Jan 292016
 

young-girl-meditating

by John Donnelly…….

Dr. Kelly McGonigal is an award-winning health psychologist teaching at Stanford University. Dr. McGonigal states: “It took evolution millions of years to deliver a prefrontal cortex capable of everything we humans need.” However, once born, is our value, worth and promise enduringly set in stone; before we even get out the gate and have a chance to live our lives?

Is the ‘biological brain organ’ a fixed innate structure, rigidly wired and immutably developed into its full potential at birth? Are we sentenced to a brilliant and alluring, or dull and obtuse existence, simply by the means of our birth? Must we endure millions of additional years in our evolution, before we’re able to awaken to the depth and majesty of the infinite possibilities that are before us?

Dr. McGonigal continues: “Since the dawn of time, or at least since researchers started poking and prodding the human brain, it was assumed that the brain was fixed in structure. Whatever brainpower you had was a done deal, not a work in progress. The only change your brain was going to see was the deterioration of getting old. But over the last decade neuroscientists have discovered that, like an eager student, the brain is remarkably responsive to experience. Ask your brain to do math every day, and it gets better at math. Ask your brain to worry, and it gets better at worrying. Ask your brain to concentrate, and it gets better at concentrating.”

Ask your brain, via the indoctrination and propaganda it has been exposed to and instructed with, as set forth by a society and culture riddled with misrepresentations and skewed narratives, to press forward with new and authentic ideas, answers and solutions to the most troubling concerns of our time, and the potency of such a request can cause ‘brain freeze or failure.’

Unable to analytically reason through the facts based upon an incondite curriculum and incomplete education, along with fraudulent and misleading data, one’s brain is unable to authentically arrive at an accurate and effective response to the problems before it. The brain’s capacity to function effectively will have been disabled and disallowed, by its inability to draw upon the unalterable awareness and consciousness that is available to all via proper instruction, training and technique.

Ask your brain to cover-up wrongdoings, and it gets better at it. Ask your brain to rationalize racism and murder, and it gets better at it. Ask your brain to repeatedly justify corrupt and criminal conduct, and it gets better at it.

The esteemed professor continues: “Not only does your brain find these things easier, but it actually remodels itself based on what you ask it to do. Some parts of the brain grow denser, packing in more gray matter like a muscle bulking up from exercise.”

“Areas of the brain can also grow more connected to each other, so they can share information more quickly.”

As the speed and firings of ‘brain synapses accelerate,’ this greater connectivity between brain regions increases attention and memory.

According to Dr. McGonigal: “Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but as a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control and self-awareness. People who meditate regularly aren’t just better at these things. Over time, their brains become finely tuned willpower machines. Regular mediators have more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, as well as regions of the brain that support self-awareness.”

“It may seem incredible that our brains can reshape themselves so quickly, but meditation increases blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, in much the same way that lifting weights increases blood flow to your muscles. The brain appears to adapt to exercise in the same way that muscles do, getting both bigger and faster in order to get better at what you ask of it. This is the closest we can get to speeding up evolution, and making the most of our brain’s potential.”

Perplexed and disappointed, why would the Monroe County School District prevent its students from participating in a program of Meditation, that provided over $10,000 in scholarships and prizes, on a yearly basis in perpetuity, at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer or district?

I’ve moved on. Brought back to the children and young adults hungering for answers, peace, equality and success.

Regardless of my actions, evidence abounds documenting the dramatic transformations and advanced skill levels acquired by all students provided with a ‘meditation program.’ If the Monroe County School District truly loves and cares for its students, the Superintendent and School Board Members will not let another day go by, without introducing this vital component into the school’s curriculum at every grade level.

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John Donnelly
John Donnelly, a resident of Key Largo was born, raised and went to high school in the South Bronx. Upon graduation he was awarded several scholarships to college. He chose to enlist in the United Sates Marine Corps. While serving in Vietnam John was wounded in action. He received two meritorious promotions, one during combat. Upon discharge and return to America, John had a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. He found himself homeless for the next 4 years. As he worked out some troublesome concerns, he began to yearn to make some sense of his experiences via education. He sought and received his GI Bill benefits. He later graduated frpm the University of Miami on the President’s Honor Roll. While working at a Maximum Security Prison Facility for criminally insane adolescents, he earned a Master of Science degree from Florida International University.
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More Articles by John Donnelly prior to November, 2014.
 January 29, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am Issue #151, John Donnelly  Add comments

  3 Responses to “Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth”

  1. John, Very cool, I repeat, very cool. I know you value meditation very much, and even though I am less inclined to such, I would never say it is not a valuable tool for living. But I ask you the following: could someone like myself, who does not formally meditate, be doing the same thing when I constantly sit around contemplating the world around me, taking it all in consciously, sitting on my porch pondering my environment, etc. I do a lot of that. I’ve always felt that brain use can be deficient in many environments, especially for children who come from dysfunctional homes. The brain, like muscles, must be used in order to grow strong and function well. I love this article, it corroborates much of my world view. ciao, Jerome

  2. Jerome,

    I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on the article. Your thoughtful and penetrating insights provide ‘grist for the mill’. Thank you so very much.

    Over the course of a lifetime, my experience has been that there are as many forms and methods of Meditation, as there are people.

    Growing up in the South Bronx, there weren’t many teachers nor proponents of this ancient art of ‘consciousness raising’. I don’t even think such a word as ‘meditation’ was spoken, at least not in the circles I traveled..

    Although there wasn’t much ‘Nature’ where I lived, those times when I was outdoors provided me with some relief and insight; along with stimulating my awareness. It was a beginning.

    I had to find a way to ‘quite my mind’ and ignite a candle of hope and possibilities. Athletics and Books also implanted discoveries that would serve me well at a later date.

    Sitting on your porch is a beautiful start. Take a moment to remove your mind from its pondering, breath deeply and affix your concentration and attention upon the breath entering your nostrils, while following into and expanding your lungs. Keep the mind focused.

    Then…with penetrating determination follow your breath up and out of your lungs and nostrils. No other distracting thoughts

    Jerome, you’re a ‘Beautiful and Talented Man’; obviously you’ve been expanding your consciousness throughout the course of your life.

    This simple, but potent breathing exercise, has the potential to catapult you into expanded levels of consciousness & awareness.

    Your an extraordinary individual, possessing the honesty and integrity to take yourself to new heights of development. With your brilliance and open-mindedness, the sky is the limit. You’ve already down the heavy lifting.

    Again, many thanks and much love.

  3. John, Thanks so much. I’ve already begun to experiment with what you’ve said. When I get a nice time on my porch, I’ll really go at it. One other thing: regardless of some of the things we … really, I don’t think we disagree on a lot, but we have different paths to get there. I know you have been active trying to get meditation introduced into our schools. I am totally in favor of that … but remember, it will take a political effort to do it. ciao, Jerome