Well, that is interesting because I was just reading something about the Dalai Lama with regard to science. He feels that Buddhism and science share a value in that they are both seeking the truth. If science shows something to be true that conflicts with Buddhist tradition, then Buddhism should change, he says. And likewise, apparently science, or at least neuroscience, is learning something from the Buddhists about the ability we have to change our brains.
I was reading about this because my husband is having some neurological problems (hands shaking) as a lingering side effect of a drug treatment he had to take. It's possible something like that can be cured through physical therapy, exercises, left-brain/right-brain activities that will re-stimulate the neurons to grow and form new connections.
In regard to your weight-loss point, I think that the kinds of foods and habits that we have are comfortable because that is the way we have trained our brain (through our upbringing) to respond. There is no reason this brain can't be re-trained to do things differently, though at first it may seem awkward or uncomfortable. Eventually you rebuild the connections that make it seem normal to eat this way. In other word, building new habits, except that there is a real physiological basis to the re-building, it's not just willpower or preferences alone that are changed. I think this is kind of exciting.
p.s. My religious views are private; I do not believe in shouting them from streetcorners (a not-so-subtle reference to the book of Matthew). I respect all persons beliefs equally. "Be good to each other" is the basis of all human culture.
10th yr on program: age=58, BMI=18, b/p=110/70, tc=126, McD=100%.
diagnosed with lyme disease March 2010