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SCI/TECH: Meditation Permanently Alters The Brain

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posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 05:12 PM
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The regular practice of meditation appears to produce structural changes in areas of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing. Meditation has been linked to increased grey matter in the brain which is important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing.
 



www.livescience.com
Meditation alters brain patterns in ways that are likely permanent, scientists have known. But a new study shows key parts of the brain actually get thicker through the practice.

Brain imaging of regular working folks who meditate regularly revealed increased thickness in cortical regions related to sensory, auditory and visual perception, as well as internal perception -- the automatic monitoring of heart rate or breathing, for example.

The study also indicates that regular meditation may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.

"What is most fascinating to me is the suggestion that meditation practice can change anyone's gray matter," said study team member Jeremy Gray, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale. "The study participants were people with jobs and families. They just meditated on average 40 minutes each day, you don't have to be a monk."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Keep Alzheimer's at bay by doing some meditation per day.
Great for blood pressure reduction without pills too.



Just say aummmmm......

[edit on 11-11-2005 by Regenmacher]




posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 05:20 PM
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Yes I can certainly imagine it would alter the brain. Meditation is a powerful brain tool to use for all manner of things. It has been proved by some monks to lower the heart rate consciously to almost a deathlike state amongst other things.



[edit on 11-11-2005 by Mayet]



posted on Nov, 11 2005 @ 07:51 PM
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I can easilly see this being the case. I am an avid meditator myself, and truly believe that it's the reason for many things, including my health (when I really shouldn't be as healthy as I am - doctors said I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 30, due to my degenerative joints condition [caused by severe flat feet, and my choice of physically intensive career], yet here I am, 30 years old, and probably won't be in a wheelchair for many more years [unless I'm hit by a bus or something]).

Fact is, we really don't understand the brain. Sure, we know that synaptic impulses relay information to the body, and we know that those synaptic impulses can change, given mood, emotion, physical stimuli, etc., but we don't understand the REASONS for these changes, and we certainly don't understand the underlying operating system of the brain (I like to think of it as using a computer with Windows installed, yet knowing nothing of DOS, VB, or C++ - the underlying operating systems and programming languages that make it function as it does). The brain does a great many things that we don't understand, and is capable of so much more than we use it for.

I don't mean to get into alternative religion or metaphysics with this response, but I do feel that the meditative state enables us to tap into previously unaccessed (at least consiously) portions of the brain, and allows us, to an extent, to control its function. This, in essence, is a means of using the brain in ways that can't be proven by medical science, because of the lack of understanding.

I feel that the brain is a very powerful organ, and because it isn't understood, there is a lot that we can "awaken" in the brain that can change our phyiscal selves, our perceptions of the world around us (and therefore the world around us - perception is reality), and other possible abilities that aren't able to be proven or documented by current medical science.



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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I am an avid meditator myself and find this article extremely interesting. I always thought that meditation had more effects on the body outside of stress relief and serenity. I also think that people who meditate are able to reason better, and sort things out more intelectually.

It is true that once you start meditating you see the world completely different. Its like your when you are in connection with your inner self you sense an overwhelming source of energy that empowers you. And when you come out of it everything seems so much brighter, more lush.

Great find!!!



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 02:20 AM
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This is kind of a dumb question, but is there a certain way to meditate?

Or what exactly does it entail?

[edit on (11/12/0505 by Dynamic Reality]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by Dynamic Reality
This is kind of a dumb question, but is there a certain way to meditate?

Or what exactly does it entail?

[edit on (11/12/0505 by Dynamic Reality]

There are hundreds of different ways to meditate, you can even make up your own. Here is a simple way that I was taught at a buddism seminar at my university:

- Sit with your back straight and feet flat on the ground.
- Begin to mentally relax your body, starting with your crown working all the way down to your toes.
- Once you feel totally relaxed, being to watch your thoughts, dont become involved with them though, just let them pass just as quickly as the come.
- After you feel your thoughts are under control a little more, you being watching your breathing. I find it helpful to count my breaths.
- Every time my mind strays from my breathing i'll start the count again. Dont get annoyed if you have to start counting again many times, it dosent matter. Just solong as your try to keep your concentration steady.
- When you can keep your concentration steady for a while you may want to bring your attention and focus on an abstract object, i.e. happiness, love or oneness. Its up to you, just keep your mind on the idea and whenever it strays, just realise it has and bring your attention back to the abstract.

It is hard to describe what it is like when meditating, but i can say that after practise is firmly grounded for a little while, you will being to loose sense of time and space when in deeper meditation. I guess my main tip would be to not expect anything or try to get anything to happen, it will happen if you just let it.

I need also point out the above dose work for me, but as everyone is unique different people need different techniques. Heres a URL to a load more:
www.meditationsociety.com...

[edit on 12-11-2005 by Ishes]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 07:42 AM
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I have been accused of being thick before but not in a good way like this article mentiones


Seriously though I used to meditate but after a few years of major stress and craziness in my life I am having trouble getting back to it. I just started working with someone to relearn how to quiet my brain as that is where I am having major problems. Right now it is rather frustrating because I can't help feeling that if I could do this for years before why the heck can't I do it now. Guess it is all a part of my life lessons in Patience -- Dang I am having a hard time with this lesson.



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 09:57 AM
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This site offers more depth into meditation:
The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation

There's no certain way or right way to meditate. It's mainly about taking some time out for yourself to relax and clear your head. It's also can be used as an advanced form of prayer or cognitive reasoning for deeper questions.

If you can get past the closed eye visuals and discursive thoughts (mind chatter) then the aspect of nirvana comes into being, as in oneness and nothingness. Takes practice to enter that lucid transcendental state, but it's all good. Patience and persistence is the name of the game and the reward is great as in better health and less stress related problems.

Side benefit of practicing meditation is you're more apt to have lucid dreaming experiences in the future, which beats TV or movies any day.

[edit on 12-11-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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i meditate but not in the form everyone thinks of. my forms is different but i know that it is still the right way for me. as for the results, focus is better, i defeated a severe ADD case (the average percent for testing scores is 80% about and anything lower is less then average till eventually you get into ADD and such, i had about a 20% on this test, which is very bad haha)
also my health is well, great. i havent had a sickness of pretty much any sort in 6 years (other then mild food posioning from meat once)
also it really helps my reasoning methods and just overall helps my train of thought

by the way great post regenmacher, good read



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:37 AM
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"What is most fascinating to me is the suggestion that meditation practice can change anyone's gray matter," said study team member Jeremy Gray, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale. "The study participants were people with jobs and families. They just meditated on average 40 minutes each day, you don't have to be a monk."


Would it make a difference at school?

I wonder what would happen if there was a class for teaching and practicing meditation in all schools. 50 mins was the average time period for a class at when I was at school. Meditating for just 40 mins a day can change the attention span of someone.

Also if someone meditated for 5 hours a day everyday 365, what would happen?


Oh and not to forget the DC study;

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This study presents the final results of a two-month prospective experiment to reduce violent crime in Washington, D.C. On the basis of previous research it was hypothesized that the level of violent crime in the District of Columbia would drop significantly with the creation of a large group of participants in the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs to increase coherence and reduce stress in the District.



posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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I use to do it when I had a old Asian friend, I would stop by his house after school and he would be sitting in the floor doing this.
I would sit with my back to him for hour a day of his 2 hour meditations.
I have not forgot that the checkup I had the next year for High School that my heart rate was 54! The best I would have had years before was around 68. He past away one monday in 82. I have my back to him when he hit the floor. His Sister said he was 89 years old........ My Friend did not like or act a day over 60.



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