This is Your Brain on Prayer and Meditation

Quotes from “Prayer May Reshape Your Brain ... And Your Reality," by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR (May 20, 2009):

your_brain_on_god

"The more you focus on something — whether that's math or auto racing or football or God — the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain...What we need to do is study those moments where people feel that they're getting beyond their brain, and understanding what's happening in the brain from a scientific perspective, what's happening in the brain from their spiritual perspective..."

~ Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, who has been scanning the brains of religious people for more than a decade.

"It's as if the present moment expands to fill all of eternity, that there has never been anything but this eternal now."

~ Michael Baime, a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania and a Tibetan Buddhist who has meditated at least an hour a day for the past 40 years.

"You can sculpt your brain just as you'd sculpt your muscles if you went to the gym. Our brains are continuously being sculpted, whether you like it or not, wittingly or unwittingly."

~ Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin

[Thanks Connie! Thanks Pete!]