Friday, July 25th, 2014

The Biology of Meditation

Published on November 6, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

ElephantJournal

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.

These have included: temporarily blindness in one eye at age 11, hit by lightning at 15, temporarily blindness in both eyes at 19, blacking out and having seizures most of my life and flat-lining on at least four documented occasions.

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.

This is my cliff’s notes version in hopes you will find your own buy-in and continue your practice or begin a meditation practice.

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.

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