The Benefits Of Meditation For Health

What is meditation?

Meditation is a form of spiritual practice. Many religions and denominations know the meditation in one form or another.

In the 20th century, originated in western renewed interest in meditation and consciousness expansion. Meditation is now known in Hinduism and Buddhism, where meditation is an essential method to achieve the objectives they describe.

 Meditation is a form of spiritual practice The Benefits Of Meditation For Health

Types of meditation

Meditation refers to a wide spectrum of spiritual exercises. The word comes from the Latin word meditatio, which in turn is derived from the verb "meditari" to think, ponder means. A distinction can be made between contemplation, concentration and meditation vipassanameditatie. Within these three types are many variations.

In Christianity with meditation often meant contemplation. Contemplation is the consideration of a text from the Bible or an event in the life of Jesus, making them text or event acquires meaning and is internalized. Examples are the temptations of Jesus in the desert, or the suffering of Christ. Often, this form of meditation is associated with a form of devotion.

Meditation is in the Western tradition also ponder over something like Descartes his work called Meditations: deeper thinking about something, about mendasar questions or problems.

Concentration Meditation
In concentration meditation, the attention is focused on an object, image or sound, for example (a) god, a candle flame, respiratory, or elements from nature.

This form of meditation has an object-oriented object phase and a free phase

Object-oriented meditation
Object-oriented meditation involves focusing the attention on one point. After some practice, it is discovered that the attention is not so easily distracted by impulses from the outside or from within. This is called the one-pointed making the attention. Forms of such object-oriented forms of meditation include transcendental meditation and centering prayer.

Object Free meditation
After the one-pointed become the focus of attention is the intention that the object is created, and that relaxes completely free meditation. This is also the return of the consideration referred to "the source". At that time expires the distinction between an object "and" the whole "everything melts together into one. In other words, the difference between the observed and the observer disappears.

Free meditation object is not focused on an object or figure, nor an object in the form of a thought or feeling. Freedom of objects - the meditative state - occurs naturally, when attention or focus relaxes completely.

Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation (TM) differs from contemplation and concentration, in the sense that it does not focus on the level of meaning, as in contemplation, but also uses no concentration. Often, attention is directed to a vehicle effortlessly, a sound that makes the mind naturally turn inward. That eventually leads to turn into a transcending, transcending even the slightest thought of activity, hence the name Transcendental Meditation. This inward turning of the mind has a parallel effect in the body, which is undergoing deep relaxation. Transcendental Meditation was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Vipassana meditation
In Vipassana meditation attention is not concentrated at one point, but the spirit is properly trained to be aware of all the changes that occur in body and mind. This one becomes aware of the changing nature of reality. In the context of Buddhist practice called this form Vipassana meditation. When it is removed from the original Buddhist context (eg. For therapeutic use), there is mindfulness.

In Vipassana meditation is an awareness of all emerging thoughts and emotions, but leaves them no longer ignore them. They attach no importance to it and looks distant, as if they belong to somebody else, or as a cloud passing floats in a clear sky. Jiddu Krishnamurti calls this meditative setting "choiceless awareness."

Meditation and brain functions

From the standpoint of neuroscience, meditation can be seen as a series of exercises which someone gets control of his own brain processes. Research on the brain activity (EEG) from experienced practitioners of meditation shows that meditation during regular high-frequency synchronous waves in the EEG act called gamma waves. Gamma-waves appear to be produced by specific inter-neurons in the cerebral cortex which quickly fires and have short connections with other nerve cells.

There are four centers of the brain involved in meditation:
  • Superior frontal sulcus and the intraparietal sulcus: the focus of attention
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: register or disappears attention
  • Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex: it creates thoughts do not go after every stimulus and inhibits anxiety and pain centers
  • Visual cortex: the focus, for example, connects with an image

Meditation and Psychotherapy

Western therapy and Eastern spirituality
There are therapists who pursue an integration of Western psychotherapy and Eastern spirituality: the Diamond Approach of AH Almaas, quantum consciousness approach of Stephen Wolinsky, are the orientation of Hans Knibbe, and several therapists who give a specific name to their approach.

Medical use of mindfulness
Meditation exercises are also increasingly used as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Especially in the form of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), translated into Dutch by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. The effect of an eight-week pembinaan as relapse prevention for people with recurrent depression is good. After attending the pembinaan appears at a post-test after 60 weeks that the course participants had less depression (approx. 45%) than the control group. At other psychological problems helps MBCT although there is still much research to be undertaken to underpin its usefulness scientifically.

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