Andrew Newberg, director of research at Jefferson Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, explains the five steps along the path to enlightenment. Newberg's latest book is "How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation" (http://goo.gl/RSY4pc).
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Transcript - When we look at all of the data that we now have. When we look at the several thousand descriptions that people have of the enlightenment experiences. When we look at over 250 brain scans that we’ve done of people engaged in different types of prayer and meditation practices, I think one of the things that we can ultimately distill out of this on a very practical level is how do we actually help people down their own path to enlightenment? What are the steps that people need to think about taking so that they can find their own path? I think one of the important aspects of all of this is that on one hand we can talk about this in generalities. There are certain basic elements. There’s certain basic approaches that people can take, certain basic aspects of the experience that people are going to have. But it ultimately is also a unique phenomenon and for each person part of what we need to try to encourage them to do is to find their own pathway, to find that own uniqueness that makes it an experience that’s meaningful for them. So when we start to think about the actual steps that people take we’ve been able to define that into five different specific steps that we think are relevant for this process.
The first step we usually talk about is the desire to make this kind of change in your life. The desire to have enlightenment. Now on one hand that may sound like a silly thing to say because on one hand why wouldn’t everybody want to have it? And to some degree that’s true. I mean if you went up to anybody on the street and say hey, would you like to have the most incredible experience you could ever have? Change your life, change the way you think about the world and you’re happy for the rest of your life. I think most people would say yeah sure, that sounds great. Sign me up. But the bottom line is that they are difficult experiences to get to. They’re certainly not impossible but they are difficult. And they are a little scary when you think about it because it’s rearranging the normal way you thought about the world up till now which for the most part has worked for you. And when you think about how our brain works, our brain usually doesn’t like change very much. So when you say well we’re going to radically change your brain, your brain is thinking well wait a minute, you know. Things are going pretty okay so far. I don’t really want to have these kinds of big changes going on in my life. So I think part of the whole process to start with is saying yes, you know, I really would like to have this kind of an experience. I’d like to change. I’d like to experience something that’s different than the way I normally thought about things. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/4wamjs.
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