This story I have found twice in literature on mindfulness. So I would presume that it is true. Anyway I am going to tell the story now.
Western neuroscience has for decades been interested in research on mindfulness (and meditation, especially tibetan buddhist mediation). Can we find any changes in the brain when people have been meditating for a long time, more than 10.000 hours?
The western researchers found it hard to find tibetan buddhist monks who had a meditation practice for 10.000 hours or more who would like to participate in the program. The monks – on their side – found that meditation was more important than the western science knowledge about it, there is so much knowledge already in the tibetan buddhist literature.
Dalai Lama has had a great interest i western science.
The westerne neuroscience research team addressed Dalai Lama and asked him to support the project of finding these monks and make them understand the importance of western science.
With the help from Dalai Lama enough monks gave consent to have their brains examined through “wiring up the brain” – they can measure the ……. well, I am not even sure what it is called, the wavelength of the electric circuits of the brain. I do not know how many brains of how many monks were studied, the neuro scientist team had to move around Tibet, because there are relatively few who has a really long meditation experience. No matter where they came they aways noticed the smile on the face of the monks while the research was going on.
At last the research team asked one of the monks about this smile, why would all the monks smile while being examined?
“Well”, the monk said, smiling, “you westeners are so interested in the human brain. But these important things that are achieved though meditation cannot be measured in the brain. Here is the important place”. And he put his hands on his chest where the heart is.
Anne Vinter, 10.09.2020