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» Epigenetics: Yes We Can!

By Janet Hoffman on January 26, 2015


There are always shifts in our world view based on new information uncovered by accident, by persistence, or by the systematic focus of research scientists. Some breakthroughs have brought dramatic systemic change, such as the discovery of fire. Some discovery lays the groundwork for further innovation. We knew about molecules before we knew about atoms and subatomic particles: the more we uncover about the reality of life through science, the more we find that there is more to discover.

Accompanying any major discovery, there may be a paradigm shift—a new world view. But in some cases, the science is so removed from most people’s experience of everyday life that they aren’t informed or interested in it and their perspective on life hasn’t shifted accordingly.

In order to have the most accurate expanded world view and a grasp of both our individual and our world’s potential, we must be sure that the foundation for our perspective includes all the possibilities that modern scientific research has established. One of the latest scientific discoveries that have significantly changed modern scientific perception is in an emerging field called epigenetics.

Study of epigenetics began in the 1970s and really came on the scene substantially in the 1990s. Epigenetics now recognizes that DNA is not the grand destiny maker of life after all. Earlier, it was believed that the genes you inherited from your parents would determine your physical and mental health, your longevity and your destiny. But epigenetics has now identified the mechanisms by which environmental signals such as diet, lifestyle choices, thoughts and behavior—and even meditation—can influence our gene expression. By making positive, healthy lifestyle choices, we can suppress undesirable genetic tendencies and activate life supporting ones. To a greater extent than ever before realized, we can influence the action of our DNA!

DNA, sitting within a cell, may be influenced by signals coming from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emitted by our positive and negative feelings. We already know that if we want to live in a healthy way, we must nourish ourselves with life-sustaining food, with deep rest, and all tools and habits that encourage growth. Adding the life-supporting Transcendental Meditation technique to our routine decreases stress and increases mental and physical harmony, supporting happiness and peace, and in turn, supporting a positive change in genetic expression.

We have free will to determine some of our physical destiny. We are not limited by the genes we inherited. We are free to develop our full potential as human beings. Indeed, the most powerful influence on our evolution may be the choices we make. That is why it is essential that we learn the lesson of epigenetics and understand the potential of our consciousness to change the structuring dynamics of our bodies. Yes, we can transform our life toward optimal brain functioning and health, and a better quality of life.



About the author
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the United States