View Full Version : Meditation- the crossover point between spirituality and health


Kunga Dorji
09-21-13, 01:12 AM
An email I just received highly relevant to the crossover between science and spirituality:


EVENT ALERT: Meditation in the Prevention
and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

SYDNEY AND MELBOURNE TALKS
Over the past two decades the National Institutes of Health in the US have funded over $24 million to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in cardiovascular disease.
Several NIH-funded randomised controlled trials have shown that TM effectively improves stress reactivity, lowers blood pressure and reduces cardiovascular risk and mortality.
Dr Robert Schneider, the principal investigator for several of the NIH funded studies, will be speaking in Sydney and Melbourne on collaborative research opportunities for non-drug approaches to the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

[event details] (http://www.nicm.edu.au/events)

An Evidence-based Review by Dr Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., research cardiologist and director of the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention, Maharishi University of Management Research Institute, Iowa USA


and another link to an article in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/26/opinion/26LAMA.html

(Published by one Tenzin Gyatso in 2003)

A partial quote:

I believe that there are practical ways for us as individuals to curb our dangerous impulses – impulses that collectively can lead to war and mass violence. As evidence I have not only my spiritual practice, but now also the work of scientists.
For the last 15 years I have engaged in a series of conversations with Western scientists. We have exchanged views on topics ranging from quantum physics and cosmology to compassion and destructive emotions. It may seem odd that a religious leader is so involved with science, but Buddhist teachings stress the importance of understanding reality, and so we should pay attention to what scientists have learned about our world through experimentation and measurement.
It is for this reason that I visited the neuroscience laboratory of Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin. Using imaging devices that show what occurs in the brain during meditation, Dr. Davidson has been able to study the effects of Buddhist practices for cultivating compassion, equanimity or mindfulness. For centuries Buddhists have believed that pursuing such practices seems to make people calmer, happier and more loving. At the same time they are less and less prone to destructive emotions.
According to Dr. Davidson, there is now science to underscore this belief. Dr. Davidson tells me that the emergence of positive emotions may be due to this: Mindfulness meditation strengthens the neurological circuits that calm a part of the brain that acts as a trigger for fear and anger. This raises the possibility that we have a way to create a kind of buffer between the brain's violent impulses and our actions.
Experiments have already been carried out that show some practitioners can achieve a state of inner peace, even when facing extremely disturbing circumstances. Dr. Paul Ekman of the University of California at San Francisco told me that jarring noises (one as loud as a gunshot) failed to startle the Buddhist monk he was testing. Dr. Ekman said he had never seen anyone stay so calm in the presence of such a disturbance.



Tenzin Gyatso is better known as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and we all need to realise the enormous contribution he has made in creating the environment that has accelerated the scientific understanding of the benefits of medication.

There is much more hard science to this field now- but this is enough as starter for this conversation.

qinkin
09-22-13, 09:19 PM
Barliman I've been there and done the spirituality thing. The senior members (including possibly yourself) of this website may remember this easily, or if they think about it.

Spirituality/New Age/ science-substitute. Spirituality can, in today's world, be understood as a knockoff of science. I have been set back much in my life due to becoming involved with the spiritual. So, the spiritual is claptrap as far as I'm concerned. This isn't likely due to me being close minded.

I believe that there are practical ways for us as individuals to curb our dangerous impulses – impulses that collectively can lead to war and mass violence. As evidence I have not only my spiritual practice, but now also the work of scientists.


His spiritual practice is not evidence. And I do not recognize any need to realize his importance in my life, because he's never had any nor will. Any personal discovery I have made was not of his behalf nor his loving kindness towards humanity and all of life.

Buddhism is too far gone to be universal. I've studied it sufficiently (even have participated in buddhist book discussion group), therefore I feel that I am expert enough.

I've meditated many times and have tried many different techniques. It boils down to this for everyday; taking some time to relax amongst the day's activities and trying to be calm when you find yourself able to. Doing this helps prevent sustained anxiety throughout the day and seems to maintain a more well rested physiological state, which is preferable. Anything else not particularly related to this is spirituality and does not crossover into science.

Relaxation and being calm are not spiritual matters.

SB_UK
10-11-13, 04:46 PM
Tenzin Gyatso is better known as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and we all need to realise the enormous contribution he has made in creating the environment that has accelerated the scientific understanding of the benefits of medication.


aaaaraghhhh! The worst typo ever! :-)

meadd823
10-16-13, 04:12 AM
Meditation Heals Body and Mind (http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/meditation-heals-body-and-mind)


Science hasnít yet connected the dots between what happens in the meditating brain and the immune system. But a University of Wisconsin study saw increased electrical activity in regions of the left frontal lobe, an area that tends to be more active in optimistic people, after eight weeks of training in meditation.


Cerebral blood flow differences between long-term meditators and non-meditators. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20570534)

The CBF of long-term meditators was significantly higher (p<.05) compared to non-meditators in the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, thalamus, putamen, caudate, and midbrain. There was also a significant difference in the thalamic laterality with long-term meditators having greater asymmetry. The observed changes associated with long-term meditation appear in structures that underlie the attention network and also those that relate to emotion and autonomic function.


Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21035949)

Purpose in Life is influenced by meditative practice and directly affects both perceived control and negative emotionality, affecting telomerase activity directly as well as indirectly.






.........

meadd823
10-16-13, 04:35 AM
aaaaraghhhh! The worst typo ever! :-)


Unless one is dyslexic then no difference is seen - until some one points it out :p

Ya never know maybe the Dalai Lama takes ADD medication so he can meditate more effectively - I know that is how it works for me any way :D

sarek
10-16-13, 07:34 AM
It works for me without the meds. Self awareness practice(mine is not Buddhist in nature but the Gurdjieff method) has helped me drastically reduce unwanted energy drain throughout the day, it has helped with impulsive anger flareups, and it has helped my emotional regulation.

It does not do diddly squat for procrastination though.

I have also found that the only way to make it really work is to the extent I am effectively able to put this practice first and life second. In any event, it doesnt actually take away any time from life endeavours, its more the mindset and attitude that makes the biggest difference. If possible one should not practice in life, but rather live in practice.

Kunga Dorji
10-17-13, 04:54 AM
It works for me without the meds. Self awareness practice(mine is not Buddhist in nature but the Gurdjieff method) has helped me drastically reduce unwanted energy drain throughout the day, it has helped with impulsive anger flareups, and it has helped my emotional regulation.

It does not do diddly squat for procrastination though.

I have also found that the only way to make it really work is to the extent I am effectively able to put this practice first and life second. In any event, it doesnt actually take away any time from life endeavours, its more the mindset and attitude that makes the biggest difference. If possible one should not practice in life, but rather live in practice.

Procrastination is merely a problem of the correct ordering of priorities.

Most ADDers have chaotic lives, and are told to do ridiculous things by people who have no credibility--- so it is no wonder that our prioritization systems go awry.

Meditation accelerates my thinking and decision making processes to a point that most people think pathological.

ana futura
11-07-13, 10:57 PM
It works for me without the meds. Self awareness practice(mine is not Buddhist in nature but the Gurdjieff method) has helped me drastically reduce unwanted energy drain throughout the day, it has helped with impulsive anger flareups, and it has helped my emotional regulation.

It does not do diddly squat for procrastination though.

I have also found that the only way to make it really work is to the extent I am effectively able to put this practice first and life second. In any event, it doesnt actually take away any time from life endeavours, its more the mindset and attitude that makes the biggest difference. If possible one should not practice in life, but rather live in practice.

My experience as well.

Procrastination is merely a problem of the correct ordering of priorities.

Most ADDers have chaotic lives, and are told to do ridiculous things by people who have no credibility--- so it is no wonder that our prioritization systems go awry.

I wonder if this is really it though. I don't think is it for me. My life is so simple- I have jettisoned everything I can- the things I am supposed to do are quite sensible, but I would still just always rather avoid hard mental effort- even now that I've found a way to get my mental effort to amount to something useful. I'm trying to orient my studies and work towards things that I think are necessary and make the world a better place, but still it's always- UGH BORING!

I think my procrastination gets even worse as I try to set my priorities right. Maybe I am just in transition.

Meditation heals emotional wounds so quickly, but emotional wounds aren't "habits". Building habits is much harder. I suppose meditation can help by clearing away the emotional blockages that are preventing you from building new habits, but you still have to find SOMETHING to help you change your ingrained patterns.

sarek
11-08-13, 05:28 AM
More and more I am beginning to suspect that I procrastinate the most on those life endeavours which my intuitive system deems irrelevant.

If I keep track of the things in life which i have never procrastinated about in hindsight its always been those things that served as anchors and waystations to bring me to the point in life where I am now.

Apparently, when i do the things I am "meant to do" I have no trouble but with anything else I get sloppy.

The Gurdjieff method quite specifically deals with habits and automatic behaviour. It instructs us to try and find them and to analyse what they mean. Priority one is to discover our own mechanicalness and our own enslavement to internal and external stimuli, as a prelude to actually attempting to make changes.