You are gifted with a powerful and capable organ called the brain. Brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals. Only a few invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, adult sea squirts and starfish do not have one. The brain of a vertebrate is the most complex organ of its body. The function of the brain is to exert centralized control over the other organs of the body. The brain acts on the rest of the body both by generating patterns of muscle activity and by driving secretion of chemicals called hormones. This centralized control allows rapid and coordinated responses to changes in the environment. Some basic types of responsiveness such as reflexes can be mediated by the spinal cord or peripheral ganglia, but sophisticated purposeful control of behavior based on complex sensory input requires the information-integrating capabilities of a centralized brain.
From a philosophical point of view, what makes the brain special in comparison to other organs is that it forms the physical structure that generates the mind. As Hippocrates put it: "Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, grief, despondency, and lamentations." Through much of history, the mind was thought to be separate from the brain. Even for present-day neuroscience, the mechanisms by which brain activity gives rise to consciousness and thought remain very challenging to understand: despite rapid scientific progress, much about how the brain works remains a mystery.
Most people’s mind is used to being in control of their being by practice, experience, and social programming. As such, the mind believes it is THE driver and controller of everything. When we sit to meditate and practice healing, the mind simply practices its natural functions to understand, judge, classify, control and set direction. It does this by switching rapidly from one thought to another questioning, classifying and negating everything unfamilier. The mind throws a tantrum because it is used to and good at keeping control when experiencing chaos. Forcing the mind to “not think” or “be empty” is against its natural state of being and thinking, and does not work well for most.
An easier and more efficient way to calm the mind is to plant a “love-based seed" in it to keep it busy yet at peace. To do so, gently, calmly, lovingly ask yourself “What do I love?” Whatever comes as the answer, use that as your default loving thought or prayer. There is no right or wrong answer, you are not stuck with it, you can choose a different one for each sessions it is private to you and your heart, and you do not have to justify or explain it.
Choose a phrase and plant the seed of a love-based thought or prayer in your beautiful brain and mind. Use your favorite religious or non-religious prayer. Start with a short one so that you may repeat it easily, effortlessly and slowly.
Try this now. What do you love? Common love-based thoughts people enjoy are:
- I love ME :).
- I love <name-of-who-you-love>.
- I love <name-of-what-you-love>.
- I love living in <name-of-where-you-love>.
- Anything that makes you feel good and smile.