Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meditation and the brain

I subscribe to a health newsletter by Dr. Joseph Mercola. This morning an article on meditation was published. Here's part of what it says:
There is growing evidence to show that meditation can make people healthier and happier. It may even increase lifespan, alter brain structure and change personality.

Now, mainstream medicine is beginning to take notice of meditation’s effects. For example, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which is about 80 percent meditation, has been approved in Britain for use with people who have experienced three or more episodes of depression.

MRI scans of long-term meditators have shown greater activity in brain circuits involved in paying attention. Long-term meditation can also cause changes in the actual structure of your cortex, the outer layer of your brain. Brain regions associated with attention and sensory processing have been shown to be thicker in meditators.

Studies suggest that meditation can help you to train your attention and focus, even in the midst of distractions. For instance, when disturbing noises were played to a group of experienced meditators undergoing an MRI, they had little effect on the brain areas involved in emotion and decision-making.
Then Dr. Mercola made some interesting comments. There are also quite a few comments by readers. You might like to click through and take a look at them all.


  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Found myself getting excited about this passage and then thought about that earlier post, "Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away or become something better. It's about befriending who we are already." How do we reconcile these two?

  2. Wow. Amazing. I think I'm going to start meditating!

  3. Well, I think that maybe meditating and improving brain function is a process of "befriending" who we already are. Perhaps we are meant to be happier, more focused people, only we just don't realize it.

    Just a thought, what does somebody else think?


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