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Consider giving your mind some healthy 'downtime'
by Global Good New staff writer
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25 December 2010
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The article features a discussion by neurologist Gary Kaplan, MD, PhD, beginning with the current overload of sensory information in our 'plugged-in' society, which leads to 'multitasking' as we are encouraged to scatter our attention in a multitude of directions.
'We feel compelled to take it all in,' Dr Kaplan says, 'because somehow we equate more sensory experience with the chance for a more fulfilling experience.'
He contrasts the fleeting, less-than-satisfying kind of fulfilment provided by this mode of mental functioning, with 'singular experiences that captured your mind and emotions without distraction . . . . [when] you are absorbed on a deeper, more powerful level of thought and emotion. This is what psychologists refer to as a peak experience, when the chatter of the surface level of thought melts away, and the experience is deep and rich, even blissful.' Dr Kaplan characterizes these experiences as having a profound simplicity and 'the experience of unity amidst diversity . . . . the quality of the transcendent field underlying all thoughts'.
For such peak experiences to become everyday experiences, he says, one needs 'to infuse that transcendent field into your daily activity', by regularly transcending—through daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique. Transcendental Meditation allows the mind to systematically gain the experience of the transcendental field, and also promotes coherent, orderly brain functioning and many other beneficial effects on health, Dr Kaplan says, including reduced stress and strengthening the cardiovascular system—'healthy downtime' that is rejuvenating for mind and body.
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