PILGRIMAGE BLOG

The Science of Meditation

Based on Why God Won’t Go Away by Dr. Andrew Newberg

Millions of people are learning to meditate. Stress-reduction, more happiness, and a deep sense of calm: all of these benefits are well documented by the scientific community. * Meditation is being taught everywhere: from schools to the military and everywhere in between. But how does it work?

The Science

New medical technology allows scientists to view the workings of the brain in real time. We can now look at a brain in the state of deep meditation and a brain writhing in anxiety and see many differences. These differences in blood flow to specific areas of the brain, coupled with what we know about different functions of specific areas of the brain, coupled with the subjective experiences of those participating has allowed for a very accurate and scientific understanding of meditation and mystical experience.

Letting Go

An area of the brain called the ‘posterior superior parietal lobe’ creates our sense of the physical space around us and draws the distinction between the individual and the environment. Essential, it creates our sense of ‘I.’

This part of the brain relies on a steady stream of nerve impulses from the body’s senses. When practicing meditation we calm and relax our senses lessening the data stream to this part of the brain; the boundaries of self begin to shift and widen, we feel expansive, and less confined, more a part of a bigger picture.

And, possibly most significantly, when coming out of the meditative experience we carry a memory of these feelings that can influence our actions in our day-to-day lives.

Evolution into Oneness

We, in our evolution, learn to use parts of our bodies forever more expansive and consciousness expanding abilities. Our eyes, which once were used exclusively for survival, are now the vehicles through which we can read and enjoy art. The holds true for our brains. The part of our brain which gives rise to seperativity and egocentricity is also the part, which can allow us, to experience universal oneness.

Evolution is luminous process when form and function evolve together!

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