Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How God Changes Your Brain~ Teaser Tuesday



Hosted by MizB at shouldbereading.

Here's how to play:

*Grab your current read,
*Open to a random page,
*Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page,
*Please no spoilers!
*Share the title and author.

Today's selection is from 'How God Changes Your Brain' by Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman. P. 48.

"In the summer of 1999, I had the opportunity to study a group of nuns who had been practicing the Centering Prayer for a minimum of fifteen years. This was the first brain-scan study of Christian contemplative practitioners, and we discovered that the neurological changes were significant and very different from how the human brain normally functions. Even more surprising, the neurological changes were nearly the same as those we recorded from a group of Buddhist practitioners, who obviously  nurtured very different beliefs. This evidence confirmed our hypothesis that the benefits gleaned from prayer and meditation may have less to do with a specific theology than with the ritual techniques of breathing, staying relaxed, and focusing one's attention upon a concept that evokes comfort, compassion, or a spiritual sense of peace. Of course, the more you believe in what you are meditating or praying about, the stronger the response will be." 


A fascinating look at the effects of meditation (and prayer) on the neurological aspects of the brain. While I have recommended meditation to family and friends, I find that people either don't understand the benefits to themselves (of which there are a myriad of variations that last far beyond the time spent sitting) or they are terrified of time alone and/or what they will find inside. What a very different world it would be if everyone took a few minutes every day to slow down, go inside and feel a little peace on a regular basis.

From the back cover:
"* Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. (From page 62: 'Another important study...also showed that meditation enhanced the brain's thickness and neuroplasticity. Normally when we age, our cerebral cortex thins.')
* Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. 
* Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain.
* Intense prayer and meditation lastingly change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality."

2 comments:

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh now this looks so INTERESTING, but I have no time to play dearest, but I so believe this to be true; we are hardwired for REPAIRS BY THE MASTER!!!!!! Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest! THANK YOU for coming to visit!!!! I hope you are having a wonderful season of celebration and hopefully, some rest!!!! BISOUS! Anita