The science of lovingkindness
Right at the very beginning of my meditation practice I was introduced to both mindfulness of breathing and the development of lovingkindness meditation. It was explained to me that both of these practices were equally important, that they were complementary, and that alternating these practices prevented imbalance in our approach. It was stressed, in fact, that sometimes lovingkindness practice is more important than mindfulness practice — especially for people who have a tendency toward being angry or over-critical.
I’ve never had cause to doubt any of that advice.
There are many meditators, however, who only practice mindfulness meditation, and often lovingkindness practice is seen as second-best. Generally in western Buddhist practice, there is a heavy emphasis on particular forms of mindfulness meditation. And no doubt because of this arguably narrow emphasis, that’s the form of Buddhist meditation that’s been most commonly studied in the burgeoning research on the effects of meditative practice.
But beside mindfulness there are traditionally many forms of meditation practice, with one common list — the kammaṭṭhānas (literally “places of work”) including no less than forty forms of meditation. And in the Buddhist scriptures generally, there is a heavy emphasis on lovingkindness (mettā) meditation, especially as part of the four brahmavihāras, or sublime abodes.
Lovingkindness, fortunately, is becoming better known, and researchers are now studying the effects of practicing that form of meditation, showing that they positively affect health and well-being.
Here are a few highlights:
- A study done at Stanford University used a brief lovingkindness meditation exercise to examine whether social connection could be created toward strangers in a controlled laboratory context. Compared with a closely matched control task, even just a few minutes of lovingkindness meditation increased feelings of social connection and positivity toward strangers on both conscious and unconscious levels.
- A Duke University Medical Center pilot study tested an eight-week lovingkindness program for chronic low back pain patients. Patients were randomly assigned to practice lovingkindness or were given standard care. Standardized measures assessed patients’ pain, anger, and psychological distress. There were significant improvements in pain and psychological distress in the lovingkindness group — even after the study had ended. There were no improvements in the usual care group. An analysis of patients’ diaries showed that more lovingkindness practice on a given day was related to lower pain that day and lower anger the next day.
- Researcher Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took working adults and assigned them randomly to a lovingkindness meditation group or to a control group. Her studyfound that lovingkindness practice increased daily experiences of positive emotions, which in turn produced increases in a wide range of personal resources, including increased mindfulness, a sense of purpose in life, social support, and decreased illness symptoms. These increments in personal resources predict increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms.
- In a study by Richard Davidson, scans revealed significant activity in the insula – a region near the frontal portion of the brain that plays a key role in bodily representations of emotion – when long-term meditators were generating compassion and were exposed to emotional vocalizations. The insula is extremely important in detecting emotions in general and specifically in mapping bodily responses to emotion – such as heart rate and blood pressure – and making that information available to other parts of the brain.
- The same study showed increased activity in the temporal parietal juncture, particularly in the right hemisphere. Studies have implicated this area as important in processing empathy, especially in perceiving the mental and emotional state of others.
- Compassion meditation has been shown to reduce reactions to inflammation and distress. An Emory University study showed a strong relationship between the time spent practicing meditation and reductions in inflammation and emotional distress in response to stress. Those who practiced the most meditation showed reductions in inflammation and distress in response to stressors when compared to the low practice group and the control group. As one of the researchers noted, “If practicing compassion meditation does reduce inflammatory responses to stress it might offer real promise as a means of preventing many conditions associated with stress and with inflammation including major depression, heart disease and diabetes.”
- A review by researchers in the US and Germany suggested that Lovingkindness and compassion meditation “may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as depression, social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving.”
In some of these studies, the benefits were revealed after only twelve hours of meditation. Hopefully future studies will reveal yet more about the power of lovingkindness and compassion meditation.
If you’re interested in exploring lovingkindness practice in more depth, we have an extensive, free, self-paced guide, which includes audio guided meditations.
Like listeners adjusting a high-tech radio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have tuned in to precise frequencies of brain activity to unleash new insights into how the brain works.
“Analysis of brain function normally focuses on where brain activity happens and when,” says Eric C. Leuthardt, MD. “What we’ve found is that the wavelength of the activity provides a third major branch of understanding brain physiology.”
Researchers used electrocorticography, a technique for monitoring the brain with a grid of electrodes temporarily implanted directly on the brain’s surface. Clinically, Leuthardt and other neurosurgeons use this approach to identify the source of persistent, medication-resistant seizures in patients and to map those regions for surgical removal. With the patient’s permission, scientists can also use the electrode grid to experimentally monitor a much larger spectrum of brain activity than they can via conventional brainwave monitoring.
For the full story, click here.
It is finally here…
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You may have been taking ALL the self-improvement courses, seminars, programs that promise to make you the next millionaire, to help you lose that extra pound, to bring you the most loving relationship on earth, BUT still make little or no progress at all.
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1. Who are you? Can you let us know a bit about your background, some of your professional qualifications and personal interests.
My name is Cameron Day and the primary focus of my life has been spiritual evolution. I have helped thousands of people to reconnect to their inner divinity through my website AscensionHelp.com. All of my spiritual studies and evolution have brought me to the point where I could create these incredibly powerful brainwave entrainment audio recordings to share with you.
I have been meditating since I was 4 years old thanks to my parents who practice a unique style of Buddhist chanting meditation. This kind of meditation is known as “active meditation” or “mantra meditation” and I was very fortunate to learn it as a child.
In my teenage years I explored “silent meditation” techniques that involve stilling the mind in order to receive energy and information from the Source of all creation. In my early 20s, I studied Kundalini Yoga which helped me transcend my mind chatter and experience moments of ultra deep, rapturous meditative states.
I went on to study other spiritual disciplines related to energetic healing of the psyche, manifesting, ego transcendence and much more. I always did well in spiritual disciplines, but I knew I had the potential to achieve much more.
Other interests I enjoy are nature, reading, chess, poker, music, martial arts and yoga.
2. How did you first get into brainwave entrainment? How long have you been using brainwave entrainment in your own life?
In 2003 I first discovered brainwave entrainment. I paid $150 for the introductory level of a “Binaural beat” package, which was all that was available back then. It worked OK for a while, but results quickly diminished, which is why that particular program has 12 or so levels to keep people progressing. Rather than follow their pre-determined program, I decided to do research and find a better brainwave entrainment option.
3. Can you share with us some of the benefits that you have gained from the use of brainwave entrainment products?
My initial benefits were greater peace of mind and mental clarity, along with deeper meditations.
4. Why did you decide to create your own products?
In my research, I discovered that the reason binaural beats lose their effectiveness is because the brain gets used to processing the two different frequencies coming to it, and just handles them each separately without “doing the math” to entrain to the desired frequency. The “solution” that proponents of binaural beats used was to keep lowering the frequencies to give the brain new stimulus. That wasn’t good enough for me because I wanted something that would always work and that my brain could never ignore.
When I discovered pulsed tones, I knew I had found the solution! The brain doesn’t adapt to these rhythmic tones and ignore them. Rhythm is embedded so deeply into the human brain that it always responds to rhythmic frequencies. In fact, all of my research, testing and feedback from customers has shown that the brain responds better to the rhythmic brainwave entrainment pulses used in Genius Brain Power the more often they are used!
I knew I had an obligation to share this breakthrough, so I went to work putting together a comprehensive audio package to offer my mailing list at AscensionHelp.com.
5. How are they different from other brainwave entrainment products currently available in the market?
The highly advanced entrainment technology used in the Genius Brain Power system is far more effective than what is being used in much higher priced products. Other companies use a very old type of Brainwave Entrainment that was discovered 150 years ago.
This older, less effective entrainment technology is called “Binaural beat” and it sends differently pitched frequencies into each ear to get your brain to “do math” and entrain to the difference between the two pitches. Binaural beats were a great discovery, but many people don’t respond very well to this method of entrainment.
That’s why I use a far superior, much more modern brainwave entrainment technology in Genius Brain Power. The computer generated, rhythmically pulsed beats used in Genius Brain Power easily guide your brain into optimal frequencies for deep relaxation and rocketing your IQ.
6. How do you ensure that your products are of high quality?
Countless hours of research, refinement, testing and beta-testing with volunteers.
7. What kind of assurance or guarantee can you offer to your customers?
I offer an unconditional money back guarantee. I have only had one person take me up on it because the pulsed tones were too intense for her. After giving her the refund, I gave her a more mild version of the package with softer, less intense tones. She reported back a couple weeks later that she had major breakthroughs in her consciousness and re-purchased the package.
8. How soon can someone using your products see positive results?
With consistent usage, 2-4 weeks is enough time for most people to notice significant positive results. With 6-12 months of usage, people are radically changed for the better.
9. Are there any contraindications to using your brainwave entrainment products? Are they suitable for everyone?
I will be honest, Genius Brain Power is a *very* powerful package, and some people are sensitive to the intensity of the tones. For those people who purchase the package but find that they aren’t ready for that level of intensity, I will give them at *no charge* a less intense version to use for a few months in order to acclimate their brains to the entrainment frequencies.
Epileptics should also consult their doctor before beginning a brainwave entrainment program.
Brainwave entrainment refers to using new scientific technology to synchronize our brainwaves with an external stimulus.
Scientists have found that our mental states correspond specifically to certain brainwaves. For example, a long practicing meditator with calm and composed nature usually have alpha brainwaves while those of us who are constantly stressed by work have high beta brainwaves.
Using persistent, regular and specific audio (sound) and/or visual (light) stimulation, scientists found that we can gradually change our brainwave from beta to alpha, thereby reducing our sense of stress and increased sense of relaxation.
It is said that one can achieve the kind of calm and relaxed mental state that would normally take a meditator years of practice to achieve by using these brainwave entrainment techniques.
If you are interested to take a look at the science behind brainwave entrainment, then go to:
From this link, you will also be able to download a free report as well as free brainwave entrainment products.
Scientists say for the first time they have understood someone’s thoughts by looking at what their brain is doing.
The hippocampus is widely known to be integral to memory, but researchers say they now see just how images are stored and recalled in this part of the brain.
For the complete story, click here.
Brainwave entrainment is simply the use of certain tools and devices to synchronize your brainwave to the desired brainwave pattern. Studies have shown that certain brainwave patterns are useful and effective for certain purposes.
Scientists classified brainwave patterns into 4 broad categories – beta, alpha, theta and delta. Beta brainwave is found during our normal waking state while apha brainwave has been noted to be achieved when we are relaxed and in a meditative mode. Learning and creativity can be enhanced in the alpha state.
One of the best explanations on brainwaves and brainwave entrainment is found at this link:
If you want to know more about brainwaves and how brainwave entrainment works, I strongly encourage you to go there. It is presented in a flash presentation, with visual and audio enhancement.
It promises to help you think FASTER and SHARPER.
It says it can grant you LIMITLESS ENERGY, help you to think like a GENIUS, and enable you to RELEASE all stresses and tension.
I’m talking, naturally, about the latest self-development tool to hit the shelves.
It’s called the Brain Evolution System – a six-level meditation program that uses special sounds to help influence brainwaves.
Now, in the self-development world, everybody knows that meditation is GOOD.
It can bring a million untold benefits. And yet how many of us truly have time to quieten our minds for hours on end each day?
Well, that’s where the Brain Evolution System comes in.
The Brain Evolution System – or BrainEv, for short – uses something known as “brainwave entrainment” to help skip years of unnecessary meditation.
It uses specially manipulated sounds to help influence brainwaves, putting the mind into a deep state of meditation within minutes of listening – removing the need for countless hours of mind-quietening, Zen-monk-like practice.
But we’ve heard all of this before – with other programs such as Holosync and Hemi-Sync.
What sets BrainEv apart from it’s competitors, claim the developers, is it’s patent-pending 3 Point Dynamic Entrainment Audio Process. This means BrainEv uses three different entrainment methods at the same time – stopping the brain getting too accustomed to one particular pattern, and more closely-matching how brainwaves really work.
Sounds impressive… But does the Brain Evolution System really live up to its claims?
Well, to put it to the test – I decided to try it myself for two whole months!
To begin, I ordered the entire package from the official website at this link.
Now, before even using the program, I was impressed at the integrity of the company. I was immediately given a free 21-day trial of level one, with an option to cancel before I was billed a single cent.
So, I tried it out.
The first level can only be described as a true soundscape. With it’s natural, “distant” etheric feel, you could tell a million things were going on in the background – yet couldn’t help but just relax and let them float by.
Now, I’ve listened to a lot of relaxation music – so I’m used to trickling waterfalls and singing bowls. But this audio was genuinely POWERFUL. You could feel it working, influencing your brainwaves, and helping you to relax further.
It’s recommended you listen to each 30-minute level once per day, six days a week, for a whole month. Then you move onto the next level – finishing all six levels within six months.
Well, after my first listening session, I instantly felt more relaxed. My head was less “foggy” – and I enjoyed a focus and clarity I’d not experienced in quite some time. It’s hard to explain, however I had a smile on my face – and didn’t really know why!
I continued throughout the first month – and saw a truly noticeable difference in my behavior. I became more and more relaxed and calm. My brain seemed to operate faster, and I became more quick-witted. My confidence continued to improve, without any real effort.
Then, near the end of the first month, the full CD package landed at my door.
This was a professionally-packaged six-CD set, with a user guide, and a free two month supply of the mind-sharpening Acuity supplement – specially designed to help “fuel” the mind when using BrainEv.
During the second month, I worked with level two. And I can honestly say that – again – I began noticing real differences.
Now, I’m not a person who often write positive reviews. It’s much easier to criticize than praise. But once again, the Brain Evolution System made a very definite, positive impact.
Colleagues commented on my permanent state of happiness. I felt much more relaxed, even during the most stressed-out periods of my day. My thinking speed DEFINITELY increased – and the tablets helped boost my focus even further. Creative spurts increased. My reading speed rocketed. I found myself coming up with more elegant solutions to problems. I also found myself soaking up information more rapidly than before.
And another thing: I began waking up after just five hours of sleep. This simple meditation program was reducing my usual EIGHT HOURS down to just five – thanks to 30 minutes of listening, six times a week.
So, does the Brain Evolution System work?
During my two-month trial, it genuinely delivered an impressive set of results – all exactly as promised.
It helped SHARPEN my mind, REDUCE my stress levels, and INCREASE my energy.
Yes, I’ve tried meditation programs and brainwave CDs before, but never with the powerful results that the Brain Evolution System provided.
The developers claim that’s down to the fact that it utilizes a “3 Point Dynamic Entrainment Audio Process” to influence brainwaves. They provide a series of fancy graphics and video features to explain it all in greater detail. They even provide online support videos for each progressive level.
I’m not entirely sure what all of that really means.
But what I do know is that the Brain Evolution System helped clear the foggy mind of a usually critical reviewer.
And – at least for me – that’s worth the price-tag a hundred times over.
(Oh, and yes – you can be sure I’ll continue using this package right through to level six!)
BrainEv Pros: Powerful results, professional package, round-the-clock support.
BrainEv Cons: Still requires 30 minutes of your time, 6 days a week.
Verdict: BUY IT, without hesitation!
Official Website: Brain Wave Evolution
Have you heard of binaural beats? Binaural beats are one of the most interesting and powerful sound tools to help you synchronize and entrain your brain to achieve the specific brainwaves that you need for specific self improvement qualities such as greater creativity, concentration, super learning ability, lucid dreaming, etc.
Here’s a 3-minute video from The Unexplainable Store that shares with you what binaural beats are and what they can do for you.
To learn more about binaural beats and the specific effects they can do for you, click here.
In the past, scientists believe that our brain cells stop growing after adulthood. Recent scientific researches, however, have consistently show that our brain is more versatile than that. In fact, our brain cells continue to grow all the time, and with some training of the mind, we can actually consciously affect physical changes in our brain. This property of the brain to change is called neuroplasticity.
This finding is not at all surprising for those who believe that mind is the forerunner of all states, and that mind is in fact the precursor to our physicality. There have also been many research findings that have indeed shown that our mind can actually affect physical changes in our body. The placebo effect is one such well known effect. In a particularly visible experiment, a patient who was allergic to a certain leaf of a plant was told to close his eyes. He was then touched on his right forearm with a leaf and on the left forearm with a different leaf. When he was told that the leaf touching the right arm is the leaf that he is allergic to, there is a clear allergic rash that appeared on that forearm, even though in reality it was the left forearm that was touched with the leaf that he was allergic to. This demonstrates the powerful effect of our mind on our body.
Many are now aware that our mind affects our emotion. In other words, the state of our emotion is determined by what we think, and what we choose to think is a choice that we can consciously make. This is important because it means that we need not allow ourselves to be the victims of circumstances. Even in the mist of difficulties and bad experiences, we can choose to focus on the positive and thereby maintain a positive emotion, which in turns lead to a greater feeling of well being despite the challenges.
However, if you already have the habit of focusing only on the negative, then to change your habit would requires effort. Meditation is one method of training your mind to focus on the positive or the neutral, and is highly recommended if you want to be the master of your own destiny.
Here’s an interesting 1-hour video report on mind science and neuroplasticity and the effect of meditation on the mind.
You can also go here for a written report on neuroplasticity from the Mind and Life Institute.
The bottomline is that in order to transform our lives, we must change the way we think, and to do that we need to train our mind through meditation.