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Excellent and more diplomatic comment on neo-Mindfulness

Stashed in: Meditate, Meditation

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Not all meditation is the same.

It is also interesting to note that in most of the scientific studies of the benefits of meditation, the type and form of meditation is ignored, and forms of meditation are lumped together, as if they all have the same benefits. Typically scientific studies have ignored the cultural context in which meditation takes place, and simply count the minutes and hours one spends in this general activity, without considering why or how or when one meditates. At a recent conference, I heard a clinical psychologist make the broad statement that meditation seemed to be “dose dependent”, meaning more is better. While it is wonderful news that the medical and scientific communities are beginning to seriously examine the benefits of meditation, there needs to be much more discrimination in what they are studying in order for the results to be very meaningful. It is time to go beyond Functional MRI studies looking at what parts of the brain are activated, and look at how meditation actually transforms peoples’ lives in the cultural context of their lives.

More simply put. 

For every mediation there is an instruction, not a suggestion that you may or may not follow, a clear instruction for the use of body and/or speech and/or mind.   The question is how strongly and for how long can you correctly follow instructions. There is a right answer. 

So sit and don't move for 15 or 90 minutes, or spend a weekend without saying a word, or say the same thing 100,000 times in a week.....

Putting aside the larger questions of why or what for, it has been my experience for 30 years that next to no one can follow the instructions. 

If there is to be research I suggest that it confronts the question as to why can a person follow the instructions, does this make a difference, and if so how do we expand this ability in people. 

I have watched people practice the same meditation for decades and still cannot accomplish the most remedial aspects.  You can say "it is the act not the goal, the path not the destination....." But that is rationalization. 

No one says it "is about getting on the bike" of course it is about riding the bike and not falling off every 45 seconds. 

To be more complex and continue analogy;

If learning to ride a bike is about improving motor skills, improving health, enjoyment and possibly transportation skills, 

Learning to meditate is about improving concentration, health, enjoyment and functioning with respect to internal and external environments.  

You have to know what you are doing, but unlike a bike we cannot seem to agree on what we are riding. 

What we are riding is the conditioned habitual mind. 

Unlike a bike that is in essence still and we make it move, the mind is always moving and we have to make it still. 

When you stop the conditioned mind you recognize the true nature of mind. 

Body doesn't move, voice doesn't speak and mind doesn't create thoughts perceptions or sensations. 

Every meditation is a technique, nothing more, to get you to that state. 

This is deep. It doesn't come quickly. It requires patience.

Meditation and practice is not something I do, it is everything I do. 

There is no professional Buddha circuit (accept for Oprah and now a few universities) or meditation Olympics but I have spent as much or more time meditating and studying as anyone in any profession. 

It is important to know how difficult it is and then decide if it is worth it to you.  It is not a life or activity for everyone.  

How many years did it take before it became everything you do?

It took over 25 years of practice. I started meditating at 15 and now going on 30 years (undergrad years not productive).  Studied three different martial arts and many alt medicine practices.  

Over the last five years I have had the best teachers on the planet and finally I am in the right place. 

That is not to say that a little is not helpful, but you don't get in top shape by biking a few minutes every once in awhile. 

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