Temple of the Jedi Force : New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain [Message Boards - General Discussions]
Temple of the Jedi Force : Jediism-The Religion of the Force





Login
Log in!
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!

Random Views
Geometry

Ceremonial Lightsabre Hilts
from an old black book ;)

Friends and Family
This is how your SAA gets down on the flightline!

Do you know ?
What the 16th teaching of the Jedi is?


Login to use Live Chat

Who's Online
35 user(s) are online (1 user(s) are browsing Message Boards)

Members: 0
Guests: 35

more...

New Members Welcome!
ohowiwe 2018/10/18
CollinStei 2018/10/17
RoslynHarn 2018/10/15
MervinRidd 2018/10/12
ygezoger 2018/10/11
EuniceBarf 2018/10/11
onasew 2018/10/10
CarolynDob 2018/10/8
ehohiz 2018/10/8
afawyt 2018/10/8

Become a Jedi Knight, Jediism. Jedi, Religion, jedi religion, jedi knight, jedi clergy, jedi minister, Temple Of The Jedi Force, force religion, jedi master, force religion, force temple, jediism, jedi church, force church, temple of the jedi order, force religion, christianity, humanism, taoism, zen, zen buddhism, mysticism, martial arts, star wars




Ads


Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users





New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain
Master
Joined:
2006/9/24 19:51
From USA
Group:
Promotions Committee
Apprentice
Masters
Registered Users
Webmasters
Posts: 7876
Offline
If you look at most ‘masters’ in the field of meditation, a common theme that currently exists is a big misconception about meditation, that it has to be done a certain way, that you have to sit a specific way or do something in particular in order to reap the benefits. These masters will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t have to be one specific way.

That being said, many spiritual groups, like certain monks for example, are taught different types of meditation in several different ways, so really, there’s no correct way to meditate, and the process of connecting with one’s higher self and quieting the mind can be done in multiple ways and practiced at various levels.

When meditating, one shouldn’t try to “empty” their mind, but instead, try to let ones thoughts, feelings, and whatever emotions end up ‘popping’ in there, pop in there. There should be no resistance to thoughts, no judgement of them. Simply let them be, don’t attach to them and just be at peace with it. You’re not doing anything wrong, just focus on your breath.

Personally, I believe that meditation is a state of being more than anything else. Throughout the day, one can resist judging their thoughts, letting them flow until they are no more, or just be in a constant state of peace and self awareness. Contrary to popular belief, you can meditate anywhere, it can be done before bed, in the shower, while you are going for a walk, or even while washing the dishes.

That being said, I do also believe, speaking from my experience, that sitting down and doing the proper breath work and being present is a slightly different method and can sometimes create a more powerful experience, but there seems to be different variations of the exact same thing.

What’s interesting about meditation is the fact that it’s been practiced for thousands of years, and several ancient cultures were well aware of not only the non-physical benefits but its physical benefits as well, something modern day science is just starting to discover.

One of the most recent studies has found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

As Alice G. Walton, a writer for Forbes points out,

“Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behaviour and moment-to-moment experience.”

She is correct, probably even more so than she knows. The evidence showing just how strong the mind-body connection is can actually be overwhelming. In fact, studies in the field of parapsychology have just as much, if not more, statistical significance via peer-reviewed research than the science which has been published to approve several different drugs, like antiplatelets, or the science that shows a daily dose of aspirin can help prevent a heart attack. It was published in 1999, by a statistics professor at UC Irvine.

This new study, which was recently published by the Max Planck Institute found that three different types of meditation are associated to changes in corresponding brain regions.

Watson goes on to explain,

“Participants, who were between 20 and 55 years of age, engaged in three different types of training for three months each, totalling a nine-month study period. The first training was dubbed the “Presence” module, and was very similar to focused awareness meditation, an ancient practice that’s been studied a lot in recent years. In this study, participants learned to focus their attention, brining it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations.”

The second phase of training was called “Affect,” and its purpose was to increase compassion and empathy for others. The participants learned about a specific meditation dealing with “loving-kindness,” and again, the sole intention here was to enhance one’s compassion and empathy.

The last one was called the “Perspective” module, where the focus was simply to observe one’s own thoughts without judgement, while enhancing their understanding towards the perspectives of other people.

The researchers hypothesized that these methods would lead to volume increases in corresponding parts of the brain. Numerous studies have proven the many physiological benefits of meditation, and the latest one comes from Harvard University of a study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) who determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes in grey matter over time.

This recent study found the same thing, and they discovered that when they scanned the participants’ brains at the end of each module and then compared the groups against one another:

“Training in Presence was linked to enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. Affect training was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions like empathy: and Perspective training associated with changes in areas involved in understanding the mental states of others, and, interestingly, inhibiting the perspective of oneself.”

These results further elaborate on a wealth of previous studies showing what meditation can do to the brain.

Walton goes on to emphasize,

“Lots of research has found that experienced meditators have significantly altered brain structure and function, but a growing number of studies has also found that relatively brief meditation training in novices (for instance, the well-known eight-week MBSR program) can also shift brain function, improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

The authors of the study mention:

“With growing globalization, interconnectedness, and complexity of our societies, ‘soft skills’ have become increasingly important…Social competences, such as empathy, compassion, and taking the perspective of another person, allow for a better understanding of others’ feelings and different beliefs and are crucial for successful cooperation.”

Why This Is Relevant & Important
Imagine if this type of practice became a requirement of multiple school boards, what do you think would happen? For most of us, since the day we are born we’re all encouraged to follow the same path, and one of those paths is spending a large portion of our lives, for many years, for the entire day, at school. Then, as we age into adults, we do the same thing with ‘work.’ This type of human experience is far from natural, which is why I believe it to be one of the reasons (out of many) that stress, diseases, and mental health issues, among other rates, continue to rise exponentially.

While going through this process, we’re never really taught how to question the experience, we simply comply and are never really taught any sort of emotional education, at all. We don’t learn to deal with our emotions, we don’t learn about empathy, compassion, and stepping into another persons shoes… We’re not really taught what we are naturally gifted with from birth. It’s our empathy and compassion, our concern for others that makes human beings so special, but growing up, we don’t really talk about these things.

The world is changing in many different ways, and awareness about this kind of practice is spreading around like it never has before. Multiple schools are incorporating mindfulness education into their programs, and many parents from my generation are also incorporating these important concepts into their child’s development.

This is great to see, and as time unfolds, the more we tap into non-physical science and its tremendous benefits, the more we will speed up the changes that are so desperately needed on our planet right now.
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2 ... erent-areas-of-the-brain/

Posted on: 4/27 14:32
_________________
A Jedi uses the Force for nothing, and... for everything.
Click to see original Image in a new window
Transfer the post to other applications Transfer


Re: New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain
Master
Joined:
2006/9/24 19:51
From USA
Group:
Promotions Committee
Apprentice
Masters
Registered Users
Webmasters
Posts: 7876
Offline
TYPES OF MEDITATION – AN OVERVIEW OF 23 MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

Ok, so you know that meditation has dozens of benefits, and everybody is doing it. You look for information online or on a bookstore, and see that there are a LOT of different ways of doing meditation, dozens of meditation techniques, and some conflicting information. You wonder which way is best for you.

This article will help you navigate the sea of different practices of seated meditation, briefly explaining each of them, and pointing to further resources. There are literally hundreds – if not thousands – of types of meditation, so here I will explore only the most popular ones.

You can also check my walking meditation guide, for more dynamic meditation techniques. Or, if you already have some experience with meditation, you might enjoy reading about the meditation experiments I was doing while writing this post.

At the bottom of this page you will find a button to download a FREE PDF copy of this post, for easy reference.

The advice regarding the posture of meditation is very similar among the different styles of seated practice, so I will go in to more detail about it only once, when talking about the first technique (Zen meditation).

I have strived to include a “Is it for me?” section, with general observations about each practice. Keep in mind these are tentative; they are there to give some direction, and potentially any person could feel attracted to any of these modalities.

This article does NOT tell you which is “the best” type of meditation – because there is no such thing, and I’m not here to create controversy. Also, I have here focused more on meditative practices; I may write another article on other similar practices, that are more about relaxation or contemplation.

If you are a beginner, you may also enjoy the post on meditation tips and meditation for beginners – how to build the habit.

GENERAL TYPES


Scientists usually classify meditation based on the way they focus attention, into two categories: Focused Attention and Open Monitoring. I’d like to propose a third: Effortless Presence.


Focused attention meditation
Focusing the attention on a single object during the whole meditation session. This object may be the breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body, external object, etc. As the practitioner advances, his ability to keep the flow of attention in the chosen object gets stronger, and distractions become less common and short-lived. Both the depth and steadiness of his attention are developed.

Examples of these are: Samatha (Buddhist meditation), some forms of Zazen, Loving Kindness Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, Sound Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Pranayama, some forms of Qigong, and many others.


Open monitoring meditation
Instead of focusing the attention on any one object, we keep it open, monitoring all aspects of our experience, without judgment or attachment. All perceptions, be them internal (thoughts, feelings, memory, etc.) or external (sound, smell, etc.), are recognized and seen for what they are. It is the process of non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment, without going into them. Examples are: Mindfulness meditation, Vipassana, as well as some types of Taoist Meditation.



Effortless Presence
It’s the state where the attention is not focused on anything in particular, but reposes on itself – quiet, empty, steady, and introverted. We can also call it “Choiceless Awareness” or “Pure Being”. Most of the meditation quotes you find speak of this state.

This is actually the true purpose behind all kinds of meditation, and not a meditation type in itself. All traditional techniques of meditation recognize that the object of focus, and even the process of monitoring, is just a means to train the mind, so that effortless inner silence and deeper states of consciousness can be discovered. Eventually both the object of focus and the process itself is left behind, and there is only left the true self of the practitioner, as “pure presence”.

In some techniques, this is the only focus, from the beginning. Examples are: the Self-Enquiry (“I am” meditation) of Ramana Maharishi; Dzogchen; Mahamudra; some forms of Taoist Meditation; and some advanced forms of Raja Yoga. In my point of view, this type of meditation always requires previous training to be effective, even though this is sometimes not expressly said (only implied).


1) BUDDHIST MEDITATION

Zen Meditation (Zazen)

Origin & Meaning
Zazen (坐禅) means “seated Zen”, or “seated meditation”, in Japanese. It has its roots in the Chinese Zen Buddhism (Ch’an) tradition, tracing back to Indian monk Bodhidharma (6th century CE). In the West, its most popular forms comes from Dogen Zenji (1200~1253), the founder of Soto Zen movement in Japan. Similar modalities are practiced in the Rinzai school of Zen, in Japan and Korea.

The most important aspect, as you see in the pictures, is keeping the back completely straight, from the pelvis to the neck. Mouth is kept close and eyes are kept lowered, with your gaze resting on the ground about two or three feet in front of you.

As to the mind aspect of it, it’s usually practiced in two ways:

Focusing on breath — focus all your attention on the movement of the breath going in and out through the nose. This may be aided by counting the breath in your mind. Each time you inhale you count one number, starting with 10, and then moving backward to 9, 8, 7, etc. When you arrive in 1, you resume from 10 again. If you get distracted and lose your count, gently bring back the attention to 10 and resume from there.
Shikantaza (“just sitting”) — in this form the practitioner does not use any specific object of meditation; rather, practitioners remain as much as possible in the present moment, aware of and observing what passes through their minds and around them, without dwelling on anything in particular. It’s a type of Effortless Presence meditation.

Is it for me?
Zazen is a very sober meditation style, and you can easily find a lot of strong communities practicing it, as well as plenty of information on the internet. There is a lot of emphasis in keeping the right posture, as an aid for concentration. It is usually practiced in Zen Buddhist centers (Sangha), with strong community support.

In many of them you will find it coupled with other elements of Buddhist practice: prostrations, a bit of ritualism, chanting, and group readings of the Buddha teachings. Some people will like this, others won’t. Personally, I practiced zazen in a Buddhist group for 3 years, and I found that those elements and a bit of formality can also help create a structure for the practice, and in themselves they are also meditative.

Please visit the link to see the other types and learn what they can do for you.

https://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation

Posted on: 4/27 14:37
_________________
A Jedi uses the Force for nothing, and... for everything.
Click to see original Image in a new window
Transfer the post to other applications Transfer


Re: New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain
Master
Joined:
2006/9/24 19:51
From USA
Group:
Promotions Committee
Apprentice
Masters
Registered Users
Webmasters
Posts: 7876
Offline
MEDITATION IS ESSENTIAL, BUT NOT ENOUGH

Everyone is praising meditation lately. The over 70 benefits of meditation can give the impression that this practice is a panacea. In a way this is good, because people are motivated to practice it. As someone who has practiced meditation for over 16 years (nearly 7,000 hours) and deeply integrated several teachings in my life, I can say that meditation is essential, but not enough.

Meditation invites us to take a deep look inside ourselves, and to grow beyond our mental and emotional limits. But if you spend 20 minutes a day meditating, and 23h40min completely ignoring the lessons and skills developed through meditation, then your practice will be incomplete. You don’t hear this often, and I know this is not popular advice – but it’s the truth. So in this short(ish) article – originally published in the Contemplative Journal – I’ll explore other ways that you can complement and grow your meditation, for maximum transformation.

A Tool In Your Toolbox
Meditation is a powerful tool, both one with many uses and one that sharpens other tools. Still, in some instances it may not be the most useful tool. Some examples:

For letting go of shadow parts of your personality — self-reflection and therapy might be needed.
For opening your heart and connecting to God — prayer might be more suitable.
For creating positive change in your life and habits — effort, reminders, goals, and action are equally important.
Meditation is one of several practices of personal and spiritual growth. It can bring wonderful benefits in your life; but it’s not enough by itself. Meditation is best used in connection with other practices and approaches.

This is not a new idea. In its traditional roots, meditation is not seen in isolation.

In Buddhism, for instance, Meditation one of the three pillars of practice (along with Morality and Wisdom). In Yoga traditions, meditation is seen as an advanced practice, one that usually requires due preparation of body work (asanas), breath work (pranayama), and certain lifestyle changes (yama, niyama).

It’s okay to jump straight into meditation—you will find several benefits. But it’s only by integrating other tools, practices and knowledge, that you will make the most out of it. Otherwise, meditation may end up being a simple stress-relief ball, or potentially can even be distorted to be a means of escape.

Complementary Practices to Meditation
Now let’s have a look at some core practices that complement meditation very well. You don’t need all of them. See which ones best match your personality and needs.

1. Self-Reflection
the-thinker
This is the ability to be introspective, to look with discerning eyes upon one’s behavior, motivations, thoughts, emotional patterns, and actions. It doesn’t mean to criticize or scold oneself, but to intelligently reflect on what’s working and what’s not.

Below are some powerful questions that can guide your self-reflection. Let’s suppose you are examining a particular feeling or thought pattern. You can ask yourself:

Why am I feeling/thinking like this? What’s truly behind it?
Is this based on facts or assumptions? Is it really true?
Is this serving me in my higher goals and ideals, or is it creating stress?
The questions can take many forms. The essence, though, is to see clearly what’s happening inside of you, and question your assumptions. Then you can learn more deeply.

In this process, journaling can be helpful. In every case, the most important is radical honesty with oneself. Even if you know you are sabotaging your own life, making silly decisions, and you secretly want to continue to do that—fine! That’s your choice. But at least recognize clearly that this is what’s going on. Don’t lie to yourself.

Without self-reflection, the personal and spiritual growth one can have is severely limited.

2. Study
mark-twain-quote
Spiritual study can take the form of reading the texts of your tradition, attending study groups, workshops, online courses, or having one-on-one time with a teacher. It can also mean reading texts on psychology and other related areas. The goal is to expose yourself to other perspectives, to learn from the study and life lessons of another person, so you don’t need to go through the same pains.

In my path, I have surely benefited from studying spiritual books. It allowed me to reform my own ignorant points of view, by comparing them with more “enlightened” points of view. A good book will instruct you, motivate you to practice, and make you feel like you are sitting in the presence of a master.

3. Bodywork and Breath Work
The limitations in our mind, the shadows, the ignorance and negative emotions—all these have a corresponding expression in our bodies and in our breathing. Often, working on the level of body and breath comes much easier in practice, because they are more tangible and stable than the mind.

Let’s say you are struggling with anxiety. It manifests in the mind as restless thoughts. But it also manifests in your body as tension, and in your breathing as shallow and irregular patterns.

For sure, meditation can help with that—by either allowing you to dive deep into the anxiety and “dissolve it”, or by focusing your attention on something else. However, working through your anxiety by doing specific breathing exercises, and even physical yoga, can potentially be easier. Regulating your breathing to be deep and rhythmic, even for five minutes of pranayama (yogic breathing), can prepare the ground for the deeper work of meditation.

4. Human Interaction
Deep human interaction is a rich laboratory for personal growth. It can take many forms, and here I’ll focus on three: therapy, social interaction, intimate relationships.

Therapy, counseling, and coaching, in many of its modalities, can be useful for dealing with personality patterns and mindsets that are limiting you. This allows you to bring the shadows out to the light, to liberate certain emotional energies that are trapping you.

Social interaction also provides many opportunities for self-study. Many of our triggers are only pressed in interaction with other people. The presence of the other is a tool to challenge us, polish us, and reflect to us our own patterns. The metaphor that was used in a Zen monastery where I trained is that we are like a raw diamond, and the grind of hardships and conflicts of community life slowly rounds our corners and make us shine.

Finally, intimate relationships offer a precious opportunity for self-knowledge and transformation. Of all people, our partner is in a position to see our shadow sizes, addictive behaviors, and biases, more than anyone else. He/she can then throw them at our face mercilessly, again and again, until we either change or give up.

That is why meeting the challenges of an intimate relationship with openness of heart and mind is a great practice in and of itself.

A More Holistic Approach
heart-and-mind
There is no doubt that meditation, even by itself, can bring many benefits and transformation. However, it is only by integrating other practices, and other aspects of your life, that you can make the most out of meditation. The key is integration of mind-body-heart, integration of formal practice and daily life. So that when we meditate we are whole – and not the guy in this post’s picture.

Here are some of my articles that explore other aspects of this same idea:

The Three Gunas
Mindfulness Tools
Meditation enables you to see better and have more options of action (since you are less reactive). But you still need to have the willingness to look at yourself with honesty and the discipline to consistently make wiser choices, based on your best knowledge.

Therefore, whether you are seeking to grow as a person, or to achieve spiritual liberation, don’t look at meditation as your only tool. At the very least, integrating the habit of self-reflection and study should also be in your toolbox.

https://liveanddare.com/complementary-practices/

Posted on: 4/27 14:42
_________________
A Jedi uses the Force for nothing, and... for everything.
Click to see original Image in a new window
Transfer the post to other applications Transfer


Re: New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain
Master
Joined:
2006/9/24 19:51
From USA
Group:
Promotions Committee
Apprentice
Masters
Registered Users
Webmasters
Posts: 7876
Offline
Growth is learning that we do not exist in this world alone. Our friends, family, and enemies, are extensions of ourselves (there really is no such thing as a stranger) and reflect who we are and how we feel about ourselves.

Meditation teaches us to experience our world and not get lost in it. To change what needs changing one small step at a time and it lets us know when it's time to take a leap of faith and make major changes when needed. To see the universal pictures of our purpose in Earth.

Attach file:



jpg  Zen Mindful.jpg (48.65 KB)
682_5ae38e7a6a3c2.jpg 852X480 px

Posted on: 4/27 14:54
_________________
A Jedi uses the Force for nothing, and... for everything.
Click to see original Image in a new window
Transfer the post to other applications Transfer


Re: New study show specific types of meditation affect different areas of the brain
Knight
Joined:
2009/10/15 19:04
From Ontario Oregon
Group:
Apprentice
Registered Users
Knight
Knight Marshall
Jedi Guardian
Initiates
Posts: 627
Offline
This is fantastic info. Never really thought about it that way. I'll have to try applying this to my meditations.thank you for sharing.

Posted on: 5/1 10:04
_________________
-Bows-
Force keep and guide you always.
Nascien
____________________________________________________
Apprentice: BriceJohnson819 (now Ace venom's)

Greet whatever arrives, escort what leaves and rush upon loss of contact.
Transfer the post to other applications Transfer






You can view topic.
You cannot start a new topic.
You cannot reply to posts.
You cannot edit your posts.
You cannot delete your posts.
You cannot add new polls.
You cannot vote in polls.
You cannot attach files to posts.
You cannot post without approval.

[Advanced Search]