Excellence in Action resulting from students optimizing brain functioning


man meditating
The coherence generated by the practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Technique provides a wonderful contrast to the multi-tasking and attention scattering so prevalent in our lives.



Consider giving your mind some healthy ‘downtime’
by Global Good News staff writer
24 December 2010

A glimpse at our ‘plugged-in’ society could look like this description offered by neurologist, Dr Gary Kaplan.  ‘So many of us are attached to our personal computers, iPads, and smart phones,’ he says. ‘Information is there with a few taps on a keyboard, and we avail ourselves of pounding news and flashing graphics and audiovisual entertainment for an ever-increasing portion of our waking hours.

‘We gobble up this onslaught of sensory information, crave more, and end up processing more by multitasking. We are in fact encouraged to scatter our attention in a multitude of directions at one time by marketers who understand our insatiable craving for MORE! It is unusual to look at a television program or a page on the Internet without encountering several independent messages vying for our attention.’

Dr Kaplan goes on to point out that ‘We feel compelled to take it all in, because somehow we equate more sensory experience with the chance for a more fulfilling experience, as if armed with the knowledge of so many details of the world, we could somehow gain mastery over it.’

But, are we fulfilled? Do we even have the time or capacity to take in all the details and process them? Dr Kaplan probably echoes our own experience when he says that ‘the details are never-ending’ and the processing time limited.

Culturing ‘peak’ experiences

He then shifts gears to consider what is fulfilling. ‘When you think of which experiences have been most fulfilling, you think of those singular experiences that captured your mind and emotions without distraction. At those rare moments, your mind is not being pulled in a million directions. Rather, you are absorbed on a deeper, more powerful level of thought and emotion.

‘This is what psychologists refer to as a peak experience, when the chatter of the surface level of thought melts away, and the experience is deep and rich, even blissful.’

Dr Kaplan describes this experience as having a ‘profound simplicity to it,’ being ‘the experience of unity amidst diversity.’ He says that ‘such an experience has more of the quality of the transcendent field underlying all thoughts.’

And, he points out, ‘If you want to culture peak experiences so that they become everyday experiences, you need to do more than unplug and take a break from multitasking. You need to infuse that transcendent field into your daily activity.’ Dr Kaplan recommends taking some ‘downtime’ by regularly transcending, getting to the level of peak experiences.

An efficient tool to reset the brain

How? The doctor says quite simply, ‘You need to meditate.’

Dr Kaplan specifically refers to that technique which allows the mind to systematically gain the experience of the transcendental field. 'Transcendental Meditation,’ he says, ‘simply and naturally allows the mind to settle down to a state of inner coherence and calm, during which time the left and right hemispheres, and the front and back of the brain, begin to work in harmony with each other.’

This influence of coherence generated by the practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Technique provides a wonderful contrast to the multi-tasking and attention scattering so prevalent in our lives. And, Dr Kaplan tells us, this orderly brain functioning ‘has been correlated with improvements in memory, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.’

Dr Kaplan further emphasizes the significance of a coherent brain. ‘Everything good about the brain depends on its orderly functioning,’ he says and then adds, ‘This change in brain functioning [coming with the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique] also affects the rest of the physiology, reducing high blood pressure, strengthening the heart, and overall improving health.’

By offering your mind some healthy ‘downtime’ with the Transcendental Meditation Technique, the potential dangers of today’s electronic gadgets to the brain, and the whole physiology, can be minimized. Dr Kaplan reflects, ‘The restful alertness that characterizes this fourth state of consciousness [gained during the practice of Transcendental Meditation] provides a different and complementary type of rejuvenation for the physiology [than sleep]. It is like taking advantage of a gold mine!’


© Copyright 2010 Global Good News®


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