Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Wisdom Wednesday :: The Mindfulness Revolution in Your Brain

BS07002.jpgThe New York Times and the Boston Globe have recently written about a forthcoming study on the brain changes associated with mindfulness meditation. This is great news and is not really new. Researches such as Britta Holzl, Sarah Lazar, and others have been conducting and publishing studies for years documenting the brain-changing effects of meditation.

To their credit, neuroscientists have been cautionary about their findings; after all the brain is the most complex thing in the known universe (just consider 100 billion neurons making up to 100,000 connections each, and each of these connections can be in any one of ten electrical states). 
But consider this. The brain is plastic; its constantly changing. Every time you learn something new your brain changes in some way to represent this new knowledge (that is, one of those trillions upon trillions of connections). So it makes sense that meditation would change the brain. And we’ve known that it does for a long time, every since the brain could be measured through EEG. Go into meditation and your brain waves change.
However, what is surprising and important about the research coming out of the labs studying meditation is that these changes are not just state changes — they are enduring changes and can be seen in the very structure of the brain. The brain gets thicker in places, meaning neural connections are piling up. And these changes are showing up in some very interesting places. For example, the parts of the brain that deal with regulating our emotions, including knowing when to quiet fear. 
Studies such as these are at the forefront of the mindfulness revolution. It’s one thing to note subjective changes in well-being, it’s quite another to demonstrate them in objective fashion. We’ve had anecdotes for thousands of years and neuroscientists are beginning to show us the inner workings of wisdom practices.
  • Steven | TEM

    There is no denying the tremendous effects mindfulness can have on our biology and psychology.

Previous Posts

Thanksgiving 2015
If you've read my posts about Thanksgiving before, you know my basic premise is that we should be thankful everyday, not just this day. In fact, we could be thankful in every moment we are alive. Each moment that we are not, we are missing an ...

posted 9:01:46am Nov. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Meditating on Resistance
Earlier this season, just about the time when kids went back to school, I started noticing something. Roxy, a dog in my neighborhood would ...

posted 12:24:08pm Nov. 02, 2015 | read full post »

How to Live Well with Chronic Illness and Pain
I wrote a prepublication endorsement for Toni Bernhard’s latest book: How to Live Well With Chronic Illness and Pain:  As a psychotherapist treating chronic pain, I wish this book had been written years ago. This is an invaluable guide for ...

posted 11:38:57am Oct. 14, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Sangha
Mindfulness A to Z official release is here! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Sangha" The sangha is the community of people who follow the teachings of the Buddha, or more generically, anyone who engages in mindfulness meditation. When ...

posted 10:31:30am Sep. 22, 2015 | read full post »

E is for Effort
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "E is for Effort" We may need to encourage ourselves gently in the direction of practice. Challenges arise. Daily life is complicated and busy; it may seem like we ...

posted 3:25:12pm Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.