Neuroscience has a Limited View on the Benefits of Meditation

Caroline de Braganza
8 min readJun 8, 2019
Meditate for Peace (Source: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

We can measure The Brain, the Mind is immeasurable, the Heart wins.

With the hype surrounding mindfulness meditation — how it rewires your brain and measures your brainwaves to make sure you are in a meditative state (theta or delta state,) we have forgotten that meditation is a spiritual practice that stretches back over 5000 years.

How, then can I go beyond the limits of neuroscience to expound how meditation enhances not only our life, but nurtures our inter-connectedness with humanity — with what Jung called the Collective Consciousness?

I’m not knocking neuroscience — it’s clarified our understanding of how our brains work and continues to fascinate me. The discovery of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis have been instrumental in my maintaining a healthy brain and emotional stability.

Meditation moves beyond the physical and mental. Later on I’ll share examples of studies conducted since the 70's which show benefits beyond the bounds of brainwaves and blood pressure and sparking neurotransmitters.

First, let me clarify that Brain and Mind are two separate though interwoven, entities. Let’s not use these terms interchangeably. Neuroscientists claim the brain has supreme power, matter over mind, whereas spiritual traditions espouse the belief of mind over matter.

What differentiates Mind and Brain?

This debate has continued through the ages, from Aristotle to the present day.

I’ll put the philosophical arguments aside because we have no right answer from the perspective of the limited dimensions in which we operate.

(Relativity states our world is four dimensional, three for space and one for time. String theory posits 10 or 11 dimensions, whilst the magic number in Bosonic String Theory is 26!)

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Caroline de Braganza

Wise Older Woman (WOW). Poetry, essays, humor. Passion for mental health, social justice, politics, diverse cultures, the world and environment.