Center of the Brain

Photo by Felipe Borges on

Back in March I was fortunate to enjoy a free webinar from one of my favorite teachers, Judith Hanson Lasater, and her daughter Lizzie Lasater entitled “Love in the time of the Virus.” It was a great experience and, as expected, I was able to pull several nourishing nuggets from the session.

One that has really stuck with me is a visualization technique to help quiet what Buddhists refer to as the “Monkey Mind.” Monkey Mind is a state of being where your thoughts are swirling and rapid, so much so that they become your focal point. These intruding thoughts could be fear or stressed based, oriented in the past or future, and can make you feel consumed and agitated.

The technique starts with simply taking a moment to see that you are breathing diaphragmatically, which is taking slow, deep breaths that allow the belly to expand with the inhale and release with the exhale. Do this a few times and slowly shift your focus and awareness to your skull. Notice the front and back of the skull. Then notice both sides of the skull. Then shift your focus to the center of the brain, and rest there. Deep in the center of the brain is the basal ganglia. They are neurons responsible for movement, emotion, learning and complex motor activity. With your awareness here, relax and try to feel as if you are uniting and quieting all of these activities.

When I practice this, I feel an almost instant quieting of these swirling thoughts. Try this technique as part of a meditation practice or when you just need that moment of zen during the day. Maybe it’s while you are making dinner, or standing in line at Trader Joe’s. Shift the focus back to yourself, find the center of your brain, and bring some calm into your world.

8 thoughts on “Center of the Brain

  1. kelanman

    What a great class this afternoon! I love this technique and will try it, for sure at other times. So glad you shared this ‘nugget’ with us!


  2. Jordan G

    This is so timely Amy, I needed to read this! I love what you’re doing with these, length is perfect, formatting is accessible and incorporates not only things for us to think about, but practices we can implement.


    1. Thank you! I hope it’s a help. I just watched your new video. You are doing a great job and you have a great screen presence. This now concludes the meeting of the mutual admiration society. 😉


  3. lmerritt2coxnet

    Amy, so love, love, love this….1Thank you so much. I will be practicing this often. Even did while writing this. Also love,love,love you1 Libby


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