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Desperate times call for meditation

May 12, 2009 by  

Desperate times call for meditation As anxieties associated with the bad economy are adding to the stresses of daily life, health experts have suggested powerful natural techniques that can help people get through difficult periods.

One such non-drug therapy is meditation, which has grown out of ancient spiritual traditions and has been attracting growing numbers of followers in recent years, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Practitioners have praised its effectiveness on calming nerves and improving mood, and there are various techniques to choose from, depending on individual needs, the article says.

They include mindfulness meditation which focuses on awareness and acceptance of the present moment, transcendental meditation and compassion meditation whose goal is to foster a feeling of loving kindness toward others.

The article also discusses growing evidence supporting the value of meditation as a health resource. Studies have shown meditation and other relaxation techniques work in cells, turning off genes that are associated with inflammation, cell aging and free radicals.

It has also long been known to help battle eating disorders, substance abuse, ease chronic pain and reduce blood pressure.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health estimates some 9.4 percent of adults surveyed in 2007 had tried meditation at least once during the previous 12 months, a significant increase from 7.6 percent in 2002.

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  • healthflower

    ‘transcendental’ CHAIN-SMOKING ? ==

    Individuals, Families
    & Kids…
    What’s wrong,
    with this picture (?) ==

    If the consciously ‘enlightened’
    health-boosting & stress-busting claims touted about the (famously tax-evading
    & ‘giggling’) Maharishi’s TM methods
    are supposedly valid, then why does
    DAVID LYNCH blatantly CHAIN-SMOKE
    CIGARETTES like an ADDICT during interviews in recent years —
    when he claims
    that he’s been consistently &
    blissfully doing T.M.
    for over three decades ???
    Please explain –
    Why does TM-proselytizer David Lynch
    smoke two packs of cigarettes a day (documented)
    – if the purported “stress-free” panacea
    of “transcendental meditation”
    is so incredibly healthful & calming ?
    (it’s also exorbitant
    to get a (generic) so-called “secret” mantra
    which is assigned solely based on
    a student’s age — in accordance with a chart
    (during a “Puja” religious-ritual worship & chanting ceremony).

    note:
    Of course, there are secular Meditation,
    Mindfulness, visualization,
    breathing exercises (such as “Chi Kung”),
    and Stress-reduction programs & techniques,
    which are well-researched, medically-recommended,
    very effective, & definitely more affordable !
    * These non-sectarian methods are
    also beneficially appropriate for PUBLIC SCHOOL settings
    — without getting involved with
    a religious-political organization,
    such as TM — that has displayed
    a history of cult-type conduct,
    theocratic & sexist (medieval) framework,
    a pattern of deception,
    and a penchant for censorship.

    ==================

    healthy resource =
    view numerous research studies
    re: secular and holistic options –
    Meditation, Mindfulness & Stress-Reduction,
    via this (NIH) National Institutes of Health
    website — note: can use KEYWORDS
    (via PubMed database) such as
    MINDFULNESS MEDITATION , etc.
    ===>
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

    =======

  • http://www.stokstad.com Paul Stokstad

    Okay, well, it’s true that our pal David Lynch is still a smoker.

    And, to be candid, there is no great answer to the fact that (gulp), David is not a perfect saint in every way. It would be nice if everybody who did the TM program was a completely identical example of human perfection, but… we’re not, we’re just people. Some TM’ers are vegans, some are not. Some are Lutherans, some are not. Some may even be (shudder) Catholics! Or even Buddhists, or Muslims!!!

    Some are in shape, and some could lose a few pounds.

    They can’t win, of course. If they were all identical they’d be vilified for being mindless clones. If they show any peculiarities, those things can be criticized, if you are looking for things to criticize.

    Hey, we wish David didn’t smoke either. But I’m not about to tell him. A lot of people find less need for cigarettes through TM. It seems to fall away easily. David still enjoys smoking, Maybe some day he’ll stop.

    Maybe I’ll stop staying up so late.

    We all have stuff to work on. But, over all, he gets great inspiration and peace from his TM practice, and has decided to support kids to do that, too.

    You can also paint the entire highly researched, completely effortless and natural practice of the TM program in a negative light, because anything can be criticized, at any time.

    Even God has impassioned critics, doubters, second guessers, and, of course, those who publicly crucified some of his best work.

    Just now I’m actually bored by the idea of refuting your points one by one, because I think that there is no way to convince someone like you on the intellectual level. You are already so far away from reasoned discourse that, IMHO, it would just be a shouting match.

    I will, however, say this, that the thing you are criticizing is as innocent as a flower, and as natural as the rising sun.

    So, what I’m wondering is how it feels to have turned into a person who will spit in the face of one of nature’s most precious gifts and call it ugly?

    What happened to that innocent child that once looked at a butterfly and laughed?

    At what point did you turn your back on simple beauty and become a cynic?

    Why persecuteth thou me?

    Just FYI, that’s what’s really happening here…

    Best wishes,

    Paul

    • Kate Vetty

      I have found my self by chance on this website looking for more information about meditation(M).
      Reading critical notes about M made me feel at least uncomfortable as I do not have much knowledge about this subject but on the other hand I am really determined to start being involved.That is why the note from Paul gave me such a relief, joy and determination to do so.Thank you!
      I know it is not going to be easy(or probably this is not true) …Probably it is going to be as Paul says the most ‘natural ‘ thing in my life and therefore naturally to be achieved.
      I do need a string to take me back to what I really am and Paul’s opinion about M. gives me confidence that this thing is meditation.
      Having really full of stress work, a family member struggling with unemployment, a very intelligent but difficult to manage child and status of immigrant, often puts me in a position of being so helpless and depressed.And when I say that it is going to be difficult I mean that it is going to be difficult to curb all this negative impacts with methods of meditation, but at least I will try.I am completely sure that this is what happened to David Lynch-he managed to curb probably a lot more of negative impacts, except of smoking…Now probably it is just smoking and it could have been much , much more if it had not been meditation…
      I know I will not t be able to limit all negatives in my life with meditation-nothing is panacea in this world, but I definitely will limit some, probably most of them…
      Otherwise, let simply curb stress eating more, put yourself in isolation blaming others for your problems and shout to your child instead of speaking to them…It does not sound good at all…

      Kind Regards
      Kate

      • John Gorman

        Just happened by the site where you left a response to a discussion about meditation on May 13, 2009. I wondered if you did start any meditation practice and, if you did, how it has been for you? My wife and I have done some for the last few years and have had great results/experience when we have taken the time to sit and be and allow our minds to be cleared.

        Happy to take your email or call,

        John 970-948-0613

  • http://adventuresintranscendentalmeditation.blogspot.com/ Dr. Keith DeBoer

    Nice Article. If anyone would like to know more about Transcendental Meditation you can click on my name and read my article “How To Learn Transcendental Meditation”
    Peace to All!

  • peachykeen

    Thank you for your very interesting article on the effect of meditation. I have been practicing Transcendental meditation for several years and am very happy with my choice; it has helped me through countless of potentially difficult times. Even when I felt confusion and chaos around me, I was able to dive in to deep Inner Silence twice a day. I brought that Silence with me into daily activity, and suddenly things were no longer unmanageable. I saw a lot of good information about this on http://www.tm.org, by the way. I think that trying times are sometimes opportunities in disguise, because they push us into a direction of growth, help us develop our inner potential, and ultimately towards greater happiness, and health.

  • candyshoes

    Transcendental Meditation is a great thing. I have been doing TM for years and have nothing but good effect from the twice-daily practice. It reduces stress, keeps me healthy and happy. And it is completely effortless to do, and so simple to learn. And what I also like about TM is that there are over 600 studies showing how good it is for my mind and body. Have a look at the web site http://www.TM.org for all scoop on the Transcendental Meditation program.

  • Alethiadoc

    I just want to say a word in support of TM. The TM organization may not be perfect. David Lynch may not be perfect. Nevertheless, the simple practice of TM on a daily basis helps keep me sane in a crazy world. It just seems to dissolve stress, so I feel refreshed and renewed and energized, and I can do more of what I need to do and want to do.

  • justAthought

    The technique that the Transcendental Meditation business
    teaches is common, and can easily be taught without
    all of the ridiculous TM trappings. The benefits realized are
    identical. “TM” takes an ancient and widespread practice,
    imposes a layer of pure drivel over it, then packages it
    and sells it as uniquely theirs and charges for the drivel.
    It is profoundly dishonest.

  • healthflower

    wonderful resource
    providing an overview of varied approaches:
    secular meditation techniques;
    spiritual/philosophical meditation;
    and stress reduction methods
    (Mayo Clinic website)
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070

    “Meditation, considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine, produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of
    jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and emotional well-being”…..
    ways to meditate can include:
    * Guided meditation
    * Mantra meditation
    * Mindfulness meditation
    * Qi gong.
    * Yoga
    also…
    walking meditation,
    breathing-focused meditation, etc.

  • Dr. Jean Tobin

    I was so skeptical when I first heard about TM. I changed nothing in my life except that I added TM for 20 minutes twice a day as instructed. Immediately after learning, I experienced much more energy in my daily activity. After practicing TM regularly for a while, I couldn’t deny all the benefits accruing in my life and it was obvious to me it was because I practiced TM twice a day. The increasing energy continued and at the same time I was more relaxed and MUCH happier.

  • alma

    ‘MINDFULNESS MEDITATION’ — AT WORK
    (an excerpt)
    == a healthful option:
    well-researched
    & medically recommended ==

    …..”Maria Gonzalez heads a company that integrates ‘mindfulness meditation’ with the development of business strategy and strategic alliances.
    When she started meditating 17 years ago, she found that
    it made her far more effective at work. “You could be calm
    when everyone else wasn’t, and you could concentrate,”
    she says.”…….”Barbara Symmons, a psychotherapist and life coach who has been meditating for more than a decade, put her first mindfulness meditation
    class together five years ago for a group of female managers at the
    Ministry of Natural Resources in Peterborough, Ont., who were feeling
    the stress of their work environment. “They were trained as scientists
    and they had to manage men who liked huntin’, fishin’ and shootin’,”
    Ms. Symmons says. The group responded quickly to the practice;
    blood pressures dropped and sleeping habits improved”…..
    Practising mindfulness meditation doesn’t require much in the way of paraphernalia. Ms. Gonzalez simply introduces students to formal practice,
    the 10 minutes a day of deliberate meditation that can be done at your desk,
    on a treadmill or lying on your floor at home. It’s a relaxation
    of the body that encourages the mind to follow”…..
    “When she’s at work, she’s at work; when she’s at home, she’s at home;
    and when she’s on the streetcar in between, she’s meditating,” she says.
    “We can’t change the law firm and we can’t change the demands that are
    put on her and we can’t change her family situation, but we can
    help her to manage it better,” she says. “It’s really just about doing what
    you’re doing more effectively,” Ms. Gonzalez says. “It doesn’t matter
    whether you’re a surgeon or a journalist or a businessperson or a student.”
    source: ==>
    http://www.financialpost.com/personal-finance/story.html?id=1313261

    ============

  • Toni

    I have been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for over 36 years. I am happy I made this choice all those years ago. I was impressed with the systematic method of teaching and the free follow-up program.

    I liked Paul’s comment. I have a lot of friends who practice the Transcendental Meditation technique. I don’t expect them to be perfect, but I certainly am impressed with their continuing expansion of consciousness as I am with my own. I also find in these challenging times that I can deal with life more calmly and more intelligently. It is very much worth investigating. I recommend http://www.tm.org/ for more info.

  • Sarah

    I practice TM. I learned in 1989. I then worked for Deepak Chopra. He was kicked out of the TM movement, so therefore, so was I. I was no longer allowed to meditate with groups at the centers because I was blacklisted. So, even though I like the meditation, I would never encourage involvement with the TM organization as they are VERY exclusive. Exclusivity is the opposite of consciousness itself.

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