Researcher and neuroscientist at Harvard, Sara Lazar, have found that your brain structure changes noticeably after less than 8 weeks of meditation. Meditation has been found to increase the brain size a€“ larger volumes of grey matter specifically – in the right orbito-frontal cortex, left temporal gyrus and significantly larger volumes in the right hippocampus. These areas are especially important in tasks associated with attention, emotional regulation and mental flexibility. The hippocampus is essential in forming long-term memories, by consolidating short-term memories. What the Teachers Say About Doggie Dharma: Did Buddha Teach That Dogs and Cats Have Buddha Nature? Science: Research Proves Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Involving Deity Visualization Improve Cognitive Performance and May Be Promising For Degenerative Brain DisordersBuddhist Living, Buddhist Practices, Meditation, Scientific Buddhist, Tantra, VajrayanaScience, and in particular the medical profession, has long accepted the positive benefits of all forms or meditation. Drumming for mindfulness and healing: a simple way to calm the mind, remove stress and heal.
Science: Research Proves Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Involving Deity Visualization Improve Cognitive Performance and May Be Promising For Degenerative Brain DisordersScience, and in particular the medical profession, has long accepted the positive benefits of all forms or meditation. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche discusses decades of teaching, advice for beginner students and funny stories of his teachers.PART 1 OF A 3-PART FEATURE INTERVIEW WITH VENERABLE ZASEP TULKU RINPOCHE. A new study from the National University of Singapore, attempts to differentiate the relative benefits of different types of meditation.
This may not surprise Vajrayana practitioners, who know just how much of the brain must be activated to stabilize a complex visualization, but it may also be good news for people at risk for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive degenerative disorders.
The study was conducted by Professor Maria Kozhevnikov and Doctor Ido Amihai from the Department of Psychology, and just recently published in the journal PLOS ONE for July 2014. Putting aside the obvious spiritual attainments associated with each path, there are significant differences in health benefits.
The complex visualizations required in Vajrayana meditative methods, which can include holding detailed images for long periods of time, dramatically and immediately improve cognitive ability according to research from NUS.
Specifically, Samatha and Vipassana meditation (which are also part of Vajrayana foundation practice) were compared to Vajrayana meditations which included visualization and self-generation-as-Deity and Rigpa.
By contrast, Theravada style meditation produced improved parasympathetic activity, and a decrease in activation of the sympathetic system. Vajrayana students have long been taught to anchor their practices in Samatha and Vipassana meditation, then, as they advance in their practice to undertake Deity visualizations. Vajrayana visualization involves holding rich and detailed images of Deities such as White Tara.
Interestingly, another term for one branch of Vajrayana is Mantrayana, due to its emphasis on Mantra with visualization.
The study conclusively concludes that even one session of Vajrayana deity visualization meditation brings immediate cognitive improvements.
The test subjects were all practitioners from Nepal, with years of experience in Tibetan Vajrayana meditation.


The purpose of Vajrayana meditation is not to enhance cognitive abilities—but it’s a very nice side effect. An additional area of benefit, from separate studies, is treatment of anxiety or depression. In Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy, an entire section on clinical applications is dedicated to visualizing compassionate Buddha images (normally Avalokitesvara). Adding this clinical experience, to this new research on cognitive benefits show added benefits specifically from visualization practice of compassionate Buddha’s. The benefits of practicing properly under a qualified Vajrayana teacher are well established—and the long lasting benefits are clear and sure.
Inevitably, arthritis pains subsides in my case, and I’ve avoided most of the colds and flus that go around my business meetings— knock on wood.
Many studies across decades of research have proven meditation is simply good for the body—and your health. But, if that annual doctor’s visit brings dreaded news, a diagnosis of a serious disease or condition, your doctor will probably refer to a specialist. Studies show drum meditation supports treatments of cancer, Parkinsons and depression.Buddhist Living, Buddhist Practices, Dharma, Meditation, Mindfulness, Scientific BuddhistPsychology and science have identified both drumming and mindfulness meditation as helpful therapy for everything from stress to memory loss to supportive cancer care. Studies show drum meditation supports treatments of cancer, Parkinsons and depression.Psychology and science have identified both drumming and mindfulness meditation as helpful therapy for everything from stress to memory loss to supportive cancer care. The spiritual head of many temples and meditation centres in Canada, United States, and Australia, the eminent guru will make his semi-annual teaching round in Toronto, Canada in April 2016. In particular, the research team found that Vajrayana meditation, with Tantric and Deity visualizations, significantly improves cognitive performance. Although most of the study focused on Theravada meditative practices—which are frequently practiced also by Mahayana and Vajrayana practitioners as foundation practices—the study found that Vajrayana meditation added extra layers of cognitive benefits. All participants in the study were monitored for both electrocardiographic and electroencephalographic responses. The tasking tests given to participants revealed sharply enhanced cognitive performance immediately after Vajrayana meditation. Since Deity visualization practice literally takes years of dedicated practice, it’s easy to assume the long term benefits, considering how well the subjects did in the tests. Quoted in the article, is the Thirteenth Zasep Tulku, Archarya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, an Internationally Respected Teacher. The meditations require dedication and years of practice from the student under a teacher’s guidance.
We practice these proven methods to make progress on our spiritual path and to gain Dharma realizations. On the other hand, cognitive benefits should be nearly immediate, even for beginners, who diligently engage the mind with Vajrayana deity visualizations.
It is noted that the visualization should be of a compassionat figure “who embodies the qualities of unconditional acceptance, quiet strength and wisdom… beyond human fallibility.” The example they used was Avalokitesvara or Guanyin (the female Chinese form).


To practice most—but not all—Deity visualization meditations Tantric empowerments are required. One of the five foundation practices is Guru Yoga, which may have the same benefits as other Deity visualizations, since this involves visualizations.
And, if an additional benefit is a sharp mind, and defence against cognitive disorders, this is fortunate.
What to Do About Euthanasia?Buddhist Living, Buddhist Practices, Dharma, What the Buddhist Teachers SayI saw a sparkling moment of real Doggie Dharma last weekend. A new study from the National University of Singapore, attempts to differentiate the relative benefits of different types of meditation…. And, putting aside Buddhists, why is the meat industry growing when the science says it’s hurting our planet? Together with Medicine Buddha practice, they are important and treasured practices in Buddhism that have been relied on for healing for centuries. The breakthrough study found that Vajrayana meditation showed activation of the sympathetic system. The challenging practice is proven to improve cognitive abilities almost immediately, but the methods are challenging to learn—and require both a teacher and practice. This makes Samatha and Vipassana meditation ideal for spiritual contemplation, and stress relief. However, a student of Vajrayana, practicing both styles of meditation, should see benefits spiritually, mentally and physically. The researchers will, however, be looking at the effects of short-term exposure to the techniques, probably using naive test subjects who do not have the benefit of years of study.
Although effects can be immediate, from as soon as the first meditation session, it requires long term commitment.
Since the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, we have known about the stress-reducing benefits of both mindfulness and drumming. After meditation, any tasks involving the brain by Vajrayana meditators, showed marked enhancement. Foundation meditation will anchor practice—and relieve stress—bringing important health benefits. But for most advanced practices, initiations are required, for the education and protection of the meditator. My kind teacher, Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, smiled as they lifted the pup for a blessing after the teachings. As many Deity meditations are complex —and should be understood correctly—a teaching, empowerment and guidance are important.



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