flow experience like this: "When does time stop for you? When do you find yourself doing exactly what you want to be doing, and never wanting it to end? Is it painting, or making love, or playing volleyball, or talking before a group, or rock climbing, or listening sympathetically to someone else's troubles?" Listening to the 2 videos (4 minutes and 7 minutes) below by Prem Rawat can transform you.