What scientists found was that mindfulness had a very positive effect particularly on three areas of the brain linked with our emotional centre (Baime, 2011; Ireland, 2014).
These three areas are the:
- cortex: regulates thinking and reason (Graham, 2008) and is the part of our brain most recent to evolve – our ‘organ’ of consciousness and what makes us homo sapiens (McGill, n.d.)
- hippocampus: integrates perceptions and emotions into memory, especially long-term memory (Siegel, 2015; Graham, 2008)
- amygdale (there are two): respond to perceptions of fear and activate the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism (Graham, 2008) so whatever event stimulates the amygdale will surely cause a knee-jerk reaction
Since the brain is highly complex and its complexities are way beyond my scope of knowledge, for the sake of understanding and simplification I’ll concentrate on these three areas as applied to trauma and human development.
Continue reading “When science meets mindfulness”
One meaning of Hakalau is, “To stare at as in meditation and to allow to spread out.” If you’ve never tried it before, right now, this technique can be a real eye opener. Try it.
- Ho’ohaka: Just pick a spot on the wall to look at, preferably above eye level, so that your field of vision seems to bump up against your eyebrows, but the eyes are not so high so as to cut off the field of vision.
- Kuu: “To let go.” As you stare at this spot, just let your mind go loose, and focus all of your attention on the spot.
- Lau: “To spread out.” Notice that within a matter of moments, your vision begins to spread out, and you see more in the peripheral than you do in the central part of your vision.
- Hakalau: Now, pay attention to the peripheral. In fact, pay more attention to the peripheral than to the central part of your vision.
- Ho’okohi: Stay in this state for as long as you can. Notice how it feels. Notice the ecstatic feelings that begin to come to you as you continue the state.
Continue reading “THE ACTIVE MEDITATION OF THE KAHUNA”
One type of mindfulness training that was used in many of the research studies is calledMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (or MBSR). It’s typically taught in eight sessions.
Think of it as Buddhist meditation “but without the Buddhism,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, the father of MBSR. It’s completely secular.
The focus of mindfulness meditation is to train the brain to stay in the moment. To do this, practitioners are taught to let go of the regrets of the past as well as anxieties about the future.
Continue reading “Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression”