I was writing about Richard Davidson's observations regarding meditating monks. I practice Nichiren Buddhism, and have for about 3.5 years. Instead of a silent meditation period, we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (Devotion to the mystic Law of the Universe of simultaneous cause and effect ("renge = Lotus Flower in Japanese, it blooms and seeds simultaneously) through sound or the vibration of the chanting of the mantra.
I have found that since I began my practice, i have fewer mood swings, take less medication, and am generally healthier mentally than I was previously. We believe that we are responsible for our own causes and the resulting effects. So, I think Dr. Davidson is definitely on to something when he says that we can control our brain's response to stimuli. I know from personal experience that the chanting of the mantra becomes meditation-like, and one becomes very calm, and genuinely healthier and happier mentally.
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