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Scientists have uncovered a Buddhist secret of happiness

November 16 2005

American scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital after the experiments with a group of people who regularly engaged in Buddhist meditation, she came to the conclusion that this practice has a positive effect on the brain.

Regular meditation helps to maintain the "shape" of certain areas of the cerebral cortex, in fact - thickening them. Participants in the study engaged in Buddhist meditation practice for about 40 minutes a day.

Brain scans of followers of Buddhism shows that in areas associated with auditory and visual perception, as well as in areas related to control heartbeat and breathing, the crust is thicker.

Most brain areas, altered by meditation, has been found in the right hemisphere, which is important for concentration.

According to experts, other forms of meditation such as yoga, may have a similar impact on brain structure, but each tradition probably will show a slightly different pattern of changes in the cortex depending on the sites involved in the work.

This is not the first study of its kind. A team of scientists from the University in Madison, Wisconsin, scanned the brains of people who for years have practiced Buddhism, paying particular attention to areas of the brain associated with emotion, mood and temperament. It turned out that the Buddhist left-hand side of the brain - the "center of Happiness" is much more active than ordinary people.

According to Professor Owen Flenegena (Duke University in North Carolina), we can assume that the phlegmatic Buddhists, which can be seen, for example, in places like Dharamsala (the residence of the Dalai Lama), in fact, happy.

Positive effect on the brain centers were observed continuously, and not only during meditation, which suggests that the Buddhist way of life can affect brain function. According to other scientists, Buddhists, also observed less activity than the rest of the people in those parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety.

Scientists hope that research will help to develop special methods of meditation for the treatment of depressive illness.

Steve James, founder of the Buddhist Centre in London, said that these discoveries show how Buddhism can help people achieve happiness, and Paul Seto, Director of the Buddhist Society of England said: "This discovery causes excitement among many people, but we knew this from the beginning . Buddhism does not need scientific evidence. We do know that it helps. "

And that's what he thinks about these scientific researches Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama XIV. In a recently published article in the New-York Times he wrote:

"Today, our knowledge about the structure of the human brain and body at the genetic and cellular level, reached a new level of complexity. Advances in genetic manipulation, for example, mean that scientists can now create new genetic education, such as hybrids of animal and plant species. Where will this lead to long term - is unknown.

Sometimes when scientists concentrate on their own narrow fields, their deep concentration does not allow them to see the broader implications, which may have their research.In my conversations with scientists I try to remind them of a more global view, which stand for their daily work.

Now it is more important than ever. It is obvious that we are in their moral views can not keep up with the speed of scientific development. Nevertheless, the consequences of this progress are such that we can no longer say that we provide to individuals the right to decide what to do with this knowledge.

This point of view, I intend to outline in his speech at the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington. I will state that the relationship between science and society in general is no longer a purely academic subject. This question must acquire a special relevance for those who are concerned about the fate of human existence.

More serious dialogue between neuroscience and society (as, indeed, and all other scientific fields and society) would deepen our understanding of what it means - to be human, as well as our responsibilities to the natural world that we inhabit, along with other living creatures .

Just as the business world begins to re-focus on ethics, the world of science will extract greater benefit if it comes to a deep reflection on the consequences of their own work. Scientists should be not only experts in their field, they also need to remember about his motivation and a more global goal of their labors, which is the perfection of mankind "

Materials: Interfax ,,

See also:

Ancient Buddha statue, the legendary warrior-hůrka and all exotic Nepal in Moscow

Spiritual world of Buddhist culture in the city center

Zhalsanov Victor Othon: the music of the Buryat steppes or revive long-forgotten traditions

Константин Дятлов

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