What is brain vitality? According to a dictionary, vitality is physical and mental strength and vigor, a “capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence”, or “the power to live or grow.” Vitality really starts from the brain, as this organ is responsible for the management of our body and our lives.
But to have brain vitality, to give our brains the power to live or grow, we need to “manage” our brain. Rather than being passive observers of our brain’s condition and activity, we actually have the opportunity and responsibility to take care of it. Brain vitality is actually a “use it or lose it” characteristic.
But there is no quick fix. One scientific study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showed that the more stimulating and intellectually challenging we make our lives, the better our odds are of keeping our aging brains vital, sharp, and agile. Eating well, sleeping well, exercising our bodies, and challenging our minds regularly are the “secrets” to brain management and vitality. So is putting positive and useful information into our brains while removing the negative. One tool for mastering the mind in this way is meditation.
According to the August 4, 2003 TIME Magazine article “Just Say Ohm” scientific studies have shown time and time again that meditation improves focus. It is designed to quiet the conscious mind in order to allow an awareness of the body and the subconscious mind in the present moment. After meditating, people have reported feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated. It can also bring up ideas or solutions of which we were not aware previously.
However, according to Ilchi Lee in his recent book, co-authored with Jessie Jones, Ph.D., In Full Bloom: A Brain Education Guide for Successful Aging, to really awaken and revitalize the brain, we need to have a vision or goal on which to focus. A vision will motivate the brain to use its full potential, exercising it in a way that helps maintain its vitality and fitness. For detailed guidance in brain vitality meditations, including vision meditations, you can consult In Full Bloom or Ilchi Lee’s Brain Vitality Meditation CD.