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12/2/19 3:26 AM
RE: Article Dump
12/2/19 6:52 PM
RE: Article Dump
12/16/19 9:40 PM
12/2/19 3:26 AM
Why does meditation work?
The academic perspective still eludes many practitioners, leaving us to relate our knowledge through pure experience. This proves unconventional as everyone's experience of the same event can be interpreted differently, yet our meditations still resonate with each other. For mainstream scientists, it is the opposite. The intelligence factor is there... but choosing to depend solely on charts and graphs, they lack the personal application. By not participating in meditation, these "scientists" have
the basic scientific process of investigation.
To understand a flower, the scientist will dissect it in order to analyze the terpenes. The scientist will isolate the structure and know its genetic lineage, taxonomy, and nomenclature. But the scientist will never capture the aesthetics of the flower.
The meditator will incorporate the flower into their experience. The meditator can know the essence of the flower, but the meditator's ken is exceded by its morphology. Unable to tell a stigma from a stamen or a bract from a calyx, the meditator can never capture its true beauty.
This ultimately culminates in a lack of necessary pedagogical faculties. As powerful a tool as the mind is, it is also rather helpless. When we cling to such perceptions of "i am like
" and "i am not made like
", these reverberate in the ego and cause the life to become dysfunctional. One should strive to hold as many identities as possible. One should be a poet, a botanist, an athlete, a lover, a philosopher, a full-fledged human being... Identities are something you can have, not something that you are.
This is missing the point.
Through meditation, we can accomplish astonishing feats regarded as being "super-human". In my opinion, the ways of being lived by most in this 21st century are what is truly abnormal. Collectively as a species, we are not utilizing the full capacity of our physiology as we are not being stimulated the way nature intended us to be. Our adaptive power is neglected and thus our humanity is neglected.
As we evolve with the world so too does our understanding of it and recently more insurgencies are happening among the various communities. A second renaissance approach to consciousness is taking place. This space is meant to compile a list of articles, studies, and experiments that link the metaphorical dots. Drawing these imaginary lines is up to each individual connecting with their experience.
Don't believe what anyone has told you until it enters your experience. Does that invalidate and contradict the following anecdotal message? It does not. Speculation is fine, doubt is not. Doubt has its bases on one's rooted assumptions about life. The definition of anecdote means "unpublished" in Greek. This does not mean "fake" and it does not undervalue the information, rather it encourages you to try the experiment for yourself.
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RE: Article Dump
12/2/19 6:52 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
Why does meditation work?
Is it something so incomprehensible? Only if you allow it to be
Telomerase. We all carry this gene but for most of our lives it remains inactive. It is tightly regulated, though with meditation, we can trigger its expression.
Telomeres are structures that cap the end of your chromosomes. Telomeres are used as biomarkers for aging; decaying slowly every hour of every day as you get older until the day they finally run out at which point you are either dead or begin to die as the cells can longer reproduce. The inability to rejuvenate themselves through cell division exposes you to the various forms of inflammation, oxidative stresses, and malignant diseases.
The take away is when a cell must exert itself, you must also lose some length of telomeres.
This is made quite severe as there is currently no """"acknowledged""""" method of rebuilding or supplementing telomere length.
Another problem thrown in the mix is the fact that every cell has an innate
to exert itself. This suffering we face on a molecular level comes with the biology we are born into and is why we practice absolute stillness and breath control. We are not alien creatures with a mechanism completely unfounded on this earth, think back to why other mammals hibernate. The function is in place to slow the metabolism. Any sit length is beneficial and one does not need to sit for hours to reap said benefits... Although of course, it is possible to force one's metabolism to a complete halt for maximum return.
Extensive meditation training, immune cells telomerase activity, and psychological meditators
"Psychological measures were assessed pre- and post-retreat. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples were collected post-retreat for telomerase activity. Telomerase activity was significantly greater in participants than in controls by the end of the retreat. Meditation analysis indicated that the effect of the retreat on telomerase was mediated by perceived control and decrease in neuroticism."
Zen meditation, length of telomeres, and the role of experiential avoidance and compassion
"A group of expert meditators was recruited from the Soto Zen Spanish community. The meditators were required to practice continuous meditation for more than 10 years with a mean of at least 60 mins/day of formal practice. The Soto Zen meditation is a sitting meditation that focuses on the act of breathing. The healthy matched comparison group was recruited from friends and family of the meditators that had similar lifestyles and were matched by gender... the present data demonstrated that the expert meditators had significantly longer median telomere length as well as lower percentages of short telomeres in their cells than the non-meditating comparison group. This finding extends a small but growing body of literature showing longer telomeres and increases in telomerase related to the practice of mindfulness"
Can meditation slow the rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres
"Here we review meditation techniques theorized to positively modulate stress-related cognitive processes and arousal with implications for cellular aging... meditation practices may promote mitotic cell longevity both through decreasing stress hormones and oxidative stress and increasing hormones that may protect the telomere. The newer studies are promising and offer an insight into specific cognitive processes of how it may serve as an antidote to cognitive stress states."
Analyzing and assessing several studies with correlation to scientific literature.
Now please take a moment to skim through this brochure on your vacation to the divine abodes:
Why does meditation work?
Oxygen is chemistry. Breathing is a process of chemical reactions. The lungs are our bridge to the circulatory system which we then use to enter the endocrine system, the immune system, the vascular system, the lymphatic system... we have the potential to utilize every system to an extent beyond our current aptitude. This ability is not a marvel to be put on a pedestal but completely natural. If you are able to
harness the vital forces
inside the body and
charge your energies
you will be able to influence down to the DNA level.
What does harnessing vital forces and charging energies actually mean?
The vital force is the air you breathe. Neurotransmitters are the "signals", or more accurately, the charges.
If a breathing technique can store up more oxygen in the cells, that means using the oxygen to penetrate into the blood and into the tissue and then rest of the body, blood saturation levels will rise and stagnant carbon dioxide will reduce allowing the acid to resolve back to alkaline. This is important.
The brain posits electrical signals, these neurotransmitters are its way of relating to the body and in an alkaline environment, these charges are able to travel freely throughout the body to establish a neural connection, allowing you control; the way nature intended.
Deep major breaths followed by relaxed minor exhalations will enable for at least 25% more blood flow. The blood is carrying the oxygen so the more oxygen you are able to provide the more you can consciously work with the chemistry.
This practice requires you to force your lungs to
pump fresh oxygen and circulate out stale c02.
Stated again step by step.
Deep breaths intended to fill the lungs.
Relaxed exhalations. Be mindful to not exhale completely on the out-breath, keep them short.
Repeat in several intervals over the course of a minute to 2 minutes (but even half a minute is fine too).
Once the time has alotted, stop and hold your posture as long as you can.
Rest in the experience. Feel the lightness of the body as you oxenogize it.
As more cells have fresh oxygen pumping, you will be able to hold your breath longer.
Resume breathing when you have to and repeat, each time trying to hold the breath for longer periods.
*this can be done as a stand-alone practice or can be used as a warm-up for your main practice*
If you would like to engage with your body and build a connection you will have to practice conscious breathing.
The effects of caloric restriction and its relation to meditation
There is a stigma about asceticism that scares people away. An ascetic practice involves undertaking a training rule of abstinence from sensual pleasure. The popular forms are to avoid sexual gratification and pleasure from food. But why? It is not just to develop faith and conviction. Another understanding must be made clear... we are all on the constant pursuit of food whether we realize it or not. The convenience of the modern era coupled with daily business ever so subtly hides this fact of life. The same can be said for sexual reproduction. It is the current year folks, and survival isn't a concern for our species as a whole. We do not inhabit the wilderness we evolved in and we are not regularly hunted as prey anymore. The goal of an ascetic practice is to loosen the bond with the organism's inbuilt survival process. If the mind is freed from these chains of biological suffering, it will naturally enhance meditative performance. An ascetic practice does not have to span the course of an entire lifetime. If someone tells you for a proper ascetic practice to work, one must turn away from all sensual pleasure for good, that person is no closer to enlightenment than a political radical or religious evangelist. The aim is to break the attachment that comes from the survival process. Once that bond is broken and there is no attachment, you can literally have your cake and eat it too.
Millions of years of evolution have hardwired the mind to always return to this survival base. If that happens... congratulations, you are still human. But thankfully as humans, we can create and develop habits then maintain them with conscious effort. The rest of this post will focus on eating behaviors.
Intermittent Fasting for supercharged meditation
How many animals do you see roaming your local grocery stores? In the three-hundred thousand-odd years our anatomical ancestors have been around, for how much of that time did we have three square meals a day? It is remarkable how many people forget we humans are just as much a natural animal of this planet as any other. As was mentioned above, every time your cells must exert themselves, you lose vital telomere length. Having food in your gut continuously means that your biological clock is made to keep ticking
. Before the metabolism can even finish digesting breakfast, it is already lunchtime, and so on. The proper diet should be two meals per day spaced by at least 8 hours time. However, eating just once a day is even more efficient. When the stomach is empty and not focused on digestion, even more "mind power" can be designated on meditation. The meal size is not important, one should prioritize nutritional value above all else. If you are a good chef you know that cooking is an art, you can make anything spectacular. Quality doesn't have to be thrown out the window.
It forces you to be creative with the color spectrum of food and saves money for more important things
What is best, paleo diet? Vegan diet? Pescatarian diet?
I have friends who live under all these labels and I can tell you, they all suffer malnutrition in some way. Natural whole foods and unprocessed foods are best. We evolved our physiology for specific reasons to fit a particular niche. Meat is a treasure of important amino acids and micronutrients the brain needs. But there's no reason to be eating this every day or even once a week. Meat is controversial but good and bad is subjective. Listen to your body, if you must eat meat, have a deep appreciation for it. I have my own ritual. Before I eat meat, I take a moment of silence and try to retrace the course from my plate back to the animal. I try to link 5 events, sometimes just 3. They remind me of the interconnectedness all lives share. Maybe that inspires others to develop their own rituals.
Practicality of Intermittent Fasting in Humans and its effects on oxidative stress and genes related to aging and metabolism
"To assess the tolerability of the diet and to explore effects on biological mechanisms related to aging and metabolism, we recruited a cohort of 24 healthy individuals in a double-crossover, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. Study participants underwent two 3-week treatment periods... We found suggestive evidence that intermittent fasting (without anti-oxidant supplementation) mildly increases SIRT3 expression (+2.71%). The results are also suggestive of small increases in all genes examined. Treatment was only 3 weeks long, which may be too little time for changes to be observed."
"We proved the Triage Theory that during our evolution we went through periods of starvation, and it is during these periods that our body has very strategic mechanisms that it can ration micronutrients to the proteins and enzymes in our body that are essential for survival and reproduction. -Dr. Rhonda Patrick
Our bodies and brains are only at peak performance when our stomach is empty. Fasting encourages neurogenesis through the activation of gene expressions. Neurogenesis is further supported by the various genes being turned on such a BDNF and ghrelin. But Those demand their own post. Keep in mind there is a difference between hunger and empty stomach. And there is also a difference between empty stomach and starvation.
I encourage everyone to read each article in full. I only made brief sitings of information that stay relevant but there is much more substance.
I will be posting here with no schedule so it'll be irregular. Each post will showcase a different topic or dumping of research. In an effort to help those who feel vulnerable in their current life situations, the next post will center around trauma and where it originates in the brain, and how to access these obstructions through meditative practice.
So long for now space cowboys, and happy meditating.
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RE: Article Dump
12/16/19 9:40 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
Lotta decent folk are still confused as to what
actually is, so a brief preface would probably be prudent. With respect,
Popular belief has told us that meditation is one craft, and how the individual goes about this pursuit can lend to a branch of disciplines. It certainly makes sense, but the reality isn't as convenient. So there's yet to be a consensus... Why did the ancient world invent these practices? Before compasses & telescopes, before anesthesia & steroids, and
your favorite Buddha,
mystics filled a necessary role in human society(
"It" is God until it is described. Between God and through to its modern-day translation, meditation, these ruminations were akin to a toolbox. That is why you find teachings for inducing hypnotic states and techniques that shun them outright. There are meditations for boosting vitality & sex drive, and methods for restructuring the facial & skull bones. There are ways to manipulate body temperature and procedures that transmute energy. Entire systems that
deal with self-realization have unfortunately been lost or forgotten.
Self-realization is only
. From this
, a great number of approaches have blossomed. There is no doubt, the desire for enlightenment is the most generous gift to oneself and the world. Thusly, the most popular form became the only form... maybe that's why we're so fucked up. These days anyway, meditation has become a mesh of everything. Meditation itself has an Achilles' heel in that it really is just as simple as closing your eyes. Our nature is to be at peace, Ironically, just closing your eyes can also be seen as foolish. Sadly, what I am saying precedes what mainstream academia thinks of as mysticism. I believe it is fair to say that we are a species suffering from amnesia. We are here forgetful about the truth of ourselves.
"Humanity's first healers: Psychological and psychiatric stances on shamans & shamanism"
"Practitioners who deliberately shift their phenomenological pattern of attention, perception, cognition, and awareness in order to obtain information not ordinarily available to members of the social group...
Shamans are men and women of great talent, who master a complex vocabulary and a treasury of knowledge concerning herbs, rituals, healing procedures, and their culture's world of the spirits... Erika Bourguignon surveyed 488 societies and discovered that 89 percent of them had one or more culturally patterned altered state of consciousness. She concluded that the ability to experience ASCs was a basic psychobiological capacity of all human beings."
Shamanic practices posit a very narrow scope of meditation, but it's a still good representation of what indigenous people used over the millennia. Such information pre-10kya is fractious as most of our history was erased during a series of cataclysms that crippled humans to the near brink of extinction, but I digress... from the days of hunting and gathering to the rise of civilization & the consequent dismantling of it reducing us back to hunting and gathering once again.
I want to include a quick note before moving on. When we come upon multiple ways of going about the same goal, rather than asking "which practice is best" one should ask of each independently "is this useful" and go from there.
Why do we cry during meditation?
(Only one reason)
These strong experiences are the result of a "deeper connection" being made... in literal terms, this is a self-triggered purge of chemical disorders. Many people suffer congestion at the hormonal level. These hormonal buildups are the consequence of our prodigal system being relocated out of its natural environment; where we evolved. Fear, hunger, anger, all the same stress hormones modulated for survival. These same hormones are now being secreted when you get freaked out, when you start to feel anxious, when you drop your phone, and when things just don't go
way. They accumulate because we have not been taught how to properly deal with stress... As we all know, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change form. Due to the neglect of our physiology, this chemistry persists... and needs to be released.
When we talk about Love and Hate, we are talking about concepts & ideas; yes they are real and yes they can be defined as "emotions" but...
Emotions are processed in the brain, but
they are not true entities that can be observed separately
Emotions are translations of varying mixtures of the
chemicals. This chemistry is what dictates your "mood". There are hundreds of hormones.
Emotions are lower level responses occurring in the subcortical regions of the brain. Those responses create biochemical and electrical reactions in the body that alter its physical state."
There is a more dramatic side to these happenings...
When we talk about Trauma, our main protagonists are the
adrenaline, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, etc.
In this context, emotions are a form of energy(inertia). When we face situations in life with severe consequences, or when we have to deal with a lot of stress, this energy concentrates. Something needs to happen to this energy. Exertions usually satiate this need... Writing in a journal, yelling, meditation, exercise... but not everyone establishes healthy coping mechanisms. Some choose to distance themselves from the experience, or for others, life just kicks you in the figurative balls while you're still developing. Danger is carried over from these moments because our contextless brain only knows the chemicals it is receiving. Emotional energy that is not being dealt with can be thought of as
These hormonal jams can be found as associations throughout the nervous system in the form of
What are the pre-generative associations? Memories and the unfortunate stories attached to them
Every sense organ is turned on, always, even when you are asleep. Everything that has happened to you since birth and your reaction to it has been recorded and is stored in your memory banks. Traumatic events root survival responses in the individual. These stress responses are then memorized and triggered when that same cocktail of hormones has been signaled. As a species, we've forgotten how to cope with danger... the small anxieties we face in our everyday lives signal the same stress hormones as panic. To our contextless brains, even insecurities can mean hazards. For people that are not in difficult situations often and for those that have been broken down in the past, it becomes a serious issue. They cannot control their adrenaline. If you must act unconsciously, you will use your last reaction to that given mixture of chemicals.
A basic crash course on adrenaline
for PTSD is an
. It happens as an
as a part of our
sympathetic nervous system
, which is found
in the spinal cord
to communicate with the
& environment. The fight or flight mechanism is then activated by the
autonomic nervous system
housed within our brain's
. The coordination of this center must go through the
"The amygdala mediates many of the behavioral and autonomic aspects of the reaction
unconditioned and conditioned stimuli. It is believed that an associative process takes place in the amygdala, which then projects to hypothalamic and brain stem targets in order to mediate the various symptoms of fear."
"There are a number of naturalistic observations and research investigations that support the view that panic attacks occur as a result of hypersensitive alarm systems. Studies demonstrate that acute panic attacks are generated by abnormal neural activity in the brain stem. Clinical observations indicate that attacks are largely experienced by patients as "storms" of autonomic nervous activity. Patients frequently are fearful of the multiple physical symptoms associated with an attack, including light-headedness, a racing heart, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, generalized sweating, or weakness. Research investigations indicate that
of various doses of pharmacological agents can produce panic attacks in panic-prone, but not in normal individuals."
Traumatic episodes trigger the autonomic nervous system to release stress hormones.
There are several dimensions to memory, but here we need to understand just two... (1)Our bias memory. The memory we can easily think back on, this memory is easily at your disposal (2)Our unbias memory. Everything that has entered your experience since you were born can be found here, this is accessible through practice but more often than not it will be reacting on its own... Trauma response is filtered through this unconscious substrate.
PTSD is the result of a high-stress response. High stress can also be achieved during meditation, in order to re-establish neural patterns.
There is a method of pumping controlled adrenaline through the system to flush out the toxic chemistry. From a medical lense, this is performing an extrusion.
Absolutely, It is for the best that we remain conservative skeptics. For those leary eyes...
"Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans
"Hitherto, both the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system were regarded as systems that
cannot be voluntarily influenced
. The present study demonstrates that, through practicing techniques learned in a short-term training program, the sympathetic nervous system and immune system
can indeed be voluntarily influenced
. Healthy volunteers practicing the learned techniques exhibited profound increases in the release of epinephrine, which in turn led to increased production of anti-inflammatory mediators and subsequent dampening of the proinflammatory cytokine response elicited by intravenous administration of bacterial endotoxin."
Published in 2014 and acknowledged by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, this study has been adopted into university literature. What this means is that it must be observed by clinical physicians and biologists.
It was 5 years ago that we proved that the autonomic nervous system up until then never been proven in modern scientific history to be influenced by humans, can now fall under our control. -Wim Hof
I should stress again that this is not intended to help you self-realize, the intention is to correct any wrong chemistry that isn't being dealt with and restore balance. Not for nothing, the healthier your ecosystem is, the more profound your meditations can be. A few more understandings to meet before passing on the teaching...
With much love and respect, I have noticed that many on the DhO use "the mind" as the object of meditation, then from this platform, an object of focus is chosen. Here, the object of meditation should be "brain & body" and the object of focus will be the experience. This practice deals with memories and if one is so attached to
, they will have to attend the projections of their psychological drama. If you wish to do so then by all means, there is no good or bad approach and no one-and-only way of doing things. It is as well possible to reach this climax. I just retell this method through my experience.
Brain & body
These two are constantly communicating of their own volition to create our experience, all that is asked of you is to culminate the necessary awareness. This can be supplemented through a healthy neural connection.
Reality is impermanent, every moment is new and every second is fresh. Be with the experience. This does
mean bodily sensations; earlier I mentioned:
"These hormonal jams can be found throughout the nervous system in the form of tension"
Of course, this is just one interpretation.
Keep in mind we are not talking about
The term "tension" is ambiguous and there are several kinds we may run through so I'm sure most have a share in these experiences. These are perceptions that are not normally accessible to us, but become accessible upon reaching the receiving wavelength of the brain. Stated clearly, These are sensations that are not processed by our normal sense organs; they are recognized by our brain's informational centers. These are peripheral sensations such as pressures, jolts, surges, temp. augmentations, there are many. The class of tensions worked with
are processed by the
. Among these are
some distinct types so we have to try and narrow them down with language.
I say tension but it is not necessarily a tightness, and it isn't necessarily painful either. It is a rising expectation of imminent apprehension. This tension is a concentrative potential.
The degree of intensity is dependant on the amount of adrenaline being produced
* The aim is to use breathing to reproduce a high-stress scenario. This works because respiration is regulated by the medulla which has no way of differentiating a jog from a panic attack. Breathwork signals the adrenal medulla(AM) to produce adrenaline hormones.
* We begin in a
position. Any seated posture is fine as long as
is correct. Adrenaline is synthesized in the sympathetic nervous system within the middle columns of the spinal cord(AM). We can stimulate this area with the same breathing exercise coincidentally covered previously, with minor alterations.
Deep breaths; take in as much oxygen
Minor light exhalations
repeat a few rounds and try for a minute (at least for 20 or so counts)
Now retain the breath. We are going to
stimulate the lungs
by doing the chicken pose with our arms then bringing them down against our sides in a few quick successions. You are not being punished so
please be gentle
, this is only to
agitate the lungs
Repeat steps 1-3 but now on the breath retention,
clench your body on and off
for a good 5 seconds. These contractions force blood to flow into the muscles. You are stockpiling this oxygen to use later, the more the better.
Repeat steps 1-3 again and this time during the retention,
give both sides of your neck a light slap.
These are f
soft but firm,
, pats behind both ears, just above the neck.
Please do not abuse yourself
, these are love taps. The purpose of these steps is to stir any lingering CO2. Like a fresh soda bottle has CO2 lining the inside, a simple flick of the finger will knock the bubbles out of place.
beat your chest and
ook like a gorilla!
*just kidding, fake step, please ignore*
You have filled yourself with oxygen and are now brimming with the vital energy. The heart will be flittering from the induced circulation. This is again caused by the sympathetic nervous system reacting to the exercise. Another byproduct of this system's reaction to the stress will be an expansion of the bronchial tube. This dilation has its origins in the higher columns of the spinal cord.
Now during breath retention, the
should be set on this
dilation of the bronchial tube
. It is easy to confuse the heart beating with the bronchial dilation, just remember the bronchi is located
the heart and to the center following the neck.
With every pulse, adrenaline is being pumped
When you need to breathe, do so
, but the longer you push yourself the more the adrenaline will be allowed to permeate. In laymen terms, your brain is freaking out, why the hell aren't you breathing?!? It's fine, you have an ample supply of oxygen. Let the adrenaline come. With this, tension will arise
Open your mouth and tilt your head to face up, only slightly, and don't inhale immediately. Every dilation itself forces slight bits of air in. If you would like to get a taste of this, I recommend going for a steady jog around your neighborhood. At the peak of exhaustion, you can open your mouth and face upwards to
feel and hear
this exact dilation.
This practice has two sides, the first is
. Simply reaching this point is enough for the meditator to begin to reconfigure their neural network. The tension is rising now as more adrenaline reaches your brain. The hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, this is where this chemistry is ending up...
if you are able to oxygenate these areas and
... you will begin to cry.
*if at any point in this procedure your body begins to twist or stretch,
Your spine probably isn't aligned properly... the body knows what it is doing. If the body begins to contort, again just let it. Underuse of the spine leads to calcification, these movements are the body's way of exercising each column. If this happens don't be disappointed. This is a sign of the connection! There is no reason fight it*
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right either way. -Henry Ford
Many of us suffer from instant gratification syndrome. This business is about practice & practise. I have seen
discredited in and around our way. It is not only a traditional rule for building conviction. There is a tangible science behind it and there comes a junction where insight progress will not happen without it. Faith is integral in our field and demands its own recognition.
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