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Author Topic: Meditation Shown to Light Up Brains of Buddhists  (Read 1190 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: May 21, 2003, 09:00:36 PM »

Meditation Shown to Light Up Brains of Buddhists
Wed May 21, 2:48 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Buddhists really are happy, calm and serene people -- at least according to their brain scans.
   

Using new scanning techniques, neuroscientists have discovered that certain areas of the brain light up constantly in Buddhists, which indicates positive emotions and good mood. This happens at times even when they are not meditating.


"We can now hypothesize with some confidence that those apparently happy, calm Buddhist souls one regularly comes across in places such as Dharamsala, India, really are happy," Professor Owen Flanagan, of Duke University in North Carolina, said Wednesday.


Dharamsala is the home base of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.


The scanning studies by scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison showed activity in the left prefrontal lobes of experienced Buddhist practitioners. The area is linked to positive emotions, self-control and temperament.


Other research by Paul Ekman, of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, suggests that meditation and mindfulness can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.


Ekman discovered that experienced Buddhists were less likely to be shocked, flustered, surprised or as angry as other people.


Flanagan believes that if the findings of the studies can be confirmed they could be of major importance.


"The most reasonable hypothesis is that there is something about conscientious Buddhist practice that results in the kind of happiness we all seek," Flanagan said in a report in New Scientist magazine.

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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 10:02:52 PM »

Meditation Shown to Light Up Brains of Buddhists
Wed May 21, 2:48 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Buddhists really are happy, calm and serene people -- at least according to their brain scans.
   Using new scanning techniques, neuroscientists have discovered that certain areas of the brain light up constantly in Buddhists, which indicates positive emotions and good mood. This happens at times even when they are not meditating.
"We can now hypothesize with some confidence that those apparently happy, calm Buddhist souls one regularly comes across in places such as Dharamsala, India, really are happy," Professor Owen Flanagan, of Duke University in North Carolina, said Wednesday.
Dharamsala is the home base of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
The scanning studies by scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison showed activity in the left prefrontal lobes of experienced Buddhist practitioners. The area is linked to positive emotions, self-control and temperament.
Other research by Paul Ekman, of the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, suggests that meditation and mindfulness can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.
Ekman discovered that experienced Buddhists were less likely to be shocked, flustered, surprised or as angry as other people.
Flanagan believes that if the findings of the studies can be confirmed they could be of major importance.
"The most reasonable hypothesis is that there is something about conscientious Buddhist practice that results in the kind of happiness we all seek," Flanagan said in a report in New Scientist magazine.


Sorry to resurrect another topic BUT... I seem to recall reading something similar with Catholics reciting Hail Mary's, so I was curious if any y'all have read any studies on the benefits of repetative prayers (such as the Jesus Prayer??). I think it would be fascinating if an Athonite monastic volunteered for this type of study.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 10:04:07 PM by Jibrail Almuhajir » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 09:00:29 PM »

Dalai Lama Wins Templeton Prize For Work On Science, Religion

Quote
But somewhat under the radar screen, the Tibetan Buddhist leader and Nobel Prize laureate has also had an abiding interest in the intersection of science and religion.

That interest won Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, the 2012 Templeton Prize on Thursday (March 29), a $1.7 million award that is often described as the most prestigious award in religion.

The Dalai Lama is the highest-profile winner of an award that in recent years had been given to physicists and theologians not well known to the general public, but earlier had been given to the likes of evangelist Billy Graham and the late Mother Teresa.
....
Aside from the "Science for Monks" program, the foundation noted that the Dalai Lama co-founded the Colorado-based Mind & Life Institute in 1987, dedicated to "collaborative research" between science and Buddhism.

Among other things, the institute hosts conferences focusing on contemplative science, consciousness and death, and destructive and healing emotions.

Another institution formed with the Dalai Lama's collaboration is Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 11:55:04 AM »

Buddhists really are happy, calm and serene people -- at least according to their brain scans.

Real buddhists? or those playing buddhist in America?  I suppose the locations given later in the article (Wisconsin, California) give a good indicator...
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 12:51:11 PM »

ya they probably couldn't get "real" buddhists to volunteer... Wink I could imagine if they tried to go to Mt. Athos with this proposition...
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