Author Topic: Meditation  (Read 380 times)

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Offline mrandredparis

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Meditation
« on: July 09, 2019, 01:17:45 PM »
Hey Everyone

  Maybe I can get your two cents on this but recently my psychiatrist recommended I take up meditation again because it's free and doing the reverse  --- thinking about your problems makes thinkings worse, whereas taking a breath and focusing on the present could actually make you feel better.  Steve wrote an article about how meditation is no better than watching TV and Coyne has said it's nothing more than a ritualized placebo with mountains of studies backing it up.  Other than exercise I don't see any alternatives to meditation except maybe CBT.  What do you thnk?

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 01:58:31 PM »
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) is almost certainly more effective at treating actual issues and seems to have significant scientific report.

Assuming you're being treated for depression, a big assumption on my part, why not exercise instead of meditation?  I'm pretty sure exercise has better support. 

But, don't let me second case your doctor, that would be irresponsible of both of us. 

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 05:57:53 PM »
I'd recommend it.  A while back, I went on a meditation kick.  "It'll make you 10% happier," etc.

I think the spirituality is extraneous.  They're basically exercise and conditioning.  Bunch of different ones you can do. 

Here's the one I did:
  • Breathing Meditation (can't remember the name of this one):
    • (1) Continually redirect attention to breath.  (2) The objective is improved resilience to wandering attention and emotion.
      • 1. The protocol entails continually redirecting your continually wandering attention from distractions to breath.  When you experience a distraction, which you will (constantly), you just non-judgmentally acknowledge the distraction and calmly point attention back at breath.  That's the only action you perform.  You're not trying to keep a stranglehold on the full breadth of attention, you're not trying to keep it all forced on breath or anything else.  Those are all separate actions.  You're not thinking about the past or future, about boredom or bodily sensations.  You're just calmly, peacefully co-existing with the present moment and making your attentional-control faculty do push-ups.
      • 2. The operating concept is that attention fuels response.  On reflex, your brain gives attention to stimulus.  Since attention fuels response, negative stimulus can reflexively elicit negative responses: anger, anxiety, stress, etc.  You're conditioning against this reflex.  The wiring you strengthen here is the same wiring a road-rager uses to deliberately not react to getting cut off, a food addict uses to deliberately not get swept up in a rising impulse to binge eat, etc. 

I put it in the same category as like, cardio and stretching.  Take something you can already do then do it in a structured and deliberate fashion so that you can do it better. 
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 07:33:49 PM »
Where does guided meditation fall? The mostly passive variety where you just listen? Relaxes the hell out of me. Easy and gets straight to the point. Have used it to good effect in periods of difficult stress. For me anxiety leads to depression and I don't want to go there. Have no interest in regular meditation, though.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 07:40:54 PM »
I like what you wrote.  I will add that, as someone who has struggled with anxiety, I find that practicing refocusing my attention and thoughts when I am not anxious makes a noticeable difference in my ability to do it when I am.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 09:03:04 PM »
I've found mindfulness meditation to be helpful when I have insomnia due to anxiety, but really it's a hard thing to study properly and as Steve suggests, there isn't a great deal of reliable evidence for its efficacy. I'd say try it, but don't expect it to be a panacea. It costs you nothing but a little bit of time. There's a lot of woo in the field, but there are also some good resources outlining techniques and methods to find if you search for them.
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 06:54:07 AM »
I practice the same as SoF above.  Sometimes I listen to guided programs which help focus on one thing or another that I might be working on at the time.  Sometimes it's just a timer.


I do about 10-20 minutes.  Before work, sitting in my car before my commute.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 03:55:55 PM »
I thought that what Steve said is that meditation is no better than other forms of relaxation, but that relaxation is definitely beneficial. I don't meditate because I lack the patience for it, but I do think it's a good thing. My personal go-to remedy for depression, anxiety, etc., is aerobic exercise. It's good for insomnia also. If you can find a cardio workout that's enjoyable enough that you'll do it regularly, or if you have the discipline to do it even when it's not, that's always my recommendation.

Meditation can't hurt you though, so I'd say give it a try and see if it helps. And it doesn't have to be either/or: You can meditate and do cardio.
Daniel
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 08:37:05 PM »
...a cardio workout that's enjoyable...

I'm sorry, what?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 05:46:28 PM »
...a cardio workout that's enjoyable...

I'm sorry, what?

While I lived in Spokane I spent my summers hiking in the mountains of British Columbia. It was only six weeks out of the year, but yes, extremely enjoyable. Fabulously, marvelously, spectacularly enjoyable. A couple of weeks in Sedona Arizona, hiking in the desert in the spring or fall when it was not too hot or too cold, was also wonderfully enjoyable cardio. Now my cardio is paddling. Generally once a week it's 4 hours in a kayak, and the other days (with an occasional day off) it's paddling for an hour to an hour and a half (sometimes longer in whale season) in an outrigger canoe. Also wonderfully, spectacularly, amazingly enjoyable. Hard work if you do it right, but FUN hard work!

Jogging on a treadmill in a gym is not enjoyable. Back when that was my exercise, I said that exercise was tedious, boring, hard work and I did not enjoy it in the least; but I enjoyed very much being healthy. I have been fat and in terrible shape, and I've been a healthy weight and in fairly good shape (I've never been athletic) and I can say that being healthy feels a lot better than being unhealthy.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 03:15:53 AM »
David Lynch swears that Transcendental Meditation helps with his ADHD and fuels his creativity as do many other Hollywood personalities.  So much so he created a foundation to teach it to underprivileged kids for free.  Personally I'm not willing to pay for the $900 mantra in order to find out if it works. If I did pay for it I bet I would forget it before I got any good use out of it.  >:D

Every time I think of meditating I think of this Larry David scene which makes me laugh. This has a much more positive effect on my anxiety than actual trying to meditate which like Larry I cant focus on or do correctly to begin with.

Jaya!



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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 08:00:26 AM »
TM is significantly different than mindful meditation.  There are probably a gazillion different types/styles of meditation out there, including whipping yourself with a scourge.  Most of them are wrapped up in some kind of spiritual woo bullshit.  Mindfulness meditation is the new hot thing in the press over the last couple of years as it is getting a lot of play in psychiatry circles and neuroscience research (along with LSD and psilocybin).  It at least gives up on a lot of the third eye shakra opening shit.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 10:42:40 AM »
David Lynch swears that Transcendental Meditation helps with his ADHD and fuels his creativity as do many other Hollywood personalities.  So much so he created a foundation to teach it to underprivileged kids for free.  Personally I'm not willing to pay for the $900 mantra in order to find out if it works.

Although they claimed everyone got their own personal mantra, there were apparently only a few, given at random. The system can be used just as effectively with any nonsense sound you like. Probably not with a silly word that's going to distract you. Since the idea is to empty your mind you don't want a word that means something to you. Some systems just use "ohm" or you can pick your own. No need to pay some scam guru.
Daniel
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 12:11:07 PM »
TM is significantly different than mindful meditation.  There are probably a gazillion different types/styles of meditation out there, including whipping yourself with a scourge.

Yeah.  Iirc:
  • Mantra Meditation:
    • Point attention at a repeating mantra.
    • Objective is to (1) promote a particular mental state and (2) mitigate discursive thought.
      • 1. The mantra can be anything.  You know how you can fixate and spiral on anxiety, creating hours of ill temper?  You're basically fixating and spiraling on the mantra, creating whatever you want.  If you're a sales guy, use Glengary Glen Ross quotes.  If you're into spirituality, use a Buddhist loving-kindness meditation.  Anything you can engage will work.
      • 2. The repetition chops up distraction.  If you keep attention held on the mantra, this'll happen naturally.  e.g. "This is getting kind of bor- Coca Cola Coca cola," and [Image: Shopping at the groc- [Image: Drinking Coca Cola]
And there's other types, too.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Meditation
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 12:26:04 PM »
Some systems just use "ohm" or you can pick your own.

The way I heard it explained is basically:

All perception is created by mind.  The mind interprets, creating perception. Without interpretation, there's no perception.  It's all just white noise.  It's all just *ooohhhhmmmmm*.

Hence, "Ohm is the sound the universe makes." 

And this has various tie-ins to meditative practices.  Such as how, during Mindfulness Meditation, everything is a distraction. Everything, including really baseline stuff like automatic comprehension of nearby speech.
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

 

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