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-   -   I'm curious what you think of meditation or your own experiences (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=2300)

jammieg May20-03 10:33 PM

I'm curious what you think of meditation or your own experiences
 
I'm curious what you think of meditation or your own experiences.

There is this thing called the relaxation response, when a person meditates regularly it's supposed to equip them with a kind of tool to prevent the flight or fight response, assuming in modern day society this response is typically not practical. Also, the adrenaline response is a stress response experienced many times throughout the day in small doses, stress is linked to heart disease and some other things but the point is it is detrimental and could partly cause many ailments- that is still up for debate.
In my own experience 30 minutes of meditation a day or every other day aids clarity of thought and action, it puts one more in control, and makes one more aware. I've had a few lucid dream states that resulted in euphoria the likes of eating a giant chocolate bar, only instantly. Another wierd thing I picked up from meditation is a trick or aid to remembering to do certain things at a certain time of day, simply by visualizing doing those things at that time, oddly it works 90% of the time as opposed to 10% of the time just saying to myself, "don't forget to send off the bills". How powerful is visualization and what is the relationship to meditaion?

LogicalAtheist May20-03 10:48 PM

You posted this in the wrong section.

MOD: Please move to the pseduo-science forum!

Zero May20-03 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
You posted this in the wrong section.

MOD: Please move to the pseduo-science forum!

Well, thank you Mr Fancy Pants...


Besides, this goes to Other Sciences.

selfAdjoint May21-03 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
You posted this in the wrong section.

MOD: Please move to the pseduo-science forum!

Don't be so quick off the mark. The relaxation response is genuine science, reported on in mainstream peer reviewed journals and all. There's no magic about it, it's just physiology.

Lonewolf May21-03 05:01 PM

I heard scientists have found the location of happiness in the brain. I can't remember where it was exactly. Apparently Buddhist's brains are highly active in this area, and that their meditation is the cause of this. Has anyone got any info on this, or is it just a hoax?

LogicalAtheist May21-03 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by selfAdjoint, regarding meditation.

There's no magic about it, it's just physiology.

Congratulations.

This little tiny four word statement "Meditation is just physiology" corrects the mistakes of a mass of people who have an emotional need to believe otherwise.

Not only could I have not said this better myself, but I do not believe anyone could have said this better.

Well done.

damgo May21-03 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Lonewolf
I heard scientists have found the location of happiness in the brain. I can't remember where it was exactly. Apparently Buddhist's brains are highly active in this area, and that their meditation is the cause of this. Has anyone got any info on this, or is it just a hoax?
Ha! It's probably legit, but that's an overblown claim... there are various regions in the brain linked to pleasure, happiness, mood, etc, but how they work and interrelate is complex and far from understood.

The most commonly mentioned area for pleasure/reward is the nucleus accumbens, part of the ventral striatum. Dopaminergic neurons there are highly linked to reward and pleasure, as are connected neurons in ventral tegemental area. Certain types of pleasure, notably sexual pleasure, are linked to another brain area, the periaqueductal gray. Endogenous opioids and the neurotransmitter serotonin have also been strongly linked to happiness/mood, but I don't know if any specific areas have been implicates with these.

Many abused drugs act via one of these neurotransmitters -- eg cocaine functions by imitating dopamine in the brain, heroin by imitating endogenous opioids.

LogicalAtheist May21-03 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Lonewolf
I heard scientists have found the location of happiness in the brain. I can't remember where it was exactly. Apparently Buddhist's brains are highly active in this area, and that their meditation is the cause of this. Has anyone got any info on this, or is it just a hoax?
Of course it's a hoax. There's no such thing, electrochemically, as happiness. It's just plain a hoax, and one (like myself) who knows about the brain (even half as much as I do) would know it.

Based on what you're saying, I would bet their was some buddhist agenda behind this.

damgo May22-03 01:56 PM

^^^ That's inaccurate, LA.

I have seen studies (using fMRI or PET usually) that show higher activity in the temporal lobes during meditation, and in areas believed to be involved in spatial orientation. Have seen no studies on regions implicated in mood, but that doesn't mean much; I don't follow the area very closely.

LogicalAtheist May22-03 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by damgo
^^^ That's inaccurate, LA.

I have seen studies (using fMRI or PET usually) that show higher activity in the temporal lobes during meditation, and in areas believed to be involved in spatial orientation. Have seen no studies on regions implicated in mood, but that doesn't mean much; I don't follow the area very closely.


1. What I said isn't incorrect.
2. Your response has nothing at all to do with what I said. It doesn't contradict what I said; it's a completely and totally different statement all together.
3. The two have nothing to do with eachother at all.
4. What I said isn't incorrect.

Lonewolf May22-03 02:11 PM

It's worth mentioning that I may have been slack in terminology when I said happiness...

Hurkyl May22-03 02:49 PM

Argumentum ad nauseum is a fallacy. Argumentum ad nauseum is a fallacy. Argumentum ad nauseum is a fallacy. If you still don't get it, just remember argumentum ad nauseum is a fallacy.

jammieg May22-03 06:45 PM

What does that mean Hurkyl? Arguing without knowing the facts?
Has anyone here ever actually practiced meditation?

damgo May22-03 08:26 PM

I haven't, though I've had a lot of people tell me it's very helpful -- however I'm not a very stressed person naturally, so...

Here's the article I think Lonewolf was referring to --

Meditation Shown to Light Up Brains of Buddhists
Reuters 5/22/03 - Buddhists really are happy, calm and serene people -- at least according to their brain scans....
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...n_buddhists_dc

Ivan Seeking May23-03 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by jammieg
What does that mean Hurkyl? Arguing without knowing the facts?
Has anyone here ever actually practiced meditation?

I meditated for about two years. This was done with an ulterior motive as discussed in the following PS section:

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...&threadid=1832

-a true story of a very intense experience induced by this practice. I want to stress here that I make no claims of anything supernatural. I just relate the episode as experienced.

I don't know much about the different philosophies of meditation, but the one that I used is common and easy to learn. The challenge is to focus completely on one thought. This is very difficult to do at first for more than a few seconds. With time this skill improves. I definitely felt this translated into other areas of my life. Whether or not this generally produced happiness or a sense of well being I really couldn’t say…it has been too long. I quit the practice for the reasons discussed in the link.

Lonewolf May23-03 04:24 AM

Thanks Damgo. That was precisely what I was referring to.:smile:

Hurkyl May23-03 05:39 PM

Argumentum ad nauseum = proof by repetition.

It's when one argues by reiterating their point instead of providing evidence for it or evidence against the counterpoint

jammieg May23-03 05:56 PM

Ivan Seeking, I agree that one can't really say with scientific certainty that it is a real good thing to practice, only what they experienced, this is one of those things that is better to try and experience . I don't meditate so much anymore, but when I do I like to focus only on breathing and letting images "pop up" without judgement or response like a sponge. I have found that after a bit of practice images sometimes will come up that are so crystal clear as to sometimes startle me out of relaxation, it's a bizarre feeling at first much like having a lucid dream. I believe most people can learn to do this, but why? I don't know, but it's fun every once in awhile.


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