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Meditation changes brain structure

Meditation changes brain structure
Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain's grey matter. "Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day," says Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study's senior author. "This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing."

meditation may protect brain For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering. Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work. They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention — an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise. A team of Emory University scientists reported in early September that experienced Zen meditators were much better than control subjects at dropping extraneous thoughts and returning to the breath. The same researchers reported last year that longtime meditators don’t lose gray matter in their brains with age the way most people do, suggesting that meditation may have a neuro-protective effect. Where does all this lead?

Demystifying meditation -- brain imaging illustrates how meditation reduces pain Public release date: 5-Apr-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Marguerite 336-716-2415Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – April 5, 2011 – Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. "This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation," said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "We found a big effect – about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness. For the study, 15 healthy volunteers who had never meditated attended four, 20-minute classes to learn a meditation technique known as focused attention. [ Print | E-mail AAAS and EurekAlert!

Where is The Mind?: Science gets puzzled and almost admits a non-local mentalscape. This will be the last "home-produced" blog entry for a while [save the short "Everyday Spirituality" which will follow it as a sign-off] . West Virginia beckons tomorrow morning and off I will go to whatever that entails. As I said in one of the commentary responses the other day, I hope that reading two journal runs "cover-to-cover" will bring up a few thoughts worth sharing. This day's entry was inspired by two articles bumped into coincidentally which had scientists puzzling about a holographic universe and a non-local mind. The first of these articles [both from the New Scientist] was "Where in the World is the Mind?" That brings in the second serendipitous article. It reminded me then, also, of a moment when I was able to spend a [too short] time with David Bohm, the famous theoretical physicist. I am happy to be [in body] a holographic projection of force dimensions--not from the "edge" of the universe but its core reality.

meditation alters brain structure All of the Dalai Lama's guests peered intently at the brain scan projected onto screens at either end of the room, but what different guests they were. On one side sat five neuroscientists, united in their belief that physical processes in the brain can explain all the wonders of the mind, without appeal to anything spiritual or nonphysical. Facing them sat dozens of Tibetan Buddhist monks in burgundy-and-saffron robes, convinced that one round-faced young man in their midst is the reincarnation of one of the Dalai Lama's late teachers, that another is the reincarnation of a 12th-century monk, and that the entity we call "mind" is not, as neuroscience says, just a manifestation of the brain. It was not, in other words, your typical science meeting. The term refers to the brain's recently discovered ability to change its structure and function, in particular by expanding or strengthening circuits that are used and by shrinking or weakening those that are rarely engaged.

Lamrim: The Stages of the Buddhist Path | How to Meditate In general, any virtuous object can be used as an object of meditation. If we discover that by acquainting our mind with a particular object our mind becomes more peaceful and virtuous, this indicates that for us that object is virtuous. If the opposite happens, for us it is a non-virtuous object. Many objects are neutral and have no particular positive or negative effect on our mind. If we appreciate the great potential of this life we shall not waste it There are many different virtuous objects of meditation. We need to meditate on love, compassion…. and develop and maintain a good heart towards all living beings. We need to meditate on death and impermanence to overcome procrastination, and to ensure that our Dharma practice is pure by overcoming our preoccupation with worldly concerns. We need to meditate on love, compassion, and bodhichitta so that we can overcome our self-cherishing and develop and maintain a good heart towards all living beings.

Religion May Cause Brain Atrophy -- Science of the Spirit Faith can open your mind but it can also cause your brain to shrink at a different rate, research suggests. Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre in the US claim to have discovered a correlation between religious practices and changes in the brains of older adults. The study, published in the open-access science journal, Public Library of Science ONE, asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious group, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Changes in the volume of their hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory, were tracked using MRI scans, over two to eight years. Protestants who did not identify themselves as born-again were found to have less atrophy in the hippocampus region than did born-again Protestants, Catholics or those with no religious affiliation. Although the brain tends to shrink with age, atrophy in the hippocampus has been linked with depression and Alzheimer's disease.

how to meditate SimplyNoise - The Best Free White Noise Generator on the Internet. Mind Tools body meditation to dissolve fears Morning “Check In” — What is present and what is arising? Steve Goodheart Essay When I awake in the morning, the first thing I do is “check in” to myself to see what’s going on. I consciously breathe in and out, center myself, and just listen and watch to see what arises. I try not to get snagged by anything, but just be open to the whole experience that I identify as “I” or “me.” This morning what arose, as I got quiet enough to see, was an oppressive sense of fear and unease. Often, my response to such feelings is to begin metta—loving-kindness meditation—for myself, for the loved ones, and for the world. But today, instead of doing metta, I felt the need to look more deeply into the fears, individually. Looking into fears with mindfulness and interest I needed to find out, so, with concentration, (called samatha in Buddhism), I just paid close attention to the sensations associated with the fears. Do you feel a tightness in the stomach? Smiling helps you let go. Steven Goodheart

Top 15 Meditation Techniques For Beginners And Advanced Meditators | Free Meditation Music There are several meditation techniques that one can do in order to alleviate the difficulties we experience in life. Meditation is a discipline that can allow an individual to discover a deeper state of relaxation that eliminates stress that we experience every day. Through this practice, one cultivates optimism delivering a sense of peace into the whole well-being. Let us understand these meditation techniques and try to find which of these practices would best suit you. 1. Your body has seven energy points also known as ‘Chakra’s which can be located on points where your vital organs are. The ‘Solar plexus’, yellow, is located on the stomach. With the energy harmoniously flowing through these chakra points, one can overcome stress and prevent illness from entering the body. 2. Japa meditation is unique from other meditation techniques because it involves chanting a name of God repetitively “Hare Krishna Maha”. 3. This meditation is often referred to ‘sensory’ or ‘thought’ meditation.

meditation myths 1. Meditation has to be done sitting – with legs crossed and eyes closed: Nothing could be further from the truth, meditation is the act of concentration and focusing on one specific object with the conscious exclusion of all else, typically experienced as an altered state of consciousness. This can be done while you are walking down the street, staring at your computer, brushing your teeth, etc. In fact, many millions of people frequently practice a non-conscious type of meditation for many hours each day, it’s called watching TV. As an example of a non-sitting meditation, I was working with somebody who has a much slower pace than me and as a result I was starting to become agitated and wanting to rush him. Not only would this not work, it would certainly aggravate him thereby making the situation worse. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. In a state of panic or high stress, it becomes difficult to think, to concentrate, and panic is often the next step.

Healing Circle - Cleansing Your Chakras – How to Cleans Chakras Here is a powerful meditation we can do right now for cleaning chakra's from Doreen Virtue’s "The Lightworker’s Way": Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it for about four seconds, exhale slowly through your mouth, now do this again…..slowly Completely relax….slowly .release all the tension in your body, see it flowing down through your feet into mother earth to be transformed…… Visualize or feel a round and transparent ball, coloured in a beautiful shade of ruby red, floating inside your body near the base of your spine. This is your "root chakra" the centre of your strength and individuality. Mentally look at or sense the ball. The Human Energy Field Session 6 Excerpt The Human Energy Field or Aura is an energetic, multidimensional field that surrounds penetrates, and is the human body. Link to The Seven Chakra Meanings Link to Introduction to Chakras in Healing Written by Amberdrake, Designed & Editing by Sol © Mystic Familiar 2003