Advanced Meditation Alters Consciousness and Our Basic Sense of Self

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Advanced Meditation Alters Consciousness and Our Basic Sense of Self

Matthew D. Sacchet & Judson A. Brewer

Quote:...In the media and in academia, meditation is often seen as a tool primarily for managing the stresses of modern life and work. But our research suggests it can be used for much more. Although meditation can help people improve their psychological well-being, it also can be a gateway to experiences that lead to deep psychological transformation....

Quote:...The experiences and personal trans­formations that practitioners describe are thought to undergird entirely new psy­chological perspectives and ways of existing in the world. Ad­vanced medi­tation may help inspire people and provide deep insight and clarity about how to achieve meaning in life. It is not un­common, in fact, for individuals to reassess their careers or life goals after a meditation retreat and go on to pursue a path that is more fulfilling and that is more aligned with their deeper values and perspectives...

Quote:...Advanced meditation interventions could be integrated with established mindfulness-based techniques, novel meditation-based therapies, and in­no­vative technologies designed to mod­ulate specific neural networks through neurofeedback and brain stim­ulation. These methods may make it possible for people to have the experience of an ad­vanced meditative state without under­going extensive training...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Quote:It is not un­common, in fact, for individuals to reassess their careers or life goals after a meditation retreat and go on to pursue a path that is more fulfilling and that is more aligned with their deeper values and perspectives...


I used to go to a local Zen center for group meditation and lectures. The members giving talks would often tell about how they dropped out of the rat race so they would have more time to pursue meditation. 

I thought they were crazy until I did it too.

Advanced meditation techniques can help but they aren't really necessary. The simplest technique will quiet a lot of the mental chatter that keeps us obsessed about day-to-day worries and  regrets. The difficulty in maintaining focus on the object of meditation shows you over and over that you don't control your own mind - which leads to disenchantment with the mind as self, and causes doubt about the validity of all problems the mind wants us to obsess over.

You can get everything you need from the simplest techniques - the more you meditate each day the more progress you make faster. Mindfulness in daily life can increase the amount of time you spend meditating each day and can help you progress further.

From a neurological point of view I see the kinds of things they are talking about in the article as coming from two neurological phenomenon. 1) Activating the parasympathetic nervous system and deactivating the sympathetic nervous system (relaxing). And 2) deactivating the default network in the brain and activating the experiential network (being in the present moment not lost in thought or carried away by emotions). When you are relaxed in the present moment it's ... nice. Nothing bothers you. 

https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/meditation.html

Also the article discusses the phenomenon of cessation. Not everyone who experiences cessation has that kind of change of view point from it, and although it works for some people it isn't really required to reach the highest levels. Many (maybe most) people make progress gradually, "sudden" type experiences are not necessary.


These articles mention gradual awakening.

https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenme...zen-young/

https://inquiringmind.com/article/2701_w...htenments/
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
(This post was last modified: 2024-07-02, 04:29 AM by Jim_Smith. Edited 4 times in total.)
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(2024-07-02, 03:55 AM)Jim_Smith Wrote: I used to go to a local Zen center for group meditation and lectures. The members giving talks would often tell about how they dropped out of the rat race so they would have more time to pursue meditation. 

I thought they were crazy until I did it too.

Advanced meditation techniques can help but they aren't really necessary. The simplest technique will quiet a lot of the mental chatter that keeps us obsessed about day-to-day worries and  regrets. The difficulty in maintaining focus on the object of meditation shows you over and over that you don't control your own mind - which leads to disenchantment with the mind as self, and causes doubt about the validity of all problems the mind wants us to obsess over.

You can get everything you need from the simplest techniques - the more you meditate each day the more progress you make faster. Mindfulness in daily life can increase the amount of time you spend meditating each day and can help you progress further.

From a neurological point of view I see the kinds of things they are talking about in the article as coming from two neurological phenomenon. 1) Activating the parasympathetic nervous system and deactivating the sympathetic nervous system (relaxing). And 2) deactivating the default network in the brain and activating the experiential network (being in the present moment not lost in thought or carried away by emotions). When you are relaxed in the present moment it's ... nice. Nothing bothers you. 

https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/meditation.html

Also the article discusses the phenomenon of cessation. Not everyone who experiences cessation has that kind of change of view point from it, and although it works for some people it isn't really required to reach the highest levels. Many (maybe most) people make progress gradually, "sudden" type experiences are not necessary.


These articles mention gradual awakening.

https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenme...zen-young/

https://inquiringmind.com/article/2701_w...htenments/

There is no doubt that meditation can make profound changes in consciousness, changes that can be very therapeutic. I've always wondered how these meditatively attained changes relate to the changes experienced by NDErs especially during OBEs, during which the experiencer's consciousness is no longer limited by having to work through the brain structure.
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(2024-07-04, 12:38 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: There is no doubt that meditation can make profound changes in consciousness, changes that can be very therapeutic. I've always wondered how these meditatively attained changes relate to the changes experienced by NDErs especially during OBEs, during which the experiencer's consciousness is no longer limited by having to work through the brain structure.


Meditation produces effects in multiple directions, some types of meditation have more of an effect in one dimension or another. (ie Ending suffering, experiencing noself, experiencing unity, producing happiness, experiencing unconditional love - the last link in my post is about "Enlightenments" plural - ie the different types of "enlightenment"). Different people have different opinions about which changes are most important or desirable and use different techniques to produce those changes. It's really a personal opinion, not something that is right or wrong.

NDE-like experiences are experiences similar to NDEs but happen when the experiencer is not near death. I have had many NDE-like experiences meditating.  Some types of meditation cause different areas of the brain to become more or less dormant - that might have something to do with it.

And when the mental chatter is quieted from meditating, you are more able to notice the faint impressions from psychic perceptions. When I took classes in spirit communication we would prepare by meditating.
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
(This post was last modified: 2024-07-04, 01:31 AM by Jim_Smith. Edited 1 time in total.)
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