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Roadmaps to joy!

Meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t.

Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.

In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.

“Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. “These findings are consistent with other studies that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice.”

More: Harvard Gazette

How do I avoid negative thoughts

Q: How do I avoid negative thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Negative thoughts, why do you want to avoid them? Let them come and they go. Avoiding means you are trying to hold on to them. If they come say,'Oh you have come, hi, bye bye', and they go.

Questions answered by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The first step toward the higher state of consciousness

Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed; giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust; and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion.

We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that is a part of us.

This is not to say that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us. This is the first step toward the higher state of consciousness.

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

About being a Yogi and dispassion

Q: Guruji when I think about death, I feel dispassionate. How can one remain a karma yogi in that situation?


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Look, whatever you do with dispassion (vairaagya) that has a lot of power. We work not for ourselves, but for others. Okay. When we work for others we get a certain type of satisfaction. If our mind is empty, and we are in bliss then both these begin to manifest in life effortlessly, what we have not been able to get/achieve, that comes and what we have, remains preserved. You will feel that you don’t have to put much effort from your side.

This is the sign of a Yogi. A Yogi does not have to make any effort to fulfil his desire but one has to perform his duties. You know all that you want, your desires, intentions are being fulfilled right, before the desire or intention arises.

So that is why Yogi gets the best of enjoyments because a Yogi’s state of consciousness is such that before the desire arises the fruit is already there. He doesn’t have to struggle too hard. That doesn’t mean you have to be lazy, you have to do your work, not to fulfill your own desires but because you have to do certain things. You should just do it.

How to overcome bad luck

Q: Guruji, does anything called luck or bad luck exists? How to overcome bad luck?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: of course! When things happen the way you want everything to happen you say yes its good luck and when everything goes wrong you say it bad luck. How to overcome bad luck is to increase your intuition and how to increase your intuition if you ask me, MEDITATION!

Guruji, I want You to be with me always.

Q: Guruji, I want You to be with me always. What should I do for that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Just know I am with you. Do Sadhana, Seva, Satsang - that you don’t leave or forget. Do your duty, meditate, do your duty.

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