New study reveals: Meditation Changes Brain Structure in Eight Weeks!

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posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 03:19 AM
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ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging


www.sciencedaily.com...


Meditation group participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. Although no change was seen in a self-awareness-associated structure called the insula, which had been identified in earlier studies, the authors suggest that longer-term meditation practice might be needed to produce changes in that area. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.



Those who meditate are saying it for centuries: meditation is good for the mind and body.
Unfortunately, meditation has always been pushed in a 'spiritual or new age' corner and a lot of people still think it only has a psychological effect, like a placebo...
most think meditation is only good for relaxation, but the above study shows it does actually change our brains!

What are your experiences with meditation? Do you think it has changed your brain and do you notice an effect of that? What changes did ocure in your life since you started meditating?




posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 03:29 AM
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Yes, although I don't just meditate I use binaural beat brainwave entrainment, which is like mediation on steroids, been doing it fairly regularly for about two years now. For those interested they will find free tracks made available at the bottom of page two and top of page three in the Alchemy Thread in my signature.

It's powerful stuff, synchonizes the left and right hemispheres of the bicameral brainmind while stimulating the pineal and other glands as well.

It even makes you appear younger in my experience, given the release of all those hormones (including HGH, human growth hormone), endorphins and neurotranmitters.

It also purifies the nadi channels of the entire energy tree of the body temple. Incredible stuff, and wonderful technology, if used probably with quality tracks of the type I've made available. Can't recommend it enough!

S&F



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 03:48 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


I don't know how I could ever miss that thread you wrote! (the ones in your sig)
took a quick look and it seems very interesting, I'm going to read through all the pages later today when I have more time on my hands and try it out for sure!
I've been looking for new ways to enhance my meditation skills, they stayed rather basic so far even though I've been meditating for 17 years (mostly weekly or when I feel the need, certainly not daily.
I'll give your thread a bump when I'm done reading



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 04:27 AM
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I have been very depressed lately because my job sucks and I have no money and the future is so uncertain and I'm such a paranoid loner (probly not the only one on here lol) and I started smoking a lot of a certain herb to stay sane in an insane world.

Then I saw this video on youtube called NeiKung Power about a man named John chang (not his real name) who could do a lot of miraculous things like heal people with his touch or create electricity or heat from his touch or to move things with his mind or even create fire with his power. He says anyone can do what he does, its nothing special, It just requires meditation and special training. So I was so inspired by that video that that very day I quit drugs and started doing Tai Chi and Qi Gong. It really does feel like I have changed quite a bit in the past few days. I can connect with people better, like more empathy, like the OP was saying. I also feel energized after a couple hours of dedicated meditation. During the meditation I feel more centered and relaxed and that feeling last long after I finish. I can see why people get up at dawn and do Tai Chi because the benefits you get from it will carry through the rest of your day.

but then I'm not a total beginner at meditation, I used to practice similar activities when I was really into lucid dreaming. I used to have terrible nightmares but I learned to control my dreaming to a much greater degree, I also consider myself something of a shaman, partaking of certain spiritually significant substances a few times a year for an intense 4-6 hour meditation. wink.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 04:38 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


It was good to read this report the other day, as I think it may encourage more people to be open to the idea of meditation and the ensuing benefits.




What are your experiences with meditation? Do you think it has changed your brain and do you notice an effect of that? What changes did ocure in your life since you started meditating?


For me, meditation is a deeply personal experience, so I will take a pass on giving details, but I do believe the effects are immeasurable.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Very interesting information - I'm now more motivated than ever to actively pursue Meditation / Tai Chi!

Thanks for sharing this with us GypsK..
S&F


ps - Also thanks NewAgeMan for your reference to the signature thread; also starred & flagged, look forward to reading more.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 06:01 AM
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You know, I would really like to make meditation a part of my daily routine, but something strange happens to me when I try to meditate...I close my eyes and try to relax, but suddenly I start to freak out, like something in my instinct is yelling at me to open my eyes, or something really bad could happen. It's a terrifying feeling, and it makes me more and more frustrated every time I try to meditate. Using binaural beats is out of question, it's instant terror. Any advice from experienced meditators?



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 06:08 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


I see by your personal statement in your avatar that you "Don't need any of them, Heaven or Hell." Very succinct and very correct.

I'll wager that most readers of this thread won't know that meditation need not be religion-based. True, many religions approach it to some degree, some fully and some only in an un-appreciative manner. But there need not be a Zen monk, priest or any more learned person than yourself to find the way.

And of course, this article only scratches the surface of meditation. At its very base is enlightenment. What is that? There can be no precise answer than to say that you find yourself "at one with the Universe." And there is no explanation for that either. You can take that concept on faith, or you can methodically mediate and find it without looking for or believing that it is even there. But it is, and it will come. The best analogy for enlightenment to my mind is a comparison to a sexual climax. Except this is solely with the mind unleashed from its physical domain and allowed to join the "all that is," "cosmic consciousness," the "One," etc. A place you normally do not go until you have experienced the right kind of growth..

I'll wager that most people believe that meditation is hard to do, connected to yoga, years of practice and/or some stylized religious practice of some sort. Totally untrue. Meditation is independent of all of these. Those vehicles are only institutionalized regimens that may direct and aid the process and put alms in the bowls of the teachers.

As a couple of folks have already mentioned, there are marvelous modern aids today to help train in meditation without a Zen monk whacking you across the back with a bamboo rod for years. There are ancient methods and modern methods. I won't get into the various avenues. (Bear in mind that the "old school" folks look down their noses at modern "shortcut" methods whether that be something like the simple process of sitting quietly in a chair for 20 minutes, augmented with CDs, a teacher, videos, how-to-books or electronic devices. Explore!

It is a growth experience.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 06:14 AM
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when u focus ur attention on ur spiritual energy which until u come across meditation or something that steers u in the direction of...

you will find that ur soul can orgasm like i dont mean physical mess i mean like u can jus feel this giant aura center around u like i've turned super saijan for those who remember dragon ball z

focusing on this materialistic world which is only temporary anyway and neglecting ur spirit is the same as stabbing urself in the back b/c the reason ur here anyway is b/c of ur spirit so if anything it needs the most attention from u!



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by mysticnoon
reply to post by GypsK
 


It was good to read this report the other day, as I think it may encourage more people to be open to the idea of meditation and the ensuing benefits.


It will once this research gets more attention



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by Raven_Heart
 


I don't know why this happens to you... maybe by now you are 'expecting' to freak out and therfor you will?
You can always try to meditate with your eyes open, focus on one single object while doing the various exercises that are around... see what happens then



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Aliensun

I see by your personal statement in your avatar that you "Don't need any of them, Heaven or Hell." Very succinct and very correct.

your the first to mention that. It from a song lyrics from a group called Volbeat... I also thought the lyrics where right on.



I'll wager that most readers of this thread won't know that meditation need not be religion-based. True, many religions approach it to some degree, some fully and some only in an un-appreciative manner. But there need not be a Zen monk, priest or any more learned person than yourself to find the way.

yup exactly, probably why a lot of people don't even want to try it...
I personally don't meditate to reach 'enlightment', whatever that is. Guess the meaning of the word depends on our own perspectives on life and spirituality.

Everyone has a good reason to start meditation, it's benefitial to all of us and I can only hope that more research in the area will give that aspect more attention



Explore!

It is a growth experience.


cant agree more!



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Raven_Heart
 


It sounds like you're afraid of the unknown, worried that you'll reach an unfamiliar state where something bad might happen?

I've only been meditating for a few weeks but can say that any 'meditative states' I've reached have been very familiar, as in the - feeling - is familiar. I don't know how, considering I've never meditated properly before, but it just is. There's nowt to be afraid of.

I would recommend mantra meditation as an alternative to mindful meditation, I found it a hella lot easier.

www.aypsite.org...



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by GypsK
 


Thanks. Good find.


Will share my little refresher:



White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of gray matter within the nervous system. Using a computer network as an analogy, the gray matter can be thought of as the actual computers themselves, whereas the white matter represents the network cables connecting the computers together.


I've found that meditation, Yoga, T'ai Chi and generally living mindfully have HUGE benefits. Walking and spending time in nature too.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by guyopitz
 



Please be careful when using 'substances' to aid meditation. It can leave one quite vulnerable.


Peace



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:10 AM
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I will pass off the studies here because they are somewhat insignificant. Meditation leads to enlightenment. There are a lot of meditation practices out there. Depending on your own temperament, I like things cut and dry and simple. I much prefer the passive/active Qi Gong. You breathe through your Dan Tien. You don't necessary need to sit in a full lotus position. I usually meditate laying down on my bed or just sitting upright on a chair. The purpose in the passive/active or still Qi Gong is to learn to circulate the Chi energy internally. When your Qi Gong is working, you will feel Chi. Look up Zen meditation as well.

I generally don't like the way yoga approaches to meditation. Too much god-related metaphors to describe your experiences. It does make me wonder if the practitioners are actually feeling the Kundalini energy or just simply losing themselves in their own metaphors.



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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I just came back from a 25 days meditation retreat in a buddhist monastery in Thailand. The meditation method we practised there is called Vipassana,which means insight or mindful.During my last 4 or 5 days of the retreat, I did feel some difference occured to my mind,the feeling is somehow similar to the feeling of taking psychedelic substance,but much sober and long lasting. If you are meditating in a correct way, it will definitely reconstruct your mind........



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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The preprint fulltext pdf is here. If the final version is wanted, say so.

mindfulnesswa.com.au/Holzel_etal_PsychResNeuroim_inpress%5B1%5D.pdf
edit on 24-1-2011 by jjjtir because: removed redundant link, ScienceDaily has it



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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Great post.

To add to what has been said all ready I like to share something called frontal lobe popping. I'm half way through an ebook at the moment called 'the frontal lobes supercharge' by Neil Slade. He shares a technique that focuses your awareness forward into the frontal lobes which is the part of the brain responsible for creativity, intuition, intelligence and cooperation. After only a couple of days I've had some great results.


Here is the PDF file if anyone is interested: The Frontal Lobes Supercharge
edit on 24-1-2011 by Namaste1001 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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I've always wanted to meditate... Is it something that can be learned on one's own? Any book suggestions?





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