The most interesting part is on the scientific study of the masters in meditation.
It is proven that the brains of these meditation masters (including monks and laymen, westerners and Asian) are extremely in harmony (the strongest and most synchronized gamma wave ever recorded) and strong positive emotion (dominant left prefrontal cortex activities).
Another test is particularly striking. This experiment is to show a series of faces displaying various expressions is shown in very quick succession on a video. It begins with neutral expression, followed by emotional expression, which remains on screen for a mere thirtieth of a second. The emotive expression is replaced immediately by the neutral expression, and so on. The emotive expressions include anger, fear, disgust, surprise, sadness and joy.
The ability to recognize such fleeting expression has been associated with an unusual capacity for empathy and insight.
The meditators did better than all other 5000 normal people gone through the test. They are better than policemen, lawyers, psychiatrists, customs officials, judges - even Secret Service agents, the group that had been proven to be the most accurate.
Pls remember that these masters are not particularly talented or smart people. They are just normal human being to begin with, who devoted in meditation and turn into who they currently are. If they can do it, all of us can do it too.
Another test is on Startle response, the reflex of facial muscle in response to sudden noise or unexpected and disturbing sights. The experiment is to let the meditator to hear a very loud sound while they are meditating. They did not have Startle Response. This is also the first record in this experiment. None of the previous subjects can do this, including those elite police sharpshooters, who fire guns every day cannot help but have this Startle Response.
We are not the victims of our characters or brain wiring. The mind is so flexible that, with efforts and persistence, it is trainable.
We can transform ourselves into a lot more compassionate, positive and happier people.
The life of the author is very interesting too. He comes from a highly sophisticated family. His father is one of the most respected and influential philosopher in France. His mother is a painter and artist. He is a very smart person who published his first book at age of 19. He went into the elite university studying neurology and got his PhD.
But all these things cannot fulfill him. He still feel the emptiness deep inside. He finally find home in the foot of Himalaya, and turned into a Buddhist monk under Tibetan tradition.
He is now the French interpreter of Dalai Lama, and working on the project to study the brain of meditation masters....Continua
This is a very good book which combines psychology, science and buddhism and guide readers to achieve "happiness" in their lives. I like "Happiness is a skill" which could be learnt. In other words, we all are able to achieve it! So encouraging, isn't it?
I like one example the author mentioned: when we feel our emotion is overwhelmed, the first thing we need to do is to deal with our emotion but not "why" such emotion aroused. It's just like a person got shot by an arrow. We would not be checking why and how this person got shot but to deal with his wound or remove the arrow, right? Very impressive and inspiring analogy!...Continua