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How to Think Like a Medieval Monk
When they practiced inducing emotions through meditation, the monks were in fact drawing on the brain’s property of neuroplasticity—its ability to learn, adapt, and change itself based on its environment. Although doubtless they would have other philosophical disagreements, a medieval Cistercian and a modern neuroscientist would agree on the principle that certain feelings and emotions can be changed through meditative exercises. The following are four techniques Cistercian monks used to reshape their own mental states—and the science behind them.
january 2018 by whitney
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