I have been a devoted daily meditator for three years and during that time I have seen miracle after miracle unfold in my life.
Chronic pain and illnesses have disappeared seemingly overnight. Money and opportunities have fallen into my lap out of thin air. Objects have manifested, relationships have healed and pounds have shed. It has been truly magical.
But it didn’t start out that way.
I was one of those people that always thought meditation was inaccessible to me. It felt like something only monks and gurus did, and it certainly didn’t make much sense to the linear, type-A person I was then.
But when I stumbled upon the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, I began to grasp the scientific side of this mystical practice, and suddenly it made much more sense.
There are measurable things happening in our brain when we close your eyes and detach from the chatter of the mind, and the science shows that knowing what is happening behind the scenes in our brain and assigning meaning to it makes it that much more effective.
So allow me to pull back the curtains and introduce you to the wonder of your brain on meditation.
1. Meditation rewires our brain and creates a new personality.
When we have a thought, the brain “fires and wires” creating a synaptic connection equal to that thought. The more we have a particular thought, the stronger the connection gets, which makes it easier for our brain to travel that path. It becomes second-nature and a part of who we are.
Think about a path in the forest. The first time we cut a new route, it takes effort to beat away the brush. But when we continue to travel that same path over and over again, it gets wider and more established, and suddenly we aren’t working as hard to travel along it. It is just there ready and waiting.
This is how we create our personalities. We have an experience one time that causes us to think a certain thought, and we begin to think that thought over and over again creating a belief that shapes the way we look at the world.
Pretty soon it becomes difficult to think or believe any differently because our brain is wired to think and believe those thoughts. The brain is built for efficiency, and so it’s always going to take the default pathway.
Meditation prunes those synaptic connections and gives us a chance to create new pathways more aligned with what we actually want to create in your life. It’s the ultimate reset button.
When we get into the more relaxed brainwave states of meditation, we get beyond the conditioned, analytical thinking mind and enter into the mainframe of our brain. Here we are able to observe these well-cut programs instead of being entrenched in them, and one-by-one they are done away with.
We literally become a new person.
2. Meditation calms our brain and incites healing in the body.
These days most of us live in a perpetual state of stress.
When we’re under stress, our brains believe there is real and imminent danger to address, and it sounds the alarm by releasing hormones that warn the body to prepare for a predator. This is the “fight or flight” response, a remnant of our evolution when it was important for the body to have a quick way to respond to an actual predator.
Although we’re not running from lions anymore, the function still clicks on when we feel threatened. This could be when our nasty boss walks in the room, when we get in a fight with our spouse, or when we’re white-knuckling our steering wheel in five o’clock traffic. The brain reads the distressed thoughts and translates that into a hormonal release to communicate to the rest of the body.
When the cells of the body receive this message, they know that it’s time to buckle down and get ready for what comes next. That could be a full-speed sprint out of the situation (flight) or the use of strength and energy reserves for a showdown (fight). Either way, it is not time for any other function. It’s not time to heal. It’s not time to rebuild. It’s not time to grow.
When the body is constantly triggered in this way, the cells don’t have time to perform their primary functions, and they begin to deteriorate. This is the beginning of disease in the body.
When we meditate we give ourselves a break from that stress and allow our brain and body to function properly. Our brain waves change from the high beta of stress to the more calming frequencies of delta and theta, and healing and regeneration begin to occur.
We also begin to fire new neurons that create pathways that previously didn’t exist. These are the pathways that lead to a greater sense of peace, heightened creativity and a calmer sense of being. It’s like a natural Xanax cocktail made right there in our own head.
3. Meditation unifies our brains and spurs our creative genius.
Our brain is designed to function as a whole.
But through the stress of our lives, we have trained our brains into erratic patterns of functioning. Obsessive, fearful thoughts keep the brain firing and wiring in a state of emergency where each compartment is closed tight and not talking to the others.
Imagine if someone was walking down your street with a weapon. It wouldn’t exactly be the time to knock on the neighbor’s door for a cup of sugar or to jog down to the park to meet up with friends. You’d be hunkered down trying to stay safe.
This is what it’s like in our brain when it is constantly triggered by thoughts of stress. Each individual station in the brain focuses only on keeping itself safe and alive instead of talking with other areas for the purpose of creativity, healing or growth.
During meditation, we create a peaceful environment for the brain compartments to begin to cooperate harmoniously. Suddenly one side is talking to the other side, and we access levels of consciousness and creativity that were unavailable to us in the stress state.
We unify our brain thus maximizing its capability, and in the process we uncover our own inherent genius.
Our brain is a powerful computer just waiting for us to supply the codes it needs to operate the program. And those codes are our thoughts, our beliefs and our emotions.
Through meditation we learn how to better manage the creation and dissemination of those codes and create a healthier, more peaceful life from inside our head.
Right there at the intersection of science and magic.
Author: Kayla Floyd
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Rachel Adams