using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : July 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2011 46 numerous research projects to explore the effects of meditation; ongoing investigations are exploring the role of meditation and mindfulness on health and healing; and neuroscientists have re- corded brain waves and made pictures of brain activity in many thousands of meditators, ranging from novices in urban practice centers to monks in the secluded monasteries of Tibet. There is no question that you can become a perfectly good meditator without any complicated neuroimaging technology. On the other hand, for those of us who are interested in prac- ticing mindfulness and other related forms of meditation, the modern science of meditation offers us a window into some very interesting—and important—areas of our practice and our lives. Can the benefits meditators say they experience—increased calm, decreased stress, better attention, and so forth—be traced to actual neural changes? In the last several decades, the scientific study of meditation has provided increasingly concrete proof of the inseparability of body and mind. It has also demonstrated ways we can literally change ourselves and our world through practice; shown us the observable changes in the systems and subsystems that govern our attention as we progress from the focus of mindfulness to the panorama of awareness; and even given us a glimpse of the biological basis of the illusion of the self. CHANGES IN REGIONS OF THE BRAIN One of the most interesting areas of research on the effects of con- templative practices has explored the possibility that the actual structure of the brain is changed by meditation practice. Several neuroscientists have shown that some of the brain regions activated during meditation are actually different in people who meditate regularly, and the most recent evidence suggests that the changes can occur in as little as eight weeks. This finding is at odds with what we think we know about brain structure in adults. We used to believe that sometime shortly after twenty-five or thirty years of age the brain was finished with growth and development. From then on, the brain became progressively impaired by age and injury, and it was all downhill from there. But recent meditation research suggests that this glum outcome may not be inevitable. Meditation practice is associated with changes of specific brain areas that are es- sential for attention, learning, and the regulation of emotion. Maybe this shouldn’t be such a surprise. When you exercise your muscles in the gym, they become larger as well as stronger. Their structure changes. In fact, almost any structure of the body changes Scientific studies have found increasingly concrete proof of the inseparability of body and mind, and have even given us a glimpse of the biological basis of the illusion of self. Neuroscientists Amishi Jha of the University of Pennsylvania, and Britta Hölzel and Sara Lazar of the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital. PHOTOBYDANIELONTANEDA