Familiarity with One's Own Mind

Excerpt from "Brain's Response to Meditation," by David R. Vago, Psychology Today, July 31, 2015:

The implication here is that every moment of your life becomes an opportunity for changing your worldview and facilitating a sustainably healthy mind.


From this perspective, every moment (on and off the meditation cushion) has the potential to orient your worldview towards an adaptive perspective and over time — change your mental habits and behavior. One’s entire lifetime is then the mental landscape in which to cultivate and maintain a healthy perspective. You can either fill your mind with destructive thoughts and emotions that are not adaptive each moment or maintain mindful awareness in every moment, thus freeing your mind of obfuscation and increasing more sensory clarity and equanimity towards your self and in relation to the world around you.

With every moment we spend meditating, we have the opportunity to cultivate self-awareness and change how we perceive the world. In fact, the word “meditation” is an English translation of Indo-Tibetan words connoting the cultivation of familiarity with one’s own mind. Meditation gives you the tools to train your mind to be habitual in a positive or adaptive way and reduce all the negative habits or perceptions in your life.

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David Vago, Ph.D. speaks on a new framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness at the Trauma Conference. Rather than focusing on reducing mindfulness down to a single unitary dimension of cognition, we have attempted to illustrate the complexity of mechanisms by which mindfulness functions to reduce suffering and create a sustainable healthy mind using a framework of self-processing.