The Neuroscience of Awakening
One of the most important developments in the mindfulness movement has been the study of mindful (and not so mindful) brains. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as fMRI now allow researchers to peer into brains as people meditate or just let their minds wander where they will. Fascinating findings are coming out of these studies and it is clear that the brain that is mindful shows a different pattern of activation than one that is not. Not only is activity different, mindfulness meditation appears to change the structure of the brain in ways that are believed to be beneficial. These preliminary studies also provide objective evidence of the effects of mindfulness training and other Buddhist practices and this has helped to establish their legitimacy.