You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks Part 1

“WHAT IF people can use contemplative practices to help them succeed in life and at work? In other words, what if contemplative practices can be made beneficial both to people’s careers and to business bottom lines?” – Chade-Meng Tan

For years we may have sabotaged ourselves and even rejected others, because of the refrain that we were taught long ago, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Well, neuroscientific findings are demonstrating that WE CAN. The below illustration of the “Tree of Contemplative Practices” sourced from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, provides a useful visual understanding of what are some of the religious and secular contemplative practices in which individuals and organisations engage. In this illustration, the roots represent the foundation or intention of all contemplative practices – Communion, Connection and Awareness.

Neuroscience, the science of the neuroplasticity of the brain is now providing a gateway to our improved understanding and appreciation of why significant benefit can be derived from the contemplative practice of Meditation. While there are some areas of neuroscientific research that are yet to be replicated and theories defined, one finding of neuroscience research that appears to be well supported is that it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Our brains can be rewired, retrained, reprogrammed, form new neural pathways, through (i) the discipline of daily meditative practice and (ii) the management of our cortisol and oxytocin levels. Join me in this series, as I explore how contemplative practices are being used to “teach an old dog new tricks”

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