Science Behind Meditation

Richard Davidson

Science Behind Meditation

April 20, 2018

Richard Davidson“Training given to mind for happiness and health is not much different than other modern practices. Meditation is an important tool for that. The one who focuses on meditation is certainly happier than other people.” 

-Richard Davidson
Neuro scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


KATHMANDU–What makes a human happy? What are the measurements and boundaries of happiness? Discussions and research on these philosophical curiosities are being conducted since long.

Science has delved into the research on dimensions of happiness in the recent times. American Neuroscientist Dr Richard Davidson has said that happiness can be circulated in human body by training human brain through meditations.

“Being able to keep oneself happy is an art,” Richard Davidson, founder and director of Center for Healthy Mind at University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, who has come Nepal for his research told Republica. “Training given to mind for happiness and health is not much different than other modern practices. Meditation is an important tool for that. The one who focuses on meditation is certainly happier than other people.”

Four elements are necessary for a human to be happy, according to Davidson. They are mental resilience, positive outlook, attention, and generosity. Davidson said that meditation plays a vital role in activating these elements. Regular practice of meditation and soft exercises activate the neural circuit of the nervous system which increases creativity through an improvement in plasticity of the brain.

Happy and healthy people have a capacity to deal with stressful situations since they have an efficient neural circuit. “Resilience is such an element which make life progressive aiding the bearer to transcend challenges in life,” said Davidson.

Scientific researches have already proved that loving kindness and compassion meditation help boosting positive thoughts in a person. According to a research, a regular meditation for half an hour in a day for two weeks brings gradual changes in the brain. The further one practices meditation, the more the life excels towards transformation, the research says.

Practical attempts have been started to develop attention in people, which is an important element of happiness. When a person adopts loving kindness, the person’s neural circuit gets activated and this is a mandatory condition for a man to remain happy.

Davidson has said that regular practice of meditation brings mind to a new track to eventually bring happiness in life. A research conducted in the laboratory of University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that regular simple practice of mindfulness meditation brings changes in neural circuit. “One needs to be involved in meditation for a long time to feel happy, peaceful and satisfied in life,” added Davisdson.

‘The Emotional Life of Your Brain’ and ‘The Minds on Physician’ are among the popular books by Davidson, who is professor of psychology and psychiatry at the university. Davidson, who has been doing conducting researches on neuro sciences and meditation, has himself been meditating for last forty years. Davidson claimed that he started meditating to know what kind of impacts meditation can have on mind despite being a neuro scientist. “Experience from meditation is helping me to delve deeper into my researches on neuro science,” said Davidson.

Davidson also said that he started his study on neuro science and meditation after being inspired by Dalai Lama. Davidson and his team had conducted a research on the impacts of meditation on the brain of a Buddhist monk seven years ago. Brain scan using scientific methods like IIG, MRI, and FMRI had shown that neural wave circulation in the brain a meditating person is better than that of a normal person. Dozens of his articles on mindfulness, compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, among others, have been published in various international journals.

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