Science Behind Mind Training

Scientists estimate we have approximately 67,000 thoughts per day.
A typical psychology textbook can list approximately 500 different words for feelings.



We might believe there is something wrong with us for having so many different thoughts, feelings or moods.  

We might also get stuck on particular thoughts, repeating those same thoughts over and over again, even though those thoughts might not be very helpful or even make us feel very good. 

In fact, these experiences are normal and are very common. now that we know these facts...what can we do to help ourselves experience more peace, contentment, happiness and steadiness of mind?

Mind Training helps us to learn how untangle from thoughts, feelings, body sensations and see them as they truly are. Mind Training helps us to realize that thoughts, feelings, moods and body sensations are shifting, changing and ultimately impermanent. Often times we can be very caught up in wanting to make certain thoughts, feelings and sensations last and others to cease. 

We spend much of our time in school learning about mathematics and languages, but we may not have spent much time investigating our own minds and bodies. Mind Training invites us to discover our own minds and bodies and learn something about their nature.

Mind Training is in itself a scientific investigation of the mind and body from the inside out, with you as the researcher.

Scientists discovered in around the 1990's that human pre-frontal cortex is more right or left activated from birth. They also discovered that there appears to be a number of differences between people who are...those who are more left pre-frontally cortically activated tend to be happier, relaxed, have better relationships and increased job satisfactiion.

So, given that this activation is present from birth can it be changed??

The answer is YES!

The very hopeful news is the discovery of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the most radical change in our understanding of the brain in 400 years! It essentially means that our brains are malleable, changable. Now...because our brains are changable we can change them to work to our advantage (for good), or we can at times unknowingly train our brains to operate to our disadvantage.

Mind Training  (the development of focussed and open attentional practices, over 8 weeks, minimum 5 times per week 15 minutes) results in more left pre-frontal cortical activation.

Buddhist monks who have been practicing for 40,000 hours or more demonstrate very robust left pre-frontal cortical activation.

Regular people who have practiced regularly demonstrate measurable shifts, in mood (happier, calmer, less anxious and less reactive) and demonstrate stronger left prefrontal cortical activation. 


What can the emerging fields of brain science can teach us about ourselves and others?

Check out....Waismann Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behaviour 

Also...Discovering Our Selves: The Science of Emotion

Parts of the Brain that Slow Down or Speed Up in Depression - More about the Left Prefrontal Cortex