Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana)
- It can be performed via observation.
This type of meditation is commonly practiced sitting with your eyes closed in a comfortable position with the back straight. All attention is focused on the “breath” or abdominal area during which you are inhaling and exhaling. A person focuses on the breath as they inhale and exhale through the nostrils.
Each time a distracting thought comes up that deters your focus from breathing, you simply notice that you became distracted, but don’t react to it – instead remain non-judgmental. Be mindful of any thoughts, but simply refocus your attention on your “breath.” Each time you get distracted, shift your focus back to the breathing.
- What it can give you regarding the brain changes:
The volume of gray matter and number of connections in the brain were different among those who practiced Vipassana meditation compared to control groups and other types of meditations.
Thicker right insula: The right insula is involved in cognitive-emotional processes such as empathy and self-awareness.
Right temporal area: The right temporal area is involved in processing the sense of hearing. It appears as though activation increased following this type of mediation.
Right parietal area: This is a region involved in processing touch that appears to experience greater activation when a person has engaged in Vipassana mediation.
Thicker right frontal cortex: The right frontal cortex is a brain area involved in focusing and directing attention. Activity increased among those who practiced Vipassana mediation.