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Re: Article from Science daily. Meditation causes alertness (duh)

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  • medit8ionsociety
    ... (UPI) -- Meditation produces changes in brain waves associated with being increasingly alert, an Australian researcher says. ... to present his findings
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 6, 2007
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Benjamin Buehne
      <benbuehne@...> wrote:
      >
      > Study: Meditators 'surprisingly' alertADELAIDE, Australia, July 6
      (UPI) -- Meditation produces changes in brain waves associated with
      being increasingly alert, an Australian researcher says.
      > Dylan DeLosAngeles, of the Flinders Medical Center in Adelaide, is
      to present his findings this month at the World Congress of
      Neuroscience in Melbourne.
      > Previous studies proved conflicting about meditation's impact on
      the brain, with some studies reporting that meditators were asleep,
      DeLosAngeles said.
      > DeLosAngeles asked 13 people in a meditation group to describe
      their experiences of five different meditative states. DeLosAngeles
      then measured brain activity in each state using an
      electroencephalograph, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.
      > DeLosAngeles said he found an increase in alpha brain waves
      associated with alertness, focus, attention and concentration, and a
      decrease in delta brain waves associated with drowsiness or sleep.
      > "Meditation is a finely held state of attentiveness and alertness
      that differs from eyes-closed resting or sleep," he concluded.
      > Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
      >
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20070706-15371300-bc-australia-meditation-crn.xml
      >
      The "problem" with these studies is that for every one
      like this one (which I feel is right on), there is another
      that questions the other (see below). So, I think that
      the best way to know what meditation can do is by meditating.
      Peace and blessings,
      Bob

      The Therapeutic Value Of Meditation Unproven, Study Found
      Main Category: Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine News
      Article Date: 04 Jul 2007 - 6:00 PDT
      "There is an enormous amount of interest in using
      meditation as a form of therapy to cope with a
      variety of modern-day health problems, especially
      hypertension, stress and chronic pain, but the
      majority of evidence that seems to support this
      notion is anecdotal, or it comes from poor quality
      studies," say Maria Ospina and Kenneth Bond,
      researchers at the University of Alberta/Capital
      Health Evidence-based Practice Center in Edmonton, Canada.

      In compiling their report, Ospina, Bond and their
      fellow researchers analyzed a mountain of medical
      and psychological literature - 813 studies in all -
      looking at the impact of meditation on conditions
      such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and
      substance abuse.

      They found some evidence that certain types of
      meditation reduce blood pressure and stress in
      clinical populations. Among healthy individuals,
      practices such as Yoga seemed to increase verbal
      creativity and reduce heart rate, blood pressure
      and cholesterol. However, Ospina says no firm
      conclusions on the effects of meditation practices
      in health care can be drawn based on the available
      evidence because the existing scientific research
      is characterized by poor methodological quality and
      does not appear to have a common theoretical perspective.

      "Future research on meditation practices must be more
      rigorous in the design and execution of studies and
      in the analysis and reporting of results," Ospina explains.

      But the researchers caution against dismissing the
      therapeutic value of meditation outright. "This
      report's conclusions shouldn't be taken as a sign
      that meditation doesn't work," Bond says. "Many
      uncertainties surround the practice of meditation.
      For medical practitioners who are seeking to make
      evidence-based decisions regarding the therapeutic
      value of meditation, the report shows that the
      evidence is inconclusive regarding its effectiveness."
      For the general public, adds Ospina, "this research
      highlights that choosing to practice a particular
      meditation technique continues to rely solely on
      individual experiences and personal preferences,
      until more conclusive scientific evidence is produced."

      The report, published June 2007 and titled Meditation
      Practices for Health: State of the Research, identified
      five broad categories of meditation practices: mantra
      meditation, mindfulness meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and
      Qi Gong. Transcendental Meditation and relaxation
      response (both of which are forms of mantra meditation)
      were the most commonly studied types of meditation.
      Studies involving Yoga and mindfulness meditation were
      also common.

      ----------------------------
      Article adapted by Medical News Today from original
      press release.
      ----------------------------

      The research was conducted by the University of
      Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center under contract
      to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'
      Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It was
      requested and funded by the National Center for
      Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bethesda, Md.

      Contact: Isabela C. Varela
      University of Alberta

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    • Benjamin Buehne
      HI all, I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career. How is one to balance between
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 15, 2007
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        HI all,
        I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career.  How is one to balance between the physical and the spiritual.

        I ask this as my new job requires many hours and at times can be quite stressful.  This has interfered with my practice of meditation both in the amount of time devoted to it and the effectiveness of it.

        The solution seems simple at first, if one can't complete a job and remain spiritual than the job must go.  However, according to several schools of thought, it is your physical actions and work in and of themselves that are more important than the act of meditation.  Otherwise my gift of life would go to waste... not to mention I would have a more difficult time actually living (paying bills and whatnot).

        I know others here have had to struggle with similar dilemmas.  What philosophies have you all followed concerning meeting this balance and what advice can you give.

        Thanks all,
        Ben


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      • Citizens Active
        Turn yourself to walking meditation. When something does not need your full focus, meditate. This may not not the deep meditation but it works and helps
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 15, 2007
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          Turn yourself to "walking" meditation.  When something does not need your full focus, meditate.  This may not not the deep meditation but it works and helps keep us grounded and centered throughtout our days.  I meditate myself to sleep everynight.  I meditate at the gym in between sets.  I meditate and send blessings while driving.  You may be surprised how intune and aware this will make you.  Give it a try, I hope it helps.  If you can meditate even for only 10 minutes, its better than none.  I would at least try to set some time for yourself at least once for longer meditations. 
           
          Goodluck in your endeavors,
          Many blessings,
           
          Mike


          Benjamin Buehne <benbuehne@...> wrote:
          HI all,
          I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career.  How is one to balance between the physical and the spiritual.

          I ask this as my new job requires many hours and at times can be quite stressful.  This has interfered with my practice of meditation both in the amount of time devoted to it and the effectiveness of it.

          The solution seems simple at first, if one can't complete a job and remain spiritual than the job must go.  However, according to several schools of thought, it is your physical actions and work in and of themselves that are more important than the act of meditation.  Otherwise my gift of life would go to waste... not to mention I would have a more difficult time actually living (paying bills and whatnot).

          I know others here have had to struggle with similar dilemmas.  What philosophies have you all followed concerning meeting this balance and what advice can you give.

          Thanks all,
          Ben

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        • Sandeep
          *Turn your very work into a meditativeness. While working, witness the enfolding of the work, witness the reactions, responses arising, running a durational
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 16, 2007
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            Turn your very work into a meditativeness.

            While working, witness the enfolding of the work, witness the reactions, responses arising, running a durational length
            and then dissipating.

            Watch the sense of concern, fear, despair, defeat associated with the enfolding of the work.

            Watch the sense of elation, satisfaction, pride associated with the enfolding of the work.

            Watching the building up of a sense of hope with the enfolding of the work.

            Watch the changes in the depth and quality of breath and breathing patterns associated with the arising sense of concern or elation et al.

            Turn your non-working hours into the same meditativeness, in the same manner.



             


            Benjamin Buehne wrote:

            HI all,
            I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career.  How is one to balance between the physical and the spiritual.

            I ask this as my new job requires many hours and at times can be quite stressful.  This has interfered with my practice of meditation both in the amount of time devoted to it and the effectiveness of it.

            The solution seems simple at first, if one can't complete a job and remain spiritual than the job must go.  However, according to several schools of thought, it is your physical actions and work in and of themselves that are more important than the act of meditation.  Otherwise my gift of life would go to waste... not to mention I would have a more difficult time actually living (paying bills and whatnot).

            I know others here have had to struggle with similar dilemmas.  What philosophies have you all followed concerning meeting this balance and what advice can you give.

            Thanks all,
            Ben


            N
            .

          • Daniel Bonekeeper
            Hi Ben, I can relate in part with your problem. I do have time to meditate at home, but my work needs extreme focus and concentration to be done, which makes
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 16, 2007
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              Hi Ben,

              I can relate in part with your problem. I do have time to meditate at home, but my work needs extreme focus and concentration to be done, which makes it very difficult to do it with mindfulness (I'm a computer programmer, so I have to always be focused on writing programs or even more focused while debugging them lol)

              What I can tell you is what my master's master said: conscience is a continuum. It doesn't stop when you stop meditating, and if you think that it is ok to be concious only when you're meditating and then you can go about your day in unconsciousness, you're fooling yourself.

              So, by default, even if you had no time to do regular sitting meditations (which is kinda unbelievable, because we always have time, we just fool ourselves), you can still practice mindfulness in everything you do, which help us in developing our awareness further and deepens our sitting meditations. Do you have time to sleep ? If you are like me, you can see that meditation relaxes you (so 1 hour of meditation relaxes you like 3 hours of sleeping)... so why not take one hour out of sleeping to meditate ?

              My biggest obstacle right now is really mindfulness -- it is still hard to me to remember myself when I'm programming with 12 ssh sessions opened, have a meeting in 20 minutes while two servers are having problems that need to be fixed, three guys waiting for a technical answer from me, etc. Luckly things aren't that hectic every time =)

              As a side note, one thing that I've noticed (and this is my personal opinion and experience, so it may change next week), is that mindfulness is not really something you practise, that you do. It is a byproduct that comes from awareness, I think, and not the other way around. To explain... I can go all day trying to remember myself, and be aware of every action that I make, but it is always something hard to do, that requires much effort, and feels unnatural. On the other hand, whenever I end my regular meditations (let's say a 2 hours meditation), I notice that I "practise" mindfulness without even trying -- I become mindful without effort, it just flows. Naturally, I become aware of every movement of the body and mind... unfortunately, after a while, it wears off...

              Another personal thought about this subject... there's no distinction between "the physical and the spiritual", the same way as there is no distinction between science and magic =) You're always physical, and you are always be spiritual, they aren't converging things, nor co-related things. Even wearing your shoes is a physical act, and should also be a spiritual act.

              Daniel

              On 7/15/07, Benjamin Buehne <benbuehne@...> wrote:

              HI all,
              I have been thinking about a troubling predicament, one that has been brought to light after embarking on a new career.  How is one to balance between the physical and the spiritual.

              I ask this as my new job requires many hours and at times can be quite stressful.  This has interfered with my practice of meditation both in the amount of time devoted to it and the effectiveness of it.

              The solution seems simple at first, if one can't complete a job and remain spiritual than the job must go.  However, according to several schools of thought, it is your physical actions and work in and of themselves that are more important than the act of meditation.  Otherwise my gift of life would go to waste... not to mention I would have a more difficult time actually living (paying bills and whatnot).

              I know others here have had to struggle with similar dilemmas.  What philosophies have you all followed concerning meeting this balance and what advice can you give.

              Thanks all,
              Ben


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              --
              "If you are still asking for the result, then a very subtle effort will continuously be there. You will not be just sitting; you cannot just sit if there are any desires. The desire will be a subtle movement in you, and the movement will continue. You may be sitting like a stone or like a buddha, but still within the stone will be moving. Desire is movement."
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