Science shows what meditation really does to your brain

wildmind meditation newsJon Levine, Science.Mic: Meditation, according to its spiritual gurus, is a universal panacea. Enthusiasts have long preached its benefits, which include its ability to lower anxiety, improve concentration, help treat those with HIV and even extend one’s life expectancy.

While it’s undeniable meditation contributes to a sense of inner piece, its physiological benefits remain less certain. That is, until a team of researchers confirmed them. What they uncovered is more than surprising.

“We found several brain regions that had changed,” Sara Lazar, an associate research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Mic. Lazar conducted a major study on meditation in 2011 and was one …

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Meditation optimizes adaptive behavior

wildmind meditation newsNews-Medical: Certain meditation techniques can promote behavior to vary adaptively from moment to moment depending on current goals, rather than remaining rigid and inflexible. This is the outcome of a study by Lorenza Colzato and Iliana Samara from the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition at Leiden University, published in Consciousness and Cognition.

Different meditation types, different effects

Colzato and her fellow researchers were the first to investigate if meditation has an immediate effect on behavior, even in people who have never meditated before. “There are two fundamental types of meditation that affect us …

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How does meditation make you smarter?

wildmind meditation newsViatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, BrainBlogger: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need to be told about the relaxing effects of meditation. The practitioners vouch for it; and those who don’t, do not dispute it either. Those in the Far East have known for centuries that meditating brings mental peace and spiritual bliss. Now scientists claim that meditation can even alter the brain’s chemistry and functionality.

Over the years, neuroscientists have carried out brain imaging tests on long-term practitioners of meditation, including several Tibetan …

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Science assesses benefits of mindfulness

April 3, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Gary Robbins, U-T San Diego: Researchers have an intriguing but incomplete picture of what’s going on.

Jeff Lee says he can sum up much of what’s wrong with modern society in five words: Stress, anxiety, anger, sadness and depression.

“We’ve got to get these things under control,” says Lee, co-owner of “Buddha For You,” a meditation studio and store near San Diego State University. “This is what’s really hurting people.”

Consumers agree. Over the past few years, classes have steadily grown bigger at “Buddha,” just as …

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Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche discusses the relevance of science as a tool for meditators

March 27, 2015

News iconThe Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs) Tricycle Magazine: Born in Nepal in 1975, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is the youngest son of the eminent meditation master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and received the same kind of rigorous training associated with previous generations of Tibetan adepts. In his new book, The Joy of Living (Harmony Books), Mingyur Rinpoche recounts how he used meditation to outgrow a childhood beset by fears and extreme panic attacks. From a very young age, he also displayed a keen interest in science; he has pursued this curiosity and how it relates to Buddhist …

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Power of meditation as therapy explored in research

March 26, 2015

wildmind meditation newsTrue Meditation, by Adyashanti (3CDs) Wayne Mogielnicki, Pocono Record: When Rebecca Erwin was a varsity rower at the University of North Carolina, the coach had the team’s members take a yoga and meditation class.

It had an impact.

“My teammates and I noticed that yoga and meditation improved our flexibility and focus, but also made us feel better, not just when we were rowing but in our everyday lives,” she recalled. “I wondered if yoga and meditation really have scientific benefits, especially if they have specific effects on the brain, and if so, how that works.”

Since becoming Dr. …

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Science confirms benefits of meditation

March 25, 2015

wildmind meditation newsHow to Meditate with Pema Chödrön: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind Papiya Bhattacharya, The New Indian Express: Research at Nimhans on the benefits of yoga and meditation has found validation in an unrelated study in the US.

A Harvard study recently found that people asked to practise meditation show actual structural changes taking place in the brain.

These changes are responsible for calmer emotions, better memory, and lower stress. It is the first study to actually document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter.

People who participated in an …

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Seven ways meditation can actually change the brain

February 9, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Alice G. Walton, Forbes: The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some …

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Forever young: meditation might slow the age-related loss of gray matter in the brain, say UCLA researchers

February 8, 2015

wildmind meditation newsClick here to check out our online meditation store Mark Wheeler, UCLA: Since 1970, life expectancy around the world has risen dramatically, with people living more than 10 years longer. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that starting when people are in their mid-to-late-20s, the brain begins to wither — its volume and weight begin to decrease. As this occurs, the brain can begin to lose some of its functional abilities.

So although people might be living longer, the years they gain often come with increased risks for mental illness and neurodegenerative disease. Fortunately, a new study shows meditation could be one way to minimize those risks.

Building on their earlier work that … Read more »

Meditation changes the brain’s wiring and mindset, Harvard studies show

January 19, 2015

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Debra Stern, HNGN: Sarah Lazar’s voice was calming even over the phone as she demonstrated, for this interview, a typical start to a mindfulness practice. “Notice you are breathing in and breathing out. Can you just be aware and really feel what it feels like as air passes through your nostrils?” she asks, gently.

“It may sound incredibly boring,” she says with a chuckle. “But things start to quiet down inside.”

According to Lazar, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University, observing your breath …

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