The Science Of Meditation

I’m no expert on computer technology but I know a few scientists in the field. Just recently I ran into Jack LeTourneau at the Ojai Music Festival. Jack and I collaborated on a few art projects in the past. Jack is a Berkeley-trained computer scientist with multiple patents on computer technology. Our encounter refreshed my memory of “node label trees” and cloud computing. Jack introduced me to this technology. It was a fascinating experience for a computer science novice.

Our brain is a central processing unit, CPU. Consider your computer. Its CPU is the electronic circuitry that is mandatory for the computer to operate. The objective whether the CPU is in an iMac or your brain is essentially the same. It sends out all the information to your being’s architecture which is how you exist. Notice I didn’t include “why.” The largest mainframe computer in the world is dwarfed by the human brain’s design and processing ability. Mainframe technology is slowly being replaced by other technologies such as “cluster, grid and cloud computing.” These inventions are simply using massive arrays of smaller computers like linking up home computers around the world to process information. In a way, computer evolution is similar to our evolving brains. I might add that the technologies of the cluster, grid and cloud computing, remind us of our connectedness to each other and that together rather than apart, humanity is a far greater CPU than the individual person or mainframe-group.

The analogy of the computer CPU and our brain’s circuitry falls apart when we consider a meaningful, productive and creative life experience. The outdated computer is quickly discarded when it fails to perform. Humankind would never discard a mentally or physically challenged person. This is the characteristic of empathy and compassion that vastly separates humanity from computers and gives us our unique meaningful existence. Scientific research on how our biology responds to acts of empathy versus absence of empathy irrefutably show that empathy and compassion are essential to our health and well-being. It should be obvious that these human characteristics are deeply integral to our circuitry.

Meditation exercises your CPU. It grows new circuitry. The new wiring travels the evolutionary path of least resistance opening a workable future for the individual and humanity. It overrides epigenetic gene expression that passes on destructive types of behavior - similar to a computer virus. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to enhance your CPU nor to discover "why" you exist. Exercise your kindness. Focus on your breathing. See yourself in others. See humanity as one CPU.

Paul Benavidez, MFA