Dhyana and the brain.

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
TaTa
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Dhyana and the brain.

Postby TaTa » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:40 pm

Does anyone know if there is brain ativity during deep dhyana states?

In the bone yard
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby In the bone yard » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:30 pm

Brain activity persists until one dies, even at death (bardo).
Or so I'm told. I'm not dead yet so I can't tell you for sure.
:hi:

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Wayfarer
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:05 pm

There's been a lot of research on that question over the last couple of decades. See books by Rick Hanson ('The Buddha's Brain) and James Austin (Zen and the Brain). There are also articles and books on the Mind and Life Institute website at http:www.mindandlife.org.

It was discovered in the 1960s that meditation is associated with particular types of brainwaves, which is what started off the research interest in it.

My personal, anecdotal and non-scientific understanding is that mental activity dimishes during meditation, and that states of deep meditation or samadhi are characterized by stillness and inner quietude. I believe this state corresponds with diminution of normal brain activity.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

5heaps
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby 5heaps » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:20 pm

there are levels of dhyana where there is neither brain activity nor breathe taking place.
theres going to be a hell of a lot of research done into this in the coming decades, so stick around.

Martin007

Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Martin007 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:26 pm


undefineable
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby undefineable » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:26 pm


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Roland
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Roland » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:52 am

"Seek truth in meditation, not moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond."
- Persian proverb

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Madhyama Pratipada
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Madhyama Pratipada » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:45 pm

sarvopalambhopaśamah prapañcopaśamah śivah
na kimcitkasyacitkaścid dharmo buddhena deśitah

MMK 25.24

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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:07 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Madhyama Pratipada
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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Madhyama Pratipada » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:31 pm

No. The Mind and Life Institute and Dr. Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison focus their research on compassion-based meditation (not the jhanas/dhyanas), which has produced an entire industry of research with published articles surpassing the hundreds. Jhanas/Dhyanas (proceeding from the four rupa jhanas to the four arupa jhanas) have not been practiced by Matthieu Ricard or other Tibetan Buddhist test subjects in a controlled setting, only by Leigh Brasington in the single aforementioned study cited above.
sarvopalambhopaśamah prapañcopaśamah śivah
na kimcitkasyacitkaścid dharmo buddhena deśitah

MMK 25.24

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Re: Dhyana and the brain.

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:55 pm

Thanks! Important distinction. I will look into that article.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi


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