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17264Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Health, EEG Studies, and Schools of Tibetan Buddhism

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  • WestWindWood
    Jun 2, 2010

      Katrina, in your post on the morning of June 1, you mention you want to do research on meditation for its medical benefits and to secure a grant for further research in this area. It’s an exciting area of research because of modern diagnostic medical equipment such as EEG and Positron emission tomography (PET) scans can be used to document meditation as a unique human undertaking. You also have an extensive bibliography of studies showing the benefits. In very simplistic terms, with schizophrenia, PTSD, and depression, and hypertension, there is a kind of tranquilizing effect of meditation; with cancer and psoriasis meditation can influence the immune system; and with hypertension and pain there is also the influence of meditation on the parasympathetic system. As for lower back pain, that might also be muscle tension that can be eased with meditation. Having written the forgoing, it seems to not ring true because meditation is a holistic approach to health. The benefits are not to be chopped into little pieces. The above-mentioned benefits can effect permanent changes in health only if a person has resolved the feelings that influence the brain, and this is central to all the above mentioned health issues.


      I remember reading articles some years ago about the brain also being a gland that secretes hormones that have a profound influence on the body, regulating functions, as does the rest of the endocrine system. Meditation influencing the brain-gland influencing health is the area needing study and is something the medical profession can appreciate. You asked in your most recent email why I did not mention any of my cancer experiences to my doctors. Meditation brought forth that it was not the thing to do with those particular doctors. Looking at it intellectually, doctors are trained to be scientific in their medical approach. They have to adhere to a standard of care or run the risk of getting sued. What happened with me medically I was a statistical outlier and to be ignored. However, with meditation influencing the brain and the brain as gland influencing health, and modern diagnostic tools showing something new is going on with meditation that needs explanation, well there is hope for medical cures if the process is properly understood. When I first started meditating back in 1972, the reason was originally for my back and wanting an alternative for surgery. This I think is an area of interest for your research. Enough for tonight, but tomorrow I think I will have the time to detail that experience as a holistic approach. And by the way, holistic is a catchword for developing optimum health, and if meditation is shown to be a holistic approach, then perhaps that can be the reason for a grant. And after all, wasn’t meditation put forth by the Buddha as the holistic solution to the problem of death, disease and old age?

      --- On Wed, 6/2/10, Katrina <blondewithaphd@...> wrote:

      From: Katrina <blondewithaphd@...>
      Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Health, EEG Studies, and Schools of Tibetan Buddhism
      To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 5:44 AM


      Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I always hear stories of meditators telling me that they healed certain ailments through meditation but it is difficult for me to wrap my head around that concept. I am so glad to hear that your cancer is under control now. I am wondering though, why did you not tell your doctors?

      I also agree that meditation enacts the subconscious and conscious parts of the mind in a way that we are both able to be reflective as well as inverted into our own thoughts. It is a unique ability to look at the problem, find the solution, and interpret what it means. I have some clients who have been in therapy for years and still don't know what the problem is. I think meditation takes you to a place you can step back and look at the problem for yourself, and find a way to heal.

      You mentioned using different kinds of meditation both for the back injury and when you were very stressed with your wife. Is there a certain type to be used to heal physical conditions?

      I'm currently reading "Boundless Healing" by Tulku Thondup and I find it is quite easy to get through. Must be meant for novices like me :)

      Katrina Zaleski
      Principal Researcher
      NorthCentral University

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