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Old 09-06-2008, 01:31 PM
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steaner steaner is offline
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Default What Is Meditation?

What Is Meditation?

There are various types of meditation - prayer is probably the best known, but there is also TM (Transcendental Meditation), mindfulness meditation, and from the Eastern tradition, Zen meditation, Buddhist meditation, and Taoist meditation.
The meditation encompasses such diverse methods as:
Formal sitting in which the body is held immobile and the attention controlled. e.g., Zazen, Vipassana

Expressive practices , in which the body is let free and anything can happen. e.g., Siddha Yoga, the Latihan, the chaotic meditation of Rajneesh.

The practice of going about one's daily round of activities mindfully. e.g., Mahamudra, Shikan Taza, Gurdjieff's "self-remembering".

All these practices have one thing in common - they all focus on quietening the busy mind. The intention is not to remove stimulation but rather to direct your concentration to one healing element - one sound, one word, one image, or one's breath. When the mind is "filled" with the feeling of calm and peace, it cannot take off on its own and worry, stress out, or get depressed.
According to Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of mind/body medicine, meditation can be broadly defined as any activity that keeps the attention pleasantly anchored in the present moment. When the mind is calm and focused in the present, it is neither reacting to memories from the past nor being preoccupied with plans for the future, two major sources of chronic stress known to impact health. "Meditation," says Dr. Borysenko, "helps to keep us from identifying with the 'movies of the mind."

Types of Meditation - Classification


All the meditation techniques can be grouped into two basic approaches:
Concentrative meditation and
Mindfulness meditation.
Concentrative meditation

Concentrative meditation
focuses the attention on the breath, an image, or a sound (mantra), in order to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity to emerge. This is like a zoom lens in a camera; we narrow our focus to a selected field.
The simplest form of concentrative meditation is to sit quietly and focus the attention on the breath. Yoga and meditation practitioners believe that there is a direct correlation between one's breath and one's state of the mind. For example, when a person is anxious, frightened, agitated, or distracted, the breath will tend to be shallow, rapid, and uneven. On the other hand, when the mind is calm, focused, and composed, the breath will tend to be slow, deep, and regular. Focusing the mind on the continuous rhythm of inhalation and exhalation provides a natural object of meditation. As you focus your awareness on the breath, your mind becomes absorbed in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. As a result, your breathing will become slower and deeper, and the mind becomes more tranquil and aware.
Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation
, according to Dr. Borysenko, "involves opening the attention to become aware of the continuously passing parade of sensations and feelings, images, thoughts, sounds, smells, and so forth without becoming involved in thinking about them." The person sits quietly and simply witnesses whatever goes through the mind, not reacting or becoming involved with thoughts, memories, worries, or images. This helps to gain a more calm, clear, and non-reactive state of mind. Mindfulness meditation can be likened to a wide-angle lens. Instead of narrowing your sight to a selected field as in concentrative meditation, here you will be aware of the entire field.


How Meditation Works

Studies have shown that meditation (in particular, research on Transcendental Meditation, a popular form of meditation practiced in the West for the past thirty years), can bring about a healthy state of relaxation by causing a generalized reduction in multiple physiological and biochemical markers, such as decreased heart rate, decreased respiration rate, decreased plasma cortisol (a major stress hormone), decreased pulse rate, and increased EEG (electroencephalogram) alpha, a brain wave associated with relaxation. Research conducted by R. Keith Wallace at U.C.L.A. on Transcendental Meditation, revealed that during meditation, the body gains a state of profound rest. At the same time, the brain and mind become more alert, indicating a state of restful alertness. Studies show that after TM, reactions are faster, creativity greater, and comprehension broader.
A laboratory study of practitioners of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's transcendental meditation (TM), carried out by Benson and Wallace at Harvard Medical School towards the end of the 1960s, provided the first detailed knowledge of the many physiological changes that go with meditation.
Some of the meditators, whose ages ranged from seventeen to forty-one, had been meditating only a few weeks, others for several years. All recorded changes associated with deep relaxation.
The fall in metabolic rate was the most striking discovery. This was indicated by a dramatic drop in oxygen consumption within a few minutes of starting meditation. Consumption fell by up to twenty per cent below the normal level; below that experienced even in deep sleep. Meditators took on average two breaths less and one litre less air per minute. The meditators' heart rate was several beats less per minute.
During meditation, blood pressure stayed at 'low levels', but fell markedly in persons starting meditation with abnormally high levels.
The meditators' skin resistance to an electrical current was measured. A fall in skin resistance is characteristic of anxiety and tension states; a rise indicates increased muscle relaxation. The finding was that though meditation is primarily a mental technique, it soon brings significantly improved muscle relaxation.
Meditation reduces activity in the nervous system. The parasympathetic branch of the autonomic or involuntary nervous system predominates. This is the branch responsible for calming us.
During anxiety and tension states there is a rise in the level of lactate in the blood. Lactate is a substance produced by metabolism in the skeletal muscles. During meditation blood lactate levels decreased at a rate four times faster than the rate of decrease in non-meditators resting lying on their backs or in the meditators themselves in pre-meditation resting.
The likely reason for the dramatic reduction in lactate production by meditators was indicated when further studies of meditators showed an increased blood flow during. Benson and Wallace found that there was a thirty-two per cent increase in forearm blood flow. Lactate production in the body is mainly in skeletal muscle tissue; during meditation the faster circulation brings a faster delivery of oxygen to the muscles and less lactate is produced.
The two investigators summed up the state produced by their meditating subjects as wakeful and hypometabolic. The physiological changes were different in many ways from those found in sleeping people or those in hypnotic trance states. Meditation, they said, produces 'a complex of responses that marks a highly relaxed state'. Moreover, the pattern of changes they observed in meditators suggested an integrated response, mediated by the central nervous system.
"Through meditation we can learn to access the relaxation response (the physiological response elicited by meditation) and to be aware of the mind and the way our attitudes produce stress," says Dr. Borysenko, author of 'Minding the Body, Mending the Mind". "In addition, by quieting the mind, meditation can also put one in touch with the inner physician, allowing the body's own inner wisdom to be heard."
Taoists believe that the mind of emotions is governed by the Fire energy of the heart. When your emotions are not controlled, the fire energy of the heart flares upwards, wastefully burning up energy and clouding the mind. The mind of intent, or willpower, is controlled by the Water energy of the kidneys. When unattended, the water energy flows down and out through the sexual organs, depleting essence and energy and weakening the spirit. Taoists believe that when you are 'sitting still, doing nothing', as in meditation, the flow of Fire and Water are reversed: Water energy from the kidneys and sacrum is drawn up to the head via the Central and Governing channels, while emotional Fire energy from the heart is drawn down into the Lower Elixir Field in the abdomen, where it is refined and transformed and enters general circulation through the energy channels. On the spiritual/mental level, this internal energy alchemy enables the mind of intent (Water) to exert a calming, cooling, controlling influence over the mind of emotion (Fire).
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:40 AM
hankmayson hankmayson is offline
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Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Meditation can be used to combat stress, depression and frustration. It can be broadly classified under the mind-body medicine. Meditation is a component of many religions, and has been practiced since antiquity.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:39 AM
ooplisanna ooplisanna is offline
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Meditation is good for inner health as well as for physical fitness.With the help of meditation a man can concentrate his mind on one thing.The benefits of meditation are,

1 It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
2 Leads to a deeper level of relaxation.
3 Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
4 Helps in chronic diseases like allergies , arthritis etc.
5 Also reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:17 PM
axelavery axelavery is offline
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Mediation is the practice that brings not only the physical benefits but also the psychological benefits. It can also improve life which you are living. Both the benefits will change your life positive way.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:58 PM
channingahujia channingahujia is offline
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Meditation is a holistic conduct by which the practitioner attempts to get above the reflexive, "thinking" apperception into a added accompaniment of relavation or awareness.It describes a accompaniment of consciousness, if the apperception is chargeless of broadcast thoughts and assorted patterns.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:26 PM
ellennalton ellennalton is offline
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Meditation is a three footfall action that leads to a Accompaniment of consciousness, which brings calmness, clarity, and bliss. As apparent in the aboriginal figure, our accustomed accompaniment of apperception is in fact absolutely abnormal. We accept acoustic stimuli and acknowledge absolutely in an amoral way.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:03 AM
harygril harygril is offline
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Meditation is not a method but a lifestyle. Meditation means 'a cessation of the thought process' . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns .
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:50 AM
troytracon troytracon is offline
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Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Meditation can be used to combat stress, depression and frustration. They fall into the mind-body medicine. Meditation is a component of many religions, and has been practised since antiquity.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:56 AM
rjkaaronrjk rjkaaronrjk is offline
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Your information about meditation is really amazing and very useful for those people who dont know any thing about meditation,Meditation is basically come from india,There are various type of meditation like Concentrative meditation and Mindfulness meditation.Meditation is very popular now a days.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:04 PM
raulvalthaty raulvalthaty is offline
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Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a clear vision of the true nature of things.
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