Experts have long searched for the secret to true happiness, and this discovery may take them one step closer! Sixty-six-year-old Matthieu Ricard is a Tibetan monk and geneticist, believed by experts to be the world’s happiest man.
Recent studies have found that he produces a level of brain activity, linked to attention, consciousness, learning, and memory, that has never before seen in neuroscience!
What is the Secret to His Happiness?
Ricard credits his happiness to meditation. He told the Daily News, “Meditating is like lifting weights or exercising for the mind. Anyone can be happy by simply training their brain.”
Neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin attached 256 sensors to Ricard’s skull, monitoring the brain activity as he meditated. To provide them with a better understanding, they also studied the brain activity of other monks throughout the study.
The study showed that long-term practitioners of meditation (those who have engaged in more than 50,000 rounds) showed a significant change to their actual brain function. While those that practiced less didn’t see as large a difference, some of the monks studied with only three weeks of 20-minute meditation sessions each day still showed a noticeable change.
As for Ricard, the level of gamma waves that his brain produced was off the charts! It was also discovered that he demonstrated a higher level of activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart. This discovery proved that he has a larger capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity.
The Power of Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation is a form of silent mantra meditation, also referred to as the Transcendental Meditation technique. This technique involves using a sound or mantra and is effective when practiced for 15-20 minutes twice per day. This form of medication is cited as an effective method of stress reduction, relaxation, and self-development.
There is considerable debate as to whether the form is considered to be ‘religious’ or ‘non-religious’. While it is not connected solely with an outside form of religion, the United States Court of Appeals upheld a federal ruling that Transcendental Meditation was a religion, and therefore could not be taught within the public-school system.
David Lynch, one of America’s greatest filmmakers, visual artists, television directors, and musicians, is an advocate for the practice of Transcendental Meditation, and its use in bringing peace to the world. Channeling this passion for helping others to learn the techniques, he launched the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and Peace.