Attachment Defined (03:29)
In the West attachment is seen as necessary and healthy. Buddhists use this term to describe craving or clinging, as differentiated from love.
Generosity vs Agenda (03:13)
Sara Lazar loves her friend who struggled with cancer and does not want to let her go. The desire to fix a romantic relationship is a manifestation of attachment.
Neurochemicals of Addiction (02:32)
Scientific studies on attachment center on addiction, specifically the neurotransmitter dopamine. Meditation affects chemical receptors in the brain.
Grey Matter (02:49)
Research subjects reported increased feelings of wellbeing after 8-weeks of mindfulness training. Brain scan results showed increased grey matter in the brain stem.
Increased Well Being (04:07)
Sara Lazar’s recent study shows that meditation preserves grey matter in older adults. Her first study is often misquoted outside the scientific community.
Non-Attachment Culture in Research (05:14)
Attachment is not wrong but it is the source of suffering. Researchers may overstate the benefits of meditation due to their own agenda.
Measuring Results (02:41)
Self-reported evidence of meditation may contradict data collected from brain scans. Interpreting brain imaging for average meditators is challenging.
Compassion Study (03:27)
Compassion practitioners experience improved heart rate variability. Meditation research yields different results between male and female brains.
Distinguishing Between Metta and Attachment (04:45)
The Buddha taught loving-kindness as an antidote to fear and anger. Greed is managed by feelings of gratitude, discernment, and understanding change.
Personal Practice (05:38)
Buddhist scientists studying meditation should include non-Buddhists in research studies to further objectivity. Sara Lazar does loving-kindness practice to improve social cohesion in her lab.
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