Meditation intelligence

Can Meditating Make You Smarter?

Krishna Kantha, Thailand’s living saint, gently placed his hands on top of my head. I could feel an icy coldness penetrating my skull.

A lovely golden ball of liquid energy soon formed in the center of my brain.

“Go meditate. No talking, cell phones or TV. Be quiet. Walk in the grass. Observe Nature,” came instructions from best meditation teacher I ever had.

My head felt like it had been stuffed with cotton wool for the next few days. Any attempt to talk or do any intellectual activity brought a headache.

But meditation was great!

My mind could see inside the golden ball in my brain. Millions of sparks flew about in it. These sparks were busy rebuilding my brain cells. All my old patterns of intellectual thinking were disappearing. Awareness was growing along with the golden ball.

The ball of sparks became bigger and bigger until it encompassed my entire brain before proceeding down my spinal cord to work on it too.

After three days, I could walk about performing the daily chores of life while holding the empty mind state. No thoughts at all arose while doing physical activities. Buddhist monks practice Vipassana meditation all day every day for many years to achieve this.

I had it in just three days!

After three weeks, I had also experienced oneness and emptiness, two of the most advanced states of meditation.

Thank you Krishna Kantha!

In the years since my experiences on retreat at Krishna’s, I had often wondered if my visions of the golden sparks rebuilding my brain were imagination or reality.

Then I read a study by the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.

The study shows that meditation actually grows grey matter in the hippocampus. This area of the brain is already known as being associated with learning and memory, and with structures related to compassion, self-awareness and introspection.

Compassion, self-awareness, and introspection. Those are exactly the areas that we target in meditation.

For thousands of years, metta meditation has focused on growing loving compassion for all living beings. Does growth in compassion come as a direct result of growing more brain cells in the brain’s structures associated with compassion?

After reading this report, it seems highly likely. What’s even more interesting is the fact that meditating caused those brain cells to grow.

Wait a minute. I thought that new nerve cells didn’t grow in adults. Can the brain actually grow new cells?

This study by a highly respected American medical institution definitely shows increases in grey matter after only eight weeks of meditation.

Further contemplation led to me remembering another experience regarding my brain function. In the years after I left Krishna’s center, I kept seeking out Masters all over Asia to receive more brain changing energy from. Krishna had told me that receiving from different people was necessary to ensure as broad an experience as possible.

After about two years, another interesting change occurred. It felt like the two halves of my brain actually grew together. Investigating this phenomenon led me to the writings of Sri Aurobindo, one of India’s great philosopher/saints who died in 1950.

He writes that at a certain stage in meditation, the awareness and intellectual functions of the human brain combine into one. It’s no longer necessary to switch back and forth from being either in awareness or in the intellect.

The brain goes into an entirely new state that Sri Aurobindo termed Super Consciousness.

In Super Consciousness, you’re completely aware in the present moment and able to engage in cognitive functions at the same time.

It’s like having an empty brain in overdrive while being totally calm and relaxed with exactly the right thoughts popping up out of that emptiness. Liner thinking becomes obsolete. There’s no distracting mind chatter. This is what I was experiencing.

I was able to have a conversation about it with a Dasa at AmmaBhagavan’s Oneness University in India.

“It felt like the two halves of my brain grew together. Like I don’t have two halves anymore. I’ve just got a whole brain. Did this really happen? I asked him.

“That’s what happens,” he said.

Meditation opens up an entire new vista of mental abilities directly associated with changes and new physical growth in our brains. Western medical science is only now validating what Eastern meditation practitioners have known for millennia.

Meditation makes you smarter in ways that you can’t begin to imagine in your present state.

Try it and see for yourself.

 

Richard Crown blogs and teaches meditation and healing at Shaktipat-meditation.org.

Photo credit: ‘Lake Meditation‘ by Big Stock Photo

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwivedi.akashdeep Akashdeep Dwivedi

    without any doubt……it has been proved long time before…but it feels sad to see that there are less receivers present……..
    I practice it…….and its just amazing..

    • Riichard

       More receivers keep appearing as the benefits meditation of meditation become more widely known in the West. It’s rapidly gaining acceptance worldwide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwivedi.akashdeep Akashdeep Dwivedi

    without any doubt……it has been proved long time before…but it feels sad to see that there are less receivers present……..
    I practice it…….and its just amazing..

  • http://qplex.tumblr.com Ashutosh Dave

    What is the best way to meditate?? Please write a post about how to meditate too…it will be a great help!

    • TG

      Agree. also I tried meditating some years ago, but I guess I didn’t had the time/pacience/right way to do it. An article about ways of meditation would be of great help.Nice writing. Have you all a great and pleasant day!
      TG

    • Richard

       So many ways to meditate. Osho said that anything you do can be meditation.  Three points come to mind immediately.
      1. A good teacher is crucial.
      2. Keep trying different techniques until you find the one that resonates with you. This favorite method will change as your practice evolves.
      3. Different techniques are used to address different issues. Knowing many different meditations is like having a well filled tool box. You can use the one you want when you need it.

    • Ping

      In all things, a simple way is an effective way. My personal search trough meditation brought me to a very powerful but simple meditation: 

      Sit, lie down or whatever. it doesn’t matter. Close your eyes, and start listening to your surroundings. Every time you slip into thought, break out, and continue listening to your surroundings again. 

      It can be helpful to set a time before you meditate. for your first time you can start with 10 minutes for example. 
      Dont be mad about the thoughts rising up every time, its natural.
      Don’t try to eliminate all thought, rather try to keep listening to your environment.

      Actually, you are always in the now. This meditation just helps you to be aware of that. you will experience emptyness and oneness.
      you will experience the sound of freedom: silence. 

      Enjoy!

  • http://qplex.tumblr.com Ashutosh Dave

    What is the best way to meditate?? Please write a post about how to meditate too…it will be a great help!

  • Janjiara

    Yes , it is good way to our mind. The main is we have Consciousness.

    • Richard

       Yes. Being consciously aware in the moment as we go about daily life is meditation.

  • http://Mazzastick.com/ Justin Mazza

    Hi Richard,
    Meditation is crucial now more than ever in our fast paced world. What meditation does is changes the brain wave patterns in our head to basically calm them down.

    That was cool to hear about your experience with Krishna Kantha

  • kate

    very interesting article…
    the fact that we can help enhancing our brain power is astonishing…
    very nice post!!!

  • http://www.thewealthcreator.com/ Dwayne@TWC

    This is s great post, Richard. For me meditation is what calms me down and makes my day so much better because I feel relaxed throughout the day. I don’t know if it is making ME any smarter but I definitely hope so.

    • Richard

       Remedia, my wife, says her brain is dull the whole day if she misses morning meditation. Meditation definitely brightens and unclutters the mind, giving it more energy and space to work in.

  • http://ryzeonline.com/ JasonFonceca

    Great post, Richard! Love your personal stories of meditation :)

    Meditation’s pretty controversial stuff, but what’s interesting to me is that prayer, solitude, personal retreat, and meditation has been recommended by the world’s successful + happiest since like… the dawn of time.

    Whether the biology and science is established or not, the results speak for themselves.

    Not to mention my own personal experience, meditation has helped me be happy during homelessness, arrest, betrayal, failure and more :)

    • Richard

       I can’t agree more Jason. Life’s challenges drive us to solace in meditation where bliss wells up and we can know that none of the bumps are important except as learning devices.

  • http://www.youremotionalfreedom.com/ Ben

    Meditation definately has some awesome effects! The times I have managed a quiet mind through meditation or other techniques I do, it feels really awesome. Another great effect is since it allows you to access you deeper parts of your mind, you can let it bring up deeper past programming to let go of it. :)

    -Ben

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  • Elizabeth Harrison

    To be still inside is the highest connection to the energy of Love….that heals all. It is possible to live Present, in a meditative state …instead of having to stop and meditate. You can declutter your brain space and delete memories so thoughts don’t race with Brain Feng Shui tm. It works to keep inner peace pervasively.

  • Mohamad Kassem

    I practice meditation and I loved the way it changed my mind. But after watching what happend in Burma, I mean the killing of muslims by buddhists, and the news about buddhist monks encouraging people to kill muslims. all that made me wonder how these monks are ignoring all the lessons they learnded through meditation like love and compation to all creatures. How can that happen on such a massive scale. I wonder.

  • Sidhant

    Does one have to meditate under the supervision of a saint or a experienced meditator. Or will you experience the same benefits of meditation if you do it by yourself, alone.