July 17, 2009
According to an opinion piece by Daniel Goleman in this morning's New York Times ("Sitting Quietly, Doing Something"), Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is. And the reason is no secret:
So how did he get that way? Apparently, the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice.
Buddhist meditation practice, that is. According to Goleman, Mingyur Rinpoche is an "Olympic-level meditator," logging more than 10,000 hours on the cushion. Goleman cites neuroscientist Richard Davidson's studies on meditation's effect on the brain to explain why these spiritual athletes are so cheerful. There is a strong correllation, Goleman explains, between committed meditation practice and increased activity in the areas of the brain associated with positive moods:
The more lifetime hours of practice, the greater the increases tended to be. All this seems to confirm the idea that in the realm of positive moods, as in nearly every endeavor, worldly or spiritual, practice matters.
So you feel better if you meditate. But you knew that, didn't you?
(Yongey Mingyur's "The Aim of Attention" appears in the current issue of Tricycle. You can read it here.)