Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eight Weeks to a New Brain

The article listed above encourages the readers to meditate for eight weeks to increase brain activity and function. Meditation improves memory, empathy and feelings of being smarter and more calm. The article mentions that if you meditate on God, beneficial changes will occur within the brain and you will experience an increase in joy. Meditation is more common among spiritualist groups and different religions, but meditating on God and His character can be beneficial to all.
We quieted our mind in class and it was beneficial in different aspects to people. Some people experienced God's presence, while others struggled to stay awake. It was a calming experience and it was nice to give my mind a break from the hustle and bustle from the world's demands. After the fifteen minutes of sitting still, I experienced a more positive outlook for the day and it would be interesting to see how I feel after meditating after an eight week span. I think that meditating can be a relaxing experience that we should all incorporate in our lives, whether it is to focus on God or just to get away from the world. It could be a very good way to eliminate the stress and illnesses in our lives.


  1. It's funny, I often find that the mention of meditation elicits an interesting response from Christians. My first career was in the spa business where I worked my way up from a licensed massage therapist to the V.P. of Ops for a chain of spas and salons in South Carolina. Consequently, I had a lot of exposure to many Eastern/alternative traditions such as yoga (Indian), Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reiki (Japanese "energy" work), and also Transcendental Meditation in which one is to focus on a single object in the mind (I always chose a disembodied flame). Meditation is also an integral part of yoga, especially Hatha Yoga in which one lies in Savasana (Sanskrit for "corpse pose" - haha) and is told to lose the boundaries of one's body and to be one with the universe, etc. Before I became a Christian I found these techniques to elicit a sense of peace, but of course, this feeling was tenuous at best and offered little in the way of a cohesive worldview or life philosophy. Now that I am a Christian I can understand the hesitation and skepticism, but I don't think we need to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. I don't think that we need to fear the practice of meditation because of its association with other belief systems, but of course, the focus and intent must be appropriately modified and Christ-centered. Psalm 46:10 says to "be still and know that I am God". I can think of no better way to achieve this stillness than through a purposive quieting of the mind in which we are able to turn off our own internal dialogue so that the holy spirit's subtle impressions can be more distinctively "heard".

  2. I also agree that hat the mention of meditation elicits an interesting response from Christians. Sometimes it's almost a negative response. In my 506 class that I had last semester we talked about different types of meditation. We talked about Easter meditation and christian meditation to just lean back and focus on God, and giving over to him all the problems that you have or are facing and being calm, and it is very peaceful experience one that I don't do enough.

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  4. I am one of those Christians who is trying to move past her stigma of meditation. I have heard often in Christian circles that you do NOT want to empty your mind, and that things such as yoga or doing a mantra are to be avoided at all costs. It's unfortunate that we take something that is clearly talked about and encouraged in the Bible (not to empty our minds but rather fill it with things of the Lord), and because of fear or misunderstanding, avoid it. The article the post is about spoke about eliminating the borders of your mind - which I'm not sure I feel comfortable with due to my understanding of needing to also guard your heart and mind. I loved though how it talked about losing a sense of time, as I feel that I am often ruled by the clock, and hindered from fully experiencing the Lord and hearing His voice. The psalms mention meditation multiple times: the meditation of our heart (Ps. 19), meditating on God's precepts, and his wonders (Ps. 119), meditate on God's wonderful works (Ps. 145) etc. By definition to meditate means to ponder or mull one thought over, and I think if we were all honest, we could all really use some uninterrupted time set aside to meditation on the psalms, or as Neil Anderson encouraged on an aspect of who God is, and who we are in Christ. Maybe I'll try it for the next 8 weeks and report back if I have a new brain!


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