What is truth? What is freedom? How free is your mind? These are not meaningless questions but relevant quests of the human soul.
As our undertakings get us closer to the truth, and as we evolve as collective consciousness, the exploration into human experiences draws us even closer to knowing ourselves.
It was science that rediscovered the lost wisdom of the ages, that which our souls have long known. It was science too, that unveiled the inner workings of our minds, so intricate, so powerful. Scientific discovery underscores freedom as a state of mind and a sense of actualization that is hidden within the psyche but obscured by stress and dissonance.
We in the field of science are now coming to understand how individuals can knowingly achieve an actualized state of mind by exploiting the wonderful functionality of the Vagus nerve through meditation. The method the ancients intuitively formulated can tune our biological hardware.
Now, thousands of years later, modern science demonstrates the cognitive and physical efficacy of meditation.
Once considered to be within the unquantifiable realm of spirituality, meditation is now being confirmed and even advocated by medical and mental health practitioners.
The Autonomic Nervous System
Similar to yin and yang, the human nervous system hosts a paradoxical coexistence of two opposing branches of the Autonomic Nervous System.
The Automatic Nervous System manages many unconscious actions that have a prominent effect on our conscious experience. These branches of activity are called the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic.
The Parasympathetic state, of which the Vagus nerve is the main actor, enables one to “rest and digest” casually or to “feed and breed.” On the other hand, its Sympathetic counterpart is triggered during “fear, fight and flight.” Balance between these forces is key to harmony.
At any given time, your body is operating under one of these two modes, and your consciousness is the swinging pendulum that oscillates between them. Meditation allows you to attune the gears of your internal machinery so that you can maximize Parasympathetic activity. The cog of particular interest to us now is the Vagus nerve.
Can you think of the last time you laughed heartily at a good joke, hummed a favorite tune, or took a deep full breath and exhaled slowly beneath the golden rays of noontime sun? The way you felt at that moment, these transcendent experiences are due to Vagus nerve activation.
Activating the “Buddha Nerve”
The Vagus nerve, sometimes referenced as the Buddha nerve, has a spellbinding history. Its name is Latin for “wandering” because this long nerve traverses your entire body. The Vagus provides Parasympathetic functionality to key organ systems, including the cardiovascular and respiratory, and exudes Profound Peace.
An emerging body of research demonstrates that Vagus activation:
• Lowers inflammation
• Induces positive emotions
• Reduces stress and depression
• Brings better cardiovascular regulation
• And improves human memory and cognitive functions.
Now we are endeavoring to use vagal activation to help alleviate or even prevent mental illnesses. I will dwell on these details in future articles.
But how do we get to the Vagus nerve?
No method is as effective as what you can do from your own chair, even now.
1. Find a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes and slowly focus on taking a deep breath in and slowly letting that deep breath out.
3. In just a few moments, you’ll trigger the Vagus nerve.
A world of relaxation, of focused intention, of purposeful living is yours through this meditative experience. Truly, the Vagus nerve is one of the Keys that unlocks the secret doors of truth and freedom to the unchartered depths of your being. A journey we all must inevitably take, for we are wandering souls in quest of truth, yet through knowing ourselves, we gain glimpses of liberation.