Bite-Sized Meditations for the Busy Human Being
The third in a series by Linda Graham, MFT, based on Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Dr. Wendy Suzuki, a neuroscientist at NYU.
Dr. Suzuki acknowledges her own struggles, as so many of us have, with sticking to a formal meditation practice. She describes herself as a “yo-yo” meditator, sometimes quite diligent, other times quite slack. That’s why I find the 4-minute meditation practices below so appealing. They are doable ways to back into a steadier meditation practice.
Along the way, Dr. Suzuki offers some succinct nuggets about the impact of long-term meditation on the brain. My favorite: patterns of rhythmic and synchronous brain activity, what neuroscientists call neural oscillations and what we call brain waves, differ remarkably in very experienced meditators from the rest of us. Folks with thousands of hours of meditation practice have far higher levels of the (very fast) gamma waves associated with higher cognitive functioning, visual attention, working memory, learning and conscious perception. And gamma waves seem to be how the brain “binds” input from many different parts of the brain together, creating more coherent and integrated representations of our experience. We might call that the clarity that leads to a happier life.
Dr. Suzuki is not a meditation teacher, by any stretch. There