Top 10 Reasons NOT to Meditate (and Why They're Wrong!)

The following are my Top 10 Reasons Not to Meditate (and why they're wrong). NUMBER ONE I used to think that the spiritual path was a waste of time or a distraction from reality “out there” as conveyed to me by my senses. I used to think that the senses and this body were all we had so we might as well pleasure them and indulge them as much as we could. NUMBER TWO I thought phrases like “everlasting peace” or “go with the flow of the universe,” sounded pretty boring and monotonous and bland and also dumb and short-shighted. Who would want to end up as a couch potato with no job, no income, and no life? NUMBER THREE Religions and mystics all too often seem to ignore science and facts. Don’t

Lucid Dreaming

You often hear spiritual teachers talk about "waking up." This would imply that what we think of as our conscious experience of the real world is really just a dream. Once we have "woken up" to true reality, according to these awakened masters, we can experience the perfection inherent in the dream-like spacetime world that most of us would call "real." If true, would this suggest that our body's sleep state could be a model for this phenomenon? Does it suggest that we can consciously inhabit our sleeping selves (aka "lucid dream")? Brain regions activated more strongly during lucid dreaming than in a normal dream. © MPI of Psychiatry It turns out that lucid dreaming isn't the fantasy as I a

What Would Buddha's Brain Look Like?

"Siddhartha's Brain" is a recent book by veteran science and medical journalist James Kingsland. (His blog, Plastic Brain is worth following.) His book weaves the story of the Buddha's life and core teachings together with a comprehensive review of the latest research into the physiology and neuroscience behind practices like meditation and mindfulness. And it does so in a highly readable and engrossing manner. Kingsland suggests that the Buddha was one our earliest and most insightful psychologists who prescribed a set of practices to help us all move towards a healthy mental state. With this idea as a backdrop, he systematically explores the thousands of research reports that scientists ar

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