Recent studies have shown that the brain learns and therefore changes with what it experiences. These studies are very recent- just a few decades old. Earlier science believed that the brain’s structure and function were rather fixed.
However Buddha is known to have said 2500 years ago that whatever we think excessively of or about starts to influence our awareness. It becomes a part of how we perceive ourselves and our world. This is exactly what neuroplasticity is all about.
If our thoughts and subsequently our actions are about our worries, or temptations, or ideas of escape that is what we become inclined towards and these aspects determine our way of being. These patterns get wired in the brain and become habitual patterns of behaviour that are often counter-productive and even greatly self-damaging.
Similarly if we can consciously bring our attention to the present moment and with gentle acceptance watch whatever it contains, our brain can learn this new pattern of ‘watching without fixing’. Slowly and gradually a spaciousness develops, allowing us to be more centred and peaceful.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
― Gautama Buddha