Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brain research - open your mind

Catching up with my alma mater, UC Davis, led me to an article about their Center for Mind and Brain, a research institute for the study of all things brain-y. The article I read discusses the Shamatha Project - how meditation affects attention, emotion and mood. Results are being submitted for publication, but suggest that "repeated practice in focusing the mind and opening the heart appears to stabilize attention, promote health and well-being, and lead to more compassionate responses." (College Currents, the UC Davis College of Letters and Science Magazine, Fall 2009, available here in interactive or PDF format).

So now, my questions for you:
  • What do you do to focus your mind? Meditation is one powerful way, but I find exercise also focuses me, or prayer, or cooking, or creating music.
  • How do you open your heart?
  • In what ways would practicing more compassion change your daily life?
  • And how can I prescribe meditation sessions to Congress?

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