“Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows immortal Bliss and supreme joy in the end.” – Swami Sivananda
Daily Nugget of Gold 1521
Joy, Bliss, Fear, and Depression
Today’s title might sound like the usual set of emotions some people experience in a day, or even go from one extreme to another within an hour- or even moment by moment. To be sure, these emotions are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and there is good reason for that. The two opposites are coming from different centers in the brain. Last time we were talking about the hippocampus, or actually- two of them, collectively known as hippocampi. Today we’re on the topic of the amygdala, an almond shaped structure which is at one end of each of the hippocampus portions of the brain, and again, there’s one on the right and there’s one on the left.
The amygdala, while similar and size and shape, aren’t the same. The one on the left is activated when we feel joy and bliss, and it, along with the verbally adroit hippocampus on the left work in conjunction to allow us to express those feelings with language. The amygdala on the right is the center of emotions like fear and depression, and if it seems we struggle to put those thoughts into words which seem to make sense to others, it’s because the hippocampus on the right deals with non-verbal communication.
The amygdala on both sides of the brain are connected together through the anterior commissure, and since they speak the same language, they can communicate back and forth. So what’s all this about the anatomy of the brain? It seems that these parts play a vital role in the enlightenment process. As we train the non-verbal hippocampus to be utilized more fully through meditative practice, we are also building our resistance to using it just for knee-jerk reactions to things like fear and depression foist upon it by the right amygdala. In a sense, this bottles up those emotions and if they get severe enough, they spill into the other amygdala (on the left) and this opens up an entirely new perspective which we didn’t realize before. This is the moment of Spiritual awakening, enlightenment.
Does enlightenment exclusively come to us in extremely stressful circumstances and conditions? No, but it can be an effective trigger, particularly if we’ve been grooming our non-verbal portion of our mind for work through meditation and Spiritual practices. What we’re saying here is that it’s been shown that meditation done on a regular basis can help us cope with stress more effectively, but it also can lead to a life changing event giving us great Spiritual power and promise where others might cave or fold under the pressure. Meditation has been shown to be of great value in lowering stress and healing, the possibility of obtaining Spiritual enlightenment is an awesome bonus, isn’t it?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to make meditation a daily ritual in my life?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.