A Christian Meditation with Psalm 33:6
In today’s meditation we’re going to remind ourselves that when we meditate on the presence of God — who is in us and with us by his Spirit — we are using our imagination to see and place our entire selves — including our whole body — in surrendered submission before our life-giving, light-giving Creator.
Neurons that fire together wire together.
Neuroplasticity is an amazing thing. Our brains/bodies have the ability to become astonishingly good at extraordinary things with enough practice. Repeated behaviors, words, experiences, and thoughts actually create new synapses (pathways) between neurons in the brain — literally changing the internal wiring of our brains. This happens much quicker in the brain when we were younger, but it continues to happen even as we grow older. This is how humans develop the ability for language. When you’ve grown up speaking a language, you often don’t even have to think about finding the right words and using the right grammar and syntax. It’s just automatic. It’s been wired into your brain and actually changed your brain so that you even think in that language without thinking about it.
Because of neural plasticity, you can skillfully repeat actions you need to do often. This is what musicians experience when they practice scales. The more hours they practice the more second nature it becomes to play just the right musical notes blazingly fast. It’s almost as if the fingers do the music automatically without them having to really think much about it.
Neurons that fire together wire together. Just as the brain/body can become skillful at repeated behaviors like language or guitar or piano playing or even a golf swing with a lot of practice (we call this muscle memory but it’s really just neural plasticity physically changing the brain/body connection), … this same phenomenon can also become really good at automatic Brain body connections that produce internal reactions of stress and anxiety and insecurity when practiced enough. When you have tension and anxiety for repeated periods of time, even if you’re unaware of it, your brain and body inadvertently “practice” it and create large neural pathways so that your brain/body is skillful at internally being stressed, anxious, insecure. Your brain is wired — literally changed — so that it becomes easier to get stressed and anxious. But you may not cognitively be aware of it.
This is one reason why we wanna do this kind of meditation on a daily basis. It puts us cognitively in touch with our body.
Neurons that fire together wire together. The longer you practice unchecked anxiety, the more you create and use and deepen the “anxiety pathway” in your brain. Stress, tension, insecurity, a disposition of defensiveness, same thing. The more you use this pathway, the bigger and stronger it gets. The stronger this pathway gets, the better your brain gets at producing more anxiety, more stress, more tension, more insecurity, more defensiveness, even in situations that wouldn’t have produced it before!
Neurons that fire together wire together. God’s created reality of neural plasticity can be very helpful to us in developing positive change in our life, and it can be very unhelpful to us if we allow ourselves to think and practice destructive words, thoughts and actions.
This is one reason why we’re doing this kind of body awareness WITH biblically guided meditation. Neurons that fire together wire together. We’re firing neurons together to rewire our brain so that whenever we give attention to our body — feel our body — learn to feel signs of tension and stress and anxiety and insecurity in our body — when we fire those neurons, at the same time other neurons wired to that practice of feeling our body from within will also fire and remind us to be aware of God’s presence and love. The more you practice this kind of meditation, each time you bring your mind‘s awareness to feel...