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

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posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by GypsK
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?


Great find. I have found many changes in my own physical system due to meditation.

1) Reduced stress. This seems obvious but the actual experience of it is different from reading about it. It feels like being at peace quite often. Mood swings are very limited. It seems like you are 'on a cloud' sometimes. This feeling is intense during meditation and you carry it with you to a lesser degree all the time afterwards. You don't get mood swings or erratic emotions. This is hard to describe since most don't recognize they do this already. This is sort of a hindsight experience.

2) Increased health and vitality. This was particularly interesting for me since I am an athlete and have always been healthy and health conscious. Even still my health improved. I originally started meditation/visualization exercises to improve my performance. I don't know the cause/effect here but it is possible that increased mindfulness of the body/mind relationship has a positive health effect. This could be a psychological phenomenon where subconsciously you now choose healthier 'options' whatever that may be. The bottom line is I have been healthier.

3) I have felt a greater connection to everything. Other people, family, and especially nature. This I believe is from the mindfulness you achieve during meditation. I must again state that the meditation exercise is one thing, but you carry a small portion of that with you all day afterward.

4) My diet changed completely. I don't expect everyone to have this happen. I personally started meditation to increase performance and overall health. I think it is precisely because this was my goal this happened. I became a vegetarian overnight (virtually). I had no withdrawals, no cravings, no issues making the change. The idea had been in my head to just try it for a month as a test to see what changes I would notice. I liked it so much that I decided to add another 30 days to the test. After that I never went back and I feel 100% better than I ever have. This is separate from the increased health of meditation as this was later on. Probably about 6months after I began meditating.

5) Performance went way up. I like to use Olympic weightlifting techniques (Dead-Lift) for my overall strength exercises. Using visualization (a meditation technique) I was able to completely blast right through my previous plateaus. Visualization is possibly the greatest technique out there. I would go so far as to say that MOST of the Olympians use this technique. It has helped me in numerous ways but I have just listed the one example for brevity.

6) Unbelievable spiritual experiences. I can't begin to describe this without feeling like I should have a robe and sandals on. I will just say that your perceptions of reality WILL change. You will have thoughts that you never had before in a good way. You will be able to more easily deal with complex problems in your life including difficult people. You gain more compassion and empathy. On and on.... I think this list for number 6 would be by far the longest if I listed everything here. I will just say that this subject would change in profound ways for you no matter what your religion is. I propose that your faith would gain in strength if you are a supporter of a religion which is truly compassionate.

7) Work performance improved. I am an Engineer by trade. My focus has increased a great deal and I have noticed the greatest jump in my problem solving abilities. There is a particular level of focus during meditation where problem solving seems unbelievably easy. You have thoughts that are brilliant and almost seem like they didn't come from you. Hard to explain but try it.

I'm sure there is much more I am failing to list as benefits. The only negative is really a positive....the time involved. Really it only takes about 20 min and when you are in the zone it flys by. There is some weird effect that changing you conscious focus has on perception of time. When was the last time you took 20min to yourself without some sort of techno gadget?

I have also noticed a phenomenon that I am compelled to investigate further. I have noticed that in some way we control our own reality to a certain degree. There is some combination of level of focus, conscious intent, and emotional intensity which allows our personal realities to change toward what we want. I have also noticed that the subconscious plays a large part in this. Perhaps meditation is a way of speaking to the subconscious which allows for these changes. I definitely KNOW this is a real effect I just don't know how it works just yet but I feel like I'm zoning in on it. This is one things that can make a huge impact for anyone here.

Try it a see what difference it can make for you.




posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by guyopitz
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.


My god this describes me to a 'T.' Especially the first part. I've recently taken up Tai Chi, I'll have to look into Qi Gong. Thanks for sharing, and for anyone else suffering through this miserable materialistic Capitalist crap existence, you're not alone. Changes are coming, and those who are in total comfort now will face the karma for their lifestyles.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by DocEmrick
 


I understand where you are coming from but I feel your attitude will change. When you achieve piece of mind you will no longer care about the fate of others in the way you do now. Judgement and Karma upon others is not in our hands and not relevant to our growth experience. In the end you will likely come to focus on your own evolvement and not be concerned about other people receiving their due for wrong choices.

This will greatly reduce your stress in itself.

You may like Qigong as well. Many people do. Great for health and the joints. Solitary mediatation I feel is better for stress relief however due to focused mindfulness. In Qigong the technique can become a distraction from mindfulness. I take nothing away from Qigong it is great but find a technique which fits your goals.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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Good post!

I'll save it for later.
Thanks



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by BIGMOUTHSTRIKESAGAIN
reply to post by GypsK
 


I am so glad you posted this as by strange coincidence I have recently had several conversations with different friends about the changes I've noticed since I began to increase the time I meditate each day. Whereas before, I meditated for no longer than 15-20mins, I now meditate every morning for at least an hour whilst I read the Dailies on-line.



You READ while meditating...? How can you meditate while your brain is taking in world news ?



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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I love to meditate! I have been doing it since I was like 14 just to relieve stress. I don't understand why people put so much emphasis on how to do it or trying to learn how, I can't imagine that everyone meditates the same way. For me I close my eyes and try to keep my mind clear and just relaxe. Meditation makes me feel less stressed its like I gave my mind a break from all the drama in my life and that surrounds me..



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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My partner learnt Reiki a while back and does it on himself. It's a form of mediatation in its own way and it has really calmed his temperament down and has made him far less quick to get annoyed or stressed. He spontaneously gave up eating meat not long after getting into it and alcohol was another thing he began to feel distaste for.

I'm wondering how you all deal with outside noise when meditating. Even with windows shut here in the quietest part of the house I would be able to hear the quiet rush of cars driving by now and then, a door slamming next door, a voice outside etc. How do you tune this out ? Do you wear ear plugs if not listening to a guided mediation ?
edit on 25/1/11 by cosmicpixie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Coopdog


I am now tickling this kundalini energy that people talk about. It has not been an entirely positive experience for me as I have not done as my soul is demanding and cleaned up the vessel. I feel I still got some base work to do, and I am working continually in that direction. Good luck on your quest. I meditate on healing the earth and other people. I would be glad to share the visualization process in more detail if you are interested.

Peace...


The Chi energy and Kundalini energies are very similar. However, from various sources I read, Kundalini energy is associated with the overwhelming energy sensation you first experienced from your bottom of the spine and to your crown. Kundalini energy also falls within the subset of the overall meaning of Chi. If you have been feeling the Chi energy, you are more or less dealing with the Kundalini energy as well.

This is a good point that the Kundalini energy will work itself through your chakras regardless you like it or not. If you have a lot of negativity in you, it will force or flush them out. This is far from what people called it blissful. It was blissful when you first felt the energy. However, it becomes a problem when it tries to cleans your chakras system even when you don't want to. For an example, you may want to one thing in your waking life but in your dream it is showing you something else in complete opposite and you become very disturbed by it throughout the whole day.

BTW, has anyone sorted out why one would hear consistent popping and clicking sounds during meditation? It has been annoying me for a while. I don't normally hear them when I meditate early in the morning after couple of hours of sleep.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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OH meditation!!!!
As many have said, meditation will bring something completely new and healthy and wonderful into your life. It's such a simple thing to do. But, the more you practice, the more you can discover.
I've been meditating before and gotten to the point where I saw what can be compared to the entoptic phenomenon of lsd or mushrooms. The colors, shapes, ebb and flow, tessellations. It was the most surprising and awesome thing, although it lasted only a split second, I got so excited that it happened that I lost my meditative mindset and it went away.

It's very interesting to look into things like remote viewing and astral projection as well. Meditation seems to help me quite a bit with dream recall and experience (turning more dreams positive and meaningful).
I tried astral projection from a meditative state but notice my shoulders and feet and legs lifting off of the bed, almost as if floating but my butt was the anchor to the bed. I couldn't separate from my physical body at the time, I think, and it didn't quite work, but was extraordinary.

I mean only to share these meditation experiences, as I think more of us have very interesting and supernatural things in common than we think.

Meditation is wonderful and so helpful. It truly can help heal people, bring about positive change in your life and anything else really. Mostly the best part for me is a clarity of my mind body and soul, so unifying.

Awesome thread!!!
edit on 25-1-2011 by skylightsintheillions because: spelling



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by cosmicpixie

I'm wondering how you all deal with outside noise when meditating. Even with windows shut here in the quietest part of the house I would be able to hear the quiet rush of cars driving by now and then, a door slamming next door, a voice outside etc. How do you tune this out ? Do you wear ear plugs if not listening to a guided mediation ?
edit on 25/1/11 by cosmicpixie because: (no reason given)


I focused the internal humming sound I hear.....



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by cosmicpixie
 


Easiest way is to use large earphones. You can play classical or meditation music which is predictable and non-jarring. Eventually you can reach the zone where you do not have any outside stimuli...you just wont hear it unless it is actually important to hear it such as a danger moment etc..

Hemi-sync cds are a favorite of mine. You can get into the zone 10 times faster and it pretty much sounds like crashing waves in the one I listen to.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by Spirit Warrior 11:11
 


What about earplugs? I've slept with earplugs for over 6 years now. I think my ears may be overly sensitive to noise. It's like an addiction. I can't imagine sleeping without them. I guess the same goes for meditating. I've heard that it's "cheating" though.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by strato
 


i don't think anyone could rightfully call someone else's way of meditating cheating. It seems to me only a person can decide if the way they meditate is what their spirit is seeking.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by strato
 


Do whatever works especially in the beginning. Eventually you won't need any aids.
Hemi-sync music has the added benefit for beginners because it patterns your brainwaves for you and you gain a sort of 'muscle memory effect' from that in such a way that you can duplicate it yourself without using it after some exposure to the levels.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by Hawkwind.
Is meditation possible for those people with a short attention span and if so any tips to make it easier? (in other words, if someone finds it boring when trying it is there a way to combat the boredom phase? I believe that once past that phase there would not be a problem getting into the habit of not being bored as you would be past that point)

Not sure if that made total sense but a tip or two would be appreciated, there are many corridors of the brain to discover


Sit down in a nice stable possition, look for zazen possition if you want some imagination. Hold your hands infront of you preferebly together in some way, this all ofcourse is not a requirment for meditation but this way your body takes on a nice form and everything is rested. First months I would suggest you simply follow your breath conciously as if you were looking at it. Listen to it, be concious while breathing and stare at the ground before you, eyes rested but open. This you should do everyday 2 times a day and in a few weeks you will start to notice changes. meditation will give you patience, concentration(this particular exersize), and mental rest.

If you are truely devoted to peace and the search for god you will try to observe your breath even in daily matters for instance on the bus or when you have nothing to do. Do not worry about the outside world and how people perhaps will find it strange that you are observing one spot as if in a trance, many people are scared of these judgments but know that this world is not real don't mind the other people don't mind the physical simply be in yourself and concetrate. This is good for concentration after this you should read about self-realization if you wish to find god, if however your goal is simply to be concentrated then this should be enough.

Follow your breath without effort without strain simply mind your breath and let your body relax, you might find it difficult in the beginning to even sit for 10 minutes but I promise the grace of god will iron everything out, and one day you will wake up with a silent mind and a happy heart.

Good luck



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by The Djin
reply to post by colloredbrothers
 





People should all seek for God all the time, for man holds on to the physical as long as he can, and when the physical betrays him so deeply only then does he look for God.

I'm a novice at meditation, so is there a particular god that you have in mind or will anyone do ?


God is only one. Concepts of god are many because as many perceptions there are so many gods will there be, the one true god cannot be spoken of because every box you will try to define him in will only limit who he truely is. words are arrows to objects be them feelings or situations or what have you. Just as words are simply an arrow to god, do not let yourself be deceived by words which you dont like, look beyond the words and see that they all point to the same being, to life, to the universe to your true essence.

The only thing you need is a will to be at peace, it doesn't matter how long you meditate, if the will is there god will help you but as long as you are arrogant and have a mind of this world you will not enter. You can serve only one, either you choose the physical world and believe in death and suffering or you believe in the infite creator of which you cannot escape. No escape of your true nature is possible, delusion of your nature however is an act of freewil this life will perhaps not bring you true reality and god but in the end the inevitable surrender in god will happen be it in a 100 lives or a milion one can only escape his nature for so long. Inevitably once you are destroyed inside and realize that you know absolutly nothing will you turn with innoncent eyes upon the creator and see him but in your delusion you will see nothing.

One thing you have to understand, you are absolutly responsible for yourself for what you think and for what you beleive. Do not be tempted by the Kali Yuga, look at it and you will see this world of ours has no truth only illusion. The very reason why man has turned to such dark times is because he has lost god, he is too busy looking at the window sweeper while the road is in front of him. the road is never gone but one simply is unable to see it. Meditate and calm your mind, in the restfulness of you mind you will start to see the road, your mind is full of window sweepers which keep you from seeing the road. Focus on the road and you will see that nothing but the road has ever existed, no window sweepers were there they were all in your mind.
edit on 25-1-2011 by colloredbrothers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:51 PM
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Hey everyone, great thread OP.

I try to meditate every night but its not always successful. I used binaural beats once and I had a terrible headache the next day.

Is that normal? I felt a little bit 'off' for the entire next day. I've been meaning to try the beats again but haven't got around to it.

Any insights into this?

Thanks everyone



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by NeverAcquiesce
 


No its not normal. I 'assume' you got the binaural beat from the internet. Likely some personal creation from the software available. I have this software as well. It does not work well and CAN give you a headache.

I recommended a hemi-sync cd over that 100 times. They are proven and tested by many.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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ETA: question answered
edit on 25-1-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by NeverAcquiesce
Hey everyone, great thread OP.

I try to meditate every night but its not always successful. I used binaural beats once and I had a terrible headache the next day.

Is that normal? I felt a little bit 'off' for the entire next day. I've been meaning to try the beats again but haven't got around to it.

Any insights into this?

Thanks everyone


Maybe the headache results from trying too hard or maybe the beats simply don't serve you. Mediation is not a doing it is a being remember that. Simply follow your breath consciously, breath in.... breath out... Do this with open but resful eyes. Untill silence will become apperent to you if it comes (don't look for it) simply abide in it. Don't look for the silence because that imply's doing. being concious of your breath is not a doing you simply look at it as it naturally go's into your body and out a mere observer of the cycle of life.





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