"This you know, my beloved brethren But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;" James 1:19
"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
"He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven." Psalm 107:29-30
"When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" Matthew 8:23-27
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." John 14:1
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27
Imagine sitting by the Sea of Galilee it's early in the morning. The sun is rising. Your eyes are closed. You're calm and relaxed. Your thoughts are with Jesus. There's no cell phones, computers, or TV's. There's just the sound of the water, the sunrise, and a serenity.
You open your eyes and see Jesus. The light from the rising sun glistens on His hair and beard. You look into His eyes and feel the sensations of profound peace all over your body. Then a new sensation opens up - love. You reciprocate and God's Spirit comes alive in you.
All worry, anguish, concern, and thought are gone. You exist in God's eternal moment. Your senses are more alive than ever, and the constancy of inner turmoil has vanished. It's only you, Jesus, and God's eternal peace. You are alive! Truly alive. The doors are open to live, love, and understand all things with Christ Jesus in whom you know God.
The Science Behind The Peaceful Christian Meditator
Before going to the doctor or getting surgery, most doctors and nurses often tell patients to take slow, long deep breaths. It may seem like unconventional advice, and it sounds like breath-focused meditation, but many in the medical field know that deep controlled breathing calms the mind and quells anxiety, at least in most cases.
Today leading scientists are beginning to understand why controlled deep breathing works, and why breath-focused meditation induces such calm and tranquility. In a recently published paper in Science, researcher Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, reveals that by experimenting with mice, he discovered a group of nerves in the brain that regulate breathing has a direct affect on the arousal center of the brain. In other words, breathing has a direct effect on the overall excitement level of the brain which controls anxiety arousal.
In Krasnow’s study he observed a group of 3,000 neurons in the brain stem of rodents that control different breathing patterns. From quick rapid breathing associated with physical activity and excitement, to the slower breathing patterns generally associated with rest. Mark Krasnow identified about 60 different types of nerve cells that make up this "breathing pacemaker". During his lab word he noticed that each of these nerve cells are responsible for different breathing patterns.
The goal was to isolate the different types of neurons while pinpointing the various effects of breathing over the mind. Using a sophisticated genetic analysis techniques, the scientists successfully silenced specific neurons and observed how breathing functions impacted rodent behavior. Their first experiment appeared to be a total failure after researchers manipulated one set of neurons. The mice didn’t show any change in behavior, mood, or breathing. Krasnow was very disappointed at the initial results.
So the manipulated animals were moved to a new cage. But then they noticed something novel. Normally, moving mice to a new environment triggers nervous and obsessive behavior and display intense compulsions to explore all areas of their new surroundings. Instead, the changed mice seemed to be very relaxed. Krasnow and his team noticed the mice that had their breathing pattern genetically changed continued display tranquil behavior. The mice simply groomed themselves and were social. They had no need to frantically investigate the new cage.
The altered behavior is evidence that Krasnow had disrupted a set of nerves with a direct connection to the brain’s arousal center. The nerves identified by Krasnow can trigger the brain into emergency mode, or keep it in a state of tranquility, maintaining calm.
Krasnow stated the following about his discovery, “This liaison to the rest of the brain means that if we can slow breathing down, as we can do by deep breathing or slow controlled breaths, the idea would be that these neurons then don’t signal the arousal center, and don’t hyperactivate the brain. So you can calm your breathing and also calm your mind,”
Breathing, in other words, can improve our state of the mind.
It's possible that a few people may not benefit form controlled breathing. There are a few rare cases that genetic variations within the cluster of nerves have a dulled response to controlled breathing. In those cases, Krasnow hopes to someday develop a drug or other intervention, to specifically target the breathing nerve cells and and therefore control anxious brain activity. In the meantime, Krasnow is an advocate of smooth gentle deep breathing as a way to combat stress and anxiety, a staple of the Christian meditator. There’s now a scientific explanation why it works so well and why we can have so much peace with God.
Want to train your brain with your breath and live better life? Here's the Brain Optimzier programs. These programs are regarded as the easiest way to get the most out of controlled breathing. Download them, press play, and enjoy!
God bless you. See you in the kingdom.
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