November 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm #40023
Regular practice creates positive effects in your everyday life . . . S
Meditation Influences Emotional Processing Even When You’re Not Meditating: Study
Posted: 11/15/2012 11:03 pm EST
Meditation may influence the way the brain processes emotions — even when you’re not actually practicing it, a new study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience suggests.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Arizona, Boston University, the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and Emory University found that meditation changes the way the amygdala brain region responds to emotional stimuli — but that this effect on emotional processing takes place even when a person is not in a state of meditation. The amygdala is a brain region involved in emotion and memory processing.
“This is the first time that meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state,” study researcher Gaëlle Desbordes, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University’s Center for Computation Neuroscience and Neural Technology, said in a statement.
Researchers had study participants undergo one of three eight-week courses: one course was on mindful attention meditation, where they were trained to be more attentive and aware of their thinking, feeling and breathing; one course was on compassion meditation, where they were trained to feel compassion and kindness to other people and themselves; and one course just provided general health information.
Then, 12 people from each group underwent fMRI brain scans as they looked at 216 images that were meant to provoke positive, neutral or negative emotions. There was no mention or instruction of meditation while the study participants were undergoing the brain scans, and they were followed up with after to make sure they were not meditating while undergoing the fMRI scans.
The researchers found that the people who took either of the meditation courses experienced decreased activity in the amygdala in response to images that provoked negative emotions — a sign that they were coping well with stress and were experiencing stability of their emotions. But people who only went through the health education class experienced an increase in the amygdala in response to images that provoked negative emotions.
Previously, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers found that eight weeks of meditation training was linked with more density of grey matter in the hippocampus brain region (which plays a role in memory and learning), as well as parts of the brain linked with compassion and self-awareness. That research was published last year in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.February 11, 2013 at 6:43 am #40024
For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character. If this rule is observed, such exercise as the following may be attempted: Recall to mind some person whom you may have observed when he was filled with desire for some object. Direct your attention to this desire. It is best to recall to memory that moment when the desire was at its height, and it was still uncertain whether the object of the desire would be attained. And now fill your mind with this recollection, and reflect on what you can thus observe. Maintain the utmost inner tranquility. Make the greatest possible effort to be blind and deaf to everything that may be going on around you, and take special heed that through the conception thus evoked a feeling should awaken in your soul. Allow this feeling to rise in your soul like a cloud on the cloudless horizon. As a rule, of course, your reflection will be interrupted, because the person whom it concerns was not observed in this particular state of soul for a sufficient length of time. The attempt will most likely fail hundreds and hundreds of times. It is just a question of not losing patience. After many attempts you will succeed in experiencing a feeling In your soul corresponding to the state of soul of the person observed, and you will begin to notice that through this feeling a power grows in your soul that leads to spiritual insight into the state of soul of the other. A picture experienced as luminous appears in your field of vision. This spiritually luminous picture is the so-called astral embodiment of the desire observed in that soul. Again the impression of this picture may be described as flame-like, yellowish-red in the center, and reddish-blue or lilac at the edges. Much depends on treating such spiritual experiences with great delicacy. The best thing is not to speak to anyone about them except to your teacher, if you have one. Attempted descriptions of such experiences in inappropriate words usually only lead to gross self-deception. Ordinary terms are employed which are not intended for such things, and are therefore too gross and clumsy. The consequence is that in the attempt to clothe the experience in words we are misled into blending the actual experience with all kinds of fantastic delusions. Here again is another important rule for the student: know how to observe silence concerning your spiritual experiences. Yes, observe silence even toward yourself. Do not attempt to clothe in words what you contemplate in the spirit, or to pore over it with clumsy intellect. Lend yourself freely and without reservation to these spiritual impressions, and do not disturb them by reflecting and pondering over them too much. For you must remember that your reasoning faculties are, to begin with, by no means equal to your new experience. You have acquired these reasoning faculties in a life hitherto confined to the physical world of the senses; the faculties you are now acquiring transcend this world. Do not try, therefore, to apply to the new and higher perceptions the standard of the old. Only he who has gained some certainty and steadiness in the observation of inner experiences can speak about them, and thereby stimulate his fellow-men.
-RUDOLF STEINER, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment
Twenty-six-year-old Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after spending several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburg for his trusting nature and naivety, he finds himself at the center of a struggle between a beautiful kept woman and a virtuous and pretty young girl, both of whom win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin’s very goodness precipitates disaster, leaving the impression that, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium may be the only place for a saint.
“If we take as a premise that there can be enormously powerfull beings, what sort of beings they are ? What sort of universe do we have to have in order to accommodate entities like that? What are they actually attempting to do with themselves?”
Also this compassion type of meditation when prolonged is clearly not necessarily good.
It’s good for this kind of study, but one can become a real fool if one too long and seriously is practicing like that.
Ps. Sorry for my broken English.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjaTOfHCjiw (david erased)
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