Why Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has a young brain

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Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
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Recently I discovered Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a famous meditation teacher and master of Tibetan Buddhism. He has a modern, fresh way of teaching and he also likes to combine modern scientific research with the ancient art of meditation. That is how researchers discovered that his meditation habit is the reason that his brain is actually eight years younger than his body. In this blog you can read more about this remarkable man and his ‘young brain’.

The habit of daily meditation

I have been meditating daily now for almost two years and I really enjoy this ‘healthy habit’. But, to be honest, sometimes I find it hard to meditate and I can really use some inspiration. Then I read some books, blogs or articles about meditation to find some new tips and tricks that I can use while practicing. That is how I discovered Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

Learning meditation is hard. But some people have the ability to teach it in a new and fresh way. Mingyur Rinpoche has this ability. The last few weeks I have read many articles he wrote and I watched all of his videos on YouTube. This is the first video I watched.

Who is Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche?

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a famous meditation teacher and master of Tibetan Buddhism. His mother is is a descendant of two Tibetan kings. He was born in Nepal in 1975 and from the age of nine his father started teaching him meditation.

He wrote a farewell letter and left in the middle of the night with nothing

When he was eleven, Mingyur Rinpoche started studying meditation at a Monastery in northern India and at the age of thirteen he began a traditional three-year retreat there. Since 2010 Mingyur Rinpoche was responsible for the Kathmandu Tergar Osel Ling Monastery that was founded by his father. In June 2011 he left his monastery to begin a period of extended retreat. He wrote a farewell letter and left in the middle of the night with nothing. He began a “wandering retreat” through the Himalayas and the plains of India that lasted four and a half years.

He is a busy man. When he is not teaching in one of his monasteries he is traveling and teaching meditation around the globe. Read more about his organization here.

Scientific research and meditation

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has a modern, fresh way of teaching meditation. He is also very interested in combining modern scientific research with the ancient art of meditation. When he was nine he met the famous neuroscientist Francisco Varela, who came to Nepal to learn meditation from his father. In 2002, he was invited to the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where several researchers examined the effects of meditation on the brains of advanced meditators. The results of this research were reported in many publications, including National Geographic and Time.

Meditation keeps our brains young

The researchers started studying the brain of Mingyur Rinpoche, who has been meditating since the age of nine. They estimated the age of his brain through its grey matter and discovered that his brain is eight years younger than his body. Mingyur Rinpoche is 41 years old but researchers found that his brain matter seems to be eight years younger than what it should be. Apparently, the 60,000 hours of his life Mingyur Rinpoche spent in formal meditation kept his brain healthy and young.

In addition, they found that the his brain had also ‘matured’ early. That is probably because meditation can strengthen the areas in the brain that play an important role in self-regulation, in regulating our attention.

Meditation is healthy

We all know that meditation is a healthy habit. It keeps our brains young and trains our ability to focus. It is never too late to start the habit of daily meditation. Watch the teachings of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on YouTube and give it a try!

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