After putting the Buddhist monks through their meditation paces in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, neuroscientist Richard Davidson considers this to be a viable hypothesis: “That we can think of emotions, moods and states such as compassion as trainable mental skills.”As you've heard me say before, whatever helps motivate us to practice is all to the good.
So the brain is turning out to be a lot more flexible than was previously believed. It’s interesting that meditation, which usually involves focusing or concentrating awareness, leads to more looseness in the psyche.
Maybe reducing the amount of useless cognitive crap that floats around the brain in the form of meandering thoughts and unrestrained emotions frees up space for more positive relations with reality.
Whatever, it’s clear that meditation can lead to changes in how our consciousness functions, opening up possibilities for fresh insights and new understandings. It’s healthy to shake up the branches of our brain’s neuronal tree. Fruits never before tasted may drop onto our plate of awareness.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I want to bring you a passage from a posting entitled "Meditation teaches the brain new tricks" from a blog I just discovered called Church of the Churchless. It's about the plasticity of the brain and how meditation changes the brain for the better: