In her book Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind, Meditation Teacher and Psychotherapist, Charlene Jones, offers “An Easy-To-Understand Exploration of The Healing Powers Of Your Mind.” (All that is right off the book cover.) But what the cover doesn’t tell you is that this short, concise, well-written work explains an important new discovery in the study of the mind. Recent developments in Neuroscience are starting to confirm the efficacy of the ancient practices of Buddhism, including its ability to help us reduce and eliminate physical pain and debilitating stress. Jones explains that researchers have discovered that the brain changes physically all our lives… (“Comprised of billions of neurons or brain cells, our brains light up with tiny electrical charges when the neurons connect.”) And she goes on to say that repetitive practices can actually help direct these neuron connections into pathways in the brain that can lead toward specific goals and away from others. Researchers can actually see changes in the brain that are brought about by repetitive activities. By ‘gazing at, memorizing and visualizing a figure’ while reciting a mantra, we are diverting our brains from negative repetitions and encouraging us toward the positive.”
Jones points out that such practices are common in many of the world’s great religions and spiritual practices and have often lead to profound healing. Basically, she’s saying (with or without faith) recent science is confirming the healing powers of meditation to eliminate physical pain and reduce debilitating stress by showing how such practices actually make observable physical changes in our brains.
The author also offers guidance on how to begin to use these techniques to reduce stress. And that is something we all desperately need right now.