Your Brain on Meditation

So how does meditation allow you to change the way that you feel?  These and many other questions come up during our healing power of meditation trainings and I thought to post to our blog.

Overview of the Triune Brain

So let’s take a brief look at the layers of what is sometimes referred to as the triune brain.  The most evolved layer, the prefrontal cortex, gets activated when we self reflect on questions like,  “Who Am I?” and “How do I or can I make a difference of the world?” Its role involves self-reflection.  The cortex envelops the next layer, the limbic system, which becomes activated when we experience all emotions, both negative and positive.  The limbic system also oversees aspects of self-regulation and homeostasis.  (Homeostasis being the goal of all living organisms.)  You can think of it as being in the ultimate balanced state.   Disruption in the limbic system caused by our thought patterns leads to absence of self-regulation, in other words, it takes us out of balance.  The main culprit is negative thoughts and emotions.   The lowest level in this model is considered the most primitive layer – the reptilian brain sometimes referred to as Lizzy!  This is the level of brain development found in a lizard, hence the name, Lizzy.  When activated, Lizzy can cause all types of problems. Stress is the number one activity of Lizzy. It gears us for the fight or flight response.  This is the part of the brain that is feeding the problems we are facing now, namely, devastation of our food supply. This 300 million year old part of our brain still dominates most human activities.


Our goal with meditation is to totally put the brakes on this part of brain.  When meditation adopts our life, we have access through our mind -not our brain- to stop Lizzy and become aware of our thought patterns and create the ability to change them.  Incorporating a systematic practice of focused awareness — mindfulness in focus— we can tame Lizzy in about 40 days.  Our practice can reactivate our frontal cortex as well as strengthen our limbic system by training our thoughts to be positive and actually physically and emotionally heal ourselves as we walk the path to fulfill our intentions and purpose in this lifetime.   This will set a rippling effect for healing each other and healing the planet as well.   What we now view as being wrong with the planet is wrong because we are utilizing a very primitive part of our brain rather than the higher cortical and limbic centers.  Resorting to Lizzy is useful for survival, namely our breathing,  but one must be careful not to identify those aspects that cause us to react rather than to respond with reason or else may end up back in the desert with scales!

Just keep in mind that to change your brain you must change your mind. It is the mind that orchestrates any changes that are reflected in the body.  So, meditate as nature intended and nature will nurture you.