Brain’s Response to Meditation

By David R. Vago, Ph.D.

How much is enough? This is the question so many people ask when considering a meditation practice. The problem with meditation practice is everyone wants to put in the least amount of time and effort needed to reap the benefits.

During a recent dialogue between western scientists, Buddhist scholars and practitioners on the benefits of meditation sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute (link is external), a scientist asked the Dalai Lama what he believes is the minimum amount of time a person should spend meditating to gain the benefits.

He replied most sincerely, “a lifetime.”

The emerging scientific data from the relatively new field of contemplative neuroscience has begun to answer this question realistically and practically speaking. The standard model for delivering mindfulness-based meditation over the last decade has been mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and related mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs).

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August 14, 2015