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We know that the human brain is a powerful organ, but many of us aren't aware of how much the mind is truly capable of -- and much more powerful it can become through deliberate training. A multitude of studies have linked meditation with both physical and mental health benefits, from reduced depression and anxiety to improved immune system functioning. The monks who are part of Josipovic's research (and the research projects of several other neuroscientists) have accomplished extraordinary feats of mind and, in some cases, have managed to rewire the brain. Here are some incredible findings from brain imaging studies on Buddhist monks that shed light on the astounding power of the human mind. In 2005, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia and University of California at Berkeley traveled to India to study 76 Tibetan Buddhist monks, in order to gain insight into how mental states can affect conscious visual experiences -- and how we might be able to gain more control over the regular fluctuations in our conscious state. Their data indicated that years of meditation training can profoundly affect a phenomenon known as "perceptual rivalry," which takes place when two different images are presented to each eye -- the brain fluctuates, in a matter of seconds, in the dominant image that is perceived.
Brain scans revealed that because of meditation, 66-year-old French monk Matthieu Ricard, an aide to the Dalai Lama, has the largest capacity for happiness ever recorded. Research at Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education made some incredible findings last year.
Davidson's research on Ricard and other monks also found that meditation on compassion can produce powerful changes in the brain.
While a normal brain switches between the extrinsic network (which is used when people are focused on tasks outside themselves) and the intrinsic network, which involves self-reflection and emotion -- the networks rarely act together. This story appears in Issue 69 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Oct. To perform the sequence, stand up straight in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with the feet together and arms at the side of the body with open palms.
Thus to admit that your Brain needs training at all, is to admit to some deficiency or weakness in . The curious goal of having your own brain try to train itself, is a paradox I call: Einstein's Mind Bind.
This subtle insight flies over the heads (and over the brains) of most people, especially those who are deeply committed to Positive Thinking.
According to the PMA Paradigm, as you reinforce a thought long enough, by repeating it over and over in your Head, that positive thought becomes a belief.
But trying to convince yourself that You are amazingly successful and that You can accomplish anything, still does not change this fact: Certain mortal realities are beyond your control, and all the PMA in the world will not prevent them from happening.
Job of the Old Testament found himself in a tragic circumstance where his family was killed, his home and his cattle were destroyed, and the health his body was momentarily taken away. This means, You will be using your old mind, the one that has led you into your current condition, and you will be using that old mind to train the same old mind to have positive thoughts? Let's assume that the person who will be training his own brain, while using that same lame brain to do the training, is presently lacking in maturity and experience — he's gullible. Compared to Positive Self-Talk and chanting Affirmations, sincere prayer can change your path in life much more profoundly.
Consider how mortal beings can die, and without a physical brain, the immortal spirit continues to think and perceive and live. But how does a person acquire a Mind-Set, a Way of Thinking, that is oriented towards seeing the good in everything? What it means to be human is to see life from particular perspectives that are not just positive or negative. It is YOU who is trying to program your own Brain (or Mind) with positive affirmations; yet, YOU cannot escape YOU. For this reason, a person who dwells in darkness cannot become a different person, a Being of Light and Love, simply by chanting certain words over and over.


Admitting one's mistakes and humbly repairing them is an essential part of living in the Light. In contrast, the literature of popular psychology says that optimism and motivation is primarily a matter of attitude, a matter of self-programmed positive mind-set — that you can simply psych yourself into a motivated state of optimism, is an assumption that is simply wrong.
The person who dwells in darkness by doing dark deeds, or by failing to do good deeds, cannot SEE the Light and cannot SEE the Love and the Goodness of Life. When you cannot control your thoughts or your behaviors, and habitually fall into obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors — this means you're addicted in some form or fashion. On a different level…but in the same way…we are absent-minded, wrong-headed, misinformed, or thoughtless about our journey of following Jesus. You need a sounding board, someone to help you make sense of all that you face, someone who holds you accountable to what you say you want to do.
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By exercising the brain (yes, you can use repetition and habit as you do when you exercise the body), we can achieve what may have previously seemed nearly impossible.
And thanks to a line of research that looks at the brain power of of Buddhist monks -- who have devoted their lives to the practice of meditation, compassion and non-attachment -- we now know that the brain changes that result from years of mindfulness practices can be staggering. Josipovic, himself a Buddhist monk, has conducted research putting the brains of prominent Buddhist monks under fMRI machines to track the blood flow to their brains while they are meditating. Davidson's groundbreaking research on Tibetan Buddhist monks at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that years of meditative practice can dramatically increase neuroplasticity -- the brain's ability to use new experiences or environments to create structural changes. University of Wisconsin researchers, led by Davidson, hooked up 256 sensors to his head, and found that Ricard had an unusually large propensity for happiness and reduced tendency toward negativity, due to neuroplasticity.
Neuroeconomist Brian Knutson hooked up several monks' brains to MRI scanners to examine their risk and reward systems.
When the monks were asked to meditate on "unconditional loving-kindness and compassion," their brains generated powerful gamma waves that may have indicated a compassionate state of mind, Wired reported in 2006.
But Josipovic found something startling in the brains of some monks and experienced meditators: They're able to keep both networks active at the same time during meditation, allowing them to feel a sense of "nonduality," or oneness.
Head over to our GPS For The Soul page for more on mindful living guidance, meditation tips and techniques, and happiness. Now if your Brain were smart enough to train itself, why would such a competent, smart Brain need to be trained in the first place? You see, Einstein's observation actually undercuts the premise of Positive Mental Attitude. Enduring his dire conditions was never a matter of chanting positive self-affirmations and programming his brain; instead, the way through his devastating adversity was to express faith in God, and pray for the Lord's healing and redemption. Here's another positive suggestion that I found floating in cyber-space: Train Your Mind To See The Positive In Every Situation. So your old mind, the one that was somewhat blind to seeing the positive in every situation, this mangled mind will be training the same messed-up mind to . Thus it is the immortal spirit that enables conscious awareness and thought, and the brain connects this consciousness to the physical senses and to body movements. Instead, the more fundamental question is whether you will see Life with eyes of Light, or with eyes of Darkness. Truth is, the Talking-To-Youself approach to Self-Improvement is also called Fake-It-Till-You-Make-It, and faking-it, pretending to be someone you are not, is fundamentally dishonest. And this life of integrity is the most fruitful source of your personal happiness, your joyful optimism, and your inner motivation.


This Darkened Perspective tends to perpetuate itself; which explains why people get trapped in addictive thinking and behavior.
And how does a person become free from this Prison of Addiction, free from this Jail of Obsessive Compulsive Thinking?
So the KEY to fixing the old mind that was blind to seeing the beauties of Life, is to receive a New Heart, which will in turn naturally create a New Mind capable of joyful optimism.
A Change that You do not control, nor can you create with your positive thinking or determined will power; instead, the Change of Heart only happens by humbly yielding to the redeeming power of Heaven.
No, life changes and while we might be hardwired to resist it, to hate it even, so are we also gifted with an incredible ability to adapt … to grow … and to surprise ourselves.
Someone who helps you create not only your action plan but ensures that the end goal is truly what you want. Do you struggle to find time for yourself and now, the time to be the caregiver for your elderly parents? Coaching with SAS is a partnership that helps you adapt to life’s changes, by holding first and foremost that you already have the answers.
When the monks practiced meditating on a single object or thought, significant increases in the duration of perceptual dominance occurred. Ordinarily, the brain's nucleus accumbens experiences a dopamine rush when you experience something pleasant -- like having sex, eating a slice of chocolate cake, or finding a $20 bill in your pocket.
This suggests, then, that empathy may be able to be cultivated by "exercising" the brain through loving-kindness meditation. Because prayer to the Father in the name of Christ is the very Source from which you and I are inspired to positive thoughts that have lasting impact.
Minding is Conscious Awareness of your world; it is an awareness that continue uninterrupted after the mortal body dies.
So the crucial question, and choice, is about Light or Darkness, Good or Evil, and the degree to which you choose to embrace one, or the other. This means, people who embrace the Light will tend to choose more Light; in contrast, people who dwell in darkness, will tend to choose more darkness. We are not free to choose options of which we are unaware; thus, we cannot choose a Truth that we do not yet know.
You aren’t clear on what you need and want — which makes it difficult to put a plan together to get there. One monk was able to maintain constant visual perception for 723 seconds -- compared to the average of 2.6 seconds in non-meditative control subjects. But Knutson's research, still in the early stages, is showing that in Tibetan Buddhist monks, this area of the brain may be able to light up for altruistic reasons.
Do you need help envisioning your future, figuring out what you really want, and dreaming bigger? Deep down you want to learn and grow but it’s overwhelming … the logistics of how to navigate this change have stopped you in your tracks. By meeting with you regularly, we help you with your perceived limitations, and your darker moments too, when you are grappling with the messages that are blocking your fulfillment. As you gain connection to this deep fount, you begin to overcome your fears and your self-imposed limits.



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Comments to «How to train your mind not to think about food»

  1. BoneS
    In our final mindfulness exercise, we found how you're meditating however all.
  2. RamaniLi_QaQaS
    Students wishing to hitch us for the meditation.