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How Meditation Works

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  • Rev. Edwin S. Purcell, Ph.D.
    Today a story came out claiming that science had discovered how meditation works. (see http://www.livescience.com/health/070629_naming_emotions.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30 2:06 PM
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      Today a story came out claiming that science had discovered how
      meditation works. (see
      http://www.livescience.com/health/070629_naming_emotions.html
      <http://www.livescience.com/health/070629_naming_emotions.html> )The
      study inferred from brain scans of people assigning emotional words to
      pictures that identifying negative emotions shut down the amygdala (the
      part of our brain which triggers responses of fear and stress). It then
      relates the process to mindfulness meditation in which one identifies
      the emotions they are experiencing. So, the person that tells you they
      are really angry at you is having less of an emotional experience than
      one who is so caught up in rage that he attacks you. Yes, I agree with
      that, but how is that actually accomplished? If you slow your EEG down
      to alpha waves it produces a meditation like state, but how do you do
      it? I would like to suggest that the answer is never going to be found
      to be physical although there are going to be physical correlates. The
      "being" that perceives the world through the body is not the body. Why
      do I say this? Because like many who have delved into techniques to
      explore the mind, I can experience being and yet be totally unaware of
      my body. To me, that is the goal of meditation, to experience the self
      free of the body. Some who claim to be scientific will immediately say
      "there is no self free of the body". This is, of course, a
      completely unscientific statement. They will throw Ochim's razor at
      you and say the simplest hypothesis (that there is nothing beyond the
      body) must be correct. First, I ask, when has the simplest version ever
      been found to be correct? The earth is not flat, my friends. First the
      atom was the smallest particle. Then we had electrons, protons and
      neutrons. Then we had quarks. Now the best guess is there really
      isn't anything solid, it is just energy units like strings. Also,
      Ochim was not a scientist, he was a theologian that was tired of people
      blabbing on and on about possible theories of the supernatural. In one
      way, Ochim was correct though. As we venture deeper and deeper into
      ourselves, what we ultimately find is that we are all One.



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