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    Default Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Interesting article I found:

    Charles Q. Choi
    Special to LiveScience
    LiveScience.comMon May 7, 11:50 PM ET



    Three months of intense training in a form of meditation known as "insight" in Sanskrit can sharpen a person's brain enough to help them notice details they might otherwise miss.

    These new findings add to a growing body of research showing that millennia-old mental disciplines can help control and improve
    the mind, possibly to help treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    "Certain mental characteristics that were previously regarded as relatively fixed can actually be changed by mental training," University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson said. "People know physical exercise can improve the body, but our research and that of others holds out the prospects that mental exercise can improve minds."

    Paying attention to facts requires time and effort, and since everyone only has a limited amount of brainpower to go around, details can get overlooked. For instance, when two pictures are flashed on a video screen a half-second apart, people often miss the second image.

    "Your attention gets stuck on the first target, then you miss the second one," Davidson said. This is called "attentional blink," an effect akin to how you might overlook something when you
    blink your eyes.

    Still, the fact that people can occasionally catch the second picture suggests it's possible to sharpen one's attention with training, which is just what the new meditation study found.

    Brain plasticity

    "Meditation is a family of methods designed to facilitate regulation of emotion and attention," said Davidson, who headed up the study.

    In recent years, scientists have found meditation affects brain functions. For instance, research into Tibetan monks trained in focusing their attention on a single object or thought revealed they could concentrate on one image significantly longer than normal when shown two different images at each eye. Another study of people who on average meditated 40 minutes daily found that areas of their brains linked with attention and sensory processing became thicker.

    "One of the fundamental mysteries that is now becoming better understood as we go along but which is still a breakthrough area of research is neuroplasticity, the idea that we can literally change our brains through mental training," Davidson told LiveScience. "Certain kinds of mental characteristics such as attention or certain emotions such as happiness can best be regarded as skills that can be trained."

    When Davidson first met His Holiness the Dalai Lama nearly a decade ago, the exiled leader of Tibet encouraged Davidson to conduct scientific research into meditation, "and I recognized it was a very appropriate time to begin such research, because the methods we have available now to study the brain have improved dramatically and the scientific community is significantly more receptive to such ideas."

    Ten to 12 hours daily

    Davidson and his colleagues investigated the impacts of Vipassana, a roughly 2,500-year-old discipline that is the oldest form of Buddhist meditation and focuses on reducing mental distraction and improving sensory awareness. Davidson has practiced Vipassana and other forms of Buddhist meditation for more than 30 years.

    "This is not the only form of meditation we're interested in, but it is a widely practiced form of instruction that can easily be replicated elsewhere in the country," Davidson said.

    The researchers investigated 17 volunteers before and after they completed three months of rigorous training in Vipassana. T hey meditated for 10 to 12 hours a day. The researchers also studied 23 novices who received a one-hour meditation class and then meditated for 20 minutes daily for a week.

    The scientists asked volunteers to look for numbers flashed on a video screen amongst a series of distracting letters. Their brain activity was monitored using electrodes placed on their scalps.

    Davidson and his colleagues found the brains of volunteers who received the intense mental training apparently needed less time to spot details than before. The training also improved their ability to detect the second number within the half-second attentional blink time window. In comparison, the novices did not appear to experience such improvements to a significant degree, findings detailed online May 8 in the journal PLoS Biology.

    ADHD treatment potential

    "This attentional blink finding shows a little wedge of what might be a much larger dimension of experience that could be opened up by meditation techniques," said neuroscientist Clifford Saron at the University of California-Davis Center for Mind and Brain. "You can imagine that life is a series of attentional blinks, and we might be missing an awful lot of what's going on."

    Applications of this work include treatment of
    attention-related conditions, Davidson explained.

    "There is an absolute explosion of prescriptions for kids who are diagnosed with ADHD. I'm not against the judicious use of medication, but there probably is vast over-prescription for this disorder, and strategies like meditation could be an acceptable complement or substitute for medication for certain kids," Davidson said. "There still needs to be rigorous research to establish that, but our work is provocative enough to warrant more systematic follow-up."

    In the next five years, Davidson expects a dramatically increased level of research into meditation "because it is beginning to be recognized as something that takes advantage of the plasticity of the brain, has relatively few if any side-effects and has potentially very beneficial effects, the impact of which can be documented using the most rigorous scientific methods."

    Other avenues of research Davidson and his colleagues are currently pursuing include the impacts of meditation on pain, inflammation regulation, and emotions and the brain circuits that handle feelings.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    I do think it can help with different things. But, 10 hours a day is a little high for me.
    More Shugyo!

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by gakusei View Post
    I do think it can help with different things. But, 10 hours a day is a little high for me.
    I agree. For a person in the modern world 10 - 12 hours wouldn't be very realistic. But I don't think that realistic meditation NEEDS to take so long.
    I'd give my own thoughts on this, but I know that Mr. John La Tourrette knows a great deal more about this and could give a lot more than I could.
    You ought to look him up and get his input!

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Very few people have 10-12 hours to dedicate to meditation!

    The thing I thought was interesting was the fact that there is scientific proof that meditation affects your brain and can indeed improve your mind and awareness.

    Though I don't do it as often as I used to, or should, I find that on the days where I meditate for 15-30 minutes in the morning after a work out my day is a lot better and less stressful.
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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    The thing I thought was interesting was the fact that there is scientific proof that meditation affects your brain and can indeed improve your mind and awareness.
    ABSOLUTELY!!! (Let me hear the congregation say "AMEN" !! )
    It's good for your mind, your body, your spirit...etc.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    That article contained scientific measurement of one of the deepest principles of martial arts and you guys are posting aoubt how long the subjects meditated ROFL LOLOLOL

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    That article contained scientific measurement of one of the deepest principles of martial arts and you guys are posting aoubt how long the subjects meditated ROFL LOLOLOL
    LOL! What do you expect from a bunch of kenpo guys?

    When I can force myself to get into the meditation habit, it makes a noticeable difference. If I do it on a regular basis, I can go about an hour, then my brain says "enough".
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Talking Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    The alpha/theta mind frequency is used while in mediation, this is the same level of mind experienced while at the state of dreaming. There is no time here. Following this prinicple, meditation can be achieved in 10 minutes or ten hours, as long as goals are established and the mind is lead down a specific path. If one is simply sitting still attempting to empty the mind without any other drills applied, ten hours may be necessary. John M. LaTourrette has some advanced material on the subject of hypnotic time distortion I suggest anyone interested check them out. One such DVD that comes to mind is the "Become Your Own Kahuna" seminar hosted in late 2006. An open mind does wonders.
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    Talking Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    The alpha/theta mind frequency is used while in meditation, this is the same level of mind experienced while at the state of dreaming. There is no time here. Following this prinicple, meditation can be achieved in 10 minutes or ten hours, as long as goals are established and the mind is lead down a specific path. If one is simply sitting still attempting to empty the mind without any other drills applied, ten hours may be necessary. John M. LaTourrette has some advanced material on the subject of hypnotic time distortion I suggest anyone interested check them out. One such DVD that comes to mind is the "Become Your Own Kahuna" seminar hosted in late 2006. An open mind does wonders.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. - Willam Blake

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    Default inducing attentional blink

    What images or perceptual targets can you present to the other person that will have a high probability of inducing the attentional blink described in the original post?

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by gakusei View Post
    I do think it can help with different things. But, 10 hours a day is a little high for me.
    Actually once you know how to and "do" build those bridges of consciousness between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind at a "theta" brain wave...

    ...you can use 2 minutes at that level of mind and get great results.

    Normally, AFTER about 15 minutes at that level of mind you get diminishing results. So, more than that at any one time (for active meditation) is NOT necessary.

    Nor more than 3 times a day is ever necessary.

    Want more?

    This is what I'm really good at, the mind body connection through hypnosis, meditation and energy working;-)

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Last edited by John M. La Tourrette; 05-15-2007 at 09:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    Very few people have 10-12 hours to dedicate to meditation!

    The thing I thought was interesting was the fact that there is scientific proof that meditation affects your brain and can indeed improve your mind and awareness.

    Though I don't do it as often as I used to, or should, I find that on the days where I meditate for 15-30 minutes in the morning after a work out my day is a lot better and less stressful.
    Meditate on what specifically?

    There is active meditation and there is passive meditation.

    Even the passive meditation is goal orientated.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    In the next five years, Davidson expects a dramatically increased level of research into meditation "because it is beginning to be recognized as something that takes advantage of the plasticity of the brain, has relatively few if any side-effects and has potentially very beneficial effects, the impact of which can be documented using the most rigorous scientific methods.".
    May I respectfully submit that this is REALLY "OLD" STUFF and that psychology and science has verified this for many centuries and NOT just recently?

    STILL one of the BEST books on this topic was written in 1882 by Thomas Jay Hudson, called "The Law of Psychic Phenomenon", which really goes over the "hypnotic states necessary" for those developments.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralProtector View Post
    The alpha/theta mind frequency is used while in mediation, this is the same level of mind experienced while at the state of dreaming. There is no time here. Following this principle, meditation can be achieved in 10 minutes or ten hours, as long as goals are established and the mind is lead down a specific path. If one is simply sitting still attempting to empty the mind without any other drills applied, ten hours may be necessary. John M. LaTourrette has some advanced material on the subject of hypnotic time distortion I suggest anyone interested check them out.


    Actually this was a pretty good post.

    Thank you.

    The reason it was good because you can, at theta brain wave, with both brain hemispheres connected, go through the "delta doorway" and use the subconscious mind as a method of accessing the 4th dimension, or the non-local universe, where there is no time, no space and no distance.

    In fact that is known as “in the spirit”, “oneness with all”, and “eternal”.

    Now, what causes that to be important?

    How can we use that in the study of Kenpo Karate?

    Now the time distortion that he mentioned above is one very good way.

    What are others?

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette


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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Want more?

    This is what I'm really good at, the mind body connection through hypnosis, meditation and energy working;-)

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    YES sir!


    I know this is YOUR area, so I brought a comfy pillow and a snack should it take a bit.

    I look forward to your insights.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Meditate on what specifically?

    There is active meditation and there is passive meditation.

    Even the passive meditation is goal orientated.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    From what I understand, Mr. La Tourrette, 'passive' meditation could be likened to unstringing a bow for the night. When you "re-string it" it will retain it's strength longer.
    Is that a decent analogy?

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    LOL! What do you expect from a bunch of kenpo guys?
    Kenpo guys? Sheesh, who let them in here

    ['passive' meditation could be likened to unstringing a bow for the night. When you "re-string it" it will retain it's strength longer.
    Is that a decent analogy?]

    Can't actor for Dr JLT my brother

    The way I see it is a bit more clinical. Passive meditation quiets the mind and calms the mind. Active meditation sharpens the mind. There isn't really a better or worse....its more a matter of deciding on a desired outcome then picking a way of getting to it.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    For those of us who do meditate, what do you do once you get to your "happy place"? For me, it all depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. If I'm meditating to focus on my martial arts skills, I'll picture myself moving perfectly, without any flaws. I'll do this before a workout and it does help focus on movement and I can feel the difference, as well as see it.

    If I'm meditating to relax, I mentally visualize sitting by the campfire next to the river at our family cabin. When I'm meditating on a regular basis, I can get to the point where I can hear and smell my surroundings. Even though this is for relaxation, my mind is cleared and sharper when I finish.

    What do the rest of you do?
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    For those of us who do meditate, what do you do once you get to your "happy place"? For me, it all depends on what I'm trying to accomplish. If I'm meditating to focus on my martial arts skills, I'll picture myself moving perfectly, without any flaws. I'll do this before a workout and it does help focus on movement and I can feel the difference, as well as see it
    If I'm meditating to relax, I mentally visualize sitting by the campfire next to the river at our family cabin. When I'm meditating on a regular basis, I can get to the point where I can hear and smell my surroundings. Even though this is for relaxation, my mind is cleared and sharper when I finish.
    What do the rest of you do?
    Depends on what I'm workin on. I've been one of those brain/mind/body hippie wierdo's for a long time, with a professional academic fondness for rectifying the cutting edge practices of stuff to the decades-behind research end; picked up some neat tricks along the way.

    When I'm working on spiritual development, I have active and pasive forms. My favorite passive form is simply the self-inquiry from Ramana Maharsi, as described by Paul Brunton in "Search for Secret India", in which he recounts his experiences with fake or silly gurus, and finally his experiences with Maharsi. You direct the question, "Who am I, really?" inward. Various associations crop up, if you're courageous enough to allow them; when the courage stops, so does the progress. Inspect them, then let them go as "that may be a part of what I am, but it's not REALLY WHO I am. (aimed deeper still), Who am I, really?" Like layers of an onion, you eventually peel back layers of Self until meeting the divine spark within. After that, it becomes a reference point that's easier to target in meditative states. One meditation is simply to connect to it, and bask.

    For Performance Improvement through Altered States...now we're in my kitchen, bubba. Again, active & passive modalities available. Passive modality...I spent a spell periperally involved with the Hemi-Sync tapes at the Monroe Institute, involved in brain wave research as part of my graduate studies in Psych in Belgium. The idea of the Hemi-Sync sound signal is to create a wave differential that induces a targeted brain wave state. For example, let's say you want to achieve a 12 hz brainwave frequency. If I introduce one tone in one ear, and a seperate tone in the other ear, you will percieve a warble due to the difference between the tones. My manipulating the tones, we can manipulate the speed of the warble. The brain basically says, "Oh. A 12 hz warble...let me match that by getting into a 12 hz state". We've had people hooked up to all sorts of fun devices to measure physiological responses to binaural tone rythms, and there's some neat stuff that happens. Predictably.

    The tapes get used for some fun stuff that was "discovered" serendipitously (by accident, on the way to something else). When people reached theta states, and got left there, they would come back reporting deep states of bliss, communication with spirits of ancestors or elementals, out of body experiences...lots of stuff paralleling near death experiences and the experiences reported by mystics and aboriginal shamans in their trance states. So that state got targeted for a spell...research question: Can we use binaural tones to induce states of consciousness that replicate those reported by mystics, meditators, near death, or out-of-body reporters? Short answer: Yes. See Robert Monroes books on journeys out of the body, reported as an effect of participation in altered brainwave states using the hemi-sync binaural tones.

    So that started another wave of research (the one I rode and co-worked for awhile). Proposition: The bodies healing response becomes activated by some wierd chit. The Placebo effect is commonly identified accross a wide range of studies (we even kow the little blue pills work best, leading to the formation of blue placebos that come in very impressive bottles, with very pharma-sounding names). So, can we 1) correlate activation of the healing response -- wether by expectation of clinical effect to placebo's in a blinded patient, or by intentionally induced altered states by expert practitioners -- to brain wave activity levels? If we can, then we should be able to artificially induce those wave states in others, activating the healing response. Other applications with testable assertions: Measure the brainwave freqs of kids with ADHD versus kids without...what's different? Can we modify the outcome by introducing wave states that either activate a healing response within the body (assumption of ADHD being a kind of broken circuit needing fixing), or compare that to a third group in which we induce wave states that match kids with high concentration capacities (assumption that ADHD is just a brain state that can be traded for another, once the subject has been experientially educated on what that state is, how to find it, replicate it, etc.)?

    This lead to the development of tapes and CD's, where some music or distractor is going on in the foreground, while in the background the binaural signal is toning away, inducing whole brain states by coordinating signal transduction and interpretation accross the corpus callosum. Right and left hemisphere, balanced. Tropotrophic states. Lots of neat stuff happens there; it's like the ultimate table setting for a gourmet meal...you don't always know what's coming in the next course, but the table is prepped and ready for anything. We now have sound signals to help lower blood pressure, heal faster after surgeries, recieve medical procedures without the use of anasthesia, focus and concentration for kids with ADHD, hyperfocus for cramming students, signals to improves retention, and signals to improve mental rehearsal of physical performance...anchoring a state of deep theta to the performance of a thing...the athlete works from a bifurcated state; like a hypnosis subject at a stage gig, they are partly asleep (in theta), and partly awake (doing their sport). Had some scary cool results, but have also gotten lazy. Now, for passive meditation, I often just pop one of these in, go to Focus 10 or 15 (deep states, mind awake, body asleep) and gel for a bit.

    Hypnotic learning states for performance improvement...I wrote a whole thing on it one night until nearly sunrise, and when I hit reply, I lost the whole thing. Timed out. In a nutshell, put a guy in a deep state, deepen the state by working a single move into the thousands-count until the subject plugs in to what's behind the mind, combine it with a sort of "New Behavior Generator", then attempt performance tasks that have been previously out of reach for the participant. I'm tellin ya, it's like watching someone break the laws of physics. Just awesome stuff. Truly, the only limitations of mind and body are those we accept.

    I spoke with Mr. Parker about this, and he was fascinated by body-mind connection as it appled to kenpo. It lead to me working on modelling him the same way the NLP founders modeled Milton Erickson. The NLP guys called what they did "the Milton Model". I called our little project simply, "the Parker Model". The project was to culminate in a standardized approach to installing distinctions in new practitioners via hypnotic learning sates and the modified New Behavior Generator -- an NLP technique for installing new behaviors, expanded in this context to the installation of new levels of athletic performance (I'd used the model sucessfully to improve the perfomance of Olympic shooters and archers at Colorado Springs, and to improve the playing performance of pro-footbal players from a couple of Caifornia teams, all back in the mid and late 80's). In the NBG, a specific new behavior is envisioned in great detail, experienced as if real now, and associated to a future triggering event. In the MAGE pattern, levels of intensity that drive performance are targeted rather then specific behav's. In other words, if you see Parker in your mind doing 5 Swords as a 10 out of 10, and you're now only at 4/10, then we sneak you up one level at a time, until you get the pattern engrained unconsciously, and we can jump multiple levels. ("See yourself doing it at 5/10...see/hear/feel what it is to generate that at 5/10...twitch the muscle groups in synch to the perofmrance of you doing this at 5/10...now GO!" ). We could also superimpose your face over Parkers, and have you see yourself do it several times from the third person perspective, then use a basic EMDR tech to step into the picture, and have you experience in your mind what it is to do that same thing from the first person perspective. Your limbic system cannot tell the difference between an imagined event, and a real one. So, as far as your body's concerned, you now know what it's like to move like Parker; moving from the reference experience to the physical is just a couple steps away. Couple of reps, and BAM! You're there. The next level of performance. Now, here's the fun part. WHAT IF...Parker doing 5 swords was only 1/100 in the realm of performance possibility? What if he was comparatively slow and weak compared to someone else...what would that look like at 2/100? 3/100? As you can see, the potential for breaking new performance ground is unlimited. I chuckled at the downloads in Matrix..."I know kung-fu". Because we had worked on a visualization and installment model much like that, but without the cool computer hook-ups.

    This was gonna be my big contribution to the evolution of kenpo and the kenpo community. Unfortunately, when I returned from one of my trips to Bruxelles, there was a funeral announcement on the door of Phil Hall's Martial Arts Supply. Mr. Parker was gone. I let the project rest with him. Perhaps before I slip off the plate, I'll have the chance to pass it on to some enterprising young kenpoist, who will take it to the next level and make it known. Or not.

    Sorry for the brain wander...think I need to either go bask, or listen to a focus tape

    Be good,

    Dave
    Clear mind, clear movement. Mastery of the Arts is mastery over the Self. That in this moment, this motion, the thoughts, memories, impulses and passions that cloud the mind must yield to the clarity of purpose, and purity of motion.

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    Default Re: Meditation Sharpens the Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dave in da house View Post
    Depends ... For Performance Improvement through Altered States...now we're in my kitchen, bubba. ... So that started another wave of research (the one I rode and co-worked for awhile). Proposition: The bodies healing response ...(assumption of ADHD...)?

    ...I wrote a whole thing on it one night until nearly sunrise, and when I hit reply, I lost the whole thing. Timed out.

    In a nutshell,.... -- an NLP technique for installing new behaviors, expanded in this context to the installation of new levels of athletic performance... you see yourself do it several times from the third person perspective, then use a basic EMDR tech ... WHAT IF... ... who will take it to the next level and make it known. Or not.

    Sorry for the brain wander...think I need to either go bask, or listen to a focus tape

    Be good,

    Dave
    What you need is a BLOG my friend! And "reply To Topic" is not a text editor LOL

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