I promise you that this meditation benefit is not one that is discussed in average discourse on the benefits of meditation, which is, being able to comfortably be immersed in freezing cold water for an extended period of time.
A most Uncommon Meditation Benefit
The first question has to be, why? And the second, can you really learn how to do that by meditating? In answer to the first question, according to the article, is the belief that the cold strengthens the mind and body. Also there is belief among some that the exposure to the cold may benefit the circulatory system, and lead to a quicker recovery for athletes after training, though these benefits remain controversial.
Regarding the second question, about whether a person can raise their tolerance to cold just by meditating, the quick answer is yes. The focus of this piece, Wim Hof, “may be able to exercise some influence over other body functions considered involuntary,” according to Professor Peter Pickkers of Nijmegen’s Radboud Medical University. And according to Dr. Anders Cohen, of Brooklyn Hospital Centre, it isn’t a surprise, “given the growing body of evidence that Tibetan monks who practice “Tummo” meditation have similar abilities.”ﾠ
“What he has shown is that he can with his meditation, apparently, summon it up that his cortisol rises like that.” He said the next step would be to see whether others using similar techniques can do the same. Cohen found the Nijmegen results …
Did you know that twenty percent of American lawyers’ abuse drug or alcohol or those male lawyers between the ages of 20 and 64 are twice as likely to die from suicide as their peers in other occupations? Attorneys are under constant stress, so who more in need of a little meditation? Well, as it turns out, that question has been asked and answered, and as early as 1998, when organized meditation retreats were set up for Yale law students and faculty.
I had been searching for meditating lawyers – yes, I mean meditation, not mediation – since a few days earlier when I happened to meet one in a parking lot. The woman – Barbara, a managing partner at a hedge fund – was in the throes of a merger when I …
It also turn out that stress reduction isn’t the only meditation benefit that the attorneys enjoy or that the attorneys are the only beneficiaries. Mindfulness maybe leading to greater innovations in the law, such as “collaborative law,” and “restorative justice,” an approach to criminal law, that among other things, emphasizes healing and rehabilitation.
So is a meditating lawyer an oxymoron? No, and it would seem that a new meditation benefit is, its potential to transform the law to a healing profession with the attorneys as peacemakers.
The Benefits of Meditation – the New Frontier of Neuroscience
Neuroscience has to be the number one topic related to meditation benefits this week. A research study published on line April 21st in the Brain Research Bulletin showed that a regular practice of meditation can help those who suffer from chronic pain. This seems to be happening as the result of control over specific brain waves, the alpha waves. And it’s these alpha waves that create the patterns which minimize distractions reducing the chance that other stimuli will get the meditators attention.
Meditation Benefits and Neuroscience
These types of studies have been going on for years; for example a study in 1966, showed elevated alpha rhythms throughout the brains of a group of Buddhist monks, who had a regular meditation practice. It was found during that study that it’s the different types of brain waves which regulate the flow of information between brain cells.
More recent studies in neuroscience are showing meditation affects the brain in many positive ways. It’s showing that meditation activates the pre-frontal cortex, causing the release of neurotransmitters, including brain opiates, serotonin, oxytocin and even dopamine, the body’s natural antidepressant.
Enter Dr. Richard Davidson
Dr. Richard Davidson, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, is a pioneer leading the way, for almost twenty years, using neuroscience to study meditation. Invited and encouraged by the Dalai Lama in his research on the effects on the brain of meditation, Davidson has given the chance to examine Tibetan Buddhists in his own lab.
Through his research, Dr. Davidson has discovered that monks that meditated on lovingkindness and compassion generated remarkable brain wave intensity, and that this intensely compassionate state of mind could be exercised in the same way a muscle is.
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2004, Dr. Davidson and his team found if the meditation could enhance the brain’s ability to produce emotions, it might also be used to modify or control responses like depression.
The actual research title of the Harvard and MIT, April 21st study was , “effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex,” which is the explanation that the researchers believe answers the question, why does meditation help alleviate chronic pain symptoms. So, while this MIT study has been this week’s ‘hot topic’ in neuroscience and meditation benefits, meditation, it turns out, has been on the ‘new frontier’ of neuroscience for a long time now.
Here are more post on Neuroscience and the Benefits of Meditation
Learnings from Neuroscience: Daily mindfulness meditation is recommended for all of us. Mindfulness meditation leads to structural changes in our brain (neuroplasticity). Mindfulness meditation leads us to have integration of separate …
Cured My Panic Disorder by the Neuroscience of Meditation. April 29, 2011 By: ADMIN Category: Flute. My out of body travels into exhilarating spiritual realm experience [ Articles : Main ] Sample chapter of my book entitled …
Naljorma gZa’tsal, like me, is a student in the Aro lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and has been meditating for decades. She has a background in clinical neuroscience; I have some background in basic neuroscience. …
Google Tech Talks February, 28 2008 ABSTRACT Mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation technique, has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance. Scientists have als…
Neuroscientists have discovered a specific example of how meditating can give you the ability to notice things that non-meditators can’t: When you’re concentrating on something and miss something else that should be obvious, that’s the attentional bl…
Google Tech Talk September 23, 2009 ABSTRACT Presented by Richard J. Davidson In this talk, Richard J. Davidson will explore recent scientific research on the neuroscience of positive human qualities and how they can be cultivated through contemplati…
A clip from “Joy of Living: A Public Talk” DVD, Recorded in August, 2007. In this talk based on his groundbreaking first book, The Joy of Living (Harmony Books), world-renowned Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche invites us to join him in unlock…
And Just for Fun a Few Tweets
Meditation, Neuroscience and Culture summer courses at the Brown University Contemplative Studies Summer Program see @Browncontemplat
The five strengths are instructions on how to live and how to die, and in Zen there is really no difference.
The first strength is strong determination. Strong determination involves connecting with joy, relaxing, and trusting.
Familiarization is the next strength. Familiarization means that dharma no longer foreign; your thoughts are in alignment.ﾠ
Familiarization means we don’t have to search any further than our own meditation, and we know it. The third strength is cultivating the seeds of joy, kindness, patience and wisdom. These qualities make up Buddha nature and are already in us. …
This post continues with the other three strengths and gives a more complete explanation of each of the strengths. Practicing the five strengths on a daily basis will connect you to peace, compassion and joy.
A neuroscientist, Zoran Josipovic, has been studying Tibetan Buddhist monks using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. Among the finding is that meditation increases attentional skills.
Dr. Josipovic also pointed out that research is showing that there is “an ability of the brain to change and optimize in a way we didn’t know previously was possible.”
By Matt Danzico BBC News, New York In a laboratory tucked away off a noisy New York City street, a soft-spoken neuroscientist has been placing Tibetan Buddhist monks into a car-sized brain scanner to better understand the ancient practice of meditation…
According to the research it appears that the brain is into two networks: the extrinsic network and the intrinsic, with the extrinsic network focused on the external skills and the intrinsic focused on reflections on their emotions and in themselves.
It is the ability to activate both the internal and the external networks simultaneously, that Dr. Josipovic, believes allows the monks to experience the feeling of oneness.
www.CausesOfPanic.org Get help here. Download the 3 volumes for $9.99 (3 HD movies + 3 MP3s) The ZEN Collection is a series of relaxing music, combined with stunning cinematography designed to help you relax and re-energise your mind, body and soul.ﾠ
The reason that meditation can be difficult for some, even though it is just ‘sitting there,’ is because the mind has a habit of attaching itself to its thoughts. In other words we tend to think that we are the ideas, feelings and opinions that the mind create in any given moment.
By sitting in meditation we will slowly begin to train our mind to observe our thoughts rather than attach to them.