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Fully revised and updated for 2016
Modern brain scanning techniques like EEG and fMRI have proven what many meditators thought - meditation changes the brain in many positive ways
Would you like to have more happiness? Better focus? Less anxiety?
The essence of meditation has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with trying to "stop thoughts" (which is virtually impossible anyway).
Meditation is about practice. It is about repetition and patience. It is about slowing down and taking time to watch the contents of your brain as they float past your consciousness like a movie. It is about stepping back out of the movie.
Then, gradually, over time your brain changes in some amazing ways. You will be able to witness this first hand.
All this is accepted wisdom, however what does objective, scientific research tell us? Fortunately we now have an impressive amount of research and clinical trial information that gives us a clear picture of what is happening at a neurological level when we meditate.
And what this data is telling us is that meditation makes you happier, more focused, along with a range of sometimes surprising other benefits.
Did you know that, with the blessing and support of the Dalai Lama, researchers scanned the brains of Tibetan Lamas and found levels of happiness (through increased left prefrontal cortex activity) and compassion that were literally, off the charts?
However you don't have to meditate for 10,000 hours or more like these Lamas. When you start to meditate, you immediately begin making tangible progress. Then, over time, some of the more profound benefits (like intense and enduring joy) will gradually unfold as your practice deepens.
Kramer has collected all the relevant research material to create a document that can be used as a motivational tool for scientifically-inclined meditators. An understanding of the effects of meditation on the brain can be a powerful driving force for long term practice. Sometimes goals need to be measurable and while you don't need to get an fMRI scan, knowing how meditation shapes brain structure can fuel patient and focused meditative practice.
This book is for those that want to know what is actually happening in their brain as they meditate and how these changes to the brain can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.