The following notes were given to me by my friend Sister Helen. These are her notes she took while attending a conference on Neuroscience and Spirituality, October, 2008.
1. Form an intention for the sitting
- Intention is what you value.
- BRAIN: Targets the executive function of the brain's frontal lobe.
2. Relax your body.
- BRAIN: Targets the parasympathetic nervous system, the "rest and digest" area, produces tranquility.
3. Bring to mind a sense of safety.
- Choose a setting or put yourself in the presence of good people, etc.
- Make yourself as safe as possible.
- This releases anxiety which makes us vigilant against possible threats.
- It draws us inward.
- BRAIN: Targets the primitive brain area designed to protect us.
4. Bring to mind some positive feelings.
- Examples: peascefulness, gratitude, contentment, happiness, joy.
- This strengthens the immune system.
- BRAIN: raises dopamine level and stabilizes the working memory.
5. Get a sense of the benefit of meditation.
- Let the benefits sink inot you.
- Incline your heart in the direction of meditation and it's benefits.
- BRAIN: leaves a neural trace; wires neurons. Supports coordination in the implicit memory.
Your now prepared (primed) to meditate.