John Hanc, New York Times: In 1969, Katherine Splain, then a student at the College of New Rochelle, saw the dark side of drug use among her peers. So she sought a different — and legal — path on her inward journey.
“I had read that meditation was actually another way of achieving the kind of ‘high’ that you might experience if you did drugs,” said Ms. Splain, who is now 63.
She heard about a class in meditation being offered near the school, decided to visit and was impressed with the students she met. “There wasn’t a lot of peace in the world in 1969 …
Denise Dador, KABC: Over the years, numerous studies have shown how meditation can be a great way to manage and alleviate stress. Now local researchers say there appears to be physical proof that shows years of meditation may change the brain.
Meditation trainer Julianna Raye of Hollywood is guiding a mindfulness exercise. She’s been practicing for 17 years and says it’s made her mind stronger.
“It’s like training at the gym,” said Raye. “You’re training your mind. You’re improving your concentration. And that’s a skill that you need to develop.”
Raye may be using building muscles …
Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells.
Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.
Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification (“folding” of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate.
Further, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, possibly providing further proof of the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to adapt to environmental changes.
The article appears in the … Read more »
Study shows practice may have potential to change brain’s physical structure
Two years ago, researchers at UCLA found that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than the brains of individuals in a control group. This suggested that meditation may indeed be good for all of us since, alas, our brains shrink naturally with age.
Now, a follow-up study suggests that people who meditate also have stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. Having stronger connections influences the ability to rapidly relay electrical signals in the brain. And significantly, these effects are evident throughout the entire brain, not just in specific areas.
Eileen … Read more »
A new study has confirmed what many people believed: meditation helps increase gray matter.
A research team from University of California, Los Angeles scanned the brains of people who meditate and found that certain regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger than in a similar control group.
Meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus – all known for regulating emotions.
“We know that people who consistently meditate have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability and engage in mindful behaviour,” said Eileen Luders, lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro … Read more »