July 24, 2014

Preaching to the Choir: Rudi Tanzi and Deepak Chopra Explain Why Meditation Works

This video is basically a promotion by Drs. Tanzi and Chopra for their best-selling book. But the clip explains -- simply and briefly -- why meditation works.

Tanzi has made several recent appearances on this blog. The Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy professor of Neurology at Harvard University, he also directs the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. With popular author and physician Deepak Chopra, Tanzi wrote Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being.

The authors assert that the brain is capable of incredible healing and reshaping. Developing a new relationship with your brain can transform your life. The authors explain how using the brain -- instead of letting it use you -- can bring a host of positive reward, like:

  • Reduce the risks of aging. 
  • Promote happiness and well-being through the mind-body connection.
  • Access the enlightened brain, the gateway to freedom and bliss.
  • Overcome common challenges like memory loss, depression, anxiety, and obesity.

Yes, this line-up of benefits resembles the hype you hear from Dr. Oz and other TV hucksters, whose unscientific noise I usually ignore (and abhor). But Dr. Tanzi's credentials -- and his work -- are impressive.

I'm also sold on meditation.

Meditation and Me: The Latest
My own variety of meditation has become a treasured and important part of my days, clearly enhancing my sense of well-being. Here's the most recent "discovery."

Last week, I wrote about my struggle with insomnia at the start of my Norwegian cruise vacation. While I hate sleeping meds -- extended use of Ambien and Tylenol PM has caused terrible depression in the past -- I nevertheless popped a few pills at the start of this trip, after feeling wiped out by jet lag. The meds worked -- I slept -- but soon enough they brought on that old familiar feeling of depression. So I stopped taking them.

A few good nights followed, but the insomnia returned. So I tried my old "secret handshake" meditation, which I've frequently used during my middle-of-the night quiet time to help combat insomnia.

In a new twist, I tried that particular meditation just before bedtime. Bingo!

This post is coming to you from Bergen, Norway. We're now heading into the homestretch of a terrific cruise. And last night? Without the pills, I slept for eight lovely hours.

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