Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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New Study Reveals Happiest Man In The World

I bet that caught you by surprise, social workers are keenly aware that such things as happiness are relative, or are they? Scientists have been studying brainwaves for quite a long time now, as far as I know since at least the 60’s. There has been a particular emphasis on studying the effects of meditation on the brain. I have yet to read a study that does not confirm that meditation changes the structure of the brain in areas such as concentration, memory and the like. Most recently, scans have been made of the brain of Matthieu Ricard, A Tibetan Buddhist monk, and molecular geneticist. Yes, he is both of those things, kind of makes the ordinary person wonder what they have been doing with their lives! The results,

“The scans showed that when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves — those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory — “never reported before in the neuroscience literature”, Davidson said.

The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, researchers believe.”

The methods and bio of Richard are in the article; his father was actually a french philosopher. being a Buddhist, I am clearly biased, but I have always loved the Buddhist promotion of science and especially the scientific method. This article is a nice insight into what Buddhist meditation, and Buddhist philosophy is getting at. Very often I hear people, especially learned people, explain that Buddhist’s believe in nothing, or nothingness, as their central tenant. Generally they have not actually tried meditation. This is akin to talking about the nuances of baseball without ever playing baseball, they are always a step removed. I digress, my experience tells me that underneath all that nothingness is in fact  heart of compassion. I understand why it is easy to misunderstand, they are very complex concepts, and none of them make a lick of sense unless you waste your life on a cushion staring at a wall 🙂

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  1. Michael Serene November 1, 2012

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