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 : January 2018
As Mingyur was told when a lab technician began pasting sensors to his scalp, ensuring a tight connection for each and placing them in their exact spot takes no more than fifteen min- utes. But Mingyur, a shaven-headed monk, offered up a bald head, and it turns out such continually exposed skin is more thickened and calloused than one protected by hair. To make the crucial electrode-to-scalp connection tight enough to yield viable readings through thicker skin ended up taking much longer than usual. Most people who come into the lab get impatient, if not irritated, by such delays. But Mingyur was not in the least per- turbed, which calmed the nervous lab technician—and all those looking on—with the feeling anything that happened would be okay with him. That was the first inkling of Mingyur’s ease of being, a palpable sense of relaxed readiness for whatever life might bring. The lasting impression Mingyur conveyed was of endless patience, and a gentle quality of kindness. After spending what seemed like an eternity ensuring that the sensors had good contact with the scalp, the experiment was finally ready to begin. A precise analysis of something as squishy as, say, compassion demands an exacting protocol, one that can detect that mental state’s specific pattern of brain activity amidst the cacophony of the electrical storm from everything else going on. The protocol had Mingyur alternate between one minute of meditation on compassion and thirty seconds of a neutral resting period. To ensure confidence that any effect detected was reliable rather than a random finding, he would have to do this four times in rapid succession. From the start Richie had grave doubts about whether this could work. Those on the lab team who meditated, Richie among them, all knew it takes time just to settle the mind, often considerably longer than a few minutes. It was inconceivable, they thought, that even someone like Mingyur would be able to enter these states instantaneously, and not need much time to reach inner quiet. Richie was fortunate that Buddhist scholar John Dunne—a rare combination of scientific interests, humanities expertise, and fluency in Tibetan—volunteered to translate. John deliv- ered precisely timed instructions to Mingyur signaling him to start a compassion meditation, and then after sixty seconds another cue for thirty seconds of his mental resting state, and so on for three more cycles. Just as Mingyur began the meditation, there was a sudden, huge burst of electrical activity on the computer monitors displaying the signals from his brain. Everyone assumed this meant he had moved; such movement artifacts are a common problem in research with EEG, which registers as wave pat- terns readings of electrical activity at the top of the brain. Any Twenty-one Buddhist yogis have been tested in Davidson’s lab. Here he explains how brain images are displayed to the Dalai Lama, who has long advocated the scientific study of meditation. PHOTOBYJEFFMILLER,UNIVERSITYOFWISCONSIN–MADISON LION’S ROAR | JANUARY 2018 54