View Full Version : Neuroplasticity and Meditation

9th May 2011, 04:04 AM
http://www.noetic.org/noetic/issue-nine ... lasticity/ (http://www.noetic.org/noetic/issue-nine-april/self-directed-neuroplasticity/)
Nice article.

10th May 2011, 05:02 PM
The last suggestion to regard the field of awareness as boundless space is connected to some new research that shows it activates lateral networks – circuits on the side of the head that are associated with mindful, open, spacious awareness. It moves people out of the conventional state of mind in which the circuits in the middle of the brain are busy planning, thinking about the past, using language, and engaging in abstraction, all with a strong sense of self, of me-myself-and-I. Although there’s a place for that, modern life overemphasizes the activation of these midline networks, and because neurons that fire together wire together, we get a strong buildup in those regions. So it takes training to stably activate the lateral networks. One of the ways to activate the lateral networks is through a panoramic view. There are a couple of others, such as not knowing and not needing things to make sense, but one of the easiest is cultivating a sense of boundless awareness – a bird's-eye, panoramic view.

Totally enjoyed that article. I took up Kriya Yoga (I guess) 4 yrs ago, which centers on various organs of the brain - the pituitary, pineal, corpus callosum - and the whole brain as an organ in itself, but it occurred to me that it is the limbic (or 'monkey') brain that is the target. IMO this where we start to get things done.

Hanson treats the subject more holistically, and I love that he points to lateral connectivity in the temporal regions for a sense of Spaciousness. It is this lateral or ‘wrap-around’ connection that I think opens the ‘3rd eye’.

Anyway, I developed a guided meditation a couple years ago that took the meditator so far into deep space I was afraid to ‘give it’ to anybody else for fear someone would freak out. No doubt Hanson (or prob anybody that’s reading this) could handle it, but it requires reaching way outside your self to appreciate it or get the full effect.

People are so neurotic these days it’s as if they can’t let go of their blanket/bankie or their teddy-bear. Leaving the house is stressful for some people, leaving the solar system could be too much. Way too much. But, as Hanson implies, this ‘overview’ is the 5th and final secret. This overview becomes an acquaintance with the oversoul. One needs abandon the ‘self’ to the greater being - this Being being far and away from any possible threat - omniscient and peaceful; blissful, if you care.

I think it’s funny though that Hanson treats the five steps as if they were the Beginning, when what more is there to it? It’s like practicing scales - you hope to get better, that’s all.

11th May 2011, 11:01 AM
I like it too, CF. I use a lot of those techniques in my yoga classes. Sure, I picked them up as a yoga student but I have my favourites (like exhaling for longer than inhaling) because I always appreciated what they did for me. Sometimes I lead contemplations rather than meditations, usually on what an amazing vehicle our human body is, depending on the inspiration.

Always happy to pick up little tidbits too, to mention to my students so they can feel virtuous and all. :wink:

On Monday, our Year 11s had a focus day and I took 3 consecutive groups for guided meditation. At the end of each session, the boys had an opportunity to share their experiences and views. It surprised me how many of them mentioned specific signs of trance: spinning, sinking, feeling wave-like energy, that kind of thing. One described sleep paralysis and another said he knew he was asleep but that he could hear every word I said (mind awake). 8)

12th May 2011, 10:26 PM
Can't help but ask, have you tried a deep space guided meditation - a location in nowhere, where there is really no place to go except into some infinity; i.e. no past, no anticipation of a future - just the void. Would you care to try that? To be forever in a 'going' with no home to refer back to, and no destiny to look forward to. It's a peace with the infinite that I find consoling. Others may not.

Like I said, not for everyone.... :(

13th May 2011, 08:23 AM
I'd try it but don't you end up in the same state as in an ordinary meditation where you arrive at no thought?

13th May 2011, 10:20 AM
I just like the word neuroplasticity.


13th May 2011, 10:30 AM
Me too. Let's say it three times while we click the heels of our ruby shoes together! :D

20th May 2011, 02:40 PM
I'd try it but don't you end up in the same state as in an ordinary meditation where you arrive at no thought?

Yes, but.... maybe it’s just a quirk of the particular group of meditators I’m familiar with. Prior to my joining up with them there were quite a number of stories of people who ‘freaked out’ during meditations. I witnessed one such episode myself.

[This cult or clique was formed around an individual, Audley Allison, who had spent some time in India. He claimed an 'apostolic' succession to Baba Ji. These were the 'good ole' days' of Baba Ram Das, Timothy Leary and visiting yogis to the country whose names escape me right now. His clientele for the most part, especially in the beginning, were drug/alcohol addicts and PTS Vietnam Vets.]

A couple of times a year the members will gather from around the City mainly, but from farther away locations, as where life had taken them, for weekend retreats. We’ll have group meditations of sometimes 100+ lifelong students and teachers with a number of new recruits too. It’s the newbies that are at ‘risk’.

When you have a large number of pros meditating in a hall the energy is palpable. In what we call a ‘quickening’ meditation we gradually ascend the grades of consciousness lead by a teacher and this usually lasts an hour or more. Sometimes a student will break into a deeper or higher energy/consciousness than he has ever before discovered and can’t handle the voltage and start screaming or crying.

This problem seems to me to become more likely beginning at what we call the Black Buddha or the higher Isen level. It is at this point, if it is correctly and fully appreciated, the personality is left behind and one proceeds in the form of the Godhead only.

That’s the underlying theory of it, but in practice I became convinced even the old practitioners were only giving it lip service. So I forged ahead to discover for myself what these higher regions were all about and that’s when I evolved the Deep Space meditation.

In practicing it myself I discovered it was effective at kicking away the scaffolding that surrounds the illusion of ‘self’ as our life in the physical has taught us. It was very powerful in my life and revealed ‘powers’ I never took seriously and frankly, to be a little in dread of.

I am working on another one now that, if only I can bring it together or figure where to take it, is going to be uber-beautiful, fantastic. But these meditations come to me hypnagogically so you understand, I can’t make] it happen. It’ll develop probably as I develop so I’ll just have to wait.

So, in answer to you question, I guess what I’m saying is, we can seek Peace, No Thought, in any of our energy bodies. But the Deep Space meditation seeks to center in the Mental Body - or the Causal, I’m not sure, but I think Leland would agree the imagery is consistent with the Causal.


The website’s been down some time now and I’ve had a chance to think about all this a little further. When we quiet our minds to a point of No Thought, what we really are at is a condition of mindful mindlessness. It takes concentration - effort and practice. It is ultimately a discipline that we can exercise even in our waking work-a-day life.

I’m of the opinion that we cannot bring our minds to a condition of no thought, we can only change our perspective, become the observer of mind and as if it were a child, teach it to rest, to become a sea of glass with only the slightest ripple here and there, hopefully, but at least free of the tempests and waves that are the impacts of the world we move and live in.

22nd May 2011, 05:52 AM
beautifuly written Eyeone.

22nd May 2011, 12:23 PM
Thanks Nat :mrgreen:

And Beek, please understand it's not that I imagine you don't understand, just that I'm affirming, by writing, what I'm trying :shock: to understand and do better 8) :wink: .

23rd May 2011, 08:01 AM
No, it was cool reading it. Interesting.