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  #1  
Old November 26th, 2011, 08:00 AM
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Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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On Monday, I wrote an article for the Globe's g Health section detailing the many ways that cultivating mindfulness can make you happier and improve your health. That's the practice of being fully engaged in the moment -- whether you're washing dishes or staring at the traffic light in front of you -- rather than allowing your mind to wander.

I discussed a recent Massachusetts General Hospital study, which found that taking an 8-week class in mindfulness mediation could actually lead to changes in the brain. I also mentioned a Harvard study published in the journal Science that discovered that we're most unhappy when our minds are distracted and not focused on the task at hand.

I received a slew of positive e-mails and comments on this piece, with many of you asking me to provide links to the studies -- which I did above -- and more information on where to take a mindfulness class.

Here are links to institutions in the Boston area that offer mindfulness training that were mentioned in the article.

Boston Medical Center Nutrition and Weight Management Class

Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

University of Massachusetts Mindfulness Training Program

Massachusetts General Hospital Relaxation Response Resiliency Program

And watch the video below to take a virtual meditation class with renowned mindfulness practitioner Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later.
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Old November 26th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

In EC, you can sharpen your brain through Mindless Discussions
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Old November 28th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

good one atithi
if breathing was left to the conscious mind, we would all be dead..
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Old November 28th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by PeaceSeeker View Post
good one atithi
if breathing was left to the conscious mind, we would all be dead..
Good you watched it .. the video is wonderful ... this guy is a practicing medical professional at Harvard.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 05:07 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by atithivrat View Post
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I also mentioned a Harvard study published in the journal Science that discovered that we're most unhappy when our minds are distracted and not focused on the task at hand.
I always get confused with this. If we are at a redlight (just an example), instead of being alert about it, if we meditate on something else, how is that going to help?
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Old November 28th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
I always get confused with this. If we are at a redlight (just an example), instead of being alert about it, if we meditate on something else, how is that going to help?
meditate does not mean concentrate ... it is not "about" something. It is concerned with being in the present moment (not in the past nor in the future).

Mostly when people are driving, they are not exactly present. They are being ruled by whatever thoughts their mind is diverting their awareness to ...

So you are right, one needs to be alert to the present moment. How it is achieved is with meditation ... one practices being alert with simple meditation and then tries to keep oneself present on a moment-to-moment basis
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Old November 29th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by atithivrat View Post
meditate does not mean concentrate ... it is not "about" something. It is concerned with being in the present moment (not in the past nor in the future).

Mostly when people are driving, they are not exactly present. They are being ruled by whatever thoughts their mind is diverting their awareness to ...

So you are right, one needs to be alert to the present moment. How it is achieved is with meditation ... one practices being alert with simple meditation and then tries to keep oneself present on a moment-to-moment basis
But really... is living in the present moment all that great as it is claimed to be For example, take this driving thing. If I do not divert my mind and focus just on driving... it seems my home is a long way to go. But if I let my mind wander... and think of a Aish here and a Aish there... home arrives and I do not even remember how I drove to it.

I would rather let me mind wander... and imagine things impossible to achieve... then live in the present... and be sad at my situation
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Old November 29th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by atithivrat View Post
meditate does not mean concentrate ... it is not "about" something. It is concerned with being in the present moment (not in the past nor in the future).

Mostly when people are driving, they are not exactly present. They are being ruled by whatever thoughts their mind is diverting their awareness to ...

So you are right, one needs to be alert to the present moment. How it is achieved is with meditation ... one practices being alert with simple meditation and then tries to keep oneself present on a moment-to-moment basis
Are you landyabhai?

Its difficult to stay in the present unless we make a conscious effort to stay so. Like, we have to let go of the fact that the light will change to green irrespective of whether we stay in the moment or not. More importantly what happens after we train our mind to stay in the moment? What do I expect?
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Old November 29th, 2011, 03:45 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by Sane Less View Post
But really... is living in the present moment all that great as it is claimed to be For example, take this driving thing. If I do not divert my mind and focus just on driving... it seems my home is a long way to go. But if I let my mind wander... and think of a Aish here and a Aish there... home arrives and I do not even remember how I drove to it.

I would rather let me mind wander... and imagine things impossible to achieve... then live in the present... and be sad at my situation
So you are saying drivers should be careless about what they are doing in the present moment? What about road rage, isn't that a perfect example of folks causing problems to others just because suddenly their mind took them up on a ride to hell.

Being in the present moment is the most natural thing to be, it is only due to habitual wanderings of the mind that one cannot be in peace with oneself. Suddenly a person with an elated mind feels happy (may be because they acquired some long sought desire or object), and then maybe later it is feeling depressed due to something else. Being in the present is the only moment we can all live in. There is no past and no future. Past is a chronology of events that cannot be changed and needs the same present moment with a notion of the experiencer that identifies with those series of events as his life, when in reality, life is lived moment to moment. We tie ourselves with the notion of causality among these events with a common denominator which is our I.
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Old November 29th, 2011, 05:16 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
Are you landyabhai?

Its difficult to stay in the present unless we make a conscious effort to stay so. Like, we have to let go of the fact that the light will change to green irrespective of whether we stay in the moment or not. More importantly what happens after we train our mind to stay in the moment? What do I expect?
No I am not landyaji.

it is the expectation that is causing the mind to shuttle back and forth between past and future.

Somebody once told me that life is not in our hands and the same applies to death. What we have is a moment and only a moment to live. How we live it is in our hands which means we either live in dreams (which is our minds) or outside it which is reality.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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good one atithi
if breathing was left to the conscious mind, we would all be dead..

So when somebody dies, the "un-conscious" mind ends ?
Is it really a part of you that is responsible for "breathing"?
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Old November 30th, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

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Originally Posted by krantikari View Post
So when somebody dies, the "un-conscious" mind ends ?
just as the unconscious mind make us careless in our living moment, the same happens in the moments of dying ... life as such continues from eternity to eternity ... birth and death are events across this infinite timeline ... from our perspective, we consider life as a string of moments that start at birth and end at death ... So if you are not taken to fancy by your mind at any moment, in the events that you experience, be it in life or in death, then the only thing that dies is the unconsciousness (which dies long before death) ... you get to take your true self, your conscious self across this eternity

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Originally Posted by krantikari View Post
Is it really a part of you that is responsible for "breathing"?
when you talk about responsibility, technically nothing is in our hands, even though there may be yogis, who can control their breath to one in five minutes ... In an unconscious state, our breathing pattern is heavily dependent upon the mental assessment of any situation from the perspective that is perceived as an "I" which is a pseudo "I". People tie events, objects, and other things to their notion of "I". Sometimes, this "I" does not want to live in the absence of these things and it is this desire that causes one to reduce their lifetime. There are others who have a strong faith in themselves and a will to live under all odds, such fearless folks will not be succumbed to ordinary ideas of building an "I" based on worldly possessions and identities. Such person can stand in the middle of a war with may be a million arrows and still survive.

So although the breathing mechanism is nature ordained, how we control it to our advantage is based on one's mental strength and awareness.

Last edited by atithivrat; November 30th, 2011 at 12:56 PM.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

Arre yaar....Issko koi Landya ke ghar bhej do.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

Carry on Bhai,atleast let me gain something if others dont care.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atithivrat View Post
just as the unconscious mind make us careless in our living moment, the same happens in the moments of dying ... life as such continues from eternity to eternity ... birth and death are events across this infinite timeline ... from our perspective, we consider life as a string of moments that start at birth and end at death ... So if you are not taken to fancy by your mind at any moment, in the events that you experience, be it in life or in death, then the only thing that dies is the unconsciousness (which dies long before death) ... you get to take your true self, your conscious self across this eternity



when you talk about responsibility, technically nothing is in our hands, even though there may be yogis, who can control their breath to one in five minutes ... In an unconscious state, our breathing pattern is heavily dependent upon the mental assessment of any situation from the perspective that is perceived as an "I" which is a pseudo "I". People tie events, objects, and other things to their notion of "I". Sometimes, this "I" does not want to live in the absence of these things and it is this desire that causes one to reduce their lifetime. There are others who have a strong faith in themselves and a will to live under all odds, such fearless folks will not be succumbed to ordinary ideas of building an "I" based on worldly possessions and identities. Such person can stand in the middle of a war with may be a million arrows and still survive.

So although the breathing mechanism is nature ordained, how we control it to our advantage is based on one's mental strength and awareness.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 02:07 PM
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Re: Change your brain through mindfulness meditation

I was introduced to 'Heartfulness meditation' recently where the person told that it is a process of turning off the mind to cleanse it and giving it rest.

Now, i can tell (only in EC) that my way of 'turning off the mind' would be to drink and watch mindless movies like 'Hadh Kar di aapne', Dulhe Raja', 'Insaniyat ke Dushman', etc.

Looks a bit unlikely but is anyone in EC into any sort of meditation? What is the experience on that.
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