Sometimes when I teach classes I heard people ask, “What’s the meaning of life?” There are always some people who want to find an answer for their life. Some people who are puzzled about life go looking for anything to make their life feel good. Most people can do so through the five senses. For instance when we see the natural beauty of lakes and mountains it will let us feel peace or when we listen to some nice music we can feel calm. Of course some people can make their life feel good through philosophy or religion. Or you can take exterior stimulants. But the five senses actually all connect to the brain/mind, so I think when we are looking to make our life feel good it’s actually our mind looking for ultimate happiness.
Research tells us interesting things about our mind. Most brain wave research uses EEG (Electroencephalography) technology to measure the brain’s electrical vibrations from the surface of the scalp. The resulting EEG pattern will contain frequency elements mainly below 30Hz. These frequencies are categorized into four states as follows:
State Frequency range State of mind
Delta 0.5Hz – 4Hz Deep sleep
Theta 4Hz – 8Hz Drowsiness (also first stage of sleep)
Alpha 8Hz – 14Hz Relaxed but alert
Beta 14Hz – 30Hz Highly alert and focused
An article called “the science of meditation” (http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101030804) from Time magazine, August 2003 also has interesting things to say about our minds. After training in meditation for eight weeks, subjects show a pronounced change in brain-wave patterns, shifting from the alpha waves of aroused, conscious thought to the theta waves that dominate the brain during periods of deep relaxation. So through a series of studies and research, scientists confirm that after meditation training we really can have a peaceful mind.
When we are anxious or suffering we are always looking for something to make us feel good. What I’m trying to say in this article is that this is an instinct and natural desire. But is there something that can really make you feel good? What is true happiness? Have a peace of heart/mind is. When you feel frustrated, sad or disquieted you might take exterior stimulants to make you feel good, but if you use them every time you feel bad they will begin to control you. Yet if you gain peace of heart through practice then you don’t need any exterior stimulants. For me having peace of mind is like taking a soul drug… you try it once and you can never forget it. That’s why some of my students still come back even after being absent for a while.
Settle down your soul, calm your mind, and then have a comfortable body.