Monday, January 12, 2015

Scientific Basis of "OM"

The power of meditation is explained quite well in the article, From OM to OMG: Science, Your Brain, and the Productive Powers of Meditation.  It analyzed the brain by MRI scan that is meditating to the normal active brain.  She claims it leads to better focus, less anxiety, more compassion, more creativity, better memory, less stress, and more grey matter.  The aging population especially myself can use all of these.

Meditation turns off the tumultuous, endless thoughts produced by the brain allowing one to focus with mindfulness on nothing or a particular pathway.  OM or any mantra is a sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological an spiritual power is a vehicle to achieve a meditative state.  OM is the vibration of the universe- more than a sound, but the vibration.  What's the bottom line for most people who are skeptics?  The benefits outweigh the negatives of trying it.  What if it really works?  Take advantage of easy solutions to complex problems.

This is all well and good for those who wish to spend time in a cross-legged position, or chanting, or meditating on koans, but one would eventually be led to ask, "What is brain anyway?".  What is mind?  As the Zen adept will note: if you understand, well then, things are as they are.  And if you do not understand guess what?  Things still are as they are.  Quite likely the brain exists in the physical universe very much like a smart phone on a plan; the data probably exists in multiple dimensions, and as the phone works and the brain has not stroked out, the information is there.  But does it matter that we get it?  Indeed when asked to walk the dog one should first reflect on the hope that someone's karma does not run over your dogma.

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