“Meditation can do that which nothing else can do, it introduces you to yourself.”

— Swami Rama

 

The fear center of the brain (the amygdala) dominates most of the decisions we make. When we choose out of fear, we choose poorly most of the time. When the executive brain (the prefrontal cortex) guides our decision, the result is usually good for us and good for everyone.

 

Science has proven that the regular practice of meditation shrinks the amygdala (fear center) and activates the prefrontal cortex of our brain. “Although we’ve known that meditation can reduce anxiety, we hadn’t identified the specific brain mechanisms involved in relieving anxiety in healthy individuals,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of a study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, June 2013.

 

“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were activated and which were deactivated during meditation-related anxiety relief.”  The study revealed that meditation-related anxiety relief is associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain involved with executive-level function. During meditation, there was more activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls worrying. In addition, when activity increased in the anterior cingulate cortex — the area that governs thinking and emotion — anxiety decreased.

 

Practicing meditation will help you gain freedom from fear. Meditation is a valid method that activates and increases the executive part of your brain that keeps you safe and successful. Today’s neuroscientists are proving that which the ancient lineage of meditation has claimed for centuries: Knowledge alone liberates. Ignorance is the source of all suffering.

 

When the mind forgets the purpose of its existence, then suffering begins.  Suffering is the conflict between what is present in our lives and what we ‘want’ to be present in our lives. The function of the mind is to give you a clear understanding of the objective world, however, with unlimited forms of social media and worldly distractions, the mind gets cloudy in of the sensory stimulation.  If you do not regularly cleanse the mind and redirect the actions of the mind, then you are most likely to fall into this trap of fantasies, memories and misperceptions.

 

By activating the prefrontal lobe of the brain, meditation provides the clarity to allow the mind to do it’s real job…to protect you by discovering and discerning the real from the unreal — verifying the facts from the fiction.  Then the mind can be the vehicle to convey your inspired thoughts, feelings and creativity to the world.

 

The sages say that is the greatest loss in life is to die without knowing the essence of your true nature with all its wisdom, power and stability. No other plant or animal has a brain and nervous system as evolved as yours. Through meditation you can develop a clear, calm, friendly mind that puts all the treasures of the world at your disposal.

 

Journal Reference:

Zeidan, K. T. Martucci, R. A. Kraft, J. G. McHaffie, R. C. Coghill. Neural Correlates of Mindfulness Meditation-Related Anxiety Relief. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2013.

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