Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Can Enhance Brain Performance
I found this to be an interesting article. Many of Buddha’s teachings when examined carefully will be very logical. Using Vajrayana meditations will improve cognitive performance of the brain according to scientific research. Our awareness will also grow and memory will be vastly improved when we engage in Vajrayana meditations guided. This I found to be very true from my limited personal experience especially after retreats.
In the Vajrayana tradition, we are encouraged to do meditations and practices from the Theravadin, Mahyana and Vajrayana traditions combined but not at one go of course. We are taught to not abandon any part of Buddha’s teachings and respect all the traditions. All teachings and meditation techniques extended from the Buddha will have benefit in one way or the other. Buddha will not teach anything that does not have benefit.
If we combine the Theravadin and Vajrayana techniques we will experience both relaxation and cognitive improvements. The results are permanent and lasting. Let the scientists research further and find out that the benefits are lasting. I am excited for further research. Even if we focus on Vajrayana meditative techniques alone we will gain the benefits of heightened cognitive performance, sharper awareness and relaxation.
Tsongkapa and Manjushri meditations are excellent for cognitive enhanced performance in our lives as well as relaxation. There are other techniques within Vajrayana also. When we engage in Tsongkapa meditations it will give a sense of satisfaction coming from within as another auxiliary result. We will feel more calm, more relaxed and more focused. I have been speaking about this to many for years and now I am glad to see science is also proving this point to be true.
I applaud this research as Buddha’s meditative techniques under research will prove more and more beneficial to mankind. The proof will be in the pudding as the saying goes.
I had to share this with all of you. Have you experienced the effects they are talking about?
Study Reveals that Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Associated with Tibetan Buddhism Can Enhance Brain Performance
August 13, 2014
Contrary to popular belief, not all meditation techniques produce similar effects of body and mind. Indeed, a recent study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has demonstrated for the first time that different types of Buddhist meditation – namely the Vajrayana and Theravada styles of meditation – elicit qualitatively different influences on human physiology and behaviour, producing arousal and relaxation responses respectively.
In particular, the NUS research team found that Vajrayana meditation, which is associated with Tibetan Buddhism, can lead to enhancements in cognitive performance.
The study by Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov and Dr Ido Amihai from the Department of Psychology at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was first published in the journal PLOS ONE in July 2014.
Vajrayana and Theravada meditation produce different physiological responses
Previous studies had defined meditation as a relaxation response and had attempted to categorise meditation as either involving focused or distributed attentional systems. Neither of these hypotheses received strong empirical support, and most of the studies focused on Theravada meditative practices.
Assoc Prof Kozhevnikov and Dr Amihai examined four different types of meditative practices: two types of Vajrayana meditations (Tibetan Buddhism) practices (Visualisation of self-generation-as-Deity and Rig-pa) and two types of Theravada practices (Shamatha and Vipassana). They collected electrocardiographic (EKG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) responses and also measured behavioural performance on cognitive tasks using a pool of experienced Theravada practitioners from Thailand and Nepal, as well as Vajrayana practitioners from Nepal.
They observed that physiological responses during the Theravada meditation differ significantly from those during the Vajrayana meditation. Theravada meditation produced enhanced parasympathetic activation (relaxation). In contrast, Vajrayana meditation did not show any evidence of parasympathetic activity but showed an activation of the sympathetic system (arousal).
The researchers had also observed an immediate dramatic increase in performance on cognitive tasks following only Vajrayana styles of meditation. They noted that such dramatic boost in attentional capacity is impossible during a state of relaxation. Their results show that Vajrayana and Theravada styles of meditation are based on different neurophysiological mechanisms, which give rise to either an arousal or relaxation response.
Applications of the research findings
The findings from the study showed that Vajrayana meditation can lead to dramatic enhancement in cognitive performance, suggesting that Vajrayana meditation could be especially useful in situations where it is important to perform at one’s best, such as during competition or states of urgency. On the other hand, Theravada styles of meditation are an excellent way to decrease stress, release tension, and promote deep relaxation.
After seeing that even a single session of Vajrayana meditation can lead to radical enhancements in brain performance, Assoc Prof Kozhevnikov and Dr Amihai will be investigating whether permanent changes could occur after long-term practice. The researchers are also looking at how non-practitioners can benefit from such meditative practices.
Assoc Prof Kozhevnikov said, “Vajrayana meditation typically requires years of practice, so we are also looking into whether it is also possible to acquire the beneficial effects of brain performance by practicing certain essential elements of the meditation. This would provide an effective and practical method for non-practitioners to quickly increase brain performance in times of need.”
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