Scientific American magazine is a sober serious science magazine.
So it really caught my attention when they published this article on The Neurobiology of Bliss, and made some very direct connections to the brain states in deeper meditation. orgasm, and bliss.
The state of bliss, (and orgasm, and deep meditation) has three qualities,
- reduced self awareness
- alterations in body perceptions
- decreased ability to sense pain
Here is part of the Scientific American story — if it seems too geeky for you, please skip down to the next section — I apologize for all the brain talk… I am a total mediatation brain geek…. I try to keep it in check…
Escaping continual self-observation seems an underappreciated pleasure. Roy Baumeister wrote an entire book devoted to the premise that self-awareness is frequently a burden. Across cultures, we blunt awareness with alcohol, drugs, auto-hypnotic rituals and when times are dire, suicide.
Meditation offers relief from this self-preoccupation and one of the few tools for creating a durable boost in happiness—perhaps by dampening activity in regions implicated in judgment, comparison, planning and self-scrutiny. Left prefrontal cortex activation correlates with happiness and Tibetan Buddhist monks have created the greatest measured spike in activity in this region produced by simple thought when meditating on compassion.
The reported depth of meditation also corresponds to activity in the brain’s pleasure centers, such as left forebrain bundle, anterior insula and precentral gyrus. This overt pleasure is accompanied by a shift in emotional self-regulation; meditators are more aware of thoughts and feelings conceptually, but less emotionally disrupted by them, according to one study. Both hemispheres are involved in self-observation. original story here
More On Why Meditation And Orgasm
Feel Similar In Your Brain
Spiritual teachers have been on to this for years, but research is now showing that orgasm and meditation create much the same effect in our brains.
According to a recent article in Scientific American, both meditation and orgasm decrease our sense of self-awareness.
Bliss, says author Nadia Webb, whether through the experience of meditative contemplation or through the bodily experience of sex, “shares the diminution of self-awareness, alterations in bodily perception and decreased sense of pain.”
In other words, both experiences lead to a temporary stoppage in the incessant flow of our internal commentary. Even if for only a few minutes, we are able to see ourselves as something other than the ego.
Mystics and gurus have long referred to the similarities between the two activities. Osho, the Indian spiritual teacher formerly known as Rajneesh, was famous for his acknowledgment of the mystical value of an orgasm. “The experience of orgasm itself is always nonsexual. Even though you have achieved it through sex, it itself has no sexuality in it,” he once said. “And my own understanding is that meditation has grown out of the experience of orgasm.”
The French term for orgasm is “le petite mort” or “the little death,” in reference to the period of tranquility, crystalline awareness and transcendence experienced shortly after a peak sexual experience.
The esoteric Indian tradition of tantra purports to use sex as a way of eventually achieving enlightenment or total understanding of the universe. See the entire story at The Huffington Post.
Have you been deep enough in meditation to lose all sense of yourself. and the boundaries of your body? Do you agree that bliss, meditation, and orgasm have similar states of feeling?