This is my sixth, and last, consecutive blog on brain problems. After writing the first five, lightning struck: I know something that would help in each of the five problem areas discussed by Dr. Amen in Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. The following items are listed by Dr. Amen as problems associated with each area of the brain. In each case regular meditation would help mitigate these issues. Over time, Meditation could help cure them.

1. Love and Depression: The Deep Limbic System. In this section Dr. Amen recommends eliminating Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs. Regular meditation would help because it increases our ability to become aware of these thoughts; it reduces the ‘automatic’ part of this diagnosis.

2. Anxiety and Fear: The Basal Ganglia. ANTs apply to this area as well. In fact, Dr. Amen specifically recommends meditation as one of the behavioral remedies for this condition.

3. Inattention and Impulsivity: The Prefrontal Cortex. One recommendation is to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Meditation is an aide in this area. In fact, meditation could help alleviate the issues of inattention and impulsivity as well.

4. Worry and Obsessiveness: The Cingulate System. Dr. Amen advises to ‘think your answers through’. This again implies a lack of focus in the mental process; having many automatic thoughts, some of which arise through the associations that individual thoughts contain, that confuse the thinking process. Ever heard of obfuscation? It’s confusing the issue with too many facts. You can cut through the tangled web of thoughts with meditation.

5. Memory and Temper: The Temporal Lobes. Problems discussed in this section include emotional stability, violent thoughts, social skills, anxiety and confusion. I know you’re tired of this repetitive phrase, but ‘meditation will mitigate these issues’.

I didn’t start this series of blogs with this ending in mind. Perhaps I’m not smart enough. That’s where inspiration comes in. It’s better to be inspired than smart. And that brings me to this point: Meditation has had major impacts on our world. About 2,500 years ago a man named Siddhartha Guatama single-handedly created a revolution through meditation. He became the Buddha. That was a long time ago and it took place in a different culture, in the eastern part of our world. But just because it wasn’t invented by Western Culture doesn’t mean it lacks value. In my own lifetime several others have used meditation as a tool to influence the world: Mahatma Gandhi used it to help free his countrymen from foreign rule in India; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi taught it throughout the world; and The Dalai Lama teaches it today.

You don’t have to subscribe to a religion to meditate. There are many forms of meditation for you to choose from. Ask yourself this question: “Am I truly happy?” The most effective way to change the world is to change ourselves. May we all create Peace and Happiness! Ama Ua Noa!

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