Dhyana (Meditation) and Your Brain

Probably like many before me, my foray into meditation was motivated by a need to calm my mind, ease the overwhelming torrents of anger in my chest, etc, etc…you get the picture…

Well, after having meditated regularly for about 2 months..something has changed. it is subtle. There were no fireworks or grand realisation. There is no light around my head, and i still can’t sit in a lotus position. But there is a constant fuzzy feeling that surrounds me, which either helps me disconnect or connect to my environment. Am i imagining this? After all, the mind creates what the mind creates..no? NO! According to this article in Science Daily, mediation can actually change your brain structure. A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers conducted a study group where they looked at the brains of participants before and after they started on an 8-week meditation programme. If you don’t fee like reading the looong article…here are the highlights of differences found in the participants:

  • increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory
  • increased grey-matter density in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection
  • decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.
And all of the above by just meditating 27 mins per day for 8 weeks…..pretty awesome huh?

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital. “Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks.” ScienceDaily, 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 May 2011.