I read an interesting article today about enhancing your well-being through purposeful mental training such as that done by Buddhist monks in Tibet.
Written by Brian Maffly of the Salt Lake Tribune, it is a fascinating look into current scientific research done by Communications Psychology professor Richard Davidson of Madison University, using the latest technology such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to document the startling control the monks demonstrate over their emotional states. His resulting ideas about “neuroplasticity” — the notion that we can enhance brain function through purposeful mental training — threaten to upend conventional psychoterapy, which has little scientific basis.
Davidson is quoted as saying:
“We were all taught that the brain is different from other organs in the way it changes over time. We thought the process was one of irrevocable death,” Davidson said. “We now know that view is definitely wrong. The brain is capable of generating 7,000 to 9,000 cells a day.”
Recruited by the Dalai Lama, monks who participated in this study had spent, on average, 34,000 hours in intense meditation and were considered masters of the faith. By using scans that tracked brain function, Davidson was able to track high levels of activity in the areas of the brain associated with emotional well-being. Further studies documented measurable changes in brain activity after two-week sessions of mental training.
The most interesting part of this article for me is directly related to music. Davidson states, “The brain is the only organ designed to change in response to experience. Musical training changes the structure of the brain and when it begins earlier in life the greater the influence.” (emphasis mine)
Come join us in our Kindermusik classes and create some well-being of your own for you and your child. We gladly offer pro-rated tuition when joining after the beginning of the new semester!
For our class schedule, please visit our website.