scientists discover basic principle of neuroplasticity

Our brains are famously flexible, or “plastic,” because neurons can do new things by forging new or stronger connections with other neurons. But if some connections strengthen, neuroscientists have reasoned, neurons must compensate lest they become overwhelmed with input. In a new study in Science, researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT …

call to awakening: reframing mental distress as a potential catalyst for positive change

These films are about our individual and collective awakening and how we can use crisis to awaken and find our calling in order to make the world a better place. The series of short films were inspired by and made during the COVID-19 pandemic, about our times and how to navigate a changing world. They …

vagal pathways: portals to compassion

Contemplative practices are conceptualized as methods that function as neural exercises enhancing vagal regulation of the autonomic nervous system. The model presented proposes that specific voluntary behaviors (e.g., breath, vocalizations, and posture), which characterize ancient rituals and form the core of contemplative practices, can trigger a physiological state mediated by vagal pathways that fosters health …

is meditation the reason this monk’s brain is eight years younger than his body?

While there's no fountain of youth, a Tibetian Buddhist monk may have tapped into the next best thing, according to an analysis showing that his 41-year-old brain actually resembles that of a 33-year-old.  The monk, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (YMR), a renowned meditation practitioner and teacher, began meditating at age 9. The "extraordinary number of hours" …

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