- How did a monk produce brain activity 40x longer than the avg. human being?
- Are there ways to command your focus, attention and brain to improve your trading?
- What simple exercise can wire your brain for trading success?
There was a monk who had traveled 7000 miles, over 3 days, 10 time zones and after one night’s rest, opened a glass door and walked into a science lab. He was going to be given a simple test over 6 minutes with 256 sensors monitoring his brain’s activity. The experiment was simple:
For 1 minute, this monk would have to meditate on compassion. Then on cue, he’d have to relax his mind for 30 seconds with no focus on his mind, then repeat another 1 minute focus on compassion. He’d repeat the cycle between focus on compassion and a mental resting period 4x.
The monk being tested is Mingyur Rinpoche. He’s completed a 3 yr meditation retreat where he was meditating 8+hrs per day every day for 3 years, 3 mos and 3 days. Over his entire life, he’s completed 62,000 hours of meditation, by far the highest of any other meditators tested (normally 12-24K hours).
In the first test, his brain was measured via an EEG machine which measures brain activity over time. What the scientists found had astonished them. They had never seen anything like this in any human being they’d ever tested (or known to be tested).
Never Before Seen Brain Activity
During the second the 1 minute focus on compassion began, Mingyur Rinpoche’s brain activity lit up and shocked the scientists. He had instantly transformed his neural activity to produce high levels of gamma spikes.
Gamma spikes are intense bursts of brain activity that often represent a major ‘insight‘ where everything clicks in your brain and you see things in a completely new light. Think of those moments where you felt confused, but then had a sudden burst of clarity and insight into a particular problem, like finding two pieces of a puzzle you couldn’t find before.
Normally these gamma spikes last .5 seconds for the average human brain. In contrast, Mingyur’s brain produced high level gamma spikes for the entire minute! This is 40x longer than the average human being. So for that entire minute, Mingyur’s brain was experiencing a level of insight, where his brain was working in harmony, creativity and clarity.
Changing Mental States At Will
What was fascinating the scientists during the experiments was how Mingyur Rinpoche could change in his neural activity at will. Normally for solid meditators like myself (well over 6000 hours), it takes me a few moments to relax my mind and change mental states. Not with Mingyur who could command his focus and attention at will.
Now the problem with the EEG machine is it doesn’t tell you where in the brain this activity is happening. So the scientists decided to test Mingyur on an fMRI machine which will light up regions in your brain that become active during any tests in a 3D visual.
fMRI (image below)
The moment they started testing Mingyur’s brain under the fMRI, again, they were shocked at what they found.
Repeating the same exercise and focusing on compassion, the neural networks which light up when experiencing empathy and compassion were showing activity levels 700-800x greater than during the 30 second resting period.
How Could This Exercise Affect Your Trading Mindset & Performance?
I want you to think about that for a moment…what would it be like if you could, on cue, activate a neurological state in your brain that was 700-800x stronger than when your mind was at rest?
What other corollary benefits could this level of focus and mental control give you in other aspects of your life (trading, studying, training, making money, reading, at work, etc)?
Oh and those gamma spikes that were initially measured in the EEG? Normally those are only found in singular or small isolated regions of the brain for us mere mortals, lasting about .5 seconds. In Mingyur, they were happening all over his brain for an entire minute!
Lastly, when the scientists looked at the resting period before they began the experiments, they noticed the experienced meditators they had tested showed 25x more gamma oscillations and activity than your average joe.
In other words, they had a 2500% greater chance to experience insight, creativity and clarity in their brains and minds than you and me. It’s as if his entire brain was synchronized and working in complete harmony (which is not how your brain works right now).
Think about what benefits this would do for your trading performance, mindset, finances, work, relationships and your life. Do you think these could be useful to help wire your brain for trading success?
Also we have a great infographic on meditation for trading.
And for those who are more serious about their brain, health and success, check out my traders mindset course where I teach you a 12 lesson meditation series to help give you the same benefits Mingyur experiences in his brain and life.
Now Your Turn
Do you think meditation can help you trade more successfully? Do you think meditation can help change your brain and mindset?
Make sure to leave a comment below, and share this article with others you think can benefit from it (as sharing is caring).