Raichle’s discovery of the default mode network may have important implications. On the one hand, it may help us find ways of dealing with medical problems, such as depression, schizophrenia, and dementia. On the other hand, new knowledge about the default mode network and the self-reflecting thoughts that it stimulates may facilitate our understanding of how we function in our daily lives. We are more than intellect or the motor control of arms and legs, which is often the focus of brain researchers. Perhaps it may at times be good to know that our brain actually gives us room for our spontaneous thoughts and the associations and emotions that may at first seem a bit weird.
We cannot control what comes to us spontaneously during meditation. Our focus is the volitional activity, the meditation practice itself. When we practice with a free mental attitude, we create a sort of mental freedom within us, where impressions, feelings, and fantasies can flow freely.