This is a fascinating demonstration of how neurons make connections within the brain.
I came across this on the web and thought it might be a good thing to post. In the context of Buddhism, it could be helpful to have a basic understanding of how these pathways are built because they would play a part in some other aspects of practice and the path. Imagine how this would play a role in: setting intentions, developing wholesome habits, Metta, non-reactivity and equanimity, etc.
Let’s take, for example, the association between ‘calm’ and ‘pleasant’. If we are able to develop a concentrated mind that is calm and quiet, and bring our attention to the Jhana factor of Sukha, (sweetness or joy), then we’re building a connection between getting calm and experiencing joy. Typically, we seek joy through sense pleasures, new experiences, excitement, stimulation. What if we could re-wire ourselves to experience joy through peace. Perhaps our brains will relax in their pursuit of constant stimulation and novelty and begin to seek out joy through calm. Sounds like it could provide motivation for practice and get some momentum going, doesn’t it?
And Metta practice could form bonds between ‘other beings’ and compassion, loving kindness and Mudita–joy. Having positive thoughts arise naturally when we encounter others is very beneficial — opening the heart, encouraging compassionate acts, and reducing suffering.
Enjoy the demo and let me know what connections it triggers for you!