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#409824 - 10/20/08 12:17 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: jkdwarrior]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Brain chemistry alters how we percieve things. All cultures have found ways of reaching 'spirituality' or a connection, or awareness on a higher level. Fasting, peyote, sweat-tents, meditation- all can alter ones perceptions of the world around us. Your 'kundalini' (snigger, sorry, its a funny word- sounds like a ladies furry front-bottom), is very similar to what one experiences on MDMA, or with Ketamin 'high'. I remember one particular evening when me and some friends were smoking some really strong pot whilst listening to an album by 'The Orb'. There was this one frequency on one of the tracks that made all of us have back spasms at the exact same time! It was a real physical reaction to the sound, made possible by the change in our perception due to the drug.

It seems reasonable to me to accept that a meditative state could produce similar changes in brain chemistry to an ingested drug.

Outside of that, I am never going to by the whole chakra/chi/ki/qui/force thing, but then, I am a barbarian who loves the reality of the real.
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#409825 - 10/20/08 01:25 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: Cord]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
As I've said, I have a mate who is heavily into Sahaja yoga (the kundalini thing). He also happens to be a medical practitioner (works in the hospital system). His take on it is that he has acquired an ability (a kind of discipline) by which he can switch on "feel good" parts of the brain. In this way he can avoid "negative" or counterproductive thought patterns and just "be happy".

My mate tells me that Buddhist monks who meditate a great deal have subjected themselves to brain scans which show that the "feel good" areas are almost constantly "lit up" where most of us spend significant time in the "feel bad" area.

If this is true, a disbelief in chakras/qi etc. (which I have - I too am a barabarian in this sense) would not necessitate disbelief that meditation might confer benefits of a potentially significant kind. After all, an ability to have such a high level of mental discipline that one can control what are usually thought to be autonomic processes seems very useful if not life-altering (think of dealing with chronic pain, depression, grief, loneliness etc.).

However, the question remains - is any of this really true? I can only go by second hand accounts and I have not personally seen/read any studies into brain scans etc.
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#409826 - 10/20/08 07:56 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: dandjurdjevic]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
One does not need to believe in something for it to work. As such, there is no need to navigate Hindu paradigms of 'chakras' or explore Chinese systems of energy to find benefit, or insights, et. in meditation. As the Zen tradition (one example) of meditation knows full well.

Just sit. Or not.

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#409827 - 10/20/08 08:29 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: harlan]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
I think this is the gist of what I was saying.

Belief or non-belief in chakras/qi seems irrelevant to the issue of whether meditation can produce the state of mind to which my mate (or jkd warrior) refers.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (10/20/08 08:35 AM)
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#409828 - 10/20/08 08:41 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: dandjurdjevic]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Ditto. Sorry...it didn't come across...but my post was in accordance/agreement with yours.

I'll shut up now.

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#409829 - 10/20/08 03:15 PM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Kyudo Offline
Stranger

Registered: 10/19/08
Posts: 2
Kyudo is also known as moving meditation. It is a Japanese martial art akin to archery, in that we shoot with the Japanese long bow, but the intent is related to this intense state of focus and mental aspects... I guess you get out of it what you put in it. Some people just shoot and also enjoy only that.

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#409830 - 10/21/08 02:35 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: jkdwarrior]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
We meditate for a few moments before a class. Just trying to clear our minds of outside thoughts so we can focus on our training.

My purpose for meditation.
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#409831 - 10/22/08 05:01 PM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: BrianS]
matxtx Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 700
Loc: england
The purpose of Buddhist meditation is to get to a state of truth and see everything as it actualy is (Nirvana)then do it as you are dying so that you are reincarnated as something good.Doing it in life is just practice to be able to do it at that one moment you die instead of freaking out or whatever.
That is my understanding anyway.
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#409832 - 10/22/08 11:09 PM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: matxtx]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
extended meditation: turning inwards via self-induced solitary confinement won't get you any closer to truth or awareness ...it gets you sensory depravation.

as far as 'reincarnation' and 'Nirvana' - I wouldn't know, I haven't died yet. but I do know that all cultures have a different story to comfort themselves about death. It's not the literal story that is important, it's the fact they seek comfort in believing any story/path.


pray to get to heaven, meditate to reach nirvana, kneel to be with 1000 virgins...all variations of wishful thinking. Has nothing to do with truth but everything to do with the pursuit of self-comfort.

not to turn this towards a religious beliefs thread, but I do acknowledge a predetermined spiritual pursuit is some people's purpose of meditation....so it's worth sharing views on that aspect.

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#409833 - 10/23/08 03:17 AM Re: The REAL purpose of meditation! [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Faith has nothing to do with wishful thinking.
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