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Action of meditation on the brain

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I seem to remember that there was a thread titled "Are buddhists really happier?", but since I couldn't find it, I post the news here - the article below explains how the modern science is proving the existence of the effects of a Buddhist practice ;) .


Years ago, His Holiness the Dalai Lama personally asked a known neuroscientist Richard Davidson from the University of Wisconsin to test 8 Buddhist monks (chosen by His Holiness) for the effects of meditation on the brains. The results came out some time ago and are quite stunning (from here on I quote the article linked below):


They have pinpointed the left prefrontal cortex, an area just behind the left forehead, as the place where brain activity associated with meditation is especially intense.


"What we found is that the longtime practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before," said Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the university's new $10 million W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior. "Their mental practice is having an effect on the brain in the same way golf or tennis practice will enhance performance." It demonstrates, he said, that the brain is capable of being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine. ...


The meditation novices showed only a slight increase in gamma wave activity while meditating, but some of the monks produced gamma wave activity more powerful than any previously reported in a healthy person, Davidson said.


The monks who had spent the most years meditating had the highest levels of gamma waves, he added. ...


What we found is that the trained mind, or brain, is physically different from the untrained one," he said. In time, "we'll be able to better understand the potential importance of this kind of mental training and increase the likelihood that it will be taken seriously."


More http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...6-2005Jan2.html


"Scientific" version of the article http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlere...bmedid=15534199


Best regards,


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Change your Mind Change your Brain: The Inner Conditions for Authentic Happiness



Google Tech Talks March 15, 2007


If happiness is an inner state, influenced by external conditions but not dependent on ... all " them, how can we achieve it? Ricard will examine the inner and outer factors that increase or diminish our sense of well-being, dissect the underlying mechanisms of happiness, and lead us to a way of looking at the mind itself based on his book, Happiness: A Guide to Life's Most Important Skill and from the research in neuroscience on the effect of mind-training on the brain.


Speaker Bio: Matthieu Ricard, a gifted scientist turned Buddhist monk, is a best selling author, translator, and photographer. He has lived and studied in the Himalayas for the last 35 years where he currently works on humanitarian projects. He is an active participant in the current scientific research on meditation and the brain.

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