I have spent the last 30 years practicing, learning, studying and sharing what I can about meditation. Briefly, I began my practice of self-hypnosis at age 12, and basically never stopped. I’ve had book information, informal mentors, closeted practice, formal institutionalized training and spiritual training. All of it has served me, not to be super-human or “enlightened,” but simply to cope and recover from a host of bizarre physical experiences.
It is exactly the culmination of my experiences that has led me to find a way to communicate to others just how vital meditation is to one’s wellbeing and basic survival. The mystics know what they know, but the layperson sometimes needs an explanation, a rationale and a way to buy-in. I believe David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo have presented one of the best explanations I’ve ever come across in their recent book, Power Up Your Brain, The Neuroscience of Enlightenment.
Stress, trauma and the health perils associated with those states all begin and get perpetuated in the limbic brain, which is comprised of the hippocampus, hypothalamus and amygdale. These are responsible for making our emotional connections outside of logic, taking snapshots of life, creating our dream state experiences, turning on our fight-or-flight response, and storing and delivering emotional information independent of time. The limbic system cannot discern past, present or future—each “picture” it accesses is experienced by the body as though it’s current.