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Zen and the Brain Zen enlightenment experiences have been shown to have some amount of neurophysiological explanations These neurophysiological explanations are a new opposition for Zen Followers but they still do not undermine their religion Zen enlightenment experiences have often been described as taking place in a different state of mind Followers of the Zen religion claim that they quiet almost all of the sensory input into their brain and that they travel through different states of consciousness Once they do this then they have the ability to achieve enlightenment on the subject or topic at hand One of the basic tenets of meditation is the notion that passive awareness is a natural elementary and direct form of experience that is ordinarily overwhelmed and obscured by the activity of the mind The purpose of meditation therefore is to allow the mind to become quiet and thereby uncover the capacity for this experience M Schuman But in todays modern world science wants to have a say in everything Science even wants to tackle religion these days Many people are beginning to study the brain and what makes our state of mind Some scientists have been trying to develop our crude understanding of the brain As their work is progressing they are finding new evidence as to why one might be able to claim that they had experienced something supernatural or mystical Some are saying that when you go into meditation your brain is not focusing on sensory input or breathing Once this occurs chemical changes are found in the brain The effects of these chemicals on the brain are somewhat drug-like Various people might come to the conclusion that it is the drugs in the brain and not a religious experience which creates a Zen enlightenment experience The proof of this is not conclusive though and wont be for quite sometime Even if it will be provable it simply cannot take away from the Zen religion
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