The unfocused, agitated mind can be trained in focused attention
We are unable to control the outer world, but we can train our mind by sitting quietly and focused, to decrease stress and improve our sense of well-being and fulfillment.
“It was only in 1998 that neuroscientists discovered that new neurons are continually being generated in the adult brain” the term that is being used is brain plasticity – great news for those of us who had believed that we were on a downhill trajectory after the age of about 25.
But it also means that just because you've been stressed, hypersensitive, or lived with ADD or ADHD all your life, it doesn't mean it has to stay that way for ever - you can start today to create positive change.
Using brain imaging and behavioural tests it’s possible to look at the inner workings of a meditator’s brain, using Western research techniques, to begin to understand the beneficial mental states achieved through meditation.
Genuine happiness results from the deep fulfillment that arises from a healthy mind; it enables us to deal with whatever comes our way. We hear of people who appear to live in paradise, but are miserable - we know that what happens outside us doesn’t necessarily make us happy. By adopting a few achievable techniques from the 'super meditators' like Matthieu Ricard, we learn to become less vulnerable to the vagaries of negative life events.
Highly regarded doctors, psychologists, scientists and others have been systematically gathering evidence for many years that practicing techniques such as Mindfulness Meditation, can have profound effects on our psychological health, general wellbeing and overall happiness.
Throughout the conference it was emphasized that successful meditation rests on discipline, not wishful thinking. But, most encouragingly, it is completely unnecessary to trade in your day job to become a Buddhist, or indeed any kind of monk. Just a few minutes of sustained voluntary attention each day as you pause from your regular chores is powerfully beneficial. That’s great news for those of us for whom meditation seems awkward and somewhat alien.
Interesting article about Matthieu Ricard and meditation here