A picture of "calm", Buddhist monks - who've spent tens of thousands of hours of their lives meditating - have been shown to have different patterns of brain activity from non-meditators, and subsequent research has proven these types of brain activity patterns are associated with more positive moods. At the beginning of the Wisonsin-Stout study, each participant had an EEG, a measurement of the brain's electrical activity.
Then 11 people were invited to take part in meditation training, while the other 10 were told they would be trained later.
The shift in brain activity "was clearly evident even with a small number of subjects," says Christopher Moyer, one of Anderson's coauthors at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Problems we face todayOf the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. The actor has long been a devotee of meditation, since moving to Japan at the age of 17 to study acupuncture, martial arts and Zen. I used to ignore this feeling when I’d wake up with it, or maybe I didn’t even recognize it was there. With a little bit of training, I came to see that it’s not that hard to apply a little bit of awareness to the process of waking up, not exactly to change our moods, but to be aware of what we’re feeling. It could be a dream that brought me to the mood, or more obviously, residue emotions clinging to me from a fight I had the night before. Once aware that something feels grey and foggy and snarly and wrong, it boils down to making an effort to check in with ourselves, observing this heaviness inside, and enacting what seems like a simple choice. Not the kind of love that has me wanting everything in return, or that I feel is owed to me for trying to be a nice person.
Sometimes I imagine waking up in that ideal wooden cabin by a lake to birds chirping and throw open the door and take in the new sun and gaze at those almighty mountains, and just love everything about everything. Once, when I was about 11, I found myself horribly miscast in a drama class, where I auditioned for a part in The Wizard of Oz. Annie’s love for her parents is based on fantasy, but her yearning for love is entirely real.
These are the times someone’s said something that cut so deep into my core that I was forced to question every last thing about myself, which is the very last thing I wanted to do, to stare deep within the most hideous creature I have become and so obviously am.
What about times like these, and those mornings that begin with foreboding instead of excitement?
One of the most powerful things I learned during some retreats I did in India is a Tibetan Buddhist practice called Tonglen, which means “Giving and Taking,” and it is designed to help open our hearts.


On the out breath, imagine white light pouring out of you and onto them, so that they can be filled with peace and happiness. You can do this several times, starting with the ‘easy ones’:  your loved ones, closest friends, family members. It’s amazing what can erupt in the very core of your being as you realize everyone in the world suffers, and that no one should. What better way to turn your mood and your day around than to help others and generate exactly what you also need to be a happier self? Jane Anderson and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Stout wondered if they could induce these types of brain patterns without a lifetime of meditative devotion.
The 11 were offered two half-hour sessions a week, and encouraged to practice as much as they could between sessions, but there wasn't any particular requirement for how much they should practice.
A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. And then, when I did proceed to have the worst day ever, I could never look back to see if there was an origin to this disaster, a crucial and potential turning point. Or even the kind I expect from people I feel should encourage me to believe I’m not an inherently mean, or even cruel person. It’s so gratifying, to look at the person I love, who has just done the kindest thing I could have asked him to do, and believe that love comes naturally. I’m so lucky to have done this; it’s incredibly easy to be love-filled in moments like these. I want that perfect alignment of insides and outsides, me and you, all intertwined and perfect.
Because the kind of love that counts, knows no bounds, and mornings like these, all I feel is boundaries surrounding me.
Visualize or think about all of their suffering, and on your in breath, take that suffering away from them and into you, right into your heart center. The practice can become more or less elaborate and has variations, but this is the basis: we take others’ various miseries (even that of the world), and give them happiness in return. You can repeat the exercise a few times, for as many breaths as you need, trying with people for whom you feel neutral, and eventually moving on to your ‘enemies’—those who anger you or fill you with unpleasant emotions. We all want love, and have a hard time grasping what real love is, and we all suffer from our attachments to things we don’t have when there’s nothing to have, except (for awhile) our own lives, history and capacity for love. But even with that little meditation practice, their brain activity was different from the 10 people who hadn't had training yet.


Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. It’s going to be the worst day I’ve had in a long time, and it’s probably everyone else’s fault, or it will be, so they really better leave me alone and get on with it. An etched out part of a frosted-over window through which we can make out love in the distance. Find a quiet or sacred space without distractions, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and begin.
She has had her sights set on exploring the people, places and things of the world since forever.
People who had done the meditation training showed a greater proportion of activity in the left frontal region of the brain in response to subsequent attempts to meditate. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.
To this end, she has managed to work, live and travel far and wide, writing and photographing; and wellness-practicing along the way. Other research has found that this pattern of brain activity is associated with positive moods. It’s always in our best interest to try to understand those people and things that anger us, and to do that, we can try to merge with them, become a part of who or what they are. He's currently at a 45-day meditation retreat, and before he left said that "one of the things that happens to me in these courses is that my memory gets razor-sharp". Simmons says the following about meditation: "It has given me energy, strength, health, wisdom, and access to my own inner stillness, inner silence, inner bliss. He turned to meditation after seeing its effect on the performing abilities of fellow jazz players and believes that it has played an integral part in his own artistic development. He says meditation enabes him to explore outside his comfort zone and find the courage to try new things.



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