by Beth Belle Cooper
"Using fMRI scans we can now see what meditation does to the brain. The author suggests it can lead to a happier more productive and creative life. And aven two minutes a day cn do wonders."
"Whether you’re as skeptical as I used to be, or you’re well ahead of me with a meditation habit of several hours, I think it’s always interesting to find out how new habits affect our brains. I had a look into meditation to see what’s going on inside our brains when we do this, and what I found is pretty interesting.
"There are different ways to meditate, and since it’s such a personal practice there are probably more than any of us know about. There are a couple that are usually focused on heavily in scientific research, though. These are focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing--it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.
"The other type of meditation that’s often used in research is open-monitoring meditation. This is where you pay attention to all of the things happening around you--you simply notice everything without reacting."