Monday, March 22, 2021

These days, when we’re pandemic-living with altered life styles, a topic that has gained interest is a mental state popularly called “mindfulness”. Simply, one achieves mindfulness by learning to focus an awareness on the present moment, and at the same time, calmly acknowledge and accept one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

It’s a practical goal of learning to focus on and manage one’s inner-self. It’s an inviting manner of self-therapy, with the possibilities of enlightenment and self-control. I got interested in learning about mindfulness. The quest has introduced knowledge about the human brain based on scientific studies, and to my surprise, introduced the Dalai Lama and modern Buddhism. Just imagine.

Sharon Begley is a science writer, science columnist, and author. Her Train Your Brain, Change Your Mind, published in 2007, isn’t up to date on new knowledge from brain studies, but is close enough to enlighten us. Essentially, she reports that in the late 1990s, scientists studying the human brain began understanding it less of an unchangeable mass. Instead, it has the quality of plasticity. In other words, scientists began to recognize that enlightenment, from learning and physical activities, alters the brain.

Scientists became interested in knowing more about the link between mindfulness and Buddhism. Meanwhile, the evolving understanding of the human brain had captured the Dali Lama’s interest. He recognized an opportunity to reconsider some traditional concepts within the Buddhist framework. The scientists and Dali Lama began annual meetings to explore ideas about the brain and to exchange experiential knowledge.

That’s as much as I can share now, for only having begun my exploration. I’ll learn on, through what promises to be an adventure, and update you.

Dear Friends: This journey might lead to a whole new adventure, that of meditation. Diana

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