Is meditation a right brain function or a left brain function? Let’s explore this question. The left brain is the center of specific detailed linear thinking. Its focus is the parts or details of things. Using the left brain one builds parts into a whole. Mathematics is a function of the left brain. Speech and language are also a function of this side of the brain. Facts and information as well as analysis of these are left-brained functions. So is the tendency to plan, make lists and strategies. Trying to maintain control, make things happen just the way you planned is also a left brain function.
The right brain is more tangential, spatial, and visual. From the right brain one sees the whole, the big picture. Often a right-brained person will work backwards from the whole to find the parts. Spontaneity, out of the box thinking, intuitive leaps of knowing are all part of the territory of the right brain. It is in the right part of the brain that we draw parallels between two seemingly different observations. It is this kind of parallel thinking that has made for some of the great discoveries of mankind. And even some of the more helpful inventions, like Velcro. An engineer noticed how a cockle burr works and translated that to an invention most of us now take for granted.
A lot of our right brain functions are trained out of us in school. Most of our traditional schools need remembering facts, information and logical sequences and formulas. The creative aspects receive less and less focus as we grow older. Stress, fear, chaos and panic block our access to the right brain and often by doing so also effectively block our access to out of the box problem solving.
Meditation is a way to access all the benefits of the right brain while quieting the stresses caused by overwhelmed left brain functioning. There are many forms of meditation, both sitting quietly or active. Seated quiet meditations include just focusing on the breath, gazing at something like a candle flame, following a guided meditation or listening to relaxing music. Active meditations include some sort of movement such walking or dancing or free flow writing. Any of these types of meditation will assist you to access your creative side, the right brain.