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Sample records for meditation

  1. Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that includes physical activity, education about diet, and music therapy. Meditation and the Brain Some research suggests ... 8. Dakwar E and Levin FR. The emerging role of meditation in addressing psychiatric illness, with a ...

  2. Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress Meditation can wipe away the day's stress, bringing with it inner peace. See how you can easily learn to practice meditation whenever you need it most. By Mayo Clinic Staff If stress has you ...

  3. MEDITATIVE PSYCHOANALYSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Jeffrey B

    2016-03-01

    Psychoanalysis and meditation not only compensate for the other's blind spots, but also, when practiced together, can provide a richer experience than either discipline pursued alone. After considering the way meditation cultivates heightened attentiveness, refines sensory clarity, lessens self-criticism, and increases affect tolerance, thereby deepening psychoanalytic listening, I'll examine how psychoanalytic perspectives on unconscious communication and meaning illuminate and transform the nearsightedness of meditation, aiding therapists and clients in understanding troubling thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This helps therapists deepen their capacity to help those people with whom they work. The paper also attempts to illuminate how the therapeutic relationship, conceived of in a freer and more empathic way--as the vehicle for both validating a person's experience and providing opportunities for new forms of relatedness and self-transformation--provides a crucible in which old and dysfunctional ways of caring for oneself and relating to other people emerge and new patterns of self-care and intimacy can be established. In the concluding section, I will delineate meditative psychoanalysis, my own integration of meditation and psychoanalysis. Clinical material will illustrate my theoretical reflections.

  4. Mindfulness meditation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grünenberg, Kristina; Walker, Hanne Kjærgaard; Knudsen, Jakob Skov

    2009-01-01

    Meditation er ikke et nyt fænomen i det danske samfund. Det er den fokus som meditationsformen Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) har været genstand for i de senere år imidlertid. Inden for en sundhedssociologisk ramme undersøges nogle af grundene til, at netop MBSR er blevet populær både i...... en analyse af empirien, i hvilken forfatterne bl.a. argumenterer for, at opfattelsen af virkninger tilskrevet mindfulness meditation må ses i relation til to diskurser, som fremanalyseres og benævnes henholdsvis autenticitets- og e ektiviseringsdiskurserne. Disse diskurser udgør i artiklen...

  5. Meditation and the EEG

    OpenAIRE

    West, Michael

    1980-01-01

    Previous research on meditation and the EEG is described, and findings relating to EEG patterns during meditation are discussed. Comparisons of meditation with other altered states are reviewed and it is concluded that, on the basis of existing EEG evidence, there is some reason for differentiating between meditation and drowsing. Research on alpha-blocking and habituation of the blocking response during meditation is reviewed, and the effects of meditation on EEG patterns outside of meditati...

  6. Psychobehavioral Effects of Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokorski, Mieczyslaw; Suchorzynska, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Meditation is an increasingly popular psychobehavioral therapy. Various meditation techniques in use make it hard to objectively scrutinize the psychological benefits. Therefore, in this study we set out to examine the effects of two fundamentally different meditative techniques, Zazen, 'seated meditation', in which the body and mind are calmed, and Tai Chi, 'meditation in motion', based on energetic martial art performance. The aim was to compare the effects of both techniques on personality structure, emotional intelligence, mood, and coping with stress. The study was conducted in 48 healthy volunteers, aged 39-50, divided into those practicing Zazen, Tai Chi, and the non-meditating controls, each group consisting of 16 persons. The psychometric tools consisted of Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS), the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL), Emotional Intelligence Inventory (INTE), and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). We found that both Zazen and Tai Chi meditations significantly enhanced openness to experience, one of the personality dimensions of the Big Five Model. The enhanced openness was associated with improved strategies for coping with stress. The meditators had less avoidance-oriented approaches to perceived stress. They also had improved mood compared with non-meditating controls. The findings suggest that enhanced openness to experience could shape one's desire to hold onto the meditation regimen. We conclude that both, diametrically different types of meditation, are conducive to mental health by improving the general well-being, counteracting stress, and leading to a better vigor of spirit. Meditation may thus be considered a complimentary, albeit rather modestly acting, adjunct to psychotherapy.

  7. Origins of Mindfulness & Meditation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singla, Rashmi

    2011-01-01

    Mindfulness & meditation are gaining popularity in the Western psychological practice in the past 3-4 decades, especially within psychotherapeutic approaches, health promotion, and stress reduction. The origins and the broader context, however, seem to be overlooked in some of these practices......- mind, centrality of consciousness and meditation as a part of daily conduct are presented. The basic constructs of Buddhism, an integral part of Indian psychology, in relation to mindfulness and meditation, are also delineated as illustrations of these assumptions. The second part reflects...... on the application of the meditative practices through cognitive existential study of mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn, 2003) and a study on the phenomenology of meditation (Madsen, 2007). Both emphasise an experienced instructor, regular practice as a part of daily life, conceptual consciousness understandings...

  8. Using Meditation in Addiction Counseling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Mark E.; DeLorenzi, Leigh de Armas; Cunningham, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Meditation has been studied as a way of reducing stress in counseling clients since the 1960s. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and new wave behavior therapies incorporate meditation techniques in their programs. This article identifies meditation's curative factors and limitations when using meditation in addiction settings.

  9. Depersonalization and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, R J

    1990-05-01

    From a review of the literature on meditation and depersonalization and interviews conducted with six meditators, this study concludes that: 1) meditation can cause depersonalization and derealization; 2) the meanings in the mind of the meditator regarding the experience of depersonalization will determine to a great extent whether anxiety is present as part of the experience; 3) there need not be any significant anxiety or impairment in social or occupational functioning as a result of depersonalization; 4) a depersonalized state can become an apparently permanent mode of functioning; 5) patients with Depersonalization Disorder may be treated through a process of symbolic healing--that is, changing the meanings associated with depersonalization in the mind of the patient, thereby reducing anxiety and functional impairment; 6) panic/anxiety may be caused by depersonalization if catastrophic interpretations of depersonalization are present.

  10. Positive Emotion Correlates of Meditation Practice: A Comparison of Mindfulness Meditation and Loving-kindness Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Boulton, Aaron J; Firestine, Ann M; Van Cappellen, Patty; Algoe, Sara B; Brantley, Mary M; Kim, Sumi Loundon; Brantley, Jeffrey; Salzberg, Sharon

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to uncover the day-to-day emotional profiles and dose-response relations, both within-persons and between-persons, associated with initiating one of two meditation practices, either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation. Data were pooled across two studies of midlife adults ( N = 339) who were randomized to learn either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation in a six-week workshop. The duration and frequency of meditation practice was measured daily for nine weeks, commencing with the first workshop session. Likewise, positive and negative emotions were also measured daily, using the modified Differential Emotions Scale (Fredrickson, 2013). Analysis of daily emotion reports over the targeted nine-week period showed significant gains in positive emotions and no change in negative emotions, regardless of meditation type. Multilevel models also revealed significant dose-response relations between duration of meditation practice and positive emotions, both within-persons and between-persons. Moreover, the within-person dose-response relation was stronger for loving-kindness meditation than for mindfulness meditation. Similar dose-response relations were observed for the frequency of meditation practice. In the context of prior research on the mental and physical health benefits produced by subtle increases in day-to-day experiences of positive emotions, the present research points to evidence-based practices - both mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation - that can improve emotional wellbeing.

  11. Meditation and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebert, Martin S.; Mead, Travis M.

    1981-01-01

    An experimental group of college students were taught and asked to practice actualism meditation techniques before studying and before examinations. Controls were taught the techniques but asked to practice at other times. The groups did not differ in mean study time, but the experimental group performed significantly better on examinations.…

  12. Neuroscience of Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinod D. Deshmukh

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Dhyana-Yoga is a Sanskrit word for the ancient discipline of meditation, as a means to Samadhi or enlightenment. Samadhi is a self-absorptive, adaptive state with realization of one’s being in harmony with reality. It is unitive, undifferentiated, reality-consciousness, an essential being, which can only be experienced by spontaneous intuition and self-understanding. Modern neuroscience can help us to better understand Dhyana-Yoga. This article discusses topics including brain-mind-reality, consciousness, attention, emotional intelligence, sense of self, meditative mind, and meditative brain. A new hypothesis is proposed for a better understanding of the meditative mind. Meditation is an art of being serene and alert in the present moment, instead of constantly struggling to change or to become. It is an art of efficient management of attentional energy with total engagement (poornata, presence, mindfulness or disengagement (shunyata, silence, emptiness. In both states, there is an experience of spontaneous unity with no sense of situational interactive self or personal time. It is a simultaneous, participatory consciousness rather than a dualistic, sequential attentiveness. There is a natural sense of well being with self-understanding, spontaneous joy, serenity, freedom, and self-fulfillment. It is where the ultimate pursuit of happiness and the search for meaning of life resolve. One realizes the truth of one’s harmonious being in nature and nature in oneself. It is being alive at its fullest, when each conscious moment becomes a dynamic process of discovery and continuous learning of the ever-new unfolding reality.

  13. Interoceptive awareness in experienced meditators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalsa, Sahib S; Rudrauf, David; Damasio, Antonio R; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel

    2008-07-01

    Attention to internal body sensations is practiced in most meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest.

  14. Meditation experience predicts introspective accuracy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kieran C R Fox

    Full Text Available The accuracy of subjective reports, especially those involving introspection of one's own internal processes, remains unclear, and research has demonstrated large individual differences in introspective accuracy. It has been hypothesized that introspective accuracy may be heightened in persons who engage in meditation practices, due to the highly introspective nature of such practices. We undertook a preliminary exploration of this hypothesis, examining introspective accuracy in a cross-section of meditation practitioners (1-15,000 hrs experience. Introspective accuracy was assessed by comparing subjective reports of tactile sensitivity for each of 20 body regions during a 'body-scanning' meditation with averaged, objective measures of tactile sensitivity (mean size of body representation area in primary somatosensory cortex; two-point discrimination threshold as reported in prior research. Expert meditators showed significantly better introspective accuracy than novices; overall meditation experience also significantly predicted individual introspective accuracy. These results suggest that long-term meditators provide more accurate introspective reports than novices.

  15. The Lived Experience of Meditation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    with an interest in knowing more about the nature of the bodily sensations that I experienced during meditation. ..... These sensations were represented visually in the first drawing and it was central to the experience of meditation. Spirituality, and non-materiality, was visually .... infinite, I noticed that my memory of it faded.

  16. Alpha Theta Meditation: Phenomenological, neurophysiologic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Alpha Theta Meditation: Phenomenological, neurophysiologic, mindfulness, mood, health and sport implications. ... the single alpha theta meditation was associated with elevated alpha and theta activity, as well as decrease in negative mood perceptions, especially with regard to anxiety, sadness and confusion scores.

  17. Meditation therapy for anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krisanaprakornkit, T; Krisanaprakornkit, W; Piyavhatkul, N; Laopaiboon, M

    2006-01-25

    Anxiety disorders are characterised by long term worry, tension, nervousness, fidgeting and symptoms of autonomic system hyperactivity. Meditation is an age-old self regulatory strategy which is gaining more interest in mental health and psychiatry. Meditation can reduce arousal state and may ameliorate anxiety symptoms in various anxiety conditions. To investigate the effectiveness of meditation therapy in treating anxiety disorders Electronic databases searched include CCDANCTR-Studies and CCDANCTR-References, complementary and alternative medicine specific databases, Science Citation Index, Health Services/Technology Assessment Text database, and grey literature databases. Conference proceedings, book chapters and references were checked. Study authors and experts from religious/spiritual organisations were contacted. Types of studies: Randomised controlled trials. patients with a diagnosis of anxiety disorders, with or without another comorbid psychiatric condition. Types of interventions: concentrative meditation or mindfulness meditation. Comparison conditions: one or combination of 1) pharmacological therapy 2) other psychological treatment 3) other methods of meditation 4) no intervention or waiting list. Types of outcome: 1) improvement in clinical anxiety scale 2) improvement in anxiety level specified by triallists, or global improvement 3) acceptability of treatment, adverse effects 4) dropout. Data were independently extracted by two reviewers using a pre-designed data collection form. Any disagreements were discussed with a third reviewer, and the authors of the studies were contacted for further information. Two randomised controlled studies were eligible for inclusion in the review. Both studies were of moderate quality and used active control comparisons (another type of meditation, relaxation, biofeedback). Anti-anxiety drugs were used as standard treatment. The duration of trials ranged from 3 months (12 weeks) to 18 weeks. In one study

  18. At dø i meditation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stjernholm, Ole; Ehrensvärd, Martin Gustaf

    The book gives an introduction to how death has been used and can be used in meditation, and it proceeds to describe very advanced stages of meditation on death......The book gives an introduction to how death has been used and can be used in meditation, and it proceeds to describe very advanced stages of meditation on death...

  19. Meditation: should a cardiologist care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olex, Stephen; Newberg, Andrew; Figueredo, Vincent M

    2013-10-03

    Meditation refers to a family of practices that may share many similarities, but can have differences in underlying methods and goals. Religious and spiritual associations are common but are not requisite for meditation practice and it should be recognized that the basis of many if not all practices is the training of the brain and body, a process that appears to have profound effects on both structure and function. In recent decades there has been interest regarding the effects of these ancient practices on the cardiovascular system, as meditation has intuitive appeal for benefit in this area. Though there is a relative shortage of quality data, available evidence suggests that meditation may exert beneficial effects on autonomic tone, autonomic reflexes, and decrease blood pressure acutely and after long term practice. In addition, meditation has the potential to positively influence the cardiovascular system through the mind-heart connection and the anti-inflammatory reflex. There is limited but promising data to suggest that meditation based interventions can have beneficial effects on patients with established cardiovascular disease. More high quality and unbiased studies of meditation practices on relevant endpoints in cardiovascular disease are needed, including the effects of such practices on inflammation, baseline heart rate variability, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular mortality. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Relaxation and Meditation with Music

    OpenAIRE

    ČAPKOVÁ, Jana

    2011-01-01

    The thesis introduces an importance of a mental hygiene and its chosen methods - relaxation and meditation with music. The theoretical part is focused on a description of the basic relaxation and meditation techniques and curative effects of music. It deals with a music therapy, its meaning, types, methods and history in terms of the importance of music healing relaxation effects on the mental, physical as well as spiritual health. The practical part includes a usage of these methods in pract...

  1. Prenatal meditation influences infant behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Ka Po

    2014-11-01

    Meditation is important in facilitating health. Pregnancy health has been shown to have significant consequences for infant behaviors. In view of limited studies on meditation and infant temperament, this study aims to explore the effects of prenatal meditation on these aspects. The conceptual framework was based on the postulation of positive relationships between prenatal meditation and infant health. A randomized control quantitative study was carried out at Obstetric Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong. 64 pregnant Chinese women were recruited for intervention and 59 were for control. Outcome measures were cord blood cortisol, infant salivary cortisol, and Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire. Cord blood cortisol level of babies was higher in the intervention group (pmeditation can influence fetal health. Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire showed that the infants of intervention group have better temperament (pmeditation in relation to child health. Present study concludes the positive effects of prenatal meditation on infant behaviors and recommends that pregnancy care providers should provide prenatal meditation to pregnant women. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Dynamic meditation in sports dances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.I. Omelyanenko

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose : to elaborate methods for effective training of sport dancers with help of complex integrated person-centered psychological effect on base of dynamic meditation. Material : 20 dancers at age 40-50 years participated in this research. Duration of the research was 3 hours twice a week within a year. Requirement to the experimental group was ability to dig into condition of dynamic meditation. Psychotherapist initiated them into dynamic meditation. Dancing variations were composed with glance to increasing complexity and dancers’ primary competence. In the state of the dynamic meditation the dancers of the experimental group concentrated their attention on their moving body parts and physical feeling. Results: Mastering new figures and variations process quickened in the experimental group in comparison with control group. Approximately 2-5 hours of the dynamic meditation were necessary for correction of the mechanical skills. The group consolidation with interrelations and friendship improvement was observed. Family and at-work atmosphere improved. Physical and mental activity increased. Soreness passed off. Psycho emotional stability appeared. Conclusions : the dynamic meditation use in complex with psychological methods in the dancers’ experimental group showed its positive influence upon test subjects. The elaborated methods proved pedagogical effect for sports ballroom dances training of seniors category dancers.

  3. Review of the Neural Oscillations Underlying Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darrin J. Lee

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Meditation is one type of mental training that has been shown to produce many cognitive benefits. Meditation practice is associated with improvement in concentration and reduction of stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, different forms of meditation training are now being used as interventions for a variety of psychological and somatic illnesses. These benefits are thought to occur as a result of neurophysiologic changes. The most commonly studied specific meditation practices are focused attention (FA, open-monitoring (OM, as well as transcendental meditation (TM, and loving-kindness (LK meditation. In this review, we compare the neural oscillatory patterns during these forms of meditation.Method: We performed a systematic review of neural oscillations during FA, OM, TM, and LK meditation practices, comparing meditators to meditation-naïve adults.Results: FA, OM, TM, and LK meditation are associated with global increases in oscillatory activity in meditators compared to meditation-naïve adults, with larger changes occurring as the length of meditation training increases. While FA and OM are related to increases in anterior theta activity, only FA is associated with changes in posterior theta oscillations. Alpha activity increases in posterior brain regions during both FA and OM. In anterior regions, FA shows a bilateral increase in alpha power, while OM shows a decrease only in left-sided power. Gamma activity in these meditation practices is similar in frontal regions, but increases are variable in parietal and occipital regions.Conclusions: The current literature suggests distinct differences in neural oscillatory activity among FA, OM, TM, and LK meditation practices. Further characterizing these oscillatory changes may better elucidate the cognitive and therapeutic effects of specific meditation practices, and potentially lead to the development of novel neuromodulation targets to take advantage of their

  4. Meditation and its regulatory role on sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravindra P. Nagendra

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Intense meditation practices help to achieve a harmony between body and mind. Meditation practices influence brain functions, induce various intrinsic neural plasticity events, modulate autonomic, metabolic, endocrine and immune functions and thus mediate global regulatory changes in various behavioural states including sleep. This brief review focuses on the effect of meditation as a self regulatory phenomenon on sleep.

  5. Cardiovascular and nervous system changes during meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Steinhubl

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: A number of benefits have been described for the long-term practice of meditation, yet little is known regarding the immediate neurological and cardiovascular responses to meditation. Wireless sensor technology allows, for the first time, multi-parameter and quantitative monitoring of an individual’s responses during meditation. The present study examined inter-individual variations to meditation through continuous monitoring of EEG, blood pressure, heart rate and its variability (HRV in novice and experienced meditators. Methods: Participants were 20 experienced and 20 novice meditators involved in a week-long wellness retreat. Monitoring took place during meditation sessions on the first and last full days of the retreat. All participants wore a patch that continuously streamed ECG data, while half of them also wore a wireless EEG headset plus a non-invasive continuous blood pressure monitor. Results: Meditation produced variable but characteristic EEG changes, significantly different from baseline, even among novice meditators on the first day. In addition, although participants were predominately normotensive, the mean arterial blood pressure fell a small (2-3 mmHg but significant (p<0.0001 amount during meditation. The effect of meditation on HRV was less clear and influenced by calculation technique and respiration. No clear relationship between EEG changes, HRV alterations or mean blood pressure during meditation was found.Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate neurological and cardiovascular responses during meditation in both novice and experienced meditators using novel, wearable, wireless devices. Meditation produced varied inter-individual physiologic responses. These results support the need for further investigation of the short- and long-term cardiovascular effects of mental calm and individualized ways to achieve it.

  6. Meditation and mindfulness in clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkin, Deborah R; Black, Nancy B

    2014-07-01

    This article describes the various forms of meditation and provides an overview of research using these techniques for children, adolescents, and their families. The most researched techniques in children and adolescents are mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, yoga meditation, transcendental meditation, mind-body techniques (meditation, relaxation), and body-mind techniques (yoga poses, tai chi movements). Current data are suggestive of a possible value of meditation and mindfulness techniques for treating symptomatic anxiety, depression, and pain in youth. Clinicians must be properly trained before using these techniques. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Experiencing mindfulness meditation - a client narrative perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stelter, Reinhard

    2009-01-01

    The study was based on the non-participant involvement of the researcher in four six-to-eight weeks' mindfulness meditation training courses led by chartered psychologists. The participants suffered from stress/sleeplessness, depression or agoraphobia in the presented cases. They were selected...... and practicing mindfulness meditation. It is not the intention to give evidence about the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in general, but to present the whats and hows of cases where mindfulness meditation appears to improve quality of life, health and well-being. Keywords: Mindfulness meditation...

  8. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Hölzel, Britta K; Posner, Michael I

    2015-04-01

    Research over the past two decades broadly supports the claim that mindfulness meditation - practiced widely for the reduction of stress and promotion of health - exerts beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and cognitive performance. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to uncover the brain areas and networks that mediate these positive effects. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear, and it is apparent that more methodologically rigorous studies are required if we are to gain a full understanding of the neuronal and molecular bases of the changes in the brain that accompany mindfulness meditation.

  9. Mindfulness Meditation in Clinical Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Paul; Sephton, Sandra; Weissbecker, Inka; Hoover, Katherine; Ulmer, Christi; Studts, Jamie L.

    2004-01-01

    The practice of mindfulness is increasingly being integrated into contemporary clinical psychology. Based in Buddhist philosophy and subsequently integrated into Western health care in the contexts of psychotherapy and stress management, mindfulness meditation is evolving as a systematic clinical intervention. This article describes…

  10. Investigation into breath meditation: Phenomenological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This integral heuristic phenomenological investigation records participants' experiences of a single session of breath meditation with special reference to psychotherapy and sport psychology. There were 8 participants, 4 men and 4 women, with mean age of 45 years and age range from 31 to 62 years. Various breathing ...

  11. Efficacy of Heartfulness Meditation in Moderating Vital Parameters - A Comparison Study of Experienced and New meditators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raja Amarnath G

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To analyse and compare the effect of a 30-minute Heartfulness meditation session on vital parameters of experienced and new meditators. Methodology: The study conducted on a mixed group of participants include both experienced and new meditators of various age groups, Body Mass Index (BMI; patients with known illness as well as healthy volunteers. Variations in heart rate, respiratory rate and systolic blood pressure is recorded before and after a 30-minute heartfulness meditation session and analysed statistically. Results: At baseline, average heart rate (HR and systolic blood pressure (SBP is significantly lower in experienced meditators compared to new meditators. Heartfulness meditation is highly significant in moderating HR, RR and SBP. Conclusion: A 30-minute session of Heartfulness meditation produces significant relaxation of the autonomic nervous system and favourably moderates basic vital parameters across all groups. This influence is higher in New meditators particularly the younger group probably because stress is more amplified due to greater responsibilities in life and meditation is an effective tool in reducing stress. The enthusiasm and open mindedness of youth to try new things is also contributing factor for getting better benefits from the heartfulness meditation session. In the case of experienced meditators, the elderly group showed greater changes, probably because they put in the time and effort to pursue the practice of meditation seriously, and thus able to derive a greater benefit.

  12. Migraines and meditation: does spirituality matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachholtz, Amy B; Pargament, Kenneth I

    2008-08-01

    Migraine headaches are associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety (Waldie and Poulton Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 72: 86-92, 2002) and feelings of low self-efficacy (French et al. Headache, 40: 647-656, 2000). Previous research suggests that spiritual meditation may ameliorate some of the negative traits associated with migraine headaches (Wachholtz and Pargament Journal of behavioral Medicine, 30: 311-318, 2005). This study examined two primary questions: (1) Is spiritual meditation more effective in enhancing pain tolerance and reducing migraine headache related symptoms than secular meditation and relaxation? and, (2) Does spiritual meditation create better mental, physical, and spiritual health outcomes than secular meditation and relaxation techniques? Eighty-three meditation naïve, frequent migraineurs were taught Spiritual Meditation, Internally Focused Secular Meditation, Externally Focused Secular Meditation, or Muscle Relaxation which participants practiced for 20 min a day for one month. Pre-post tests measured pain tolerance (with a cold pressor task), headache frequency, and mental and spiritual health variables. Compared to the other three groups, those who practiced spiritual meditation had greater decreases in the frequency of migraine headaches, anxiety, and negative affect, as well as greater increases in pain tolerance, headache-related self-efficacy, daily spiritual experiences, and existential well being.

  13. Meditation or Exercise May Help Acute Respiratory Infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and older, to one of three groups: a mindfulness meditation group, an exercise group, or a wait-list control group. Participants in the meditation group received training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (a type of meditation based ...

  14. Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurk, P.A.M. van den; Giommi, F.; Gielen, S.C.A.M.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their

  15. Self-Actualizations and Experience with Zen Meditation: Is a Learning Period Necessary for Meditation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Compton, William C.; Becker, Gordon M.

    1983-01-01

    Investigated the relationship between the practice of Zen meditation and a measure of self-actualization in experienced (N=36) and inexperienced (N=34) meditator groups. Analysis of data showed that a learning period (or selection period) exists for Zen meditation during which there is no increase in group self-actualization. (LLL)

  16. Patanjali and neuroscientific research on meditation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bærentsen, Klaus B.

    2015-01-01

    The definition of meditation (or yoga) by Patanjali as “restriction (or stilling) of the fluctuations of the mind” may be an appropriate starting point for research on meditation using fMRI. An operational definition of the neural substrate of meditation which is adequate to Patanjalis definition......, may be developed on the basis of a non-reductionistic understanding of the neural underpinnings of the mind in terms of dynamical functional brain systems....

  17. Love and compassion meditation: a nondual perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josipovic, Zoran

    2016-06-01

    This paper discusses meditation from the unique perspective of the nondual approach and explores the possible relevance of this approach to applications of love and compassion meditation in clinical settings. It contrasts the nondual approach with the better known gradual or goal-oriented, dualistic view of meditation. This paper also introduces one of the central ideas of the nondual approach-that love and compassion, like other positive qualities that are ordinarily considered as goals of meditation practice, can be found to be already present within oneself as innate dimensions of one's authentic being. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. Mindfulness Meditation Modulates Pain Through Endogenous Opioids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon, Haggai; Maron-Katz, Adi; Ben Simon, Eti; Flusser, Yuval; Hendler, Talma; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Brill, Silviu

    2016-07-01

    Recent evidence supports the beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation on pain. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. We used an opioid blocker to examine whether mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia involves endogenous opioids. Fifteen healthy experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants rated the pain and unpleasantness of a cold stimulus prior to and after a mindfulness meditation session. Participants were then randomized to receive either intravenous naloxone or saline, after which they meditated again, and rated the same stimulus. A (3) × (2) repeated-measurements analysis of variance revealed a significant time effect for pain and unpleasantness scores (both P mindfulness meditation and after placebo, but not after naloxone. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between the pain scores following naloxone vs placebo and participants' mindfulness meditation experience. These findings show, for the first time, that meditation involves endogenous opioid pathways, mediating its analgesic effect and growing resilient with increasing practice to external suggestion. This finding could hold promising therapeutic implications and further elucidate the fine mechanisms involved in human pain modulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. EEG-guided meditation: A personalized approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Kallio-Tamminen, Tarja

    2015-12-01

    The therapeutic potential of meditation for physical and mental well-being is well documented, however the possibility of adverse effects warrants further discussion of the suitability of any particular meditation practice for every given participant. This concern highlights the need for a personalized approach in the meditation practice adjusted for a concrete individual. This can be done by using an objective screening procedure that detects the weak and strong cognitive skills in brain function, thus helping design a tailored meditation training protocol. Quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) is a suitable tool that allows identification of individual neurophysiological types. Using qEEG screening can aid developing a meditation training program that maximizes results and minimizes risk of potential negative effects. This brief theoretical-conceptual review provides a discussion of the problem and presents some illustrative results on the usage of qEEG screening for the guidance of mediation personalization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Multifractal analysis of heartbeat dynamics during meditation training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Renliang; Bian, Chunhua; Ma, Qianli D. Y.

    2013-04-01

    We investigate the multifractality of heartbeat dynamics during Chinese CHI meditation in healthy young adults. The results show that the range of multifractal singularity spectrum of heartbeat interval time series during meditation is significantly narrower than those in the pre-meditation state of the same subject, which indicates that during meditation the heartbeat becomes regular and the degree of multifractality decreases.

  1. A single session of meditation reduces of physiological indices of anger in both experienced and novice meditators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, Alexander B; Benau, Erik M; Atchley, Ruth Ann

    2016-02-01

    The goal of the present study was to explore how anger reduction via a single session of meditation might be measured using psychophysiological methodologies. To achieve this, 15 novice meditators (Experiment 1) and 12 practiced meditators (Experiment 2) completed autobiographical anger inductions prior to, and following, meditation training while respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure were measured. Participants also reported subjective anger via a visual analog scale. At both stages, the experienced meditators' physiological reaction to the anger induction reflected that of relaxation: slowed breathing and heart rate and decreased blood pressure. Naïve meditators exhibited physiological reactions that were consistent with anger during the pre-meditation stage, while after meditation training and a second anger induction they elicited physiological evidence of relaxation. The current results examining meditation training show that the naïve group's physiological measures mimicked those of the experienced group following a single session of meditation training. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Meditation training increases brain efficiency in an attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozasa, Elisa H; Sato, João R; Lacerda, Shirley S; Barreiros, Maria A M; Radvany, João; Russell, Tamara A; Sanches, Liana G; Mello, Luiz E A M; Amaro, Edson

    2012-01-02

    Meditation is a mental training, which involves attention and the ability to maintain focus on a particular object. In this study we have applied a specific attentional task to simply measure the performance of the participants with different levels of meditation experience, rather than evaluating meditation practice per se or task performance during meditation. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of regular meditators and non-meditators during an fMRI adapted Stroop Word-Colour Task (SWCT), which requires attention and impulse control, using a block design paradigm. We selected 20 right-handed regular meditators and 19 non-meditators matched for age, years of education and gender. Participants had to choose the colour (red, blue or green) of single words presented visually in three conditions: congruent, neutral and incongruent. Non-meditators showed greater activity than meditators in the right medial frontal, middle temporal, precentral and postcentral gyri and the lentiform nucleus during the incongruent conditions. No regions were more activated in meditators relative to non-meditators in the same comparison. Non-meditators showed an increased pattern of brain activation relative to regular meditators under the same behavioural performance level. This suggests that meditation training improves efficiency, possibly via improved sustained attention and impulse control. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Equilibration in Transcendental Meditation (TM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Bagheri

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Today in the realm of theoretical and applied humanities, the main concern is the ways to attain inner equilibrium than prosperity and the ways to discover it. Equilibrium, in some way, evokes the development of tolerance and a peaceful life which is mostly, a controversial issue in Christianity and with a few differences, in sophism controversies. The present meaning seeking human or modern and post-modern human is testing different anti-progress and prophetic theories for peace and inner equilibrium to end his adversary and outer contradictions. By the massive advertisement on meditation and Transcendental Meditation (TM and its effects on health and equanimity which has been started since 1960s in Europe and continued to spread everywhere with the help of global networks, it seems necessary to study the roots, vitality, necessity, levels and related techniques and compare it with Islamic religious and cultural concepts and investigate the positive and negative aspects of these practices. The present study aims at discovering whether the equilibrium or peace attained through TM is genuine and beatific.

  4. Characteristics of Adults Who Used Mindfulness Meditation: United States, 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morone, Natalia E; Moore, Charity G; Greco, Carol M

    2017-07-01

    To describe estimates of the number and characteristics of persons who had used mindfulness meditation in the U.S. Data from 108,131 adults from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey were weighted to produce national estimates representative of the U.S. Persons who used mindfulness meditation were identified by their response to the question "During the past 12 months, did you use mindfulness meditation?" An estimated 2,029,720 adults had used mindfulness meditation. Compared with those who did not meditate, more meditators endorsed moderate exercise (79.6% vs. 54.8%; p Mindfulness meditation was used by an estimated 2,029,720 adults in the United States in 2012. More meditators than nonmeditators reported more pain and reported feeling nervous or sad and being stressed, suggesting a reason for using mindfulness meditation.

  5. Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aspy, Denholm J; Proeve, Michael

    2017-02-01

    An experiment involving 115 undergraduate students (74.8% females; mean age = 20.5 years, SD = 4.3) was conducted to explore effects of meditation on social connectedness, nature connectedness, and affect. Participants listened to one of three brief guided meditation Mp3 recordings via the internet, which involved mindfulness meditation (MM), loving-kindness meditation (LKM), or progressive muscle relaxation (active control group). Participants in the MM and LKM groups reported greater social and nature connectedness at post-test than those in the control group. There were no significant differences in connectedness between the MM and LKM groups, suggesting they are both effective for enhancing connectedness. There were no significant changes in negative or positive affect at post-test due to the interventions. Recommendations for future research are provided.

  6. Prison Meditation Movements and Mass Incarceration1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Thomas; Cantrell, Wm. Dustin

    2015-01-01

    By some estimates more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on one such approach - mindfulness meditation as a treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the research on mindfulness in incarcerated settings. We argue that in order to make a substantial impact on recidivism, such programs must mirror volunteer programs which emphasize interdependency and non-duality between the “helper” and the “helped,” and the building of meditation communities both inside and outside of prison. PMID:25941214

  7. Prison Meditation Movements and Mass Incarceration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Thomas; Cantrell, W Dustin

    2016-09-01

    By some estimates, more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on one such approach-mindfulness meditation as a treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the research on mindfulness in incarcerated settings. We argue that to make a substantial impact on recidivism, such programs must mirror volunteer programs which emphasize interdependency and non-duality between the "helper" and the "helped," and the building of meditation communities both inside and outside of prison. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2013-08-20

    More than 5 million deaths a year are attributable to tobacco smoking, but attempts to help people either quit or reduce their smoking often fail, perhaps in part because the intention to quit activates brain networks related to craving. We recruited participants interested in general stress reduction and randomly assigned them to meditation training or a relaxation training control. Among smokers, 2 wk of meditation training (5 h in total) produced a significant reduction in smoking of 60%; no reduction was found in the relaxation control. Resting-state brain scans showed increased activity for the meditation group in the anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex, brain areas related to self-control. These results suggest that brief meditation training improves self-control capacity and reduces smoking.

  9. Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation: effects of meditative expertise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Lutz

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent brain imaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI have implicated insula and anterior cingulate cortices in the empathic response to another's pain. However, virtually nothing is known about the impact of the voluntary generation of compassion on this network. To investigate these questions we assessed brain activity using fMRI while novice and expert meditation practitioners generated a loving-kindness-compassion meditation state. To probe affective reactivity, we presented emotional and neutral sounds during the meditation and comparison periods. Our main hypothesis was that the concern for others cultivated during this form of meditation enhances affective processing, in particular in response to sounds of distress, and that this response to emotional sounds is modulated by the degree of meditation training. The presentation of the emotional sounds was associated with increased pupil diameter and activation of limbic regions (insula and cingulate cortices during meditation (versus rest. During meditation, activation in insula was greater during presentation of negative sounds than positive or neutral sounds in expert than it was in novice meditators. The strength of activation in insula was also associated with self-reported intensity of the meditation for both groups. These results support the role of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. The comparison between meditation vs. rest states between experts and novices also showed increased activation in amygdala, right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ, and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS in response to all sounds, suggesting, greater detection of the emotional sounds, and enhanced mentation in response to emotional human vocalizations for experts than novices during meditation. Together these data indicate that the mental expertise to cultivate positive emotion alters the activation of circuitries previously linked to empathy and theory of mind in

  10. Prison Meditation Movements and Mass Incarceration1

    OpenAIRE

    Lyons, Thomas; Cantrell, Wm. Dustin

    2015-01-01

    By some estimates more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on o...

  11. Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction

    OpenAIRE

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I.

    2013-01-01

    More than 5 million deaths a year are attributable to tobacco smoking, but attempts to help people either quit or reduce their smoking often fail, perhaps in part because the intention to quit activates brain networks related to craving. We recruited participants interested in general stress reduction and randomly assigned them to meditation training or a relaxation training control. Among smokers, 2 wk of meditation training (5 h in total) produced a significant reduction in smoking of 60%; ...

  12. Ultrahromatizm as a Sound Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaytseva Marina

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The article scientifically substantiates the insights on the theory and the practice of using microchromatic in modern musical art, defines compositional and expressive possibilities of microtonal system in the works of composers of XXI century. It justifies the author's interpretation of the concept of “ultrahromatizm”, as a principle of musical thinking, which is connected with the sound space conception as the space-time continuum. The paper identifies the correlation of the notions “microchromatism” and “ultrahromatizm”. If microchromosome is understood, first and for most, as the technique of dividing the sound into microparticles, ultrahromatizm is interpreted as the principle of musical and artistic consciousness, as the musical focus of consciousness on the formation of the specific model of sound meditation and understanding of the world.

  13. A Methodological Review of Meditation Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, John W.; Cohen, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Despite over 50 years of research into the states of consciousness induced by various meditation practices, no clear neurophysiological signatures of these states have been found. Much of this failure can be attributed to the narrow range of variables examined in most meditation studies, with the focus being restricted to a search for correlations between neurophysiological measures and particular practices, without documenting the content and context of these practices. We contend that more meaningful results can be obtained by expanding the methodological paradigm to include multiple domains including: the cultural setting (“the place”), the life situation of the meditator (“the person”), details of the particular meditation practice (‘the practice’), and the state of consciousness of the meditator (“the phenomenology”). Inclusion of variables from all these domains will improve the ability to predict the psychophysiological variables (“the psychophysiology”) associated with specific meditation states and thus explore the mysteries of human consciousness. PMID:25071607

  14. Long Latency Auditory Evoked Potentials during Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telles, Shirley; Deepeshwar, Singh; Naveen, Kalkuni Visweswaraiah; Pailoor, Subramanya

    2015-10-01

    The auditory sensory pathway has been studied in meditators, using midlatency and short latency auditory evoked potentials. The present study evaluated long latency auditory evoked potentials (LLAEPs) during meditation. Sixty male participants, aged between 18 and 31 years (group mean±SD, 20.5±3.8 years), were assessed in 4 mental states based on descriptions in the traditional texts. They were (a) random thinking, (b) nonmeditative focusing, (c) meditative focusing, and (d) meditation. The order of the sessions was randomly assigned. The LLAEP components studied were P1 (40-60 ms), N1 (75-115 ms), P2 (120-180 ms), and N2 (180-280 ms). For each component, the peak amplitude and peak latency were measured from the prestimulus baseline. There was significant decrease in the peak latency of the P2 component during and after meditation (Pmeditation facilitates the processing of information in the auditory association cortex, whereas the number of neurons recruited was smaller in random thinking and non-meditative focused thinking, at the level of the secondary auditory cortex, auditory association cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. © EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) 2014.

  15. Effect of Dynamic Meditation on Mental Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Naved; Singh, Archana; Aleem, Sheema

    2016-02-01

    Although traditional meditation has been found to be effective in improving physical and mental health of subjects, there was a paucity of research of the effect of active or dynamic meditation on these variables. Therefore, the present study was aimed at studying the effect of dynamic meditation on mental health of the subjects. Total sample of the present study comprised 60 subjects, 30 each in experimental and control group. Subjects in experimental group were given 21-day training in dynamic meditation. Mental health of the experimental and control group subjects was measured in pre- and post-condition with the help of Mental Health Inventory developed by Jagadish and Srivastava (Mental Health inventory, Manovaigyanik Parikshan Sansthan, Varanasi, 1983). Obtained data were analyzed with the help of ANCOVA. In post-condition, experimental group scored better than control group on integration of personality, autonomy and environmental mastery. Effect sizes of dynamic meditation on these dimensions of mental health were large. However, experimental group and control group did not differ significantly on positive self-evaluation, perception of reality and group-oriented attitude dimensions of mental health in post-condition. Overall, dynamic meditation training was effective in improving mental health of the subjects.

  16. Meditation acutely improves psychomotor vigilance, and may decrease sleep need

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Passafiume Jason

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A number of benefits from meditation have been claimed by those who practice various traditions, but few have been well tested in scientifically controlled studies. Among these claims are improved performance and decreased sleep need. Therefore, in these studies we assess whether meditation leads to an immediate performance improvement on a well validated psychomotor vigilance task (PVT, and second, whether longer bouts of meditation may alter sleep need. Methods The primary study assessed PVT reaction times before and after 40 minute periods of mediation, nap, or a control activity using a within subject cross-over design. This study utilized novice meditators who were current university students (n = 10. Novice meditators completed 40 minutes of meditation, nap, or control activities on six different days (two separate days for each condition, plus one night of total sleep deprivation on a different night, followed by 40 minutes of meditation. A second study examined sleep times in long term experienced meditators (n = 7 vs. non-meditators (n = 23. Experienced meditators and controls were age and sex matched and living in the Delhi region of India at the time of the study. Both groups continued their normal activities while monitoring their sleep and meditation times. Results Novice meditators were tested on the PVT before each activity, 10 minutes after each activity and one hour later. All ten novice meditators improved their PVT reaction times immediately following periods of meditation, and all but one got worse immediately following naps. Sleep deprivation produced a slower baseline reaction time (RT on the PVT that still improved significantly following a period of meditation. In experiments with long-term experienced meditators, sleep duration was measured using both sleep journals and actigraphy. Sleep duration in these subjects was lower than control non-meditators and general population norms, with no apparent

  17. Mindfulness Meditation for Primary Headache Pain: A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Gu

    2018-01-01

    Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation may reduce pain intensity and is a promising treatment option for patients. Clinicians may consider mindfulness meditation as a viable complementary and alternative medical option for primary headache.

  18. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Johnson, Susan K; Diamond, Bruce J; David, Zhanna; Goolkasian, Paula

    2010-06-01

    Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Unsichtbar. Meditation zum Lukasevangelium 19,1-10

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kirsten Busch

    2008-01-01

    En meditation over Lukasevangeliet 19,1-10 (Zakæus) med temaet usynlighed som omdrejningspunkt. Udgivelsesdato: 2007......En meditation over Lukasevangeliet 19,1-10 (Zakæus) med temaet usynlighed som omdrejningspunkt. Udgivelsesdato: 2007...

  20. Intensive meditation for refractory pain and symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Madhav; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer; Levine, David; Becker, Diane; Vaidya, Dhananjay; Hill-Briggs, Felicia; Ford, Daniel

    2010-06-01

    The objective of this study was to assess patient interest in intensive meditation training for chronic symptoms. This was a cross-sectional anonymous survey among six chronic disease clinics in Baltimore including Chronic Kidney Disease, Crohn's Disease, Headache, Renal Transplant Recipients, General Rheumatology, and lupus clinic. Subjects were 1119 consecutive patients registering for their appointments at these clinics. Outcome measures were 6-month pain, global symptomatology, four-item perceived stress scale, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, and attitudes toward use of meditation for managing symptoms. We then gave a scripted description of an intensive, 10-day meditation training retreat. Patient interest in attending such a retreat was assessed. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of patients approached completed the survey. Fifty-three percent (53%) of patients reported moderate to severe pain over the past 6 months. Eighty percent (80%) reported use of some CAM therapy in the past. Thirty-five percent (35%) thought that learning meditation would improve their health, and 49% thought it would reduce stress. Overall, 39% reported interest in attending the intensive 10-day meditation retreat. Among those reporting moderate to severe pain or stress, the percentages were higher (48% and 59%). In a univariate analysis, higher education, nonworking/disabled status, female gender, higher stress, higher pain, higher symptomatology, and any CAM use were all associated with a greater odds of being moderately to very interested in an intensive 10-day meditation retreat. A multivariate model that included prior use of CAM therapies as predictors of interest in the program fit the data significantly better than a model not including CAM therapies (p = 0.0013). Over 50% of patients followed in chronic disease clinics complain of moderate to severe pain. Patients with persistent pain or stress are more likely to be interested in intensive meditation.

  1. Investigation of mindfulness meditation practitioners with voxel-based morphometry

    OpenAIRE

    Hölzel, Britta K.; Ott, Ulrich; Gard, Tim; Hempel, Hannes; Weygandt, Martin; Morgen, Katrin; Vaitl, Dieter

    2008-01-01

    Mindfulness meditators practice the non-judgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal experiences as they arise. Using voxel-based morphometry, this study investigated MRI brain images of 20 mindfulness (Vipassana) meditators (mean practice 8.6 years; 2 h daily) and compared the regional gray matter concentration to that of non-meditators matched for sex, age, education and handedness. Meditators were predicted to show greater gray matter concentration in regions that are typically...

  2. The Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedlmeier, Peter; Eberth, Juliane; Schwarz, Marcus; Zimmermann, Doreen; Haarig, Frederik; Jaeger, Sonia; Kunze, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    In this meta-analysis, we give a comprehensive overview of the effects of meditation on psychological variables that can be extracted from empirical studies, concentrating on the effects of meditation on nonclinical groups of adult meditators. Mostly because of methodological problems, almost 3/4 of an initially identified 595 studies had to be…

  3. The effect of meditation on regulation of internal body states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sahib S Khalsa

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Meditation is commonly thought to induce physiologically quiescent states, as evidenced by decreased autonomic parameters during the meditation practice including reduced heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, and increased alpha activity in the electroencephalogram. Preliminary empirical support for this idea was provided in a case report by Dimsdale and Mills (2002, where it was found that meditation seemed to regulate increased levels of cardiovascular arousal induced by bolus isoproterenol infusions. In that study, while meditating, a self-taught meditator exhibited unexpected decreases in heart rate while receiving moderate intravenous doses of the beta adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. This effect was no longer observed when the individual received isoproterenol infusions while not meditating. The current study was designed to explore this phenomenon empirically in a group of formally trained meditators. A total of 15 meditators and 15 nonmeditators individually matched on age, sex and body mass index were recruited. Participants received four series of infusions in a pseudorandomized order: isoproterenol while meditating (or during a relaxation condition for the nonmeditators, isoproterenol while resting, saline while meditating (or during a relaxation condition for the nonmeditators, and saline while resting. Heart rate was continuously measured throughout all infusions, and several measures of heart rate were derived from the instantaneous cardiac waveform. There was no evidence at the group or individual level suggesting that meditation reduced the cardiovascular response to isoproterenol, across all measures. These results suggest that meditation is not associated with increased regulation of elevated cardiac adrenergic tone.

  4. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martucci, Katherine T.; Kraft, Robert A.; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes. PMID:23615765

  5. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Martucci, Katherine T; Kraft, Robert A; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2014-06-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Integrating Mindfulness Meditation within a University Counseling Center Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurash, Cheryl; Schaul, Jonathan

    2006-01-01

    This paper documents the development of a mindfulness meditation component within a University Counseling Center setting. The specific focus is upon the inclusion of meditation as it pertains to both organizational structure and psychotherapy training. The integration of a meditation practice into any organization is a slow process that poses…

  7. Assessing effect of meditation on cognitive workload using EEG signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadhav, Narendra; Manthalkar, Ramchandra; Joshi, Yashwant

    2017-06-01

    Recent research suggests that meditation affects the structure and function of the brain. Cognitive load can be handled in effective way by the meditators. EEG signals are used to quantify cognitive load. The research of investigating effect of meditation on cognitive workload using EEG signals in pre and post-meditation is an open problem. The subjects for this study are young healthy 11 engineering students from our institute. The focused attention meditation practice is used for this study. EEG signals are recorded at the beginning of meditation and after four weeks of regular meditation using EMOTIV device. The subjects practiced meditation daily 20 minutes for 4 weeks. The 7 level arithmetic additions of single digit (low level) to three digits with carry (high level) are presented as cognitive load. The cognitive load indices such as arousal index, performance enhancement, neural activity, load index, engagement, and alertness are evaluated in pre and post meditation. The cognitive indices are improved in post meditation data. Power Spectral Density (PSD) feature is compared between pre and post-meditation across all subjects. The result hints that the subjects were handling cognitive load without stress (ease of cognitive functioning increased for the same load) after 4 weeks of meditation.

  8. EEG source imaging during two Qigong meditations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Pascal L; Lehmann, Dietrich; Tei, Shisei; Tsujiuchi, Takuya; Kumano, Hiroaki; Pascual-Marqui, Roberto D; Kochi, Kieko

    2012-08-01

    Experienced Qigong meditators who regularly perform the exercises "Thinking of Nothing" and "Qigong" were studied with multichannel EEG source imaging during their meditations. The intracerebral localization of brain electric activity during the two meditation conditions was compared using sLORETA functional EEG tomography. Differences between conditions were assessed using t statistics (corrected for multiple testing) on the normalized and log-transformed current density values of the sLORETA images. In the EEG alpha-2 frequency, 125 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Qigong" than "Thinking of Nothing," forming a single cluster in parietal Brodmann areas 5, 7, 31, and 40, all in the right hemisphere. In the EEG beta-1 frequency, 37 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Thinking of Nothing" than "Qigong," forming a single cluster in prefrontal Brodmann areas 6, 8, and 9, all in the left hemisphere. Compared to combined initial-final no-task resting, "Qigong" showed activation in posterior areas whereas "Thinking of Nothing" showed activation in anterior areas. The stronger activity of posterior (right) parietal areas during "Qigong" and anterior (left) prefrontal areas during "Thinking of Nothing" may reflect a predominance of self-reference, attention and input-centered processing in the "Qigong" meditation, and of control-centered processing in the "Thinking of Nothing" meditation.

  9. Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia

    OpenAIRE

    Zeidan, Fadel; Emerson, Nichole M.; Farris, Suzan R.; Ray, Jenna N.; Jung, Youngkyoo; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation reduces pain in experimental and clinical settings. However, it remains unknown whether mindfulness meditation engages pain-relieving mechanisms other than those associated with the placebo effect (e.g., conditioning, psychosocial context, beliefs). To determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of mindfulness meditation are different from placebo, we randomly assigned 75 healthy, human volunteers to 4 d of the following: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo condition...

  10. Distinct Neural Activity Associated with Focused-Attention Meditation and Loving-Kindness Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tatia M. C.; Leung, Mei-Kei; Hou, Wai-Kai; Tang, Joey C. Y.; Yin, Jing; So, Kwok-Fai; Lee, Chack-Fan; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the dissociable neural effects of ānāpānasati (focused-attention meditation, FAM) and mettā (loving-kindness meditation, LKM) on BOLD signals during cognitive (continuous performance test, CPT) and affective (emotion-processing task, EPT, in which participants viewed affective pictures) processing. Twenty-two male Chinese expert meditators (11 FAM experts, 11 LKM experts) and 22 male Chinese novice meditators (11 FAM novices, 11 LKM novices) had their brain activity monitored by a 3T MRI scanner while performing the cognitive and affective tasks in both meditation and baseline states. We examined the interaction between state (meditation vs. baseline) and expertise (expert vs. novice) separately during LKM and FAM, using a conjunction approach to reveal common regions sensitive to the expert meditative state. Additionally, exclusive masking techniques revealed distinct interactions between state and group during LKM and FAM. Specifically, we demonstrated that the practice of FAM was associated with expertise-related behavioral improvements and neural activation differences in attention task performance. However, the effect of state LKM meditation did not carry over to attention task performance. On the other hand, both FAM and LKM practice appeared to affect the neural responses to affective pictures. For viewing sad faces, the regions activated for FAM practitioners were consistent with attention-related processing; whereas responses of LKM experts to sad pictures were more in line with differentiating emotional contagion from compassion/emotional regulation processes. Our findings provide the first report of distinct neural activity associated with forms of meditation during sustained attention and emotion processing. PMID:22905090

  11. Distinct neural activity associated with focused-attention meditation and loving-kindness meditation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatia M C Lee

    Full Text Available This study examined the dissociable neural effects of ānāpānasati (focused-attention meditation, FAM and mettā (loving-kindness meditation, LKM on BOLD signals during cognitive (continuous performance test, CPT and affective (emotion-processing task, EPT, in which participants viewed affective pictures processing. Twenty-two male Chinese expert meditators (11 FAM experts, 11 LKM experts and 22 male Chinese novice meditators (11 FAM novices, 11 LKM novices had their brain activity monitored by a 3T MRI scanner while performing the cognitive and affective tasks in both meditation and baseline states. We examined the interaction between state (meditation vs. baseline and expertise (expert vs. novice separately during LKM and FAM, using a conjunction approach to reveal common regions sensitive to the expert meditative state. Additionally, exclusive masking techniques revealed distinct interactions between state and group during LKM and FAM. Specifically, we demonstrated that the practice of FAM was associated with expertise-related behavioral improvements and neural activation differences in attention task performance. However, the effect of state LKM meditation did not carry over to attention task performance. On the other hand, both FAM and LKM practice appeared to affect the neural responses to affective pictures. For viewing sad faces, the regions activated for FAM practitioners were consistent with attention-related processing; whereas responses of LKM experts to sad pictures were more in line with differentiating emotional contagion from compassion/emotional regulation processes. Our findings provide the first report of distinct neural activity associated with forms of meditation during sustained attention and emotion processing.

  12. A quantitative electroencephalographic study of meditation and binaural beat entrainment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavallee, Christina F; Koren, Stanley A; Persinger, Michael A

    2011-04-01

    The study objective was to determine the quantitative electroencephalographic correlates of meditation, as well as the effects of hindering (15 Hz) and facilitative (7 Hz) binaural beats on the meditative process. The study was a mixed design, with experience of the subject as the primary between-subject measure and power of the six classic frequency bands (δ, θ, low α, high α, β, γ), neocortical lobe (frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital), hemisphere (left, right), and condition (meditation only, meditation with 7-Hz beats, meditation with 15-Hz beats) as the within-subject measures. The study was conducted at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The subjects comprised novice (mean of 8 months experience) and experienced (mean of 18 years experience) meditators recruited from local meditation groups. Experimental manipulation included application of hindering and facilitative binaural beats to the meditative process. Experienced meditators displayed increased left temporal lobe δ power when the facilitative binaural beats were applied, whereas the effect was not observed for the novice subjects in this condition. When the hindering binaural beats were introduced, the novice subjects consistently displayed more γ power than the experienced subjects over the course of their meditation, relative to baseline. Based on the results of this study, novice meditators were not able to maintain certain levels of θ power in the occipital regions when hindering binaural beats were presented, whereas when the facilitative binaural beats were presented, the experienced meditators displayed increased θ power in the left temporal lobe. These results suggest that the experienced meditators have developed techniques over the course of their meditation practice to counter hindering environmental stimuli, whereas the novice meditators have not yet developed those techniques.

  13. Meditation for adults with haematological malignancies.

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    Salhofer, Ines; Will, Andrea; Monsef, Ina; Skoetz, Nicole

    2016-02-03

    Malignant neoplasms of the lymphoid or myeloid cell lines including lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma are referred to as haematological malignancies. Complementary and alternative treatment options such as meditation practice or yoga are becoming popular by treating all aspects of the disease including physical and psychological symptoms. However, there is still unclear evidence about meditation's effectiveness, and how its practice affects the lives of haematologically-diseased patients. This review aims to assess the benefits and harms of meditation practice as an additional treatment to standard care for adults with haematological malignancies. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, Issue 8, 2015), MEDLINE (1950 to August 2015), databases of ongoing trials, the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (http://www.controlled-trials.com/mrct/), conference proceedings of annual meetings of: the American Society of Hematology; American Society of Clinical Oncology; European Hematology Association; European Congress for Integrative Medicine; and Global Advances in Health and Medicine (2010 to 2015). We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using meditation practice for adult patients with haematological malignancies. Two review authors independently extracted data from eligible studies and assessed the risk of bias according to predefined criteria. We evaluated quality of life and depression. The other outcomes of overall survival, anxiety, fatigue, quality of sleep and adverse events could not be evaluated, because they were not assessed in the included trial. We included only one small trial published as an abstract article. The included study investigated the effects of meditation practice on patients newly hospitalised with acute leukaemia. Ninety-one participants enrolled in the study, but only 42 participants remained in the trial throughout the six-month follow-up period and were eligible for analysis. There was no

  14. Meditation practices for health: state of the research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ospina, Maria B; Bond, Kenneth; Karkhaneh, Mohammad; Tjosvold, Lisa; Vandermeer, Ben; Liang, Yuanyuan; Bialy, Liza; Hooton, Nicola; Buscemi, Nina; Dryden, Donna M; Klassen, Terry P

    2007-06-01

    To review and synthesize the state of research on a variety of meditation practices, including: the specific meditation practices examined; the research designs employed and the conditions and outcomes examined; the efficacy and effectiveness of different meditation practices for the three most studied conditions; the role of effect modifiers on outcomes; and the effects of meditation on physiological and neuropsychological outcomes. Comprehensive searches were conducted in 17 electronic databases of medical and psychological literature up to September 2005. Other sources of potentially relevant studies included hand searches, reference tracking, contact with experts, and gray literature searches. A Delphi method was used to develop a set of parameters to describe meditation practices. Included studies were comparative, on any meditation practice, had more than 10 adult participants, provided quantitative data on health-related outcomes, and published in English. Two independent reviewers assessed study relevance, extracted the data and assessed the methodological quality of the studies. Five broad categories of meditation practices were identified (Mantra meditation, Mindfulness meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong). Characterization of the universal or supplemental components of meditation practices was precluded by the theoretical and terminological heterogeneity among practices. Evidence on the state of research in meditation practices was provided in 813 predominantly poor-quality studies. The three most studied conditions were hypertension, other cardiovascular diseases, and substance abuse. Sixty-five intervention studies examined the therapeutic effect of meditation practices for these conditions. Meta-analyses based on low-quality studies and small numbers of hypertensive participants showed that TM(R), Qi Gong and Zen Buddhist meditation significantly reduced blood pressure. Yoga helped reduce stress. Yoga was no better than Mindfulness-based Stress

  15. Lower trait frontal theta activity in mindfulness meditators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guaraci Ken Tanaka

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Acute and long-term effects of mindfulness meditation on theta-band activity are not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate frontal theta differences between long- and short-term mindfulness practitioners before, during, and after mindfulness meditation. Twenty participants were recruited, of which 10 were experienced Buddhist meditators. Despite an acute increase in the theta activity during meditation in both the groups, the meditators showed lower trait frontal theta activity. Therefore, we suggested that this finding is a neural correlate of the expert practitioners’ ability to limit the processing of unnecessary information (e.g., discursive thought and increase the awareness of the essential content of the present experience. In conclusion, acute changes in the theta band throughout meditation did not appear to be a specific correlate of mindfulness but were rather related to the concentration properties of the meditation. Notwithstanding, lower frontal theta activity appeared to be a trait of mindfulness practices.

  16. The enhancement of visuospatial processing efficiency through Buddhist Deity meditation.

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    Kozhevnikov, Maria; Louchakova, Olga; Josipovic, Zoran; Motes, Michael A

    2009-05-01

    This study examined the effects of meditation on mental imagery, evaluating Buddhist monks' reports concerning their extraordinary imagery skills. Practitioners of Buddhist meditation were divided into two groups according to their preferred meditation style: Deity Yoga (focused attention on an internal visual image) or Open Presence (evenly distributed attention, not directed to any particular object). Both groups of meditators completed computerized mental-imagery tasks before and after meditation. Their performance was compared with that of control groups, who either rested or performed other visuospatial tasks between testing sessions. The results indicate that all the groups performed at the same baseline level, but after meditation, Deity Yoga practitioners demonstrated a dramatic increase in performance on imagery tasks compared with the other groups. The results suggest that Deity meditation specifically trains one's capacity to access heightened visuospatial processing resources, rather than generally improving visuospatial imagery abilities.

  17. Psychological effects of a one-month meditation retreat on experienced meditators: the role of nonattachment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Montero-Marin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. There are few studies devoted to assessing the impact of meditation-intensive retreats on the well-being, positive psychology and personality of experienced meditators. We aimed to assess whether a 1-month Vipassana retreat: a would increase mindfulness and well-being; b would increase prosocial personality traits; and c whether psychological changes would be mediated and/or moderated by non-attachment.Method. A controlled, non-randomized, pre-post-intervention trial was used. The intervention group was a convenience sample (n=19 of experienced meditators who participated in a 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat. The control group (n=19 comprised matched experienced meditators who did not take part in the retreat. During the retreat, the mean duration of daily practice was 8-9 hours, the diet was vegetarian and silence was compulsory. The Experiences Questionnaire (EQ, Non-Attachment Scale (NAS, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS, Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS, Temperament Character Inventory Revised (TCI-R-67, Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ, Self-Other Four Immeasurables (SOFI and the MINDSENS Composite Index were administered. ANCOVAs and linear regression models were used to assess pre-post changes and mediation/moderation effects.Results. Compared to controls, retreatants showed increases in non-attachment, observing, MINDSENS, positive-affect, balance-affect and cooperativeness; and decreases in describing, negative-others, reward-dependence and self-directedness. Non-attachment had a mediating role in decentring, acting aware, non-reactivity, negative-affect, balance-affect and self-directedness; and a moderating role in describing and positive others, with both mediating and moderating effects on satisfaction with life.Conclusions. A 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat seems to yield improvements in mindfulness, well-being and personality, even in experienced meditators. Non-attachment might

  18. Data for default network reduced functional connectivity in meditators, negatively correlated with meditation expertise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aviva Berkovich-Ohana

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available FMRI data described here was recorded during resting-state in Mindfulness Meditators (MM and control participants (see “Task-induced activity and resting-state fluctuations undergo similar alterations in visual and DMN areas of long-term meditators” Berkovich-Ohana et al. (2016 [1] for details. MM participants were also scanned during meditation. Analyses focused on functional connectivity within and between the default mode network (DMN and visual network (Vis. Here we show data demonstrating that: 1 Functional connectivity within the DMN and the Visual networks were higher in the control group than in the meditators; 2 Data show an increase for the functional connectivity between the DMN and the Visual networks in the meditators compared to controls; 3 Data demonstrate that functional connectivity both within and between networks reduces during meditation, compared to the resting-state; and 4 A significant negative correlation was found between DMN functional connectivity and meditation expertise. The reader is referred to Berkovich-Ohana et al. (2016 [1] for further interpretation and discussion.

  19. [Mindfulness meditation, a source of professional wellbeing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blot, Nathalie

    2016-10-01

    Mindfulness meditation, by focusing attention on what we are experiencing, improves personal wellbeing which is then expressed in caregivers' professional practices. Nurses who practise mindfulness will be better positioned to help their patients. Copyright © 2016. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS.

  20. Meditation: Rationales, Experimental Effects, and Methodological Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-04-01

    University Press. 1917. Hamilton. M.. The assesment of anxiety states by rating. British Journal Medical Psychology. 1959. 3Z. 50-55. Hanson. V. (Ed...Performance. New York: Academic Press. 1972. Morse. D.R. & Furst. M., Meditation: An in-depth study. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry

  1. Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, Nichole M.; Farris, Suzan R.; Ray, Jenna N.; Jung, Youngkyoo; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation reduces pain in experimental and clinical settings. However, it remains unknown whether mindfulness meditation engages pain-relieving mechanisms other than those associated with the placebo effect (e.g., conditioning, psychosocial context, beliefs). To determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of mindfulness meditation are different from placebo, we randomly assigned 75 healthy, human volunteers to 4 d of the following: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo conditioning, (3) sham mindfulness meditation, or (4) book-listening control intervention. We assessed intervention efficacy using psychophysical evaluation of experimental pain and functional neuroimaging. Importantly, all cognitive manipulations (i.e., mindfulness meditation, placebo conditioning, sham mindfulness meditation) significantly attenuated pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to rest and the control condition (p Mindfulness meditation reduced pain intensity (p = 0.032) and pain unpleasantness (p Mindfulness meditation also reduced pain intensity (p = 0.030) and pain unpleasantness (p = 0.043) ratings more than sham mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-meditation-related pain relief was associated with greater activation in brain regions associated with the cognitive modulation of pain, including the orbitofrontal, subgenual anterior cingulate, and anterior insular cortex. In contrast, placebo analgesia was associated with activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation of sensory processing regions (secondary somatosensory cortex). Sham mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was not correlated with significant neural activity, but rather by greater reductions in respiration rate. This study is the first to demonstrate that mindfulness-related pain relief is mechanistically distinct from placebo analgesia. The elucidation of this distinction confirms the existence of multiple, cognitively driven, supraspinal mechanisms for pain

  2. Neural mechanisms of hypnosis and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Benedittis, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    Hypnosis has been an elusive concept for science for a long time. However, the explosive advances in neuroscience in the last few decades have provided a "bridge of understanding" between classical neurophysiological studies and psychophysiological studies. These studies have shed new light on the neural basis of the hypnotic experience. Furthermore, an ambitious new area of research is focusing on mapping the core processes of psychotherapy and the neurobiology/underlying them. Hypnosis research offers powerful techniques to isolate psychological processes in ways that allow their neural bases to be mapped. The Hypnotic Brain can serve as a way to tap neurocognitive questions and our cognitive assays can in turn shed new light on the neural bases of hypnosis. This cross-talk should enhance research and clinical applications. An increasing body of evidence provides insight in the neural mechanisms of the Meditative Brain. Discrete meditative styles are likely to target different neurodynamic patterns. Recent findings emphasize increased attentional resources activating the attentional and salience networks with coherent perception. Cognitive and emotional equanimity gives rise to an eudaimonic state, made of calm, resilience and stability, readiness to express compassion and empathy, a main goal of Buddhist practices. Structural changes in gray matter of key areas of the brain involved in learning processes suggest that these skills can be learned through practice. Hypnosis and Meditation represent two important, historical and influential landmarks of Western and Eastern civilization and culture respectively. Neuroscience has beginning to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of both Hypnotic and Meditative Brain, outlining similarities but also differences between the two states and processes. It is important not to view either the Eastern or the Western system as superior to the other. Cross-fertilization of the ancient Eastern meditation techniques

  3. Quantitative change of EEG and respiration signals during mindfulness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahani, Asieh; Wahbeh, Helane; Nezamfar, Hooman; Miller, Meghan; Erdogmus, Deniz; Oken, Barry

    2014-05-14

    This study investigates measures of mindfulness meditation (MM) as a mental practice, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. A population of older people with high stress level participated in this study, while electroencephalographic (EEG) and respiration signals were recorded during a MM intervention. The physiological signals during meditation and control conditions were analyzed with signal processing. EEG and respiration data were collected and analyzed on 34 novice meditators after a 6-week meditation intervention. Collected data were analyzed with spectral analysis, phase analysis and classification to evaluate an objective marker for meditation. Different frequency bands showed differences in meditation and control conditions. Furthermore, we established a classifier using EEG and respiration signals with a higher accuracy (85%) at discriminating between meditation and control conditions than a classifier using the EEG signal only (78%). Support vector machine (SVM) classifier with EEG and respiration feature vector is a viable objective marker for meditation ability. This classifier should be able to quantify different levels of meditation depth and meditation experience in future studies.

  4. Quantitative change of EEG and respiration signals during mindfulness meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background This study investigates measures of mindfulness meditation (MM) as a mental practice, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. A population of older people with high stress level participated in this study, while electroencephalographic (EEG) and respiration signals were recorded during a MM intervention. The physiological signals during meditation and control conditions were analyzed with signal processing. Methods EEG and respiration data were collected and analyzed on 34 novice meditators after a 6-week meditation intervention. Collected data were analyzed with spectral analysis, phase analysis and classification to evaluate an objective marker for meditation. Results Different frequency bands showed differences in meditation and control conditions. Furthermore, we established a classifier using EEG and respiration signals with a higher accuracy (85%) at discriminating between meditation and control conditions than a classifier using the EEG signal only (78%). Conclusion Support vector machine (SVM) classifier with EEG and respiration feature vector is a viable objective marker for meditation ability. This classifier should be able to quantify different levels of meditation depth and meditation experience in future studies. PMID:24939519

  5. Neural correlates of focused attention and cognitive monitoring in meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Antonietta; Raffone, Antonino; Perrucci, Mauro Gianni; Nardo, Davide; Ferretti, Antonio; Tartaro, Armando; Londei, Alessandro; Del Gratta, Cosimo; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Romani, Gian Luca

    2010-04-29

    Meditation refers to a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory practices, which can be classified into two main styles - focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) - involving different attentional, cognitive monitoring and awareness processes. In a functional magnetic resonance study we originally characterized and contrasted FA and OM meditation forms within the same experiment, by an integrated FA-OM design. Theravada Buddhist monks, expert in both FA and OM meditation forms, and lay novices with 10 days of meditation practice, participated in the experiment. Our evidence suggests that expert meditators control cognitive engagement in conscious processing of sensory-related, thought and emotion contents, by massive self-regulation of fronto-parietal and insular areas in the left hemisphere, in a meditation state-dependent fashion. We also found that anterior cingulate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices play antagonist roles in the executive control of the attention setting in meditation tasks. Our findings resolve the controversy between the hypothesis that meditative states are associated to transient hypofrontality or deactivation of executive brain areas, and evidence about the activation of executive brain areas in meditation. Finally, our study suggests that a functional reorganization of brain activity patterns for focused attention and cognitive monitoring takes place with mental practice, and that meditation-related neuroplasticity is crucially associated to a functional reorganization of activity patterns in prefrontal cortex and in the insula. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Shifting brain asymmetry: the link between meditation and structural lateralization.

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    Kurth, Florian; MacKenzie-Graham, Allan; Toga, Arthur W; Luders, Eileen

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed an increased fractional anisotropy and greater thickness in the anterior parts of the corpus callosum in meditation practitioners compared with control subjects. Altered callosal features may be associated with an altered inter-hemispheric integration and the degree of brain asymmetry may also be shifted in meditation practitioners. Therefore, we investigated differences in gray matter asymmetry as well as correlations between gray matter asymmetry and years of meditation practice in 50 long-term meditators and 50 controls. We detected a decreased rightward asymmetry in the precuneus in meditators compared with controls. In addition, we observed that a stronger leftward asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus was positively associated with the number of meditation practice years. In a further exploratory analysis, we observed that a stronger rightward asymmetry in the pregenual cingulate cortex was negatively associated with the number of practice years. The group difference within the precuneus, as well as the positive correlations with meditation years in the pregenual cingulate cortex, suggests an adaptation of the default mode network in meditators. The positive correlation between meditation practice years and asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus may suggest that meditation is accompanied by changes in attention processing. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Effects of meditation practice on spontaneous eyeblink rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruis, Ayla; Slagter, Heleen A; Bachhuber, David R W; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine

    2016-05-01

    A rapidly growing body of research suggests that meditation can change brain and cognitive functioning. Yet little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms underlying meditation-related changes in cognition. Here, we investigated the effects of meditation on spontaneous eyeblink rates (sEBR), a noninvasive peripheral correlate of striatal dopamine activity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between sEBR and cognitive functions such as mind wandering, cognitive flexibility, and attention-functions that are also affected by meditation. We therefore expected that long-term meditation practice would alter eyeblink activity. To test this, we recorded baseline sEBR and intereyeblink intervals (IEBI) in long-term meditators (LTM) and meditation-naive participants (MNP). We found that LTM not only blinked less frequently, but also showed a different eyeblink pattern than MNP. This pattern had good to high degree of consistency over three time points. Moreover, we examined the effects of an 8-week course of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sEBR and IEBI, compared to an active control group and a waitlist control group. No effect of short-term meditation practice was found. Finally, we investigated whether different types of meditation differentially alter eyeblink activity by measuring sEBR and IEBI after a full day of two kinds of meditation practices in the LTM. No effect of meditation type was found. Taken together, these findings may suggest either that individual difference in dopaminergic neurotransmission is a self-selection factor for meditation practice, or that long-term, but not short-term meditation practice induces stable changes in baseline striatal dopaminergic functioning. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  8. Meditation-induced states predict attentional control over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-12-01

    Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Effect of mindfulness meditation on brain-computer interface performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lee-Fan; Dienes, Zoltan; Jansari, Ashok; Goh, Sing-Yau

    2014-01-01

    Electroencephalogram based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) enable stroke and motor neuron disease patients to communicate and control devices. Mindfulness meditation has been claimed to enhance metacognitive regulation. The current study explores whether mindfulness meditation training can thus improve the performance of BCI users. To eliminate the possibility of expectation of improvement influencing the results, we introduced a music training condition. A norming study found that both meditation and music interventions elicited clear expectations for improvement on the BCI task, with the strength of expectation being closely matched. In the main 12 week intervention study, seventy-six healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to three groups: a meditation training group; a music training group; and a no treatment control group. The mindfulness meditation training group obtained a significantly higher BCI accuracy compared to both the music training and no-treatment control groups after the intervention, indicating effects of meditation above and beyond expectancy effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mindfulness meditation and relaxation training increases time sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droit-Volet, S; Fanget, M; Dambrun, M

    2015-01-01

    Two experiments examined the effect of mindfulness meditation and relaxation on time perception using a temporal bisection task. In Experiment 1, the participants performed a temporal task before and after exercises of mindfulness meditation or relaxation. In Experiment 2, the procedure was similar than that used in Experiment 1, except that the participants were trained to mediate or relax every day over a period of several weeks. The results showed that mindfulness meditation exercises increased sensitivity to time and lengthened perceived time. However, this temporal improvement with meditation exercises was primarily observed in the experienced meditators. Our results also showed the experienced meditators were less anxious than the novice participants, and that the sensitivity to time increased when the level of anxiety decreased. Our results were explained by the practice of mindfulness technique that had developed individuals' abilities in devoting more attention resources to temporal information processing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Emerson, Nichole M; Farris, Suzan R; Ray, Jenna N; Jung, Youngkyoo; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2015-11-18

    Mindfulness meditation reduces pain in experimental and clinical settings. However, it remains unknown whether mindfulness meditation engages pain-relieving mechanisms other than those associated with the placebo effect (e.g., conditioning, psychosocial context, beliefs). To determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of mindfulness meditation are different from placebo, we randomly assigned 75 healthy, human volunteers to 4 d of the following: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo conditioning, (3) sham mindfulness meditation, or (4) book-listening control intervention. We assessed intervention efficacy using psychophysical evaluation of experimental pain and functional neuroimaging. Importantly, all cognitive manipulations (i.e., mindfulness meditation, placebo conditioning, sham mindfulness meditation) significantly attenuated pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to rest and the control condition (p pain intensity (p = 0.032) and pain unpleasantness (p pain intensity (p = 0.030) and pain unpleasantness (p = 0.043) ratings more than sham mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-meditation-related pain relief was associated with greater activation in brain regions associated with the cognitive modulation of pain, including the orbitofrontal, subgenual anterior cingulate, and anterior insular cortex. In contrast, placebo analgesia was associated with activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation of sensory processing regions (secondary somatosensory cortex). Sham mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was not correlated with significant neural activity, but rather by greater reductions in respiration rate. This study is the first to demonstrate that mindfulness-related pain relief is mechanistically distinct from placebo analgesia. The elucidation of this distinction confirms the existence of multiple, cognitively driven, supraspinal mechanisms for pain modulation. Recent findings have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation

  12. Meditation as an Adjunct to the Management of Multiple Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Adam B. Levin; Emily J. Hadgkiss; Tracey J. Weiland; George A. Jelinek

    2014-01-01

    Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease course is known to be adversely affected by several factors including stress. A proposed mechanism for decreasing stress and therefore decreasing MS morbidity and improving quality of life is meditation. This review aims to critically analyse the current literature regarding meditation and MS. Methods. Four major databases were used to search for English language papers published before March 2014 with the terms MS, multiple sclerosis, meditation, a...

  13. Post-training meditation promotes motor memory consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maarten A Immink

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Following training, motor memory consolidation is thought to involve either memory stabilization or off-line learning processes. The extent to which memory stabilization or off-line learning relies on post-training wakeful periods or sleep is not clear and thus, novel research approaches are needed to further explore the conditions that promote motor memory consolidation. The present experiment represents the first empirical test of meditation as potential facilitator of motor memory consolidation. Twelve adult residents of a yoga center with a mean of nine years meditation experience were trained on a sequence key pressing task. Three hours after training, the meditation group completed a 30 minute session of yoga nidra meditation while a control group completed 30 minutes of light work duties. A wakeful period of 4.5 hours followed meditation after which participants completed a test involving both trained and untrained sequences. Training performance did not significantly differ between groups. Comparison of group performance at test, revealed a performance benefit of post-training meditation but this was limited to trained sequences only. That the post-training meditation performance benefit was specific to trained sequences is consistent with the notion of meditation promoting motor memory consolidation as opposed to general motor task performance benefits from meditation. Further, post-training meditation appears to have promoted motor memory stabilization as opposed to off-line learning. These findings represent the first demonstration of meditation related motor memory consolidation and are consistent with a growing body of literature demonstrating the benefits of meditation for cognitive function, including memory.

  14. Post-training Meditation Promotes Motor Memory Consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immink, Maarten A

    2016-01-01

    Following training, motor memory consolidation is thought to involve either memory stabilization or off-line learning processes. The extent to which memory stabilization or off-line learning relies on post-training wakeful periods or sleep is not clear and thus, novel research approaches are needed to further explore the conditions that promote motor memory consolidation. The present experiment represents the first empirical test of meditation as potential facilitator of motor memory consolidation. Twelve adult residents of a yoga center with a mean of 9 years meditation experience were trained on a sequence key pressing task. Three hours after training, the meditation group completed a 30 min session of yoga nidra meditation while a control group completed 30 min of light work duties. A wakeful period of 4.5 h followed meditation after which participants completed a test involving both trained and untrained sequences. Training performance did not significantly differ between groups. Comparison of group performance at test, revealed a performance benefit of post-training meditation but this was limited to trained sequences only. That the post-training meditation performance benefit was specific to trained sequences is consistent with the notion of meditation promoting motor memory consolidation as opposed to general motor task performance benefits from meditation. Further, post-training meditation appears to have promoted motor memory stabilization as opposed to off-line learning. These findings represent the first demonstration of meditation related motor memory consolidation and are consistent with a growing body of literature demonstrating the benefits of meditation for cognitive function, including memory.

  15. Visibility graph analysis on heartbeat dynamics of meditation training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Sen; Bian, Chunhua; Ning, Xinbao; Ma, Qianli D. Y.

    2013-06-01

    We apply the visibility graph analysis to human heartbeat dynamics by constructing the complex networks of heartbeat interval time series and investigating the statistical properties of the network before and during chi and yoga meditation. The experiment results show that visibility graph analysis can reveal the dynamical changes caused by meditation training manifested as regular heartbeat, which is closely related to the adjustment of autonomous neural system, and visibility graph analysis is effective to evaluate the effect of meditation.

  16. Dynamical complexity changes during two forms of meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jin; Hu, Jing; Zhang, Yinhong; Zhang, Xiaofeng

    2011-06-01

    Detection of dynamical complexity changes in natural and man-made systems has deep scientific and practical meaning. We use the base-scale entropy method to analyze dynamical complexity changes for heart rate variability (HRV) series during specific traditional forms of Chinese Chi and Kundalini Yoga meditation techniques in healthy young adults. The results show that dynamical complexity decreases in meditation states for two forms of meditation. Meanwhile, we detected changes in probability distribution of m-words during meditation and explained this changes using probability distribution of sine function. The base-scale entropy method may be used on a wider range of physiologic signals.

  17. Meditation and the startle response: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levenson, Robert W; Ekman, Paul; Ricard, Matthieu

    2012-06-01

    The effects of two kinds of meditation (open presence and focused) on the facial and physiological aspects of the defensive response to an aversive startle stimulus were studied in a Buddhist monk with approximately 40 years of meditation experience. The participant was exposed to a 115-db, 100-ms acoustic startle stimulus under the 2 meditation conditions, a distraction condition (to control for cognitive and attentional load) and an unanticipated condition (startle presented without warning or instruction). A completely counterbalanced 24-trial, single-subject design was used, with each condition repeated 6 times. Most aspects of the participant's responses in the unanticipated condition did not differ from those of a comparison group of 12 age-matched male controls. Both kinds of meditation produced physiological and facial responses to the startle that were smaller than in the distraction condition. Within meditation conditions, open presence meditation produced smaller physiological and facial responses than focused meditation. These results from a single highly expert meditator indicate that these 2 kinds of meditation can differentially alter the magnitude of a primitive defensive response.

  18. Dynamic correlations between heart and brain rhythm during Autogenic meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daekeun eKim

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study is aimed to determine significant physiological parameters of brain and heart under meditative state, both in each activities and their dynamic correlations. Electrophysiological changes in response to meditation were explored in 12 healthy volunteers who completed 8 weeks of a basic training course in autogenic meditation. Heart coherence, representing the degree of ordering in oscillation of heart rhythm intervals, increased significantly during meditation. Relative EEG alpha power and alpha lagged coherence also increased. A significant slowing of parietal peak alpha frequency was observed. Parietal peak alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but no such relationship was observed during baseline. Average alpha lagged coherence also increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but, again, no significant relationship was observed at baseline. Relative alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during both meditation and baseline periods. Heart coherence can be a cardiac marker for the meditative state and also may be a general marker for the meditative state since heart coherence is strongly correlated with EEG alpha activities. It is expected that increasing heart coherence and the accompanying EEG alpha activations, heart brain synchronicity, would help recover physiological synchrony following a period of homeostatic depletion.

  19. Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Chronic Pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    la Cour, Peter; Petersen, Marian

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This randomized controlled clinical trial investigated the effects of mindfulness meditation on chronic pain. DESIGN: A total of 109 patients with nonspecific chronic pain were randomized to either a standardized mindfulness meditation program (mindfulness-based stress reduction [MBSR......]) or to a wait list control. METHODS: Pain, physical function, mental function, pain acceptance, and health-related quality of life were measured. The SF36 vitality scale was chosen as the primary outcome measure; the primary end point was after completing the MBSR course. Within a 2.5-year period, 43 of the 109...... randomized patients completed the mindfulness program, while 47 remained in the control group. Data were compared at three time points: at baseline, after completion of the course/waiting period, and at the 6-month follow-up. RESULTS: Significant effect (Cohen's d = 0.39) was found on the primary outcome...

  20. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training in Smokers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    disorders, and studies in which MBSR and MBCT were used as an adjunct treatment in a physical illness (cancer, fibromyalgia , traumatic brain injury...Acceptance and commitment therapy; BS = body scan; CESD = Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale; F = female; FMI = Freiburg...backward digit span improved in both meditation and control group. Note. BS = body scan; CESD = Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale; COWA

  1. Is meditation always relaxing? Investigating heart rate, heart rate variability, experienced effort and likeability during training of three types of meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumma, Anna-Lena; Kok, Bethany E; Singer, Tania

    2015-07-01

    Meditation is often associated with a relaxed state of the body. However, meditation can also be regarded as a type of mental task and training, associated with mental effort and physiological arousal. The cardiovascular effects of meditation may vary depending on the type of meditation, degree of mental effort, and amount of training. In the current study we assessed heart rate (HR), high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) and subjective ratings of effort and likeability during three types of meditation varying in their cognitive and attentional requirements, namely breathing meditation, loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation. In the context of the ReSource project, a one-year longitudinal mental training study, participants practiced each meditation exercise on a daily basis for 3 months. As expected HR and effort were higher during loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation compared to breathing meditation. With training over time HR and likeability increased, while HF-HRV and the subjective experience of effort decreased. The increase in HR and decrease in HF-HRV over training was higher for loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation compared to breathing meditation. In contrast to implicit beliefs that meditation is always relaxing and associated with low arousal, the current results show that core meditations aiming at improving compassion and meta-cognitive skills require effort and are associated with physiological arousal compared to breathing meditation. Overall these findings can be useful in making more specific suggestions about which type of meditation is most adaptive for a given context and population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Increased dopamine tone during meditation-induced change of consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, Troels W; Bertelsen, Camilla; Piccini, Paola

    2002-01-01

    -raclopride PET scans: one while attending to speech with eyes closed, and one during active meditation. The tracer competes with endogenous dopamine for access to dopamine D2 receptors predominantly found in the basal ganglia. During meditation, 11C-raclopride binding in ventral striatum decreased by 7...

  3. Zen meditation and access to information in the unconscious

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strick, M.A.; Noorden, T.H.J. van; Ritskes, R.R.; Ruiter, J.R. de; Dijksterhuis, A.J.

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments and two different research paradigms, we tested the hypothesis that Zen meditation increases access to accessible but unconscious information. Zen practitioners who meditated in the lab performed better on the Remote Associate Test (RAT; Mednick, 1962) than Zen practitioners who

  4. Meditation, Twilight Imagery, and Individuation in Creative Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Richard D.

    A study explored the relationship between meditation, meditative journal writing, and the Jungian-archetypal notions of creative formulation and individuation or self-integration in student and non-student writing. A case study method was used to examine data from four subjects: an undergraduate, a social services worker, a doctoral student, and a…

  5. Meditation-induced states predict attentional control over time

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colzato, L.S.; Sellaro, R.; Samara, I.; Baas, M.; Hommel, B.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects.

  6. Feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Dementia Caregivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Felipe A.; Nazarian, Nora; Lavretsky, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Family dementia caregivers are at high risk of depression and burnout. We aimed to assess the feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers (CMIT-C), a novel 8-week group meditation and guided imagery group therapy program, for dementia caregivers reporting stress due to caregiving responsibilities. Methods 12 family dementia caregivers enrolled in CMIT-C. Primary outcomes included depression and anxiety, and secondary included insomnia, quality of life, and mindfulness. Changes over the study and three month follow-up were analyzed with non-parametric related samples tests. Correlations of feeling state changes from meditation diaries at 1 week were made with symptom changes post meditation training. Results 10 participants completed the study. Completers came to an average of 7 ± 1 sessions out of a possible 8, and turned in home practice logs 90 ± 10% of the time. Anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms decreased, and mindfulness ratings improved with large effects (all p meditation practice was associated with subsequent home meditation practice, anxiety change at eight weeks, and endpoint satisfaction with CMIT-C. Conclusions CMIT-C is a feasible intervention for dementia caregivers. Results suggest that this therapeutic technique can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and increase levels of mindfulness. Early response to meditation practice predicted those with the greatest short-term benefits, and this may inform future studies of meditation. Larger, controlled efficacy studies of CMIT-C for dementia caregivers are warranted. PMID:24477920

  7. Concentrative meditation influences creativity by increasing cognitive flexibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Müller, B.C.N.; Gerasimova, A.; Ritter, S.M.

    2016-01-01

    Given the great importance of creativity in society, it is worth investigating how creative thinking can be enhanced. The link between meditation and enhanced creativity has been proposed by a number of authors; however, the reason why meditation leads to an increase in creativity is not clear. The

  8. Effects of Meditation on Anxiety and Chemical Dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Martin R.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Studied a non-self-selected sample of chemically dependent people instructed in meditation techniques. Differences established upon training termination were no longer evident in the instructed group after six months. Subjects who reported continuing at least minimal meditative practices, however, showed differences in social adjustment, work…

  9. The mindful eye: Smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements in meditators and non-meditators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, Veena; Antonova, Elena; Wright, Bernice; Hamid, Aseel; Hernandez, Eva Machado; Schmechtig, Anne; Ettinger, Ulrich

    2017-02-01

    This study examined the effects of cultivated (i.e. developed through training) and dispositional (trait) mindfulness on smooth pursuit (SPEM) and antisaccade (AS) tasks known to engage the fronto-parietal network implicated in attentional and motion detection processes, and the fronto-striatal network implicated in cognitive control, respectively. Sixty healthy men (19-59years), of whom 30 were experienced mindfulness practitioners and 30 meditation-naïve, underwent infrared oculographic assessment of SPEM and AS performance. Trait mindfulness was assessed using the self-report Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Meditators, relative to meditation-naïve individuals, made significantly fewer catch-up and anticipatory saccades during the SPEM task, and had significantly lower intra-individual variability in gain and spatial error during the AS task. No SPEM or AS measure correlated significantly with FFMQ scores in meditation-naïve individuals. Cultivated, but not dispositional, mindfulness is associated with improved attention and sensorimotor control as indexed by SPEM and AS tasks. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Robin S S; Weger, Ulrich W; Sharma, Dinkar

    2013-09-01

    Research has increasingly focussed on the benefits of meditation in everyday life and performance. Mindfulness in particular improves attention, working memory capacity, and reading comprehension. Given its emphasis on moment-to-moment awareness, we hypothesised that mindfulness meditation would alter time perception. Using a within-subjects design, participants carried out a temporal bisection task, where several probe durations are compared to "short" and "long" standards. Following this, participants either listened to an audiobook or a meditation that focussed on the movement of breath in the body. Finally, participants completed the temporal bisection task for a second time. The control group showed no change after the listening task. However, meditation led to a relative overestimation of durations. Within an internal clock framework, a change in attentional resources can produce longer perceived durations. This meditative effect has wider implications for the use of mindfulness as an everyday practice and a basis for clinical treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The protective effects of brief mindfulness meditation training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Jonathan B; Welhaf, Matthew S; Srour, Alexandra

    2015-05-01

    Mindfulness meditation has gained a great deal of attention in recent years due to the variety of physical and psychological benefits, including improved working memory, decreased mind wandering and reduced impact of stress on working memory. The current study examined a 1-week at home mindfulness meditation intervention compared to an active control intervention. Results suggest that mindfulness meditation does not increase working memory or decrease mind wandering but does prevent stress related working memory impairments. Mindfulness meditation appears to alter the factors that impair working memory such that the negative impact of mind wandering on working memory was only evident at higher levels of negative affect. The use of cognitive mechanism words in narratives of stressful events did not differ by condition but predicted poorer working memory in the control condition. The results support the use of an at home mindfulness meditation intervention for reducing stress-related impairments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Exploring Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice Associated With Meditation Among Patients With Melanoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Lahiru; Orellana, Liliana; Ugalde, Anna; Milne, Donna; Krishnasamy, Meinir; Chambers, Richard; Livingston, Patricia M

    2017-03-01

    To explore the knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with meditation among people with melanoma and investigate the relationship between perceived stress, trait mindfulness, and meditation. Factors associated with interest to participate in an online meditation program were also explored. A survey-based cross-sectional study of 291 patients attending a melanoma outpatient clinic assessed knowledge of meditation, attitudes toward meditation using Determinants of Meditation Practice Inventory (DMPI), and meditation experience. Perceived stress and trait mindfulness were measured using the Perceived Stressed Scale and Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale, respectively. Participants who had tried meditation (43%) were likely to be younger, female, and have completed higher education or be employed. Perceived stress score was higher among women, younger participants, and those treated in the past year but did not differ by melanoma stage. Participants reported a good understanding of the potential benefits of meditation, but even among people with meditation experience, common misconceptions prevailed. The main barrier to meditation was a perceived lack of knowledge about meditation . Higher DMPI scores were associated with lower education, moderate to low access to service centers, or living in disadvantaged neighborhoods . Participants practicing meditation that involved self-reflection reported less stress and higher trait mindfulness compared with participants practicing another type of meditation. People interested in participating in an online meditation-based program reported higher perceived stress than those not interested. A meditation-based intervention teaching self-reflective practices, targeted at people with melanoma, may have the potential to assist them with managing their stress.

  13. Mindfulness and psychologic well-being: are they related to type of meditation technique practiced?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoormans, Dounya; Nyklíček, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    This study examined whether practitioners of two meditation types differ on self-reported mindfulness skills and psychologic well-being. This was a cross-sectional study comparing two convenience meditation groups drawn from local meditation centers, one group practicing mindfulness meditation (MM),

  14. The Effects of Muslim Praying Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Programs on Mindfulness among the University of Nizwa Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldahadha, Basim

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the Effects of Muslim Praying Meditation (MPM) and Transcendental Meditation (TM) Program on Mindfulness among the University of Nizwa students. The sample of the study consisted of (354) students. The questionnaires of MPM (Al-Kushooa) and Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS) were applied before…

  15. Event-related potential correlates of mindfulness meditation competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchley, Rachel; Klee, Dan; Memmott, Tabatha; Goodrich, Elena; Wahbeh, Helané; Oken, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Objective This cross-sectional study evaluated event-related potentials (ERPs) across three groups: naïve, novice, and experienced meditators as potential physiological markers of mindfulness meditation competence. Methods Electroencephalographic (EEG) data was collected during a target tone detection task and a Breath Counting task. The Breath Counting task served as the mindfulness meditation condition for the novice and experienced meditator groups. Participants were instructed to respond to target tones with a button press in the first task (Tones), and then ignore the primed tones while breath counting. The primary outcomes were ERP responses to target tones, namely the N2 and P3, as markers of stimulus discrimination and attention, respectively. Results As expected, P3 amplitudes elicited by target tones were attenuated within groups during the Breath Counting task in comparison to the Tones task (p meditator groups displayed greater change in peak-to-trough P3 amplitudes, with higher amplitudes during the Tones condition and more pronounced reductions in P3 amplitudes during the Breath Counting meditation task in comparison to the naïve group. Conclusions Meditators had stronger P3 amplitude responses to target tones when instructed to attend to the tones, and a greater attenuation of P3 amplitudes when instructed to ignore the same tones during the Breath Counting task. This study introduces the idea of identifying ERP markers as a means of measuring mindfulness meditation competence, and results suggest this may be a valid approach. This information has the potential to improve mindfulness meditation interventions by allowing objective assessment of mindfulness meditation quality. PMID:26850995

  16. Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, F.; Martucci, K.T.; Kraft, R.A.; Gordon, N.S.; McHaffie, J.G.; Coghill, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    The subjective experience of one’s environment is constructed by interactions among sensory, cognitive, and affective processes. For centuries, meditation has been thought to influence such processes by enabling a non-evaluative representation of sensory events. To better understand how meditation influences the sensory experience, we employed arterial spin labeling (ASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural mechanisms by which mindfulness meditation influences pain in healthy human participants. After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest. A two factor repeated measures analysis of variance was used to identify interactions between meditation and pain-related brain activation. Meditation reduced pain-related activation of the contra lateral primary somatosensory cortex. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify brain regions associated with individual differences in the magnitude of meditation-related pain reductions. Meditation-induced reductions in pain intensity ratings were associated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula, areas involved in the cognitive regulation of nociceptive processing. Reductions in pain unpleasantness ratings were associated with orbitofrontal cortex activation, an area implicated in reframing the contextual evaluation of sensory events. Moreover, reductions in pain unpleasantness also were associated with thalamic deactivation, which may reflect a limbic gating mechanism involved in modifying interactions between afferent in put and executive-order brain areas. Taken together, these data indicate that meditation engages multiple brain mechanisms that alter the construction of the subjectively available pain experience from afferent information. PMID:21471390

  17. What is it like to meditate? Methods and issues for micro-phenomenological description of meditative experience

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petitmengin, Claire; Beek, Martijn van; Bitbol, Michel

    2017-01-01

    . The second part provides micro-phenomenological descriptions of two processes of which meditation practice enables the practitioner to become aware: the process of losing contact with the current situation and generation of virtual ones in "mind-wandering" episodes, and the process of emergence of a thought......In our society where interest in Buddhist meditation is expanding enormously, numerous scientific studies are now conducted on the neurophysiological effects of meditation practices and on the neural correlates of meditative states. However, very few studies have been conducted on the experience...... associated with contemplative practice: what it is like to meditate – from moment to moment, at different stages of practice – remains almost invisible in contemporary contemplative science. Recently, "micro-phenomenological" interview methods have been developed to help us become aware of lived experience...

  18. MEDIT : An interactive Mesh visualization Software

    OpenAIRE

    Frey, Pascal

    2001-01-01

    This technical report describes the main features of MEDIT (This software wa registered with the APP under n° IDDN.FR.001.410023.00.R.P. 2001.000.10800 on january 25, 2001.), an interactive mesh visualization tool developped in the Gamma project at INRIA-Rocquencourt. Based on the graphic standard OpenGL, this software has been specifically designed to fulfill most of the common requirements of engineers and numericians, in the context of numerical simulations. This program is rather intuitiv...

  19. Brain activation during compassion meditation: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engström, Maria; Söderfeldt, Birgitta

    2010-05-01

    B.L. is a Tibetan Buddhist with many years of compassion meditation practice. During meditation B.L. uses a technique to generate a feeling of love and compassion while reciting a mantra. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neural correlates of compassion meditation in 1 experienced meditator. B.L. was examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging during compassion meditation, applying a paradigm with meditation and word repetition blocks. The most significant finding was the activation in the left medial prefrontal cortex extending to the anterior cingulate gyrus. Other significant loci of activation were observed in the right caudate body extending to the right insula and in the left midbrain close to the hypothalamus. The results in this study are in concordance with the hypothesis that compassion meditation is accompanied by activation in brain areas involved with empathy as well as with happy and pleasant feelings (i.e., the left medial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus).

  20. Electrophysiological Correlates of Long-Term Soto Zen Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique Adam Pasquini

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to verify the electrophysiological correlates of the changes in long-term regular meditators. We use modern techniques of high-resolution electroencephalography applied to slow potentials, power spectra, and potencies related to the events. To obtain encephalographic records, we use an assembly of 128 channels in 31 subjects (17 Soto Zen Buddhist meditators. The motivation of this study was to determine whether the induced beta power would present an increase in meditators as well as a decrease in induced theta/beta ratio in absolute and relative values. However, opposite to what we expected, no significant change was found in the beta frequency. In contrast, the main findings of the study were correlations between the frequency of weekly meditation practice and the increased theta induced relative power, increase of induced power ratio (ratio theta/beta, and increase of the ratio of induced relative powers (theta/beta ratio during our task that featured an “adapted meditation,” suggesting that the meditative state of “mindfulness” is much more related to the permittivity of “distractions” by the meditators, with a deliberate reduction of attention.

  1. Meditation Interventions for Chronic Disease Populations: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Larson, Janet L

    2015-12-01

    The rapidly growing body of research regarding the use of meditation interventions in chronic disease presents an opportunity to compare outcomes based on intervention content. For this review, meditation interventions were described as those interventions delivered to persons with chronic disease where sitting meditation was the main or only content of the intervention with or without the addition of mindful movement. This systematic review identified 45 individual research studies that examined meditations effect on levels of anxiety, depression, and chronic disease symptoms in persons with chronic disease. Individual studies were assessed based on interventional content, the consistency with which interventions were applied, and the research quality. This study identified seven categories of meditation interventions based on the meditation skills and mindful movement practices that were included in the intervention. Overall, half of the interventions had clearly defined and specific meditation interventions (25/45) and half of the studies were conducted using randomized control trials (24/45). © The Author(s) 2015.

  2. Poincare indices for analyzing meditative heart rate signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atefeh Goshvarpour

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Poincare plots are commonly used to study the nonlinear behavior of physiologic signals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Poincare plot indices of human heart rate signals during meditation. Methods: For this purpose, heart rate time series of eight Chi meditators available in Physionet database were used. Poincare plots with lags of 1 and 6 were constructed, and the ratio of the minor axis to major axis (SD1/SD2 and the area of Poincare plots were calculated for each lag. Results: The results show that the SD1/SD2 ratio increased significantly during meditation compared to that before meditation, especially the index measured from Poincare plots reconstructed with a lag of 6 (p < 0.05. In addition, in both lags, the area of Poincare plots decreased significantly during meditation compared to before meditation (p < 0.05. Conclusion: The comparative dynamic measures of the Poincare plot indices during and before meditation give more insight of the heart rate signals in a specific psychophysiological state.

  3. Meditative Movement for Depression and Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter ePayne

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on Meditative Movement (MM and its effects on anxiety, depression and other affective states. MM is a term identifying forms of exercise that use movement in conjunction with meditative attention to body sensations, including proprioception, interoception and kinesthesis. MM includes the traditional Chinese methods of Qigong (Chi Kung and Taijiquan (Tai Chi, some forms of Yoga and other Asian practices, as well as Western Somatic practices; however this review focuses primarily on Qigong and Taijiquan. We clarify the differences between MM and conventional exercise, present descriptions of several of the key methodologies of MM, and suggest how research into these practices may be approached in a systematic way. We also present evidence for possible mechanisms of the effects of MM on affective states, including the roles of posture, rhythm, coherent breathing, and the involvement of specific cortical and subcortical structures. We survey research outcomes summarized in reviews published since 2007. Results suggest that MM may be at least as effective as conventional exercise or other interventions in ameliorating anxiety and depression; however, study quality is generally poor and there are many confounding factors. This makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions at this time. We suggest, however, that more research is warranted, and we offer specific suggestions for ensuring high-quality and productive future studies.

  4. Elizabeth Bishop and the Poetry of Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Matthew Wilson

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry has won the admiration of a number of Christian poets and scholars. This essay argues that one reason for this is Bishop’s subtle engagement with the work of the poet-divines Gerard Manley Hopkins and, especially, George Herbert; through their influence, she enters into the guiding western poetic tradition of the meditative lyric, which is rooted in the Platonic and Christian accounts of the human person as an image of the Triune God in virtue of the mind as a trinity of memory, understanding, and will. Bishop practiced poetry as a moral act open to a divinity it cannot account for or even name, but traces of whose significance run through the world her poems depict. By considering her work, and her poem “The Weed” in particular, in the context of Herbert, the historical studies of Louis L. Martz, and the literary theory of Yvor Winters, we see that Bishop the unbeliever cannot properly be understood as a “secular” poet, but as one who recognizes the meditative lyric as a way of arriving at understanding of a truth that transcends us.

  5. Large-Scale Functional Brain Network Reorganization During Taoist Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jao, Tun; Li, Chia-Wei; Vértes, Petra E; Wu, Changwei Wesley; Achard, Sophie; Hsieh, Chao-Hsien; Liou, Chien-Hui; Chen, Jyh-Horng; Bullmore, Edward T

    2016-02-01

    Meditation induces a distinct and reversible mental state that provides insights into brain correlates of consciousness. We explored brain network changes related to meditation by graph theoretical analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Eighteen Taoist meditators with varying levels of expertise were scanned using a within-subjects counterbalanced design during resting and meditation states. State-related differences in network topology were measured globally and at the level of individual nodes and edges. Although measures of global network topology, such as small-worldness, were unchanged, meditation was characterized by an extensive and expertise-dependent reorganization of the hubs (highly connected nodes) and edges (functional connections). Areas of sensory cortex, especially the bilateral primary visual and auditory cortices, and the bilateral temporopolar areas, which had the highest degree (or connectivity) during the resting state, showed the biggest decrease during meditation. Conversely, bilateral thalamus and components of the default mode network, mainly the bilateral precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, had low degree in the resting state but increased degree during meditation. Additionally, these changes in nodal degree were accompanied by reorganization of anatomical orientation of the edges. During meditation, long-distance longitudinal (antero-posterior) edges increased proportionally, whereas orthogonal long-distance transverse (right-left) edges connecting bilaterally homologous cortices decreased. Our findings suggest that transient changes in consciousness associated with meditation introduce convergent changes in the topological and spatial properties of brain functional networks, and the anatomical pattern of integration might be as important as the global level of integration when considering the network basis for human consciousness.

  6. Event-related potential correlates of mindfulness meditation competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchley, R; Klee, D; Memmott, T; Goodrich, E; Wahbeh, H; Oken, B

    2016-04-21

    This cross-sectional study evaluated event-related potentials (ERPs) across three groups: naïve, novice, and experienced meditators as potential physiological markers of mindfulness meditation competence. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data were collected during a target tone detection task and a Breath Counting task. The Breath Counting task served as the mindfulness meditation condition for the novice and experienced meditator groups. Participants were instructed to respond to target tones with a button press in the first task (Tones), and then ignore the primed tones while Breath Counting. The primary outcomes were ERP responses to target tones, namely the N2 and P3, as markers of stimulus discrimination and attention, respectively. As expected, P3 amplitudes elicited by target tones were attenuated within groups during the Breath Counting task in comparison to the Tones task (pmeditator groups displayed greater change in peak-to-trough P3 amplitudes, with higher amplitudes during the Tones condition and more pronounced reductions in P3 amplitudes during the Breath Counting meditation task in comparison to the naïve group. Meditators had stronger P3 amplitude responses to target tones when instructed to attend to the tones, and a greater attenuation of P3 amplitudes when instructed to ignore the same tones during the Breath Counting task. This study introduces the idea of identifying ERP markers as a means of measuring mindfulness meditation competence, and results suggest this may be a valid approach. This information has the potential to improve mindfulness meditation interventions by allowing objective assessment of mindfulness meditation quality. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Feasibility of central meditation and imagery therapy for dementia caregivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Felipe A; Nazarian, Nora; Lavretsky, Helen

    2014-08-01

    Family dementia caregivers are at high risk of depression and burnout. We assessed the feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers (CMIT-C), a novel 8-week group meditation and guided imagery group therapy program, for dementia caregivers reporting stress because of caregiving responsibilities. Twelve family dementia caregivers enrolled in CMIT-C. Primary outcomes included depression and anxiety, and secondary outcomes included insomnia, quality of life, and mindfulness. Changes over the study and 3 month follow-up were analyzed with non-parametric related samples tests. Correlations of feeling state changes from meditation diaries at 1 week were made with symptom changes post meditation training. Ten participants completed the study. Completers came to an average of 7 ± 1 sessions out of a possible 8 sessions, and turned in home practice logs of 90 ± 10% of the time. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia symptoms decreased, and mindfulness ratings improved with large effects (all p meditation practice was associated with subsequent home meditation practice, anxiety change at 8 weeks, and endpoint satisfaction with CMIT-C. Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers is a feasible intervention for dementia caregivers. Results suggest that this therapeutic technique can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and increase levels of mindfulness. Early response to meditation practice predicted those with the greatest short-term benefits, and this may inform future studies of meditation. Larger controlled efficacy studies of CMIT-C for dementia caregivers are warranted. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. BOLD signal and functional connectivity associated with loving kindness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2014-05-01

    Loving kindness is a form of meditation involving directed well-wishing, typically supported by the silent repetition of phrases such as "may all beings be happy," to foster a feeling of selfless love. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural substrate of loving kindness meditation in experienced meditators and novices. We first assessed group differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during loving kindness meditation. We next used a relatively novel approach, the intrinsic connectivity distribution of functional connectivity, to identify regions that differ in intrinsic connectivity between groups, and then used a data-driven approach to seed-based connectivity analysis to identify which connections differ between groups. Our findings suggest group differences in brain regions involved in self-related processing and mind wandering, emotional processing, inner speech, and memory. Meditators showed overall reduced BOLD signal and intrinsic connectivity during loving kindness as compared to novices, more specifically in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu), a finding that is consistent with our prior work and other recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. Furthermore, meditators showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and the left inferior frontal gyrus, whereas novices showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and other cortical midline regions of the default mode network, the bilateral posterior insula lobe, and the bilateral parahippocampus/hippocampus. These novel findings suggest that loving kindness meditation involves a present-centered, selfless focus for meditators as compared to novices.

  9. Meditation and college students' self-actualization and rated stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janowiak, J J; Hackman, R

    1994-10-01

    This paper concerns the efficacy of meditation and relaxation in promoting self-actualization and changes in self-reported stress among 62 college students. Two groups were given mantra meditation and a yogic relaxation technique referred to as Shavasana. Pre- and posttest measures were taken on the Personal Orientation Inventory and the Behavioral Relaxation Scale. Both groups showed significant increases in scores on self-actualization; however, no differences were found between groups. Meditation training was associated with larger gains in scores on measures of systematic relaxed behavior than of the relaxation training.

  10. Time course of conflict processing modulated by brief meditation training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaxin eFan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Resolving conflict is a pivotal self-control ability for human adaptation and survival. Although some studies reported meditation may affect conflict resolution, the neural mechanisms are poorly understood. We conducted a fully randomized 5 hours trial of one form of mindfulness meditation - Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT in comparison to a relaxation training control. During the Stroop word-color task, IBMT group produced faster resolution of conflict, a smaller N2 and an earlier and larger P3 component of the event-related brain potentials (ERPs. These results indicate that brief meditation training induces a brain state that improves the resolution of conflict.

  11. Meditate don't medicate: How medical imaging evidence supports the role of meditation in the treatment of depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annells, S.; Kho, K.; Bridge, P.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Depression is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects a large proportion of the population. The current treatment for depression involves anti-depressant medication which is associated with side effects and a heightened risk of relapse. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed to determine the value of medical imaging studies in measuring the impact of meditation on depression. Results: Medical imaging studies have successfully demonstrated that meditation may counteract or prevent the physiological cause of depression by decreasing amygdala activity and increasing grey matter volume and activity of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and other brain regions associated with attention and emotional self-regulation. Recent advances in functional imaging have enabled visualisation of neural plasticity within the brain. This has shown that for meditators, practice-induced alterations could be due to micro-anatomical processes that may represent an increased functional capacity within the brain regions activated. These changes within brain physiology in association with the skills gained during meditation such as self-regulation, mental processing of negative information and relaxation techniques could potentially lead to a permanent cure for depression and thus prevent relapse. Conclusions: The results of this review suggest that medical imaging has a valuable role to play in evidencing the physiological changes within the brain caused by meditation that counteract those that cause depression. These studies indicate that meditation is a viable alternative to medication for clinical treatment of patients with depression. More rigorous longitudinal imaging studies are proposed to enhance understanding of the neural pathways and mechanisms of meditation. - Highlights: • Medical imaging demonstrates physiological changes that counteract those that cause depression. • Meditation is an alternative to medication for clinical treatment of

  12. Meditating Mothers And Fathers: Long-Term Meditators' Perceptions Of The Influences Of Mindfulness On Parenting

    OpenAIRE

    Hornstein, Eve

    2011-01-01

    While there is a growing body of research to expand our theoretical and conceptual understanding of the multi-faceted construct mindfulness, the majority of studies have thus far focused on the efficacy of short-term mindfulness-based interventions to mitigate symptoms associated with myriad physiological and psychological conditions. Research investigating the relational effects of mindfulness within families is limited. This qualitative study examined eight long-term meditators' perceptions...

  13. Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsby, Tamara L; Goldsby, Michael E; McWalters, Mary; Mills, Paul J

    2016-09-30

    Poor mood and elevated anxiety are linked to increased incidence of disease. This study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, on mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual well-being. Sixty-two women and men (mean age 49.7 years) participated. As compared with pre-meditation, following the sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood (all Ps meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with participants experienced in this meditation (P meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation. © The Author(s) 2016.

  14. Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampaio, Cynthia Vieira Sanches; Lima, Manuela Garcia; Ladeia, Ana Marice

    2017-04-01

    A growing number of people are seeking health recovery treatments with a holistic approach to the human being. Meditation is a mental training capable of producing connection between the mind, body and spirit. Its practice helps people to achieve balance, relaxation and self-control, in addition to the development of consciousness. At present, meditation is classified as a complementary and integrative technique in the area of health. The purpose of this review of the literature was to describe what meditation is, its practices and effects on health, demonstrated by consistent scientific investigations. Recently, the advances in researches with meditation, the discovery of its potential as an instrument of self-regulation of the human body and its benefits to health have shown that it is a consistent alternative therapy when associated with conventional medical treatments.

  15. A Pilot Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Pediatric Chronic Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynn C. Waelde

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite advances in psychological interventions for pediatric chronic pain, there has been little research examining mindfulness meditation for these conditions. This study presents data from a pilot clinical trial of a six-week manualized mindfulness meditation intervention offered to 20 adolescents aged 13–17 years. Measures of pain intensity, functional disability, depression and parent worry about their child’s pain were obtained at baseline and post-treatment. Results indicated no significant changes in pain or depression, however functional disability and frequency of pain functioning complaints improved with small effect sizes. Parents’ worry about child’s pain significantly decreased with a large effect size. Participants rated intervention components positively and most teens suggested that the number of sessions be increased. Three case examples illustrate mindfulness meditation effects and precautions. Mindfulness meditation shows promise as a feasible and acceptable intervention for youth with chronic pain. Future research should optimize intervention components and determine treatment efficacy.

  16. Modeling the Effects of Attentional Cueing on Meditators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vugt, Marieke K.; van den Hurk, Paul M.

    2016-01-01

    Training in meditation has been shown to affect functioning of several attentional subsystems, most prominently conflict monitoring, and to some extent orienting. These previous findings described the effects of cueing and manipulating stimulus congruency on response times and accuracies. However,

  17. Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators

    OpenAIRE

    Elena Antonova; Kavitha Amaratunga; Bernice Wright; Ulrich Ettinger; Veena Kumari

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing evidence for demonstrated efficacy of mindfulness in various disorders, there is a continuous concern about the relationship between mindfulness practice and psychosis. As schizotypy is part of the psychosis spectrum, we examined the relationship between long-term mindfulness practice and schizotypy in two independent studies. Study 1 included 24 experienced mindfulness practitioners (19 males) from the Buddhist tradition (meditators) and 24 meditation-naïve individuals (all m...

  18. Effect of mindfulness meditation on brain–computer interface performance

    OpenAIRE

    Tan, Lee-Fan; Dienes, Zoltan; Jansari, Ashok S.; Goh, Sing-Yau

    2014-01-01

    Electroencephalogram based Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) enable stroke and motor\\ud neuron disease patients to communicate and control devices. Mindfulness meditation has\\ud been claimed to enhance metacognitive regulation. The current study explores whether\\ud mindfulness meditation training can thus improve the performance of BCI users. To eliminate\\ud the possibility of expectation of improvement influencing the results, we introduced a music\\ud training condition. A norming study found...

  19. Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain-Computer Interface Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Tan, Lee-Fan; Dienes, Zoltan; Jansari, Ashok S.

    2014-01-01

    Electroencephalogram based Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) enable stroke and motor\\ud neuron disease patients to communicate and control devices. Mindfulness meditation has\\ud been claimed to enhance metacognitive regulation. The current study explores whether\\ud mindfulness meditation training can thus improve the performance of BCI users. To eliminate\\ud the possibility of expectation of improvement influencing the results, we introduced a music\\ud training condition. A norming study found...

  20. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief

    OpenAIRE

    Zeidan, Fadel; Martucci, Katherine T.; Kraft, Robert A.; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; be...

  1. Mindfulness Meditation for Primary Headache Pain: A Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Qiang; Hou, Jin-Chao; Fang, Xiang-Ming

    2018-04-05

    Several studies have reported that mindfulness meditation has a potential effect in controlling headaches, such as migraine and tension-type headache; however, its role remains controversial. This review assessed the evidence regarding the effects of mindfulness meditation for primary headache pain. Only English databases (PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials [the Cochrane Library], PsycINFO, Psychology and behavioral science collection, PsyArticles, Web of Science, and Scopus) were searched from their inception to November 2016 with the keywords ("meditation" or "mindfulness" or "vipassana" or "dzogchen" or "zen" or "integrative body-mind training" or "IBMT" or "mindfulness-based stress reduction" or "MBSR" or "mindfulness-based cognitive therapy" or "MBCT" and "Headache" or "Head pain" or "Cephalodynia" or "Cephalalgia" or "Hemicrania" or "Migraine"). Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened against study inclusion criteria: controlled trials of structured meditation programs for adult patients with primary headache pain. The quality of studies included in the meta-analysis was assessed with the Yates Quality Rating Scale. The meta-analysis was conducted with Revman 5.3. Ten randomized controlled trials and one controlled clinical trial with a combined study population of 315 patients were included in the study. When compared to control group data, mindfulness meditation induced significant improvement in pain intensity (standardized mean difference, -0.89; 95% confidence interval, -1.63 to -0.15; P = 0.02) and headache frequency (-0.67; -1.24 to -0.10; P = 0.02). In a subgroup analysis of different meditation forms, mindfulness-based stress reduction displayed a significant positive influence on pain intensity (P Mindfulness meditation may reduce pain intensity and is a promising treatment option for patients. Clinicians may consider mindfulness meditation as a viable complementary and alternative medical option for primary

  2. Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Tonya L; Epel, Elissa S; Lin, Jue; Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Bridwell, David A; Zanesco, Anthony P; Aichele, Stephen R; Sahdra, Baljinder K; MacLean, Katherine A; King, Brandon G; Shaver, Phillip R; Rosenberg, Erika L; Ferrer, Emilio; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D

    2011-06-01

    Telomerase activity is a predictor of long-term cellular viability, which decreases with chronic psychological distress (Epel et al., 2004). Buddhist traditions claim that meditation decreases psychological distress and promotes well-being (e.g., Dalai Lama and Cutler, 2009). Therefore, we investigated the effects of a 3-month meditation retreat on telomerase activity and two major contributors to the experience of stress: Perceived Control (associated with decreased stress) and Neuroticism (associated with increased subjective distress). We used mediation models to test whether changes in Perceived Control and Neuroticism explained meditation retreat effects on telomerase activity. In addition, we investigated whether two qualities developed by meditative practice, increased Mindfulness and Purpose in Life, accounted for retreat-related changes in the two stress-related variables and in telomerase activity. Retreat participants (n=30) meditated for ∼6 h daily for 3 months and were compared with a wait-list control group (n=30) matched for age, sex, body mass index, and prior meditation experience. Retreat participants received instruction in concentrative meditation techniques and complementary practices used to cultivate benevolent states of mind (Wallace, 2006). Psychological measures were assessed pre- and post-retreat. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples were collected post-retreat for telomerase activity. Because there were clear, a priori hypotheses, 1-tailed significance criteria were used throughout. Telomerase activity was significantly greater in retreat participants than in controls at the end of the retreat (pmeditation and positive psychological change with telomerase activity. Although we did not measure baseline telomerase activity, the data suggest that increases in perceived control and decreases in negative affectivity contributed to an increase in telomerase activity, with implications for telomere length and immune cell longevity

  3. Mechanisms of white matter change induced by meditation training

    OpenAIRE

    Posner, Michael I.; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Lynch, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Training can induce changes in specific brain networks and changes in brain state. In both cases it has been found that the efficiency of white matter as measured by diffusion tensor imaging is increased, often after only a few hours of training. In this paper we consider a plausible molecular mechanism for how state change produced by meditation might lead to white matter change. According to this hypothesis frontal theta induced by meditation produces a molecular cascade that increases myel...

  4. Neural correlates of nondual awareness in meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josipovic, Zoran

    2014-01-01

    Dualities such as self versus other, good versus bad, and in-group versus out-group are pervasive features of human experience, structuring the majority of cognitive and affective processes. Yet, an entirely different way of experiencing, one in which such dualities are relaxed rather than fortified, is also available. It depends on recognizing, within the stream of our consciousness, the nondual awareness (NDA)--a background awareness that precedes conceptualization and intention and that can contextualize various perceptual, affective, or cognitive contents without fragmenting the field of experience into habitual dualities. This paper introduces NDA as experienced in Tibetan Buddhist meditation and reviews the results of our study on the influence of NDA on anticorrelated intrinsic and extrinsic networks in the brain. Also discussed are preliminary data from a current study of NDA with minimized phenomenal content that points to involvement of a precuneus network in NDA. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. The psychological and neurophysiological concomitants of mindfulness forms of meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanovski, Belinda; Malhi, Gin S

    2007-04-01

    To provide a comprehensive review and evaluation of the psychological and neurophysiological literature pertaining to mindfulness meditation. A search for papers in English was undertaken using PsycINFO (from 1804 onward), MedLine (from 1966 onward) and the Cochrane Library with the following search terms: Vipassana, Mindfulness, Meditation, Zen, Insight, EEG, ERP, fMRI, neuroimaging and intervention. In addition, retrieved papers and reports known to the authors were also reviewed for additional relevant literature. Mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions appear to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, psychosis, borderline personality disorder and suicidal/self-harm behaviour. Mindfulness meditation per se is effective in reducing substance use and recidivism rates in incarcerated populations but has not been specifically investigated in populations with psychiatric disorders. Electroencephalography research suggests increased alpha, theta and beta activity in frontal and posterior regions, some gamma band effects, with theta activity strongly related to level of experience of meditation; however, these findings have not been consistent. The few neuroimaging studies that have been conducted suggest volumetric and functional change in key brain regions. Preliminary findings from treatment outcome studies provide support for the application of mindfulness-based interventions in the treatment of affective, anxiety and personality disorders. However, direct evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation per se in the treatment of psychiatric disorders is needed. Current neurophysiological and imaging research findings have identified neural changes in association with meditation and provide a potentially promising avenue for future research.

  6. Measuring a Journey without Goal: Meditation, Spirituality, and Physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather Buttle

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The secular practice of meditation is associated with a range of physiological and cognitive effects, including lower blood pressure, lower cortisol, cortical thickening, and activation of areas of the brain associated with attention and emotion regulation. However, in the context of spiritual practice, these benefits are secondary gains, as the primary aim is spiritual transformation. Despite obvious difficulties in trying to measure a journey without goal, spiritual aspects involved in the practice of meditation should also be addressed by experimental study. This review starts by considering meditation in the form of the relaxation response (a counterpart to the stress response, before contrasting mindfulness research that emphasizes the role of attention and alertness in meditation. This contrast demonstrates how reference to traditional spiritual texts (in this case Buddhist can be used to guide research questions involving meditation. Further considerations are detailed, along with the proposal that research should triangulate spiritual textual sources, first person accounts (i.e., neurophenomenology, and physiological/cognitive measures in order to aid our understanding of meditation, not only in the secular context of health benefits, but also in the context of spiritual practice.

  7. Meditation as an Adjunct to the Management of Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam B. Levin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS disease course is known to be adversely affected by several factors including stress. A proposed mechanism for decreasing stress and therefore decreasing MS morbidity and improving quality of life is meditation. This review aims to critically analyse the current literature regarding meditation and MS. Methods. Four major databases were used to search for English language papers published before March 2014 with the terms MS, multiple sclerosis, meditation, and mindfulness. Results. 12 pieces of primary literature fitting the selection criteria were selected: two were randomised controlled studies, four were cohort studies, and six were surveys. The current literature varies in quality; however common positive effects of meditation include improved quality of life (QOL and improved coping skills. Conclusion. All studies suggest possible benefit to the use of meditation as an adjunct to the management of multiple sclerosis. Additional rigorous clinical trials are required to validate the existing findings and determine if meditation has an impact on disease course over time.

  8. Potential Therapeutic Effects of Meditation for Treating Affective Dysregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie T. Y. Leung

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Affective dysregulation is at the root of many psychopathologies, including stress induced disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. The root of these disorders appears to be an attenuated, top-down cognitive control from the prefrontal cortices over the maladaptive subcortical emotional processing. A form of mental training, long-term meditation practice can trigger meditation-specific neuroplastic changes in the brain regions underlying cognitive control and affective regulation, suggesting that meditation can act as a kind of mental exercise to foster affective regulation and possibly a cost-effective intervention in mood disorders. Increasing research has suggested that the cultivation of awareness and acceptance along with a nonjudgmental attitude via meditation promotes adaptive affective regulation. This review examined the concepts of affective regulation and meditation and discussed behavioral and neural evidence of the potential clinical application of meditation. Lately, there has been a growing trend toward incorporating the “mindfulness” component into existing psychotherapeutic treatment. Promising results have been observed thus far. Future studies may consider exploring the possibility of integrating the element of “compassion” into current psychotherapeutic approaches.

  9. Meditation improves self-regulation over the life span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Posner, Michael I; Rothbart, Mary K

    2014-01-01

    The use of meditation to improve emotion and attention regulation has a long history in Asia and there are many practitioners in Western countries. Much of the evidence on the effectiveness of meditation is either anecdotal or a comparison of long-term meditators with controls matched in age and health. Recently, it has been possible to establish changes in self-regulation in undergraduate students after only 5 days of meditation practice, allowing randomized trials comparing effects of meditation with other self-control methods such as relaxation training. Early studies took place in Chinese universities; however, similar effects have been obtained with U.S. undergraduates, and with Chinese children aged 4.5 years and older Chinese participants aged 65 years. Studies using neuroimaging techniques have shown that meditation improves activation and connectivity in brain areas related to self-regulation, and these findings may provide an opportunity to examine remediation of mental disorders in a new light. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  10. Meditation as a management tool for the pipeline industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terrell, M. [Wildrose Wholistic Clinic, Calgary, AB (Canada); Stripling, T.E. [KBR, Houston, TX (United States)

    2004-07-01

    This paper described the significant impact that meditation can have on a pipeline project and company management in general. It was noted that project managers tend to address organization and mechanical issues in promoting innovation and creativity. As such, the use of meditation is a leading edge concept in advanced management tools. This paper presented a practical and functional meditation approach. The foundation of meditation was described as being a mind-body state where there is alert awareness, sensory inversion, coherence in the brain and deep relaxation that give individual's access to the subconscious mind where the well of creativity is to be found. It was suggested that the use of meditation can be used in the pipeline industry as an effective tool to address soft management issues such as project team stress reduction, enhanced teamwork, increased innovation and improved decision making. It was concluded that as a soft technology, meditation has great potential to become more prominent as progressive industries look for ways to promote creativity and well-being. 14 refs.

  11. Mindfulness Meditation: A Preliminary Study on Meditation Practice During Everyday Life Activities and its Association with Well-Being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp M. Keune

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Past research has shown that mindfulness meditation is useful for the attenuation of psychological and physical suffering in clinical populations. In structured mindfulness-based interventions, patients engage in meditation exercises to refine their attentional skills and to learn to purposefully relate to the present moment experience in a non-judgemental manner. Following the development of such interventions, mindfulness has also received considerable attention in academic psychology, where it has been incorporated in the self-determination theory (SDT. According to SDT, the cultivation of mindfulness may warrant effective need gratification and consequently yield enhanced well-being in healthy individuals. In this context, in the current study, we examined the association between mindfulness meditation, self-reported trait mindfulness and their predictive value for psychological well-being in a non-clinical sample. Individuals who engaged in mindfulness meditation regularly (N = 30 were compared to individuals without meditation experience (N = 30 on various scales which assessed trait mindfulness and psychological well-being. Meditators reported higher emotional well-being, which was predicted by frequency and duration of practice. Especially those practitioners, who made efforts to implement mindfulness practice in activities of everyday life showed enhanced emotional adjustment. In an explorative analysis, mindfulness was identified as a putative partial mediator of the relationship between meditation practice and well-being. Despite methodological constraints, results of the current study suggest that mindfulness meditation, in a non-clinical context, is associated with increased psychological well-being, and as such worth to be explored in more detail by future research. The study and its results might be relevant for the clinical sector as well, since they provide some information on how individuals with e.g., subclinical residual

  12. Reducing Defensive Responses to Thoughts of Death: Meditation, Mindfulness, and Buddhism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Young Chin; Pyszczynski, Tom

    2017-08-24

    Three studies investigated the effects of meditation on responses to reminders of death. Study 1 took a quasi-experimental approach, comparing defensive responses to mortality salience (MS) of South Korean participants with varying levels of experience with Buddhism and meditation. Whereas non-Buddhists without meditation showed the typical increase in worldview defense after mortality salience (MS), this effect was not found among non-Buddhists immediately after an initial meditation experience, nor among lay Buddhists who meditated regularly or Buddhist monks with intensive meditation experience. Study 2, a fully randomized experiment, showed that MS increased worldview defense among South Koreans at a meditation training who were assessed before meditating but not among participants assessed after their first meditation experience. Study 3 showed that whereas American students without prior meditation experience showed increased worldview defense and suppression of death-related thoughts after MS, these effects were eliminated immediately after an initial meditation experience. Death thought accessibility mediated the effect of MS on worldview defense without meditation, but meditation eliminated this mediation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Spectral power and functional connectivity changes during mindfulness meditation with eyes open: A magnetoencephalography (MEG) study in long-term meditators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, W P; Camfield, D A; Woods, W; Sarris, J; Pipingas, A

    2015-10-01

    Whilst a number of previous studies have been conducted in order to investigate functional brain changes associated with eyes-closed meditation techniques, there is a relative scarcity in the literature with regards to changes occurring during eyes-open meditation. The current project used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate differences in spectral power and functional connectivity between 11 long-term mindfulness meditators (LTMMs) with >5 years of experience and 12 meditation-naïve control participants both during baseline eyes-open rest and eyes-open open-monitoring (OM) mindfulness meditation. During resting with eyes-open, prior to meditating, greater mean alpha power was observed for LTMMs in comparison to controls. However, during the course of OM meditation, a significantly greater increase in theta power was observed over a broad fronto-centro-parietal region for control participants in comparison to LTMMs. In contrast, whole-head mean connectivity was found to be significantly greater for long-term meditators in comparison to controls in the theta band both during rest as well as during meditation. Additionally, mean connectivity was significantly lower for long-term meditators in the low gamma band during rest and significantly lower in both low and high gamma bands during meditation; and the variance of low-gamma connectivity scores for long-term meditators was significantly decreased compared to the control group. The current study provides important new information as to the trait functional changes in brain activity associated with long-term mindfulness meditation, as well as the state changes specifically associated with eyes-open open monitoring meditation techniques. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaelle eDesbordes

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful attention, both in beginner meditators after an eight-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators. However, the longitudinal effects of meditation training on amygdala responses have not been reported when participants are in an ordinary, non-meditative state. In this study, we investigated how eight weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in eight weeks of either Mindful Attention Training, Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices, or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function.

  15. Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desbordes, Gaëlle; Negi, Lobsang T; Pace, Thaddeus W W; Wallace, B Alan; Raison, Charles L; Schwartz, Eric L

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative-valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful-attention, both in beginner meditators after an 8-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators. However, the longitudinal effects of meditation training on amygdala responses have not been reported when participants are in an ordinary, non-meditative state. In this study, we investigated how 8 weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in 8 weeks of either Mindful Attention Training (MAT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices), or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function.

  16. Attentional orienting and executive control are affected by different types of meditation practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Min-Hui; Chou, Wei-Lun

    2016-11-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of meditation on attention. The present study investigated the relationship between focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation skills and the various functions of attention. In Experiment 1, we executed the attention network test and compared the performance of experts on dandao meditation with that of ordinary people on this test. The results indicated that the experts specializing in OM meditation demonstrated greater attentional orienting ability compared with those specializing in FA meditation and the control group. In addition, both expert groups registered improvements in their executive control abilities compared with the control group. In Experiment 2, we trained beginners in FA meditation for 3months. The results showed that the experimental group exhibited significantly enhanced executive control ability. We infer that FA meditation skills promote executive control function and OM meditation skills promote both executive control and attentional orienting functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Calligraphy and meditation for stress reduction: an experimental comparison

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    Kao H SR

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Henry SR Kao,1 Lin Zhu,2 An An Chao,3 Hao Yi Chen,4 Ivy CY Liu,5 Manlin Zhang6 1Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing, 3International Society of Calligraphy Therapy, Hong Kong; 4Department of Business Administration, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, 5Department of Psychology, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan; 6Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China Background: Chinese calligraphic handwriting (CCH has demonstrated a new role in health and therapy. Meanwhile, meditation is an traditional and effective method for coping with stress and staying healthy. This study compared the effectiveness of CCH and meditation as distinctive and parallel stress reduction interventions. Methods: Thirty graduate students and academic staff members in Taiwan who suffered from stress were selected by the General Health Questionnaire and randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, ie, a CCH group, a meditation group, or a control group, for 8 consecutive weeks. Changes in physiological parameters were measured before, during, and after treatment. Results: CCH and meditation showed their strength in the respective indices of stress. There was a significant difference in respiratory rate, heart rate, and electromyographic scores between the groups. Comparing pre- and post-effects, a decrease in heart rate and an increase in skin temperature was seen in subjects who practiced CCH. Increased skin temperature and decreased respiratory rate were also seen in subjects who practiced meditation, along with reduced muscle tension and heart rate. Conclusion: CCH and meditation have good effects in stress reduction. CCH is a particularly promising new approach to reducing stress.Keywords: calligraphic handwriting, meditation, stress reduction, intervention

  18. Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators

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    Elena Antonova

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite growing evidence for demonstrated efficacy of mindfulness in various disorders, there is a continuous concern about the relationship between mindfulness practice and psychosis. As schizotypy is part of the psychosis spectrum, we examined the relationship between long-term mindfulness practice and schizotypy in two independent studies. Study 1 included 24 experienced mindfulness practitioners (19 males from the Buddhist tradition (meditators and 24 meditation-naïve individuals (all males. Study 2 consisted of 28 meditators and 28 meditation-naïve individuals (all males. All participants completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (Raine, 1991, a self-report scale containing 9 subscales (ideas of reference, excessive social anxiety, magical thinking, unusual perceptual experiences, odd/eccentric behavior, no close friends, odd speech, constricted affect, suspiciousness. Participants of study 2 also completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire which assesses observing (Observe, describing (Describe, acting with awareness (Awareness, non-judging of (Non-judgment and non-reactivity to inner experience (Non-reactivity facets of trait mindfulness. In both studies, meditators scored significantly lower on suspiciousness and higher on magical thinking compared to meditation-naïve individuals and showed a trend towards lower scores on excessive social anxiety. Excessive social anxiety correlated negatively with Awareness and Non-judgment; and suspiciousness with Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity facets across both groups. The two groups did not differ in their total schizotypy score. We conclude that mindfulness practice is not associated with an overall increase in schizotypal traits. Instead, the pattern suggests that mindfulness meditation, particularly with an emphasis on the Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity aspects, may help to reduce suspiciousness and excessive social anxiety.

  19. Subjective expansion of extended time-spans in experienced meditators.

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    Wittmann, Marc; Otten, Simone; Schötz, Eva; Sarikaya, Anna; Lehnen, Hanna; Jo, Han-Gue; Kohls, Niko; Schmidt, Stefan; Meissner, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Experienced meditators typically report that they experience time slowing down in meditation practice as well as in everyday life. Conceptually this phenomenon may be understood through functional states of mindfulness, i.e., by attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and enhanced memory. However, hardly any systematic empirical work exists regarding the experience of time in meditators. In the current cross-sectional study, we investigated whether 42 experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners (with on average 10 years of experience) showed differences in the experience of time as compared to 42 controls without any meditation experience matched for age, sex, and education. The perception of time was assessed with a battery of psychophysical tasks assessing the accuracy of prospective time judgments in duration discrimination, duration reproduction, and time estimation in the milliseconds to minutes range as well with several psychometric instruments related to subjective time such as the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the Barratt Impulsivity Scale and the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory. In addition, subjective time judgments on the current passage of time and retrospective time ranges were assessed. While subjective judgements of time were found to be significantly different between the two groups on several scales, no differences in duration estimates in the psychophysical tasks were detected. Regarding subjective time, mindfulness meditators experienced less time pressure, more time dilation, and a general slower passage of time. Moreover, they felt that the last week and the last month passed more slowly. Overall, although no intergroup differences in psychophysical tasks were detected, the reported findings demonstrate a close association between mindfulness meditation and the subjective feeling of the passage of time captured by psychometric instruments.

  20. Subjective expansion of extended time-spans in experienced meditators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc eWittmann

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Experienced meditators typically report that they experience time slowing down in meditation practise as well as in everyday life. Conceptually this phenomenon may be understood through functional states of mindfulness, i.e. by attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and enhanced memory. However, hardly any systematic empirical work exists regarding the experience of time in meditators. In the current cross-sectional study, we investigated whether 42 experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners (with on average 10 years of experience showed differences in the experience of time as compared to 42 controls without any meditation experience matched for age, sex and education. The perception of time was assessed with a battery of psychophysical tasks assessing the accuracy of prospective time judgments in duration discrimination, duration reproduction and time estimation in the milliseconds to minutes range as well with several psychometric instruments related to subjective time such as the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the Barrett Impulsivity Scale and the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory. In addition, subjective time judgments on the current passage of time and retrospective time ranges were assessed. While subjective judgements of time were found to be significantly different between the two groups on several scales, no differences in duration estimates in the psychophysical tasks were detected. Regarding subjective time, mindfulness meditators experienced less time pressure, more time dilation, and a general slower passage of time. Moreover, they felt that the last week and the last month passed more slowly. Overall, although no intergroup differences in psychophysical tasks were detected, the reported findings demonstrate a close association between mindfulness meditation and the subjective feeling of the passage of time captured by psychometric instruments.

  1. Effects of acute aerobic exercise or meditation on emotional regulation.

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    Edwards, Meghan K; Rhodes, Ryan E; Mann, Joshua R; Loprinzi, Paul D

    2018-03-15

    Effective emotional regulation is critical for overall psychological well-being; as such, it is important to investigate potential methods to optimize emotion regulation abilities. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise and meditation on emotional regulation among young adults. Participants (N=63, mean age=21.3yrs) were randomly assigned to stretch (control group, n=21), walk (n=21), or meditate (n=21) for 10-min, after which they were exposed to a film clip (3min) intended to elicit a negative emotional state (e.g., sadness, anger). Participants then viewed 12 International Affective Picture System images validated to elicit a negative valence. Participants' affect (valence and arousal) states were monitored before, during, and after the stretching, walking, and meditation bouts using the Feeling Scale (FS) and Felt Arousal Scale (FAS). Distinct affect was assessed utilizing an affective circumplex measure before and after the stretch/walk/meditation bout, as well as following the film clip and image viewing. A significant group×time interaction effect was present when evaluating circumplex excited: P=0.001 (η 2 =0.21). Additionally, an interaction effect of meditation and emotional regulation was observed (P=0.009) among those with varying degrees of meditation experience. A 10-min bout of brisk walking and meditation, prior to exposure to a negative emotion cue, did not differentially effect the ability to regulate sadness, anger, or anxiousness when compared to an active stretching control group. Future replicative work addressing this paradigm, which is in support of positive psychology theory, is warranted. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids.

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    Zeidan, Fadel; Adler-Neal, Adrienne L; Wells, Rebecca E; Stagnaro, Emily; May, Lisa M; Eisenach, James C; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2016-03-16

    Mindfulness meditation, a cognitive practice premised on sustaining nonjudgmental awareness of arising sensory events, reliably attenuates pain. Mindfulness meditation activates multiple brain regions that contain a high expression of opioid receptors. However, it is unknown whether mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by endogenous opioids. The present double-blind, randomized study examined behavioral pain responses in healthy human volunteers during mindfulness meditation and a nonmanipulation control condition in response to noxious heat and intravenous administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone (0.15 mg/kg bolus + 0.1 mg/kg/h infusion) or saline placebo. Meditation during saline infusion significantly reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to the control + saline group. However, naloxone infusion failed to reverse meditation-induced analgesia. There were no significant differences in pain intensity or pain unpleasantness reductions between the meditation + naloxone and the meditation + saline groups. Furthermore, mindfulness meditation during naloxone produced significantly greater reductions in pain intensity and unpleasantness than the control groups. These findings demonstrate that mindfulness meditation does not rely on endogenous opioidergic mechanisms to reduce pain. Endogenous opioids have been repeatedly shown to be involved in the cognitive inhibition of pain. Mindfulness meditation, a practice premised on directing nonjudgmental attention to arising sensory events, reduces pain by engaging mechanisms supporting the cognitive control of pain. However, it remains unknown if mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by opioids, an important consideration for using meditation to treat chronic pain. To address this question, the present study examined pain reports during meditation in response to noxious heat and administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone and placebo saline. The results

  3. Short Meditation Trainings Enhance Non-REM Sleep Low-Frequency Oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dentico, Daniela; Ferrarelli, Fabio; Riedner, Brady A; Smith, Richard; Zennig, Corinna; Lutz, Antoine; Tononi, Giulio; Davidson, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners. We also repeated baseline recordings in a meditation-naive cohort to account for time effects on sleep EEG activity. High-density EEG recordings of human brain activity were acquired over the course of whole sleep nights following intervention. Sound-attenuated sleep research room. Twenty-four long-term meditators and twenty-four meditation-naïve controls. Two 8-h sessions of either a mindfulness-based meditation or a form of meditation designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, hereafter referred to as compassion meditation. We found an increase in EEG low-frequency oscillatory activities (1-12 Hz, centered around 7-8 Hz) over prefrontal and left parietal electrodes across whole night NREM cycles. This power increase peaked early in the night and extended during the third cycle to high-frequencies up to the gamma range (25-40 Hz). There was no difference in sleep EEG activity between meditation styles in long-term meditators nor in the meditation naïve group across different time points. Furthermore, the prefrontal-parietal changes were dependent on meditation life experience. This low-frequency prefrontal-parietal activation likely reflects acute, meditation-related plastic changes occurring during wakefulness, and may underlie a top-down regulation from frontal and anterior parietal areas to the posterior parietal and occipital regions showing chronic, long-lasting plastic changes in long-term meditators.

  4. Short Meditation Trainings Enhance Non-REM Sleep Low-Frequency Oscillations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Dentico

    Full Text Available We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners. We also repeated baseline recordings in a meditation-naive cohort to account for time effects on sleep EEG activity.High-density EEG recordings of human brain activity were acquired over the course of whole sleep nights following intervention.Sound-attenuated sleep research room.Twenty-four long-term meditators and twenty-four meditation-naïve controls.Two 8-h sessions of either a mindfulness-based meditation or a form of meditation designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, hereafter referred to as compassion meditation.We found an increase in EEG low-frequency oscillatory activities (1-12 Hz, centered around 7-8 Hz over prefrontal and left parietal electrodes across whole night NREM cycles. This power increase peaked early in the night and extended during the third cycle to high-frequencies up to the gamma range (25-40 Hz. There was no difference in sleep EEG activity between meditation styles in long-term meditators nor in the meditation naïve group across different time points. Furthermore, the prefrontal-parietal changes were dependent on meditation life experience.This low-frequency prefrontal-parietal activation likely reflects acute, meditation-related plastic changes occurring during wakefulness, and may underlie a top-down regulation from frontal and anterior parietal areas to the posterior parietal and occipital regions showing chronic, long-lasting plastic changes in long-term meditators.

  5. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

    OpenAIRE

    Black, David S.; Slavich, George M.

    2016-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation represents a mental training framework for cultivating the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in how mindfulness meditation improves human health and well-being. Although studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve self-reported measures of disease symptomatology, the effect that mindfulness meditation has on biological mechanisms underlying human aging and disease is less clear. To address this issue, w...

  6. Calm and smart? A selective review of meditation effects on decision making

    OpenAIRE

    Sun, Sai; Yao, Ziqing; Wei, Jaixin; Yu, Rongjun

    2015-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of meditation to improve cognitive performance, emotional balance, and well-being. As a consequence, research into the psychological effects and neural mechanisms of meditation has been accumulating. Whether and how meditation affects decision making is not yet clear. Here, we review evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies and summarize the effects of meditation on social and non-social economic decision making....

  7. The Effect of Meditation on the Academic Performance of African American College Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Pamela D.

    1999-01-01

    Studies the effect of meditation on the academic performance of 56 undergraduate students during a full semester. Results revealed semester grade point averages and cumulative grade point averages of the meditation group to be significantly higher those of the non-meditation group. (MMU)

  8. The Relationship between Meditation and/or Exercise and Three Measures of Self-Actualization.

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    Brown, Lynn L.; Robinson, Sharon E.

    1993-01-01

    Investigated relationship between regular meditation and/or physical exercise and dimensions of self-actualization (inner-directedness, living in present, lowered anxiety) of 103 graduate counseling students. Students who meditated or who meditated and exercised had significantly greater inner-directedness than did those who only exercised or who…

  9. Toward the Integration of Meditation into Higher Education: A Review of Research Evidence

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    Shapiro, Shauna L.; Brown, Kirk Warren; Astin, John A.

    2011-01-01

    Context: There is growing interest in the integration of meditation in higher education. Purpose: Here, we review evidence bearing on the utility of meditation to facilitate the achievement of traditional educational goals and to enhance education of the "whole person." Research Design: We examine how meditation practices may help foster important…

  10. Mindfulness and psychologic well-being : Are they related to type of meditation technique practiced?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoormans, D.; Nyklicek, I.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: This study examined whether practitioners of two meditation types differ on self-reported mindfulness skills and psychologic well-being. Design: This was a cross-sectional study comparing two convenience meditation groups drawn from local meditation centers, one group practicing

  11. Can We Reduce Our Implicit Prejudice toward Persons with Disability? The Challenge of Meditation

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    Schimchowitsch, Sarah; Rohmer, Odile

    2016-01-01

    The present research further extends recent data revealing implicit attitude towards persons with disability, with the aim to explore if meditation practice can reduce automatic mental processes initiating prejudice. Forty adult experienced meditators and 34 meditation-naïve individuals performed an evaluative priming task. None of them presented…

  12. Meditation and the Brain: Attention, Control and Emotion**

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mograbi, Gabriel José Corrêa

    2011-01-01

    Meditation has been for long time avoided as a scientific theme because of its complexity and its religious connotations. Fortunately, in the last years, it has increasingly been studied within different neuroscientific experimental protocols. Attention and concentration are surely among the most important topics in these experiments. Notwithstanding this, inhibition of emotions and discursive thoughts are equally important to understand what is at stake during those types of mental processes. I philosophically and technically analyse and compare results from neuroimaging studies, produced by leading authorities on the theme, dealing with two types of meditation: “one-pointed concentration” and “compassion meditation”. Analysing “one-pointed concentration”, I show the differences between novice and expert meditation practitioners in terms of brain activity and connectivity, considering the relationship among increased attention and concentration and decreased activity in areas related to discursive thought and emotion. Analysing “compassion meditation”, I show the importance of the limbic circuitry in emotion sharing. I follow the same strategy of comparing novice and expert meditation practitioners. The conclusion establishes a common structure to those different ways of dealing with emotion during meditation. PMID:21694979

  13. Mindfulness meditation in aphasia: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laures-Gore, Jacqueline; Marshall, Rebecca Shisler

    2016-04-06

    Despite the potential behavioral and neurological benefits of Mindfulness Meditation (MM), its use in treating stroke related communication disabilities appears to be underexplored. Specifically, aphasia, a language disorder resulting from stroke, may be amenable to the benefits of MM because of the observed attention problems often underlying the language symptoms. The current paper presents a case report of an adult with aphasia who was trained in MM. An adult with aphasia completed a five-day mindfulness training, and was assessed on measures of language, attention, and physiological measures of cortisol and heart rate variability. She completed four assessments: two baseline measures, immediately post training, and one week post training (maintenance). Overall, changes were observed in both psychophysiological measures (heart rate and heart rate variability) and behavioral measures (word productivity, phrase length, word generation, decreased impulsivity, and increased attention). Given the psychophysiological and behavioral changes observed in this individual, further exploration of the influence of MM in the treatment of post-stroke aphasia is warranted.

  14. Mindfulness meditation, well-being, and heart rate variability: a preliminary investigation into the impact of intensive Vipassana meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krygier, Jonathan R; Heathers, James A J; Shahrestani, Sara; Abbott, Maree; Gross, James J; Kemp, Andrew H

    2013-09-01

    Mindfulness meditation has beneficial effects on brain and body, yet the impact of Vipassana, a type of mindfulness meditation, on heart rate variability (HRV) - a psychophysiological marker of mental and physical health - is unknown. We hypothesised increases in measures of well-being and HRV, and decreases in ill-being after training in Vipassana compared to before (time effects), during the meditation task compared to resting baseline (task effects), and a time by task interaction with more pronounced differences between tasks after Vipassana training. HRV (5-minute resting baseline vs. 5-minute meditation) was collected from 36 participants before and after they completed a 10-day intensive Vipassana retreat. Changes in three frequency-domain measures of HRV were analysed using 2 (Time; pre- vs. post-Vipassana)× 2 (Task; resting baseline vs. meditation) within subjects ANOVA. These measures were: normalised high-frequency power (HF n.u.), a widely used biomarker of parasympathetic activity; log-transformed high frequency power (ln HF), a measure of RSA and required to interpret normalised HF; and Traube-Hering-Mayer waves (THM), a component of the low frequency spectrum linked to baroreflex outflow. As expected, participants showed significantly increased well-being, and decreased ill-being. ln HF increased overall during meditation compared to resting baseline, while there was a time∗task interaction for THM. Further testing revealed that pre-Vipassana only ln HF increased during meditation (vs. resting baseline), consistent with a change in respiration. Post-Vipassana, the meditation task increased HF n.u. and decreased THM compared to resting baseline, suggesting post-Vipassana task-related changes are characterised by a decrease in absolute LF power, not parasympathetic-mediated increases in HF power. Such baroreflex changes are classically associated with attentional load, and our results are interpreted in light of the concept of 'flow' - a state of

  15. Group vs. single mindfulness meditation: exploring avoidance, impulsivity, and weight management in two separate mindfulness meditation settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantzios, Michail; Giannou, Kyriaki

    2014-07-01

    Recent research has identified that mindfulness meditation in group settings supports people who are trying to lose weight. The present research investigated mindfulness meditation in group and individual settings, and explored the potential impact on weight loss and other factors (i.e. mindfulness, impulsivity, and avoidance) that may assist or hinder weight loss. Specifically, the hypotheses tested were that the group setting assisted dieters more than the individual setting by reducing weight, cognitive-behavioral avoidance, and impulsivity and by increasing mindfulness. Participants (n = 170) who were trying to lose weight were randomly assigned to practice meditation for 6 weeks within a group or independently. Measurements in mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral avoidance, impulsivity, and weight occurred twice (pre- and post-intervention). Results indicated that participants in the group setting lost weight and lowered their levels of cognitive-behavioral avoidance, while impulsivity and mindfulness remained stable. On the other hand, participants in the individual condition lost less weight, while there was an increase in cognitive-behavioral avoidance and mindfulness scores, but a decrease in impulsivity. Seeing that benefits and limitations observed in group settings are not replicated when people meditate alone, this study concluded that mindfulness meditation in individual settings needs to be used with caution, although there are some potential benefits that could aid future weight loss research. © 2014 The International Association of Applied Psychology.

  16. Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners.

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    Fox, Kieran C R; Nijeboer, Savannah; Dixon, Matthew L; Floman, James L; Ellamil, Melissa; Rumak, Samuel P; Sedlmeier, Peter; Christoff, Kalina

    2014-06-01

    Numerous studies have begun to address how the brain's gray and white matter may be shaped by meditation. This research is yet to be integrated, however, and two fundamental questions remain: Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? If so, what is the magnitude of these differences? To address these questions, we reviewed and meta-analyzed 123 brain morphology differences from 21 neuroimaging studies examining ∼300 meditation practitioners. Anatomical likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis found eight brain regions consistently altered in meditators, including areas key to meta-awareness (frontopolar cortex/BA 10), exteroceptive and interoceptive body awareness (sensory cortices and insula), memory consolidation and reconsolidation (hippocampus), self and emotion regulation (anterior and mid cingulate; orbitofrontal cortex), and intra- and interhemispheric communication (superior longitudinal fasciculus; corpus callosum). Effect size meta-analysis (calculating 132 effect sizes from 16 studies) suggests a global 'medium' effect size (Cohen's d¯=0.46; r¯=.19). Publication bias and methodological limitations are strong concerns, however. Further research using rigorous methods is required to definitively link meditation practice to altered brain morphology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural correlates of mindful self-awareness in mindfulness meditators and meditation-naïve subjects revisited.

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    Lutz, J; Brühl, A B; Scheerer, H; Jäncke, L; Herwig, U

    2016-09-01

    Mindful self-awareness is central to mindfulness meditation and plays a key role in its salutary effects. It has been related to decreased activation in cortical midline structures (CMS) and amygdala, and increased activation in somatosensory regions. However, findings in untrained individuals are contradictory, and scarce in experienced meditators. Using fMRI, we investigated experienced mindfulness meditators (LTM, n=21, average 4652 practice-hours) and matched meditation-naïve participants (MNP, n=19) during short periods of mindful self-awareness (FEEL) and self-referential thinking (THINK). We report somatosensory activations and decreases in CMS during FEEL for both groups, but significantly stronger decreases in prefrontal CMS in LTM. LTM further showed decreases in language-related and amygdala regions, but the latter was not significantly different between groups. Overall, higher activations in amygdala and mid-line regions during FEEL were related to levels of depressiveness. Neural patterns of mindful self-awareness emerge already in MNP but more pronounced in LTM. Specifically, meditation training might reduce self-reference and verbalization during mindful awareness. We further corroborate the suggested link between mindfulness and healthy self-related functions on the neural level. Longitudinal studies need to corroborate these findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lucy B G; Lo, Barbara C Y; Macrae, C Neil

    2014-01-01

    The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind) is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people's mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning.

  19. Mindfulness meditation and consciousness: An integrative neuroscientific perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuello, Jordi; Vercelli, Ugo; Nani, Andrea; Costa, Tommaso; Cauda, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Although mindfulness meditation has been practiced in the East for more than two millennia, Western scientific research and healthcare programs have only recently drawn their attention to it. Basically, the concept of mindfulness hinges on focusing on one's own awareness at the present moment. In this review we analyze different hypotheses about the functioning and the cerebral correlates of mindfulness meditation. Since mindfulness is strictly associated with a particular state of consciousness, we also examine some of the most relevant theories that have been proposed as accounts of consciousness. Finally, we suggest that consciousness and mindfulness meditation can be integrated within a neuroscientific perspective, by identifying the brain areas which seem to play an essential role in both, namely the anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, insula and thalamus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy B G Tan

    Full Text Available The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people's mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning.

  1. Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl, Cortland J; Lutz, Antoine; Davidson, Richard J

    2015-09-01

    Scientific research highlights the central role of specific psychological processes, in particular those related to the self, in various forms of human suffering and flourishing. This view is shared by Buddhism and other contemplative and humanistic traditions, which have developed meditation practices to regulate these processes. Building on a previous paper in this journal, we propose a novel classification system that categorizes specific styles of meditation into attentional, constructive, and deconstructive families based on their primary cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that meta-awareness, perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal, and self-inquiry may be important mechanisms in specific families of meditation and that alterations in these processes may be used to target states of experiential fusion, maladaptive self-schema, and cognitive reification. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: Cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl, Cortland J.; Lutz, Antoine; Davidson, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific research highlights the central role of specific psychological processes, in particular those related to the self, in various forms of human suffering and flourishing. This view is shared by Buddhism and other contemplative and humanistic traditions, which have developed meditation practices to regulate these processes. Building on a previous paper in this journal, we propose a novel classification system that categorizes specific styles of meditation into attentional, constructive, and deconstructive families based on their primary cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that meta-awareness, perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal, and self-inquiry may be important mechanisms in specific families of meditation and that alterations in these processes may be used to target states of experiential fusion, maladaptive self-schema, and cognitive reification. PMID:26231761

  3. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mental State Attribution and Empathizing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lucy B. G.; Lo, Barbara C. Y.; Macrae, C. Neil

    2014-01-01

    The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind) is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people’s mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning. PMID:25329321

  4. Domain-specific enhancement of metacognitive ability following meditation training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Benjamin; Mrazek, Michael D; Phillips, Dawa T; Schooler, Jonathan W

    2014-10-01

    Contemplative mental practices aim to enable individuals to develop greater awareness of their own cognitive and affective states through repeated examination of first-person experience. Recent cross-sectional studies of long-term meditation practitioners suggest that the subjective reports of such individuals are better calibrated with objective indices; however, the impact of mental training on metacognitive ability has not yet been examined in a randomized controlled investigation. The present study evaluated the impact of a 2-week meditation-training program on introspective accuracy in the domains of perception and memory. Compared with an active control group that elicited no change, we found that a 2-week meditation program significantly enhanced introspective accuracy, quantified by metacognitive judgments of cognition on a trial-by-trial basis, in a memory but not a perception domain. Together, these data suggest that, in at least some domains, the human capacity to introspect is plastic and can be enhanced through training.

  5. CREATIVE MEDITATION CENTERED ON NATURAL ELEMENTS: CONSEQUENCES ON COGNITIVE PROCESSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoleta Răban-Motounu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article explores some of the effects of a creative meditation centered on a natural element (fire on different aspects of cognitive functioning, commonly associated with well-being, either positively (self-esteem, or negatively (automatic negative thinking and thought suppression. The results showed that while self-esteem improves after the creative meditation, automatic negative thinking and thought suppression do not decrease significantly. The conclusion is that the creative meditation helps in getting in touch with Self, supporting a healthy self-esteem when taking into consideration the social standards, but this also means accepting both positive and negative aspects of self, including the automatic negative thinking and thought suppression. This recommends the technique as a useful tool for psychotherapeutic and personal development use, as the vulnerabilities may become the focus without unnecessary self-blame, but with an intuitive solution in mind to turn them into personal resources.

  6. Meditation for posttraumatic stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Lara; Maher, Alicia Ruelaz; Colaiaco, Benjamin; Apaydin, Eric; Sorbero, Melony E; Booth, Marika; Shanman, Roberta M; Hempel, Susanne

    2017-07-01

    We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis that synthesized evidence from randomized controlled trials of meditation interventions to provide estimates of their efficacy and safety in treating adults diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This review was based on an established protocol (PROSPERO: CRD42015025782) and is reported according to PRISMA guidelines. Outcomes of interest included PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, functional status, and adverse events. Meta-analyses were conducted using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method for random-effects models. Quality of evidence was assessed using the Grade of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. In total, 10 trials on meditation interventions for PTSD with 643 participants met inclusion criteria. Across interventions, adjunctive meditation interventions of mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and the mantram repetition program improve PTSD and depression symptoms compared with control groups, but the findings are based on low and moderate quality of evidence. Effects were positive but not statistically significant for quality of life and anxiety, and no studies addressed functional status. The variety of meditation intervention types, the short follow-up times, and the quality of studies limited analyses. No adverse events were reported in the included studies; only half of the studies reported on safety. Meditation appears to be effective for PTSD and depression symptoms, but in order to increase confidence in findings, more high-quality studies are needed on meditation as adjunctive treatment with PTSD-diagnosed participant samples large enough to detect statistical differences in outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. A pilot study: mindfulness meditation intervention in COPD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Giardino, Nicholas; Larson, Janet L

    2015-01-01

    Living well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires people to manage disease-related symptoms in order to participate in activities of daily living. Mindfulness practice is an intervention that has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic disease and improve accurate symptom assessment, both of which could result in improved disease management and increased wellness for people with COPD. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate an 8-week mindful meditation intervention program tailored for the COPD population and explore the use of breathing timing parameters as a possible physiological measure of meditation uptake. Results demonstrated that those randomized to the mindful meditation intervention group (N=19) had a significant increase in respiratory rate over time as compared to those randomized to the wait-list group (N=22) (P=0.045). It was also found that the mindful meditation intervention group demonstrated a significant decrease in level of mindfulness over time as compared to the wait-list group (P=0.023). When examining participants from the mindful meditation intervention who had completed six or more classes, it was found that respiratory rate did not significantly increase in comparison to the wait-list group. Furthermore, those who completed six or more classes (N=12) demonstrated significant improvement in emotional function in comparison to the wait-list group (P=0.032) even though their level of mindfulness did not improve. This study identifies that there may be a complex relationship between breathing parameters, emotion, and mindfulness in the COPD population. The results describe good feasibility and acceptability for meditation interventions in the COPD population.

  8. A preliminary study of opening-up meditation college adjustment, and self-actualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tloczynski, J

    1994-08-01

    The effects of opening-up meditation on college adjustment and self-actualization were examined with 45 subjects who were divided into groups for opening-up meditation, relaxation, and control using scores on the Anxiety Scale of the College Adjustment Scales. Subjects also completed the Personal Orientation Inventory. 1 hr. of training for the meditation and relaxation groups was given and 20 min./day practice requested. After 2 and 4 wk. anxiety and family problem scores significantly increased for the meditation group as did scores on the Feeling Reactivity Scale. Analysis was compromised by high dropout (leaving 3, 4, and 3 subjects, respectively, in the meditation, relaxation, and control groups).

  9. The phenomenology of meditation for female survivors of intimate partner violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Kathleen E

    2006-05-01

    An existential-phenomenological methodology was utilized to investigate the experience of meditation for female survivors of intimate partner violence. Six coresearchers were taught a form of concentrative meditation and were asked to meditate daily and to attend a weekly group meditation for 6 weeks. Semistructured interviews were utilized to gather the data. The essence of the experience that was revealed was the emergence of a centered awareness that is distinctly different from the usual mode of being in the world. Findings suggest the value of meditation as an intervention strategy with survivors and demonstrate the need for further research in this area.

  10. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Transcendental Meditation: Current State of Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Holt

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This article summarizes the current state of meditation research, specifically focusing on mindfulness-based stress reduction and transcendental meditation. Despite significant methodological problems with the studies reported to date on the subject, there is consistent evidence that meditation can produce changes in the nervous system and physiology of the meditator, and can help with various psychological markers of well-being. Regarding improvement in specific clinical diseases, research is generally mixed and preliminary. Strong recommendations cannot be made based on current evidence, and further studies are needed. In general, there is a stronger body of evidence supporting mindfulness-based stress reduction than for transcendental meditation.

  11. Meditate to create: the impact of focused-attention and open-monitoring training on convergent and divergent thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Ozturk, Ayca; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    The practice of meditation has seen a tremendous increase in the western world since the 60s. Scientific interest in meditation has also significantly grown in the past years; however, so far, it has neglected the idea that different type of meditations may drive specific cognitive-control states. In this study we investigate the possible impact of meditation based on focused-attention (FA) and meditation based on open-monitoring (OM) on creativity tasks tapping into convergent and divergent thinking. We show that FA meditation and OM meditation exert specific effect on creativity. First, OM meditation induces a control state that promotes divergent thinking, a style of thinking that allows many new ideas of being generated. Second, FA meditation does not sustain convergent thinking, the process of generating one possible solution to a particular problem. We suggest that the enhancement of positive mood induced by meditating has boosted the effect in the first case and counteracted in the second case.

  12. Emotional effects of sertraline: novel findings revealed by meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Roger; Victor, Bruce; Bitner, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors continues to increase, as does concern about previously unrecognized, subtle side effects and questions about whether these drugs produce effects on healthy subjects. The authors report novel emotional effects identified by an experienced, psychologically healthy meditator who is a psychiatrist and researcher. On a meditation retreat, the subject identified a specific profile of emotional changes related to sertraline use. In particular, cognitive abilities and the emotions of fear and anger seemed unaffected. However, the emotions of sadness, happiness, rapture, and love were dramatically reduced in intensity and duration. 2006 APA, all rights reserved

  13. Meditation, Mindfulness, Psyche and Soma: Eastern, Western Perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singla, Rashmi; Jordanov, Daniel; Autrup, Mads

    to the three major assumptions about human nature; the monoism between mind and body, the centrality of consciousness and meditation as a part of daily conduct. The mainstream Western understandings promoting the body-mind dualism are challenged by invoking the bodily experiences and consciousness emphasising...... is perceived as a way of resisting dualisms and binaries regarding psychological, physical, social and spiritual realities. We conclude that without a holistic, integrated understanding of the basic principles and assumptions in which meditation and mindfulness are embedded, there is a risk for these phenomena...

  14. Christian meditation. A Path to oneself and Others. Qualitative study of Christian meditation and cultural encounters in lives of adults in Latvia

    OpenAIRE

    Šķupele, Alise

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This master thesis examines individual experiences regarding “Christian Meditation” of John Main and cultural encounters. Through qualitative interviews with Christian meditators the thesis aims to understand the subjective meanings of Christian Meditation from the informant’s point of view. The purpose of the thesis is to explore the subjective experiences of Christian Meditation and cultural encounters; and to explore the subjective experiences of the meaning of Chri...

  15. Source-space EEG neurofeedback links subjective experience with brain activity during effortless awareness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lutterveld, Remko; Houlihan, Sean D; Pal, Prasanta; Sacchet, Matthew D; McFarlane-Blake, Cinque; Patel, Payal R; Sullivan, John S; Ossadtchi, Alex; Druker, Susan; Bauer, Clemens; Brewer, Judson A

    2017-05-01

    Meditation is increasingly showing beneficial effects for psychiatric disorders. However, learning to meditate is not straightforward as there are no easily discernible outward signs of performance and thus no direct feedback is possible. As meditation has been found to correlate with posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) activity, we tested whether source-space EEG neurofeedback from the PCC followed the subjective experience of effortless awareness (a major component of meditation), and whether participants could volitionally control the signal. Sixteen novice meditators and sixteen experienced meditators participated in the study. Novice meditators were briefly trained to perform a basic meditation practice to induce the subjective experience of effortless awareness in a progressively more challenging neurofeedback test-battery. Experienced meditators performed a self-selected meditation practice to induce this state in the same test-battery. Neurofeedback was provided based on gamma-band (40-57Hz) PCC activity extracted using a beamformer algorithm. Associations between PCC activity and the subjective experience of effortless awareness were assessed by verbal probes. Both groups reported that decreased PCC activity corresponded with effortless awareness (Pneurofeedback to link an objective measure of brain activity with the subjective experience of effortless awareness, and suggest potential utility of this paradigm as a tool for meditation training. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The Meditative Mind: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of MRI Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maddalena Boccia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade mind and body practices, such as yoga and meditation, have raised interest in different scientific fields; in particular, the physiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects observed in meditators have been investigated. Neuroimaging studies have studied the effects of meditation on brain structure and function and findings have helped clarify the biological underpinnings of the positive effects of meditation practice and the possible integration of this technique in standard therapy. The large amount of data collected thus far allows drawing some conclusions about the neural effects of meditation practice. In the present study we used activation likelihood estimation (ALE analysis to make a coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging data on the effects of meditation on brain structure and function. Results indicate that meditation leads to activation in brain areas involved in processing self-relevant information, self-regulation, focused problem-solving, adaptive behavior, and interoception. Results also show that meditation practice induces functional and structural brain modifications in expert meditators, especially in areas involved in self-referential processes such as self-awareness and self-regulation. These results demonstrate that a biological substrate underlies the positive pervasive effect of meditation practice and suggest that meditation techniques could be adopted in clinical populations and to prevent disease.

  17. Regional Brain Activation During Meditation Shows Time and Practice Effects: An Exploratory FMRI Study†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron Short, E.; Kose, Samet; Mu, Qiwen; Borckardt, Jeffery; Newberg, Andrew; George, Mark S.; Kozel, F. Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Meditation involves attentional regulation and may lead to increased activity in brain regions associated with attention such as dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether DLPFC and ACC were activated during meditation. Subjects who meditate were recruited and scanned on a 3.0 Tesla scanner. Subjects meditated for four sessions of 12 min and performed four sessions of a 6 min control task. Individual and group t-maps were generated of overall meditation response versus control response and late meditation response versus early meditation response for each subject and time courses were plotted. For the overall group (n = 13), and using an overall brain analysis, there were no statistically significant regional activations of interest using conservative thresholds. A region of interest analysis of the entire group time courses of DLPFC and ACC were statistically more active throughout meditation in comparison to the control task. Moreover, dividing the cohort into short (n = 8) and long-term (n = 5) practitioners (>10 years) revealed that the time courses of long-term practitioners had significantly more consistent and sustained activation in the DLPFC and the ACC during meditation versus control in comparison to short-term practitioners. The regional brain activations in the more practised subjects may correlate with better sustained attention and attentional error monitoring. In summary, brain regions associated with attention vary over the time of a meditation session and may differ between long- and short-term meditation practitioners. PMID:18955268

  18. Regional Brain Activation during Meditation Shows Time and Practice Effects: An Exploratory FMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Baron Short

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Meditation involves attentional regulation and may lead to increased activity in brain regions associated with attention such as dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether DLPFC and ACC were activated during meditation. Subjects who meditate were recruited and scanned on a 3.0 Tesla scanner. Subjects meditated for four sessions of 12 min and performed four sessions of a 6 min control task. Individual and group t-maps were generated of overall meditation response versus control response and late meditation response versus early meditation response for each subject and time courses were plotted. For the overall group (n = 13, and using an overall brain analysis, there were no statistically significant regional activations of interest using conservative thresholds. A region of interest analysis of the entire group time courses of DLPFC and ACC were statistically more active throughout meditation in comparison to the control task. Moreover, dividing the cohort into short (n = 8 and long-term (n = 5 practitioners (>10 years revealed that the time courses of long-term practitioners had significantly more consistent and sustained activation in the DLPFC and the ACC during meditation versus control in comparison to short-term practitioners. The regional brain activations in the more practised subjects may correlate with better sustained attention and attentional error monitoring. In summary, brain regions associated with attention vary over the time of a meditation session and may differ between long- and short-term meditation practitioners.

  19. The interventional effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions and interpersonal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiaoli; Shi, Wendian; Han, Xiangxiang; Wang, Nana; Zhang, Ni; Wang, Xiaoli

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions, intragroup interactions, and complex understanding of others. A total of 50 freshmen not receiving any training in meditation intervention were randomly divided into the meditation group (25 subjects) and the control group (25 subjects). The meditation group was implemented with group meditation intervention for 4 weeks, three times a week, about 30 minutes each time. The results revealed that the effect sizes in interpersonal interaction and complex understanding of others in the meditation group were both above 0.8, indicating strong effects. It was concluded that loving-kindness meditation can effectively improve positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and complex understanding of others in college students.

  20. Taiwanese Married Women's Lived Experience of Zen Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hsin-Ru

    2014-01-01

    Due to the impact of Confucianism on Taiwanese society, Taiwanese married women play multiple family roles including being a daughter-in-law, wife, mother, and working woman. Having to play multiple roles usually brings Taiwanese married women burdens and stress. It is reported that Zen meditation improves people's physical and mental wellbeing.…

  1. Stress and the Beliefs of Meditation among Community College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallentiny, Pamela L.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess stress levels in community college students and their beliefs of meditation. Community college students tend to report high levels of stress due to demographic factors, such low economic status, need to work at least part time, and need for remedial classes. Many of these demographic factors are particularly…

  2. The Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Anxiety Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillbeck, Michael C.

    1977-01-01

    Two weeks of twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique was compared with 2 weeks of twice-daily practice of passive relaxation as a means of reduction of anxiety, as measured by the Trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. (Editor)

  3. A Comparison of Mindfulness Meditation and Cognitive Self-Observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Yvonne; Hiebert, Bryan

    1988-01-01

    Trained 24 college students in either a meditation or a cognitive self-observation procedure. Both groups showed reliable increases in several dimensions of self-actualization (measured by the Personal Orientation Inventory) and decreases in many common stress-related symptoms (measured by the Symptoms of Stress Inventory). No differential…

  4. Chasing the Buddha: Bringing Meditation to Experiential Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Will

    The field of experiential education can be enhanced through the use of meditation. The vision statement of the Association for Experiential Education includes the aim of creating a just and compassionate world. This goal can be approached one person at a time by encouraging each individual in the field to become a just and compassionate person.…

  5. Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation: Potential for Psychological Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Stefan G.; Grossman, Paul; Hinton, Devon E.

    2011-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation interventions have become increasingly popular in contemporary psychology. Other closely related meditation practices include loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and compassion meditation (CM), exercises oriented toward enhancing unconditional, positive emotional states of kindness and compassion. This article provides a review of the background, the techniques, and the empirical contemporary literature of LKM and CM. The literature suggests that LKM and CM are associated with an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect. Preliminary findings from neuroendocrine studies indicate that CM may reduce stress-induced subjective distress and immune response. Neuroimaging studies suggest that LKM and CM may enhance activation of brain areas that are involved in emotional processing and empathy. Finally, preliminary intervention studies support application of these strategies in clinical populations. It is concluded that, when combined with empirically supported treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, LKM and CM may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving. PMID:21840289

  6. Effects of Meditation on Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selfe, Terry Kit; Innes, Kim E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to investigate changes in knee pain, function, and related indices in older adults with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, following an 8-week meditation program. Methods Eleven community-dwelling adults with physician- confirmed knee OA were enrolled in the study. Core outcomes included recommended measures of knee pain (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] and 11-point numeric rating scale [NRS]), function (WOMAC), and perceived global status (patient global assessment). Additional outcomes included: perceived stress; stress hardiness; mood; sleep; and sympathetic activation. Following baseline assessment, participants were trained briefly in mantra meditation and instructed to meditate for 15–20 minutes twice daily for 8 weeks, and to record each practice session on a daily log. Changes over time were analyzed using paired t-tests. Results Nine participants (82%) completed the study. Participants had statistically significant improvements in all core outcomes: knee pain (WOMAC: 47.7% ± 25.1% reduction, P = 0.001; NRS: 42.6% ± 34.6% reduction, P mantra meditation program may help reduce knee pain and dysfunction, as well as improving mood and related outcomes in adults with knee OA. PMID:26549967

  7. Therapeutic Touch and Healing Meditation: A Threesome with Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenspan, Marlene

    1994-01-01

    Briefly reviews the use of therapeutic touch in early Western culture and Judaic tradition and by modern practitioners. Discusses modern scientific approaches to therapeutic touch, including its use by nurses. Offers suggestions for and examples of the use of meditation, relaxation exercises, and therapeutic touch with adolescents in classroom and…

  8. Presence of Mind: A Qualitative Study of Meditating Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Michèle; Miller, John P.

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the results of a study into the effects of meditation practice on the lives of professional educators, specifically educators who either began or continued such practice during course work led by Professor Miller at the University of Toronto. The study incorporates semistructured interviews with 12 participants to track their…

  9. Meditation, restoration, and the management of mental fatigue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen Kaplan

    2001-01-01

    An analysis of the underlying similarities between the Eastern meditation tradition and attention restoration theory (ART) provides a basis for an expanded framework for studying directed attention. The focus of the analysis is the active role the individual can play in the preservation and recovery of the directed attention capacity. Two complementary strategies are...

  10. Transcendental meditation for autism spectrum disorders? A perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David O. Black

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Anecdotal reports suggest that Transcendental Meditation (TM may be helpful for some children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. In this perspective piece, we present six carefully evaluated individuals with diagnosed ASDs, who appear to have benefitted from TM, and offer some thoughts as to how this technique might help such individuals.

  11. Meditation in Higher Education: Does It Enhance Cognition?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helber, Casey; Zook, Nancy A.; Immergut, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    We predicted that students in a sociology course that included contemplative practices (i.e., mindfulness meditation) would show an increase in performance on higher level cognitive abilities (executive functions) over the semester compared to a control group of students. Change in executive functions performance was not significantly different…

  12. Intensive meditation training influences emotional responses to suffering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Erika L; Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Aichele, Stephen R; Jacobs, Tonya L; Bridwell, David A; MacLean, Katherine A; Shaver, Phillip R; Ferrer, Emilio; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Lavy, Shiri; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D

    2015-12-01

    Meditation practices purportedly help people develop focused and sustained attention, cultivate feelings of compassionate concern for self and others, and strengthen motivation to help others who are in need. We examined the impact of 3 months of intensive meditative training on emotional responses to scenes of human suffering. Sixty participants were assigned randomly to either a 3-month intensive meditation retreat or a wait-list control group. Training consisted of daily practice in techniques designed to improve attention and enhance compassionate regard for others. Participants viewed film scenes depicting human suffering at pre- and posttraining laboratory assessments, during which both facial and subjective measures of emotion were collected. At post-assessment, training group participants were more likely than controls to show facial displays of sadness. Trainees also showed fewer facial displays of rejection emotions (anger, contempt, disgust). The groups did not differ on the likelihood or frequency of showing these emotions prior to training. Self-reported sympathy--but not sadness or distress--predicted sad behavior and inversely predicted displays of rejection emotions in trainees only. These results suggest that intensive meditation training encourages emotional responses to suffering characterized by enhanced sympathetic concern for, and reduced aversion to, the suffering of others. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. The nondiscriminating heart: lovingkindness meditation training decreases implicit intergroup bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yoona; Gray, Jeremy R; Dovidio, John F

    2014-06-01

    Although meditation is increasingly accepted as having personal benefits, less is known about the broader impact of meditation on social and intergroup relations. We tested the effect of lovingkindness meditation training on improving implicit attitudes toward members of 2 stigmatized social outgroups: Blacks and homeless people. Healthy non-Black, nonhomeless adults (N = 101) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: 6-week lovingkindness practice, 6-week lovingkindness discussion (a closely matched active control), or waitlist control. Decreases in implicit bias against stigmatized outgroups (as measured by Implicit Association Test) were observed only in the lovingkindness practice condition. Reduced psychological stress mediated the effect of lovingkindness practice on implicit bias against homeless people, but it did not mediate the reduced bias against Black people. These results suggest that lovingkindness meditation can improve automatically activated, implicit attitudes toward stigmatized social groups and that this effect occurs through distinctive mechanisms for different stigmatized social groups. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  14. Toward A Unifying Taxonomy and Definition for Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan David Nash

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the well-documented concerns confronting scholarly discourse about meditation is the plethora of semantic constructs and the lack of a unified definition and taxonomy. In recent years there have been several notable attempts to formulate new lexicons in order to define and categorize meditation methods. While these constructs have been useful and have encountered varying degrees of acceptance, they have also been subject to misinterpretation and debate, leaving the field devoid of a consensual paradigm. This paper attempts to influence this ongoing discussion by proposing two new models which hold the potential for enhanced scientific reliability and acceptance. Regarding the quest for a universally acceptable taxonomy, we suggest a paradigm shift away from the fabrication of categories based exclusively on first-person perspectives. As an alternative, we propose a new taxonomic system based on a third-person paradigm borrowed, in part, from the psychological and cognitive sciences. With regard to the elusive definitional problem, we propose a model of meditation as a dynamic process composed of several related but distinct stages. The overall goal is to provide researchers with a reliable nomenclature with which to categorize and classify diverse meditation methods, and a conceptual framework which can provide direction for their research and a theoretical basis for their findings.

  15. Meditation and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lu; Zhang, Donglan; Wang, Liang; Zhuang, Junyang; Cook, Rebecca; Chen, Liwei

    2017-04-01

    We meta-analyzed the effect of meditation on blood pressure (BP), including both transcendental meditation and non-transcendental meditation interventions. We identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the BP responses to meditation interventions through a systematic literature search of the PubMed, ABI/INFORM, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases (from January 1980 to October 2015). We meta-analyzed the change in SBP and DBP, stratified by type of meditation (transcendental meditation vs. non-transcendental meditation intervention) and by type of BP measurement [ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) vs. non-ABPM measurement]. Nineteen studies met the eligibility criteria. Among the studies using the ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate was -2.49 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI): -7.51, 2.53] for transcendental meditation intervention (statistically insignificant) and -3.77 mmHg (95% CI: -5.33, -2.21) for non-transcendental meditation interventions, whereas the pooled DBP effect estimate was -4.26 mmHg (95% CI: -6.21, -2.31) for transcendental meditation interventions and -2.18 mmHg (95% CI: -4.28, -0.09) for non-transcendental meditation interventions. Among the studies using the non-ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate from transcendental meditation interventions was -5.57 mmHg (95% CI: -7.41, -3.73) and was -5.09 mmHg with non-transcendental meditation intervention (95% CI: -6.34, -3.85), whereas the pooled effect size in DBP change for transcendental meditation interventions was -2.86 mmHg (95% CI: -4.27, -1.44) and was -2.57 mmHg (95% CI: -3.36, -1.79) for non-transcendental meditation interventions. Non-transcendental meditation may serve as a promising alternative approach for lowering both SBP and DBP. More ABPM-measured transcendental meditation interventions might be needed to examine the benefit of transcendental meditation intervention on SBP reduction.

  16. Executive control and felt concentrative engagement following intensive meditation training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Paul Zanesco

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Various forms of mental training have been shown to improve performance on cognitively demanding tasks. Individuals trained in meditative practices, for example, show generalized improvements on a variety of tasks assessing attentional performance. A central claim of this training, derived from contemplative traditions, posits that improved attentional performance is accompanied by subjective increases in the stability and clarity of concentrative engagement with one’s object of focus, as well as reductions in felt cognitive effort as expertise develops. However, despite frequent claims of mental stability following training, the phenomenological correlates of meditation-related attentional improvements have yet to be characterized. In a longitudinal study, we assessed changes in executive control (performance on a 32-minute response inhibition task and retrospective reports of task engagement (concentration, motivation, and effort following one month of intensive, daily Vipassana meditation training. Compared to matched controls, training participants exhibited improvements in response inhibition accuracy and reductions in reaction time variability. The training group also reported increases in concentration, but not effort or motivation, during task performance. Critically, increases in concentration predicted improvements in reaction time variability, suggesting a link between the experience of concentrative engagement and ongoing fluctuations in attentional stability. By incorporating experiential measures of task performance, the present study corroborates phenomenological accounts of stable, clear attentional engagement with the object of meditative focus following extensive training. These results provide initial evidence that meditation-related changes in felt experience accompany improvements in adaptive, goal-directed behavior, and that such shifts may reflect accurate awareness of measurable changes in performance.

  17. Executive control and felt concentrative engagement following intensive meditation training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Maclean, Katherine A; Saron, Clifford D

    2013-01-01

    Various forms of mental training have been shown to improve performance on cognitively demanding tasks. Individuals trained in meditative practices, for example, show generalized improvements on a variety of tasks assessing attentional performance. A central claim of this training, derived from contemplative traditions, posits that improved attentional performance is accompanied by subjective increases in the stability and clarity of concentrative engagement with one's object of focus, as well as reductions in felt cognitive effort as expertise develops. However, despite frequent claims of mental stability following training, the phenomenological correlates of meditation-related attentional improvements have yet to be characterized. In a longitudinal study, we assessed changes in executive control (performance on a 32-min response inhibition task) and retrospective reports of task engagement (concentration, motivation, and effort) following one month of intensive, daily Vipassana meditation training. Compared to matched controls, training participants exhibited improvements in response inhibition accuracy and reductions in reaction time variability. The training group also reported increases in concentration, but not effort or motivation, during task performance. Critically, increases in concentration predicted improvements in reaction time variability, suggesting a link between the experience of concentrative engagement and ongoing fluctuations in attentional stability. By incorporating experiential measures of task performance, the present study corroborates phenomenological accounts of stable, clear attentional engagement with the object of meditative focus following extensive training. These results provide initial evidence that meditation-related changes in felt experience accompany improvements in adaptive, goal-directed behavior, and that such shifts may reflect accurate awareness of measurable changes in performance.

  18. Mindfulness and psychologic well-being: are they related to type of meditation technique practiced?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoormans, Dounya; Nyklíček, Ivan

    2011-07-01

    This study examined whether practitioners of two meditation types differ on self-reported mindfulness skills and psychologic well-being. This was a cross-sectional study comparing two convenience meditation groups drawn from local meditation centers, one group practicing mindfulness meditation (MM), and the other practicing transcendental meditation (TM). The study was conducted at several meditation centers in southern Netherlands. Thirty-five (35) participants practiced MM (69% women) and 20 practiced TM (42% women). Participants completed questionnaires on mindfulness skills (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale and two subscales from Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills), psychologic well-being (perceived stress, global mood, and quality of life), and meditation duration and frequency. All self-reported mindfulness facets correlated with almost all measures of well-being across groups, but no differences were evident between meditation types regarding mindfulness or well-being. Days per week spent on meditation was the only multivariable predictor of both higher mindfulness and lower perceived stress. The results suggest that self-reported mindfulness and psychologic well-being may be associated with meditation frequency rather than any potential differences when comparing MM and TM in this study. Note that substantial differences between MM and TM groups were present on basic demographics, which were controlled statistically.

  19. Effects of brief and sham mindfulness meditation on mood and cardiovascular variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Johnson, Susan K; Gordon, Nakia S; Goolkasian, Paula

    2010-08-01

    Although long-term meditation has been found to reduce negative mood and cardiovascular variables, the effects of a brief mindfulness meditation intervention when compared to a sham mindfulness meditation intervention are relatively unknown. This experiment examined whether a 3-day (1-hour total) mindfulness or sham mindfulness meditation intervention would improve mood and cardiovascular variables when compared to a control group. Eighty-two (82) undergraduate students (34 males, 48 females), with no prior meditation experience, participated in three sessions that involved training in either mindfulness meditation, sham mindfulness meditation, or a control group. Heart rate, blood pressure, and psychologic variables (Profile of Mood States, State Anxiety Inventory) were assessed before and after the intervention. The meditation intervention was more effective at reducing negative mood, depression, fatigue, confusion, and heart rate, when compared to the sham and control groups. These results indicate that brief meditation training has beneficial effects on mood and cardiovascular variables that go beyond the demand characteristics of a sham meditation intervention.

  20. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2015-09-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest, despite other studies having reported differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, in this study we compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate the findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation, beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies had used small groups, whereas in the present study we tested these hypotheses in a larger group. The results indicated that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network, relative to an active task, for meditators as compared to controls. Regions of the default mode network showing a Group × Task interaction included the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that the suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and they suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task.

  1. Temporal Dynamics of the Default Mode Network Characterize Meditation-Induced Alterations in Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, Rajanikant; Bharath, Rose D.; Upadhyay, Neeraj; Mangalore, Sandhya; Chennu, Srivas; Rao, Shobini L.

    2016-01-01

    Current research suggests that human consciousness is associated with complex, synchronous interactions between multiple cortical networks. In particular, the default mode network (DMN) of the resting brain is thought to be altered by changes in consciousness, including the meditative state. However, it remains unclear how meditation alters the fast and ever-changing dynamics of brain activity within this network. Here we addressed this question using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the spatial extents and temporal dynamics of the DMN during rest and meditation. Using fMRI, we identified key reductions in the posterior cingulate hub of the DMN, along with increases in right frontal and left temporal areas, in experienced meditators during rest and during meditation, in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). We employed the simultaneously recorded EEG data to identify the topographical microstate corresponding to activation of the DMN. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of this microstate revealed that the average duration and frequency of occurrence of DMN microstate was higher in meditators compared to HCs. Both these temporal parameters increased during meditation, reflecting the state effect of meditation. In particular, we found that the alteration in the duration of the DMN microstate when meditators entered the meditative state correlated negatively with their years of meditation experience. This reflected a trait effect of meditation, highlighting its role in producing durable changes in temporal dynamics of the DMN. Taken together, these findings shed new light on short and long-term consequences of meditation practice on this key brain network. PMID:27499738

  2. Temporal dynamics of the default mode network characterise meditation induced alterations in consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajanikant Panda

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Current research suggests that human consciousness is associated with complex, synchronous interactions between multiple cortical networks. In particular, the default mode network (DMN of the resting brain is thought to be altered by changes in consciousness, including the meditative state. However, it remains unclear how meditation alters the fast and ever-changing dynamics of brain activity within this network. Here, we addressed this question using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG and functional imaging (fMRI to compare the spatial extents and temporal dynamics of the DMN during rest and meditation. Using fMRI, we identified key reductions in the posterior cingulate hub of the DMN, along with increases in right frontal and left temporal areas, in experienced meditators during rest and during meditation, in comparison to healthy controls. We employed the simultaneously recorded EEG data to identify the topographical microstate corresponding to the DMN. Analysis of the temporal dynamics of this microstate revealed that the average duration and frequency of occurrence of DMN microstate was higher in meditators compared to healthy controls. Both these temporal parameters increased during meditation, reflecting the state effect of meditation. In particular, we found that the alteration in the duration of the DMN microstate when meditators entered the meditative state correlated negatively with their years of meditation experience. This reflected a trait effect of meditation, highlighting its role in producing durable changes in temporal dynamics of the DMN. Taken together, these findings shed new light on short and long-term consequences of meditation practice on this key brain network.

  3. Psychometric Properties of the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) in a Meditating and a Non-Meditating Sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruin, Esther I.; Topper, Maurice; Muskens, Jan G. A. M.; Bogels, Susan M.; Kamphuis, Jan H.

    2012-01-01

    The factor structure, internal consistency, construct validity, and predictive validity of the Dutch version of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ-NL) were studied in a sample of meditators (n = 288) and nonmeditators (n = 451). A five-factor structure was demonstrated in both samples, and the FFMQ-NL and its subscales were shown to…

  4. Er mere meditation relateret til større behandlingseffekter? – Empirisk baserede anbefalinger til en mere kontekstuel meditationsforskning og interventionspraksis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Christian Gaden; Holde, Louise Victoria Alliverti

    2016-01-01

    Meditation is increasingly applied in health promotion and clinical interventions although the influence of meditation during multimodal interventions is unclear. Even among meditation-based interventions (MBI), theories and recommendations concerning meditation vary substantially. Our primary...... or functional neural measures for MBI-participants or experienced meditators. The inconsistent dose-effect findings, however, do not lead us to discard meditation as a potentially important aspect of psychosocial interventions. Previous research is methodologically criticizable due to a lack of active control...

  5. The theoretical and empirical basis for meditation as an intervention for PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Ariel J; Strauss, Jennifer L; Bomyea, Jessica; Bormann, Jill E; Hickman, Steven D; Good, Raquel C; Essex, Michael

    2012-11-01

    In spite of the existence of good empirically supported treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), consumers and providers continue to ask for more options for managing this common and often chronic condition. Meditation-based approaches are being widely implemented, but there is minimal research rigorously assessing their effectiveness. This article reviews meditation as an intervention for PTSD, considering three major types of meditative practices: mindfulness, mantra, and compassion meditation. The mechanisms by which these approaches may effectively reduce PTSD symptoms and improve quality of life are presented. Empirical evidence of the efficacy of meditation for PTSD is very limited but holds some promise. Additional evaluation of meditation-based treatment appears to be warranted.

  6. The Influence of Buddhist Meditation Traditions on the Autonomic System and Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amihai, Ido; Kozhevnikov, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive and neuroscience research from the past several years has shed new light on the influences that meditative traditions have on the meditation practice. Here we review new evidence that shows that types of meditation that developed out of certain traditions such as Vajrayana and Hindu Tantric lead to heightened sympathetic activation and phasic alertness, while types of meditation from other traditions such as Theravada and Mahayana elicit heightened parasympathetic activity and tonic alertness. Such findings validate Buddhist scriptural descriptions of heightened arousal during Vajrayana practices and a calm and alert state of mind during Theravada and Mahayana types of meditation and demonstrate the importance of the cultural and philosophical context out of which the meditation practices develop. PMID:26146629

  7. Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, F.; Grant, J.A.; Brown, C.A.; McHaffie, J.G.; Coghill, R.C.

    2013-01-01

    The cognitive modulation of pain is influenced by a number of factors ranging from attention, beliefs, conditioning, expectations, mood, and the regulation of emotional responses to noxious sensory events. Recently, mindfulness meditation has been found attenuate pain through some of these mechanisms including enhanced cognitive and emotional control, as well as altering the contextual evaluation of sensory events. This review discusses the brain mechanisms involved in mindfulness meditation-related pain relief across different meditative techniques, expertise and training levels, experimental procedures, and neuroimaging methodologies. Converging lines of neuroimaging evidence reveal that mindfulness meditation-related pain relief is associated with unique appraisal cognitive processes depending on expertise level and meditation tradition. Moreover, it is postulated that mindfulness meditation-related pain relief may share a common final pathway with other cognitive techniques in the modulation of pain. PMID:22487846

  8. Beliefs about meditating among university students, faculty, and staff: a theory-based salient belief elicitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Alyssa M; Middlestadt, Susan E

    2014-01-01

    Stress impacts college students, faculty, and staff alike. Although meditation has been found to decrease stress, it is an underutilized strategy. This study used the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify beliefs underlying university constituents' decision to meditate. N=96 students, faculty, and staff at a large midwestern university during spring 2012. A survey measured the RAA global constructs and elicited the beliefs underlying intention to meditate. Thematic and frequency analyses and multiple regression were performed. Quantitative analyses showed that intention to meditate was significantly predicted (R2=.632) by attitude, perceived norm, and perceived behavioral control. Qualitative analyses revealed advantages (eg, reduced stress; feeling calmer), disadvantages (eg, takes time; will not work), and facilitating circumstances (eg, having more time; having quiet space) of meditating. Results of this theory-based research suggest how college health professionals can encourage meditation practice through individual, interpersonal, and environmental interventions.

  9. A randomised controlled study of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation therapy in the management of tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, M; Sadlier, M; Rajenderkumar, D; James, J; Tahir, T

    2017-06-01

    Psychotherapeutic interventions have been adopted effectively in the management of tinnitus for a long time. This study compared mindfulness meditation and relaxation therapy for management of tinnitus. In this randomised controlled trial, patients were recruited for five sessions of mindfulness meditation or five sessions of relaxation therapy. Patients' responses were evaluated using the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire as a primary outcome measure, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, visual analogue scale and a health status indicator as secondary outcome measures. A total of 86 patients were recruited. Thirty-four patients completed mindfulness meditation and 27 patients completed relaxation therapy. Statistically significant improvement was seen in all outcome measures except the health status indicator in both treatment groups. The change in treatment scores was greater in the mindfulness meditation group than in the relaxation therapy group. This study suggests that although both mindfulness meditation and relaxation therapy are effective in the management of tinnitus, mindfulness meditation is superior to relaxation therapy.

  10. Long-term meditation: the relationship between cognitive processes, thinking styles and mindfulness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabio, Rosa Angela; Towey, Giulia Emma

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between meditation and cognitive functions. More in depth the purpose is to demonstrate that long-term meditation practice improves attention skills and cognitive flexibility. Eighteen long-term meditation practitioners were compared to a matched control group, who never practiced meditation. Each subject was tested, using computerized software (Presentation Software 9.90), which measured: attention, visual search abilities, working memory and Stroop's interference tasks. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between long-term meditation practice, mindfulness skills and thinking styles, namely styles of processing information. The results showed significant differences between the two groups, demonstrating that long-term meditation is linked to improvements of attentional functions, working memory and cognitive flexibility.

  11. Health technology assessment demonstrates efficient health promotion bu Transcendental Meditation (TM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Torben

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Health Technology Assessment of mantrameditation implemented as Transcendental Meditation (TM) METHODS: MEDLINE contains October 2001 335 titles on 'Transcendental Meditation' including various metaanalyses and a series of randomised, controlled trials: In summary...... mantrameditation (TM) is evidenced to produce a wakeful, hypometabolic state (in-depth-relaxation) independent of personality or individual mantras. A general metaanalysis summarizes the long-termed meditation effects as (1) a low baseline function; (2) release of stress and anxiety empowering self...

  12. Exploring relations among mindfulness facets and various meditation practices: Do they work in different ways?

    OpenAIRE

    Cebolla i Martí, Ausiàs Josep; Campos, Daniel; Galiana Llinares, Laura; Oliver Germes, Amparo; Tomás Miguel, José Manuel; Feliu Soler, Albert; Soler, Joaquim; García Campayo, Javier; Demarzo, Marcelo; Baños Rivera, Rosa María

    2017-01-01

    Several meditation practices are associated with mindfulness-based interventions but little is known about their specific effects on the development of different mindfulness facets. This study aimed to assess the relations among different practice variables, types of meditation, and mindfulness facets. The final sample was composed of 185 participants who completed an on-line survey, including information on the frequency and duration of each meditation practice, lifetime practice, and the Fi...

  13. A translational neuroscience perspective on mindfulness meditation as a prevention strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Leve, Leslie D

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation research mainly focuses on psychological outcomes such as behavioral, cognitive, and emotional functioning. However, the neuroscience literature on mindfulness meditation has grown in recent years. This paper provides an overview of relevant neuroscience and psychological research on the effects of mindfulness meditation. We propose a translational prevention framework of mindfulness and its effects. Drawing upon the principles of prevention science, this framework inte...

  14. The effect of meditation on psychological distress among Buddhist Monks and Nuns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Gauri; Araya, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    This study aimed to ascertain whether there is an association between meditation and psychological distress. Within a cohort of meditating Monks and Nuns who have accomplished varying levels of skill in the art of meditation, we studied whether there are varying degrees of psychological distress, and if so, whether this correlates to how advanced the meditators are. In this cross-sectional study, Monks and Nuns were recruited from monasteries, nunneries, and volunteer centres throughout Dharamshala, Northern India. A total of 331 Monks and Nuns participated. Psychological distress was measured using the GHQ-12, and the expertise on meditation was assessed through the number of years practising meditation and the maximum length of time held in concentration in one sitting. A dose response association was found with more years meditating associated with increasingly lower GHQ scores. There was 0.21 points drop in GHQ scores for every year meditating (p = 0.001). This study shows that Monks and Nuns who are more advanced in practicing meditation show fewer signs of psychological distress than Monks and Nuns who are less advanced in the art of meditation. The practice of meditation may have therapeutic value in the management of psychological distress, and could be offered as a non-pharmacological treatment alternative in patients with anxiety and depression. This is a preliminary study with limitations. More robust evidence is needed before we can confidently establish a causal link between meditation and psychological wellbeing. Our findings should, however, encourage further research in this area to generate better evidence for the health benefits of what is a long established practice in Buddhist communities.

  15. Exploration of lower frequency EEG dynamics and cortical alpha asymmetry in long-term rajyoga meditators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanishka Sharma

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rajyoga meditation is taught by Prajapita Brahmakumaris World Spiritual University (Brahmakumaris and has been followed by more than one million followers across the globe. However, rare studies were conducted on physiological aspects of rajyoga meditation using electroencephalography (EEG. Band power and cortical asymmetry were not studied with Rajyoga meditators. Aims: This study aims to investigate the effect of regular meditation practice on EEG brain dynamics in low-frequency bands of long-term Rajyoga meditators. Settings and Design: Subjects were matched for age in both groups. Lower frequency EEG bands were analyzed in resting and during meditation. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one male long-term meditators (LTMs and same number of controls were selected to participate in study as par inclusion criteria. Semi high-density EEG was recorded before and during meditation in LTM group and resting in control group. The main outcome of the study was spectral power of alpha and theta bands and cortical (hemispherical asymmetry calculated using band power. Statistical Analysis: One-way ANOVA was performed to find the significant difference between EEG spectral properties of groups. Pearson's Chi-square test was used to find difference among demographics data. Results: Results reveal high-band power in alpha and theta spectra in meditators. Cortical asymmetry calculated through EEG power was also found to be high in frontal as well as parietal channels. However, no correlation was seen between the experience of meditation (years, hours practice and EEG indices. Conclusion: Overall findings indicate contribution of smaller frequencies (alpha and theta while maintaining meditative experience. This suggests a positive impact of meditation on frontal and parietal areas of brain, involved in the processes of regulation of selective and sustained attention as well as provide evidence about their involvement in emotion and cognitive

  16. Neurocognitive and somatic components of temperature increases during g-tummo meditation: legend and reality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Kozhevnikov

    Full Text Available Stories of g-tummo meditators mysteriously able to dry wet sheets wrapped around their naked bodies during a frigid Himalayan ceremony have intrigued scholars and laypersons alike for a century. Study 1 was conducted in remote monasteries of eastern Tibet with expert meditators performing g-tummo practices while their axillary temperature and electroencephalographic (EEG activity were measured. Study 2 was conducted with Western participants (a non-meditator control group instructed to use the somatic component of the g-tummo practice (vase breathing without utilization of meditative visualization. Reliable increases in axillary temperature from normal to slight or moderate fever zone (up to 38.3°C were observed among meditators only during the Forceful Breath type of g-tummo meditation accompanied by increases in alpha, beta, and gamma power. The magnitude of the temperature increases significantly correlated with the increases in alpha power during Forceful Breath meditation. The findings indicate that there are two factors affecting temperature increase. The first is the somatic component which causes thermogenesis, while the second is the neurocognitive component (meditative visualization that aids in sustaining temperature increases for longer periods. Without meditative visualization, both meditators and non-meditators were capable of using the Forceful Breath vase breathing only for a limited time, resulting in limited temperature increases in the range of normal body temperature. Overall, the results suggest that specific aspects of the g-tummo technique might help non-meditators learn how to regulate their body temperature, which has implications for improving health and regulating cognitive performance.

  17. Sitting-meditation interventions among youth: a review of treatment efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, David S; Milam, Joel; Sussman, Steve

    2009-09-01

    Although the efficacy of meditation interventions has been examined among adult samples, meditation treatment effects among youth are relatively unknown. We systematically reviewed empirical studies for the health-related effects of sitting-meditative practices implemented among youth aged 6 to 18 years in school, clinic, and community settings. A systematic review of electronic databases (PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Reviews Database, Google Scholar) was conducted from 1982 to 2008, obtaining a sample of 16 empirical studies related to sitting-meditation interventions among youth. Meditation modalities included mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Study samples primarily consisted of youth with preexisting conditions such as high-normal blood pressure, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities. Studies that examined physiologic outcomes were composed almost entirely of African American/black participants. Median effect sizes were slightly smaller than those obtained from adult samples and ranged from 0.16 to 0.29 for physiologic outcomes and 0.27 to 0.70 for psychosocial/behavioral outcomes. Sitting meditation seems to be an effective intervention in the treatment of physiologic, psychosocial, and behavioral conditions among youth. Because of current limitations, carefully constructed research is needed to advance our understanding of sitting meditation and its future use as an effective treatment modality among younger populations.

  18. Fractal scaling behavior of heart rate variability in response to meditation techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Ramirez, J.; Rodríguez, E.; Echeverría, J.C.

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • The scaling properties of heart rate variability in premeditation and meditation states were studied. • Mindfulness meditation induces a decrement of the HRV long-range scaling correlations. • Mindfulness meditation can be regarded as a type of induced deep sleep-like dynamics. - Abstract: The rescaled range (R/S) analysis was used for analyzing the fractal scaling properties of heart rate variability (HRV) of subjects undergoing premeditation and meditation states. Eight novice subjects and four advanced practitioners were considered. The corresponding pre-meditation and meditation HRV data were obtained from the Physionet database. The results showed that mindfulness meditation induces a decrement of the HRV long-range scaling correlations as quantified with the time-variant Hurst exponent. The Hurst exponent for advanced meditation practitioners decreases up to values of 0.5, reflecting uncorrelated (e.g., white noise-like) HRV dynamics. Some parallelisms between mindfulness meditation and deep sleep (Stage 4) are discussed, suggesting that the former can be regarded as a type of induced deep sleep-like dynamics.

  19. Meditation-induced neuroplastic changes in amygdala activity during negative affective processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Lau, Way K W; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Samuel S Y; Fung, Annis L C; Lee, Tatia M C

    2017-04-10

    Recent evidence suggests that the effects of meditation practice on affective processing and resilience have the potential to induce neuroplastic changes within the amygdala. Notably, literature speculates that meditation training may reduce amygdala activity during negative affective processing. Nonetheless, studies have thus far not verified this speculation. In this longitudinal study, participants (N = 21, 9 men) were trained in awareness-based compassion meditation (ABCM) or matched relaxation training. The effects of meditation training on amygdala activity were examined during passive viewing of affective and neutral stimuli in a non-meditative state. We found that the ABCM group exhibited significantly reduced anxiety and right amygdala activity during negative emotion processing than the relaxation group. Furthermore, ABCM participants who performed more compassion practice had stronger right amygdala activity reduction during negative emotion processing. The lower right amygdala activity after ABCM training may be associated with a general reduction in reactivity and distress. As all participants performed the emotion processing task in a non-meditative state, it appears likely that the changes in right amygdala activity are carried over from the meditation practice into the non-meditative state. These findings suggest that the distress-reducing effects of meditation practice on affective processing may transfer to ordinary states, which have important implications on stress management.

  20. Experienced mindfulness meditators exhibit higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during NREM sleep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Ferrarelli

    Full Text Available Over the past several years meditation practice has gained increasing attention as a non-pharmacological intervention to provide health related benefits, from promoting general wellness to alleviating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. However, the effects of meditation training on brain activity still need to be fully characterized. Sleep provides a unique approach to explore the meditation-related plastic changes in brain function. In this study we performed sleep high-density electroencephalographic (hdEEG recordings in long-term meditators (LTM of Buddhist meditation practices (approximately 8700 mean hours of life practice and meditation naive individuals. We found that LTM had increased parietal-occipital EEG gamma power during NREM sleep. This increase was specific for the gamma range (25-40 Hz, was not related to the level of spontaneous arousal during NREM and was positively correlated with the length of lifetime daily meditation practice. Altogether, these findings indicate that meditation practice produces measurable changes in spontaneous brain activity, and suggest that EEG gamma activity during sleep represents a sensitive measure of the long-lasting, plastic effects of meditative training on brain function.

  1. Meditation programs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Aggregate findings from a multi-site evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffner, Kathi L; Crean, Hugh F; Kemp, Jan E

    2016-05-01

    Interest in meditation to manage posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is increasing. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of meditation programs offered to Veterans within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health services. The current study addresses this gap using data from a multisite VA demonstration project. Evaluation data collected at 6 VA sites (N = 391 Veterans) before and after a meditation program, and a treatment-as-usual (TAU) program, were examined here using random effects meta-analyses. Site-specific and aggregate between group effect sizes comparing meditation programs to TAU were determined for PTSD severity measured by clinical interview and self-report. Additional outcomes included experiential avoidance and mindfulness. In aggregate, analyses showed medium effect sizes for meditation programs compared to TAU for PTSD severity (clinical interview: effect size (ES) = -0.32; self-report: ES = -0.39). Similarly sized effects of meditation programs were found for overall mindfulness (ES = 0.41) and 1 specific aspect of mindfulness, nonreactivity to inner experience (ES = .37). Additional findings suggested meditation type and program completion differences each moderated program effects. VA-sponsored meditation programs show promise for reducing PTSD severity in Veterans receiving mental health services. Where meditation training fits within mental health services, and for whom programs will be of interest and effective, require further clarification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. The effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on experimentally induced pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Gordon, Nakia S; Merchant, Junaid; Goolkasian, Paula

    2010-03-01

    This study investigated the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on ratings of painful electrical stimulation. In Experiment 1, we used a 3-day (20 min/d) mindfulness meditation intervention and measured pain ratings before and after the intervention. Participants' numerical ratings of pain to "low" and "high" electrical stimulation significantly decreased after meditation training. Pain sensitivity, measured by change in stimulus intensity thresholds, also decreased after training. We investigated, in Experiment 2, how well relaxation and a math distraction task attenuated experimental pain. Math distraction but not relaxation reduced high pain ratings. There was no reduction in pain sensitivity in these participants. In Experiment 3, we directly compared the effects of meditation with math distraction and relaxation conditions. Our findings indicated significant effects of both meditation and math distraction. Consistent with what was observed in Experiment 1, these participants also demonstrated a decrease in pain sensitivity after meditation training. Changes in the mindfulness and anxiety assessments suggest that meditation's analgesic effects are related to reduced anxiety and the enhanced ability to focus on the present moment. Our findings indicate that a brief 3-day mindfulness meditation intervention was effective at reducing pain ratings and anxiety scores when compared with baseline testing and other cognitive manipulations. The brief meditation training was also effective at increasing mindfulness skills. Copyright 2010 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Experienced Mindfulness Meditators Exhibit Higher Parietal-Occipital EEG Gamma Activity during NREM Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarelli, Fabio; Smith, Richard; Dentico, Daniela; Riedner, Brady A.; Zennig, Corinna; Benca, Ruth M.; Lutz, Antoine; Davidson, Richard J.; Tononi, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years meditation practice has gained increasing attention as a non-pharmacological intervention to provide health related benefits, from promoting general wellness to alleviating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. However, the effects of meditation training on brain activity still need to be fully characterized. Sleep provides a unique approach to explore the meditation-related plastic changes in brain function. In this study we performed sleep high-density electroencephalographic (hdEEG) recordings in long-term meditators (LTM) of Buddhist meditation practices (approximately 8700 mean hours of life practice) and meditation naive individuals. We found that LTM had increased parietal-occipital EEG gamma power during NREM sleep. This increase was specific for the gamma range (25–40 Hz), was not related to the level of spontaneous arousal during NREM and was positively correlated with the length of lifetime daily meditation practice. Altogether, these findings indicate that meditation practice produces measurable changes in spontaneous brain activity, and suggest that EEG gamma activity during sleep represents a sensitive measure of the long-lasting, plastic effects of meditative training on brain function. PMID:24015304

  4. Short Meditation Trainings Enhance Non-REM Sleep Low-Frequency Oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dentico, Daniela; Ferrarelli, Fabio; Riedner, Brady A.; Smith, Richard; Zennig, Corinna; Lutz, Antoine; Tononi, Giulio; Davidson, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners. We also repeated baseline recordings in a meditation-naive cohort to account for time effects on sleep EEG activity. Design High-density EEG recordings of human brain activity were acquired over the course of whole sleep nights following intervention. Setting Sound-attenuated sleep research room. Patients or Participants Twenty-four long-term meditators and twenty-four meditation-naïve controls. Interventions Two 8-h sessions of either a mindfulness-based meditation or a form of meditation designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, hereafter referred to as compassion meditation. Measurements and Results We found an increase in EEG low-frequency oscillatory activities (1–12 Hz, centered around 7–8 Hz) over prefrontal and left parietal electrodes across whole night NREM cycles. This power increase peaked early in the night and extended during the third cycle to high-frequencies up to the gamma range (25–40 Hz). There was no difference in sleep EEG activity between meditation styles in long-term meditators nor in the meditation naïve group across different time points. Furthermore, the prefrontal-parietal changes were dependent on meditation life experience. Conclusions This low-frequency prefrontal-parietal activation likely reflects acute, meditation-related plastic changes occurring during wakefulness, and may underlie a top-down regulation from frontal and anterior parietal areas to the posterior

  5. Analysis of heart rate variability signal in meditation using second-order difference plot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Damodar Prasad; Tibarewala, Dewaki Nandan; Bhattacharya, Dilip Kumar

    2011-06-01

    In this article, the heart rate variability signal taken from subjects practising different types of meditations have been investigated to find the underlying similarity among them and how they differ from the non-meditative condition. Four different groups of subjects having different meditation techniques are involved. The data have been obtained from the Physionet and also collected with our own ECG machine. For data analysis, the second order difference plot is applied. Each of the plots obtained from the second order differences form a single cluster which is nearly elliptical in shape except for some outliers. In meditation, the axis of the elliptical cluster rotates anticlockwise from the cluster formed from the premeditation data, although the amount of rotation is not of the same extent in every case. This form study reveals definite and specific changes in the heart rate variability of the subjects during meditation. All the four groups of subjects followed different procedures but surprisingly the resulting physiological effect is the same to some extent. It indicates that there is some commonness among all the meditative techniques in spite of their apparent dissimilarity and it may be hoped that each of them leads to the same result as preached by the masters of meditation. The study shows that meditative state has a completely different physiology and that it can be achieved by any meditation technique we have observed. Possible use of this tool in clinical setting such as in stress management and in the treatment of hypertension is also mentioned.

  6. Mindfulness meditation-based pain relief: a mechanistic account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidan, Fadel; Vago, David R

    2016-06-01

    Pain is a multidimensional experience that involves interacting sensory, cognitive, and affective factors, rendering the treatment of chronic pain challenging and financially burdensome. Further, the widespread use of opioids to treat chronic pain has led to an opioid epidemic characterized by exponential growth in opioid misuse and addiction. The staggering statistics related to opioid use highlight the importance of developing, testing, and validating fast-acting nonpharmacological approaches to treat pain. Mindfulness meditation is a technique that has been found to significantly reduce pain in experimental and clinical settings. The present review delineates findings from recent studies demonstrating that mindfulness meditation significantly attenuates pain through multiple, unique mechanisms-an important consideration for the millions of chronic pain patients seeking narcotic-free, self-facilitated pain therapy. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  7. EEG and Sonic Platforms to Enhance Mindfulness Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitilin de Berigny

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores interactive applications that encourage mindfulness through sensors and novel input technology. Research in psychology and neuroscience demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness is initiating a new movement in interactive design. As cutting edge technologies become more accessible they are being employed to research and explore the practice of mindfulness. We examine three interactive installation artworks that promote mindfulness. In order to contextualize the interactive artworks discussed we first examine the historical background of the Electroencephalogram (EEG. We then discuss the physiological processes of meditation and the history behind the clinical practice of mindfulness. We show how artists and designers employ EEG sensors, to record the electrical activity of the brain to visualize mindfulness meditation practices. Lastly, we conclude the paper by discussing the future of the three artworks.

  8. Brief Meditation and the Interaction between Emotional Interference and Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Baptista Menezes

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This pilot study assessed the effects of a five day focused meditation training on the interplay between emotional interference and anxiety in a non clinical sample randomized into two groups (experimental=13; control=18. Emotional interference was indexed comparing the reaction times in an attention span task with negative or neutral distracting images. Anxiety experienced during the task was also assessed through self-report. Only in the control group higher anxiety levels interacted with greater emotional interference and a worse evaluation of valence and arousal of emotional images. These preliminary findings suggest that meditation may help modulating anxiety effects on bias to negative stimuli, and that even a short training may facilitate self-regulatory processes.

  9. The effect of the Transcendental Meditation technique on anxiety level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillbeck, M C

    1977-10-01

    Two weeks of twice-daily practice of the transcendental Meditation (TM) technique was compared with 2 weeks of twice-daily practice of passive relaxation as a means of reduction of anxiety, as measured by the Trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Thirty-three graduate and undergraduate students were assigned randomly to a relaxation group and a TM group. After a 2-week experimental interval, the relaxation and meditation Ss, as well as between conditions of the relaxation-mediation group; TM was significantly more effective in reducing anxiety level. Thus, the anxiety-reducing effect of the practice of TM cannot be attributed merely to sitting quietly twice daily, although additional research must determine the extent to which S expectations for change contributed to this effect.

  10. Brief Online Focused Attention Meditation Training: Immediate Impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemper, Kathi J; Rao, Nisha

    2016-08-16

    There is increasing interest in brief, online training in mind-body skills to improve resilience in health professionals. We analyzed data from an online training program in focused attention meditation. Resilience, relaxation, stress, positive and negative affect, and flourishing were measured before and after training using standardized scales. The 379 participants included nurses (31%), physicians (21%), social workers and psychologists (10%), and others (38%). At baseline, participants reported high levels of stress (mean 16.7 compared with population norms of 12-14). Completing modules was associated with small but significant improvements in relaxation, resilience, stress, positive and negative affect, and flourishing (P meditation training reaches diverse health professionals and is associated with improvements in relaxation, resilience, stress, affect, and flourishing. Additional research is warranted to compare the long-term cost-effectiveness of different amounts and types of mind-body training on clinician burnout and quality of care. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Research on Mindfulness and Meditation

    OpenAIRE

    Davidson, Richard J.; Kaszniak, Alfred W.

    2015-01-01

    Both basic science and clinical research on mindfulness, meditation, and related constructs has dramatically increased in recent years. However, interpretation of these research results has been challenging. The present article addresses unique conceptual and methodological problems posed by research in this area. Included among the key topics is the role of first person experience and how it can be best studied; the challenges posed by intervention research designs in which true double-blind...

  12. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Insomnia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Jason C.; Manber, Rachel; Segal, Zindel; Xia, Yinglin; Shapiro, Shauna; Wyatt, James K.

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Design: Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Interventions: Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Measurements and Results: Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P treatment through follow-up, with MBTI showing the highest rates of treatment remission (50%) and response (78.6%) at the 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Trial Registration: Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia: clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00768781 Citation: Ong JC, Manber R, Segal Z, Xia Y, Shapiro S, Wyatt JK. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. SLEEP 2014;37(9):1553-1563. PMID:25142566

  13. State Mindfulness During Meditation Predicts Enhanced Cognitive Reappraisal

    OpenAIRE

    Garland, Eric L.; Hanley, Adam; Farb, Norman A.; Froeliger, Brett E.

    2013-01-01

    Putatively, mindfulness meditation involves generation of a state of “nonappraisal”, yet, little is known about how mindfulness may influence appraisal processes. We investigated whether the state and practice of mindfulness could enhance cognitive reappraisal. Participants (N = 44; M age = 24.44, SD = 4.00, range 19 – 38, 82.2% female) were randomized to either 1) mindfulness, 2) suppression, or 3) mind-wandering induction training conditions. Cognitive reappraisal was assessed with the Emot...

  14. Post-training Meditation Promotes Motor Memory Consolidation

    OpenAIRE

    Immink, Maarten A.

    2016-01-01

    Following training, motor memory consolidation is thought to involve either memory stabilization or off-line learning processes. The extent to which memory stabilization or off-line learning relies on post-training wakeful periods or sleep is not clear and thus, novel research approaches are needed to further explore the conditions that promote motor memory consolidation. The present experiment represents the first empirical test of meditation as potential facilitator of motor memory consol...

  15. Increased False-Memory Susceptibility After Mindfulness Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Brent M; Mickes, Laura; Stolarz-Fantino, Stephanie; Evrard, Matthew; Fantino, Edmund

    2015-10-01

    The effect of mindfulness meditation on false-memory susceptibility was examined in three experiments. Because mindfulness meditation encourages judgment-free thoughts and feelings, we predicted that participants in the mindfulness condition would be especially likely to form false memories. In two experiments, participants were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness induction, in which they were instructed to focus attention on their breathing, or a mind-wandering induction, in which they were instructed to think about whatever came to mind. The overall number of words from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm that were correctly recalled did not differ between conditions. However, participants in the mindfulness condition were significantly more likely to report critical nonstudied items than participants in the control condition. In a third experiment, which tested recognition and used a reality-monitoring paradigm, participants had reduced reality-monitoring accuracy after completing the mindfulness induction. These results demonstrate a potential unintended consequence of mindfulness meditation in which memories become less reliable. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. Conceptual and methodological issues in research on mindfulness and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Richard J; Kaszniak, Alfred W

    2015-10-01

    Both basic science and clinical research on mindfulness, meditation, and related constructs have dramatically increased in recent years. However, interpretation of these research results has been challenging. The present article addresses unique conceptual and methodological problems posed by research in this area. Included among the key topics is the role of first-person experience and how it can be best studied, the challenges posed by intervention research designs in which true double-blinding is not possible, the nature of control and comparison conditions for research that includes mindfulness or other meditation-based interventions, issues in the adequate description of mindfulness and related trainings and interventions, the question of how mindfulness can be measured, questions regarding what can and cannot be inferred from self-report measures, and considerations regarding the structure of study design and data analyses. Most of these topics are germane to both basic and clinical research studies and have important bearing on the future scientific understanding of mindfulness and meditation. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. State Mindfulness During Meditation Predicts Enhanced Cognitive Reappraisal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Adam; Farb, Norman A.; Froeliger, Brett E.

    2013-01-01

    Putatively, mindfulness meditation involves generation of a state of “nonappraisal”, yet, little is known about how mindfulness may influence appraisal processes. We investigated whether the state and practice of mindfulness could enhance cognitive reappraisal. Participants (N = 44; M age = 24.44, SD = 4.00, range 19 – 38, 82.2% female) were randomized to either 1) mindfulness, 2) suppression, or 3) mind-wandering induction training conditions. Cognitive reappraisal was assessed with the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) prior to experimental induction, and state mindfulness was assessed immediately following induction using the Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS). Participants practiced their assigned strategy for one week and then were reassessed with the ERQ reappraisal subscale. Participants receiving mindfulness training reported significantly higher levels of state mindfulness than participants in the thought suppression and mind wandering conditions. Although brief mindfulness training did not lead to significantly greater increases in reappraisal than the other two conditions, state mindfulness during mindfulness meditation was prospectively associated with increases in reappraisal. Path analysis revealed that the indirect effect between mindfulness training and reappraisal was significant through state mindfulness. Degree of state mindfulness achieved during the act of mindfulness meditation significantly predicted increases in reappraisal over time, suggesting that mindfulness may promote emotion regulation by enhancing cognitive reappraisal. PMID:26085851

  18. Increased dopamine tone during meditation-induced change of consciousness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaer, Troels W; Bertelsen, Camilla; Piccini, Paola

    2002-01-01

    This is the first in vivo demonstration of an association between endogenous neurotransmitter release and conscious experience. Using 11C-raclopride PET we demonstrated increased endogenous dopamine release in the ventral striatum during Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra is characterized by a dep......This is the first in vivo demonstration of an association between endogenous neurotransmitter release and conscious experience. Using 11C-raclopride PET we demonstrated increased endogenous dopamine release in the ventral striatum during Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra is characterized...... by a depressed level of desire for action, associated with decreased blood flow in prefrontal, cerebellar and subcortical regions, structures thought to be organized in open loops subserving executive control. In the striatum, dopamine modulates excitatory glutamatergic synapses of the projections from...... the frontal cortex to striatal neurons, which in turn project back to the frontal cortex via the pallidum and ventral thalamus. The present study was designed to investigate whether endogenous dopamine release increases during loss of executive control in meditation. Participants underwent two 11C...

  19. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinowski, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed. PMID:23382709

  20. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eMalinowski

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.

  1. The Association between Meditation Practice and Job Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiba, Koichiro; Nishimoto, Masahiro; Sugimoto, Minami; Ishikawa, Yoshiki

    2015-01-01

    Many previous studies have shown that meditation practice has a positive impact on cognitive and non-cognitive functioning, which are related to job performance. Thus, the aims of this study were to (1) estimate the prevalence of meditation practice, (2) identify the characteristics of individuals who practice meditation, and (3) examine the association between meditation practice and job performance. Two population-based, cross-sectional surveys were conducted. In study 1, we examined the prevalence of meditation practice and the characteristics of the persons practicing meditation; in Study 2, we examined the association between meditation practice and job performance. The outcome variables included work engagement, subjective job performance, and job satisfaction. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale was used to assess work engagement, the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) was used to measure subjective job performance, and a scale developed by the Japanese government was used to assess job satisfaction. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used in Study 2. Demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors were included as covariates in the analyses. The results of Study 1 indicated that 3.9% of persons surveyed (n = 30,665) practiced meditation; these individuals were younger and had a higher education, higher household income, higher stress level, and lower body mass index than those who did not practice meditation. The results of Study 2 (n = 1,470) indicated that meditation practice was significantly predictive of work engagement (β = 0.112, p meditation practice may positively influence job performance, including job satisfaction, subjective job performance, and work engagement.

  2. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara evan Leeuwen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2 and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2 and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that

  3. From a state to a trait: Trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during intervention predict changes in trait mindfulness

    OpenAIRE

    Kiken, Laura G.; Garland, Eric L.; Bluth, Karen; Palsson, Olafur S.; Gaylord, Susan A.

    2015-01-01

    Theory suggests that heightening state mindfulness in meditation practice over time increases trait mindfulness, which benefits psychological health. We prospectively examined individual trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during a mindfulness-based intervention in relation to changes in trait mindfulness and psychological distress. Each week during the eight-week intervention, participants reported their state mindfulness in meditation after a brief mindfulness meditation. Partic...

  4. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Chuan-Chih; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Pinazo, Daniel; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Borchardt, Viola; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Balaguer, Raúl; Ávila, César; Walter, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common res...

  5. The happy face of mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation is associated with perceptions of happiness as rated by outside observers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choi, Y.W.; Karremans, J.C.T.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2012-01-01

    The last decade has witnessed an enormous increase in research examining the effects of mindfulness meditation. One of the basic assumptions guiding this research is that meditation ultimately makes people happier. In this article, in two studies we tested whether meditators actually look happier.

  6. The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Adolescents with High-Incidence Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solar, Ernest L., II

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown evidence that mindfulness-based meditation practices may be effective treatment interventions for mental, emotional, and medical disabilities in the adult population. There has been a limited number of research studies showing the effectiveness of meditation practices with secondary students who receive special education…

  7. Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies. SUNY Series in Religious Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmer-Brown, Judith, Ed.; Grace, Fran, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    "Meditation and the Classroom" inventively articulates how educators can use meditation to educate the whole student. Notably, a number of universities have initiated contemplative studies options and others have opened contemplative spaces. This represents an attempt to address the inner life. It is also a sign of a new era, one in…

  8. Beliefs about Meditating among University Students, Faculty, and Staff: A Theory-Based Salient Belief Elicitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Alyssa M.; Middlestadt, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Stress impacts college students, faculty, and staff alike. Although meditation has been found to decrease stress, it is an underutilized strategy. This study used the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify beliefs underlying university constituents' decision to meditate. Participants: N = 96 students, faculty, and staff at a large…

  9. The limited prosocial effects of meditation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreplin, U.; Farias, M.; Brazil, I.A.

    2018-01-01

    Many individuals believe that meditation has the capacity to not only alleviate mental-illness but to improve prosociality. This article systematically reviewed and meta-analysed the effects of meditation interventions on prosociality in randomized controlled trials of healthy adults. Five types of

  10. A comparative concept analysis of centring vs. opening meditation processes in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birx, Ellen

    2013-08-01

    To report an analysis and comparison of the concepts centring and opening meditation processes in health care. Centring and opening meditation processes are included in nursing theories and frequently recommended in health care for stress management. These meditation processes are integrated into emerging psychotherapy approaches and there is a rapidly expanding body of neuroscience research distinguishing brain activity associated with different types of meditation. Currently, there is a lack of theoretical and conceptual clarity needed to guide meditation research in health care. A search of healthcare literature between 2006-2011 was conducted using Alt HealthWatch, CINAHL, PsychNET and PubMed databases using the keywords 'centring' and 'opening' alone and in combination with the term 'meditation.' For the concept centring, 10 articles and 11 books and for the concept opening 13 articles and 10 books were included as data sources. Rodgers' evolutionary method of concept analysis was used. Centring and opening are similar in that they both involve awareness in the present moment; both use a gentle, effortless approach; and both have a calming effect. Key differences include centring's focus on the individual's inner experience compared with the non-dual, spacious awareness of opening. Centring and opening are overlapping, yet distinct meditation processes. The term meditation cannot be used in a generic way in health care. The differences between centring and opening have important implications for the further development of unitary-transformative nursing theories. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Self-Desensitization and Meditation in the Reduction of Public Speaking Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Irving; Henry, David

    1979-01-01

    Speech-anxious students were assigned to self-administered treatment conditions: (1) systematic desensitization, (2) desensitization with meditation replacing progressive relaxation, and (3) meditation only. Treatment manuals included coping-skill instructions. Treatments were equally effective in reducing anxiety and produced a greater reduction…

  12. Transcendental Meditation and Assertive Training in the Treatment of Social Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wampler, Larry D.; Amira, Stephen B.

    Research indicates that transcendental meditation (TM) may provide relief from accumulated stress and render the meditator better able to cope with future stressful events. Single and combined TM and assertive training programs were compared for effectiveness in the treatment of socially anxious college students. A waiting-list group served as the…

  13. The Lived Experience of Meditation | Barnes | Indo-Pacific Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Heuristic Phenomenology lends itself well to a relatively naïve exploration of meditative experiences. I began with ... I noticed that I could not tape descriptions of my experiences while in a deep meditative state because when in this state, I was not aware of the material world in which my body and the tape recorder existed.

  14. Open Mind, Open Heart: An Anthropological Study of the Therapeutics of Meditation Practice in the US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Neely; Lewis, Sara; Dutton, Mary Ann

    2015-09-01

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews collected with meditation teachers and students in the United States, this article will argue that active training in meditation-based practices occasions the opportunity for people with traumatic stress to develop a stronger mind-body connection through heightened somatic awareness and a focus on the present moment that they find to be therapeutic. Three important themes related to healing through meditation for trauma emerged from the data and centered around the ways our interlocutors attempted to realign their sense of self, mind and body, after a traumatic experience. The themes helped explain why US women perceive meditation as therapeutic for trauma, namely that the practice of meditation enables one to focus on the lived present rather than traumatic memories, to accept pain and "open" one's heart, and to make use of silence instead of speech as a healing modality. As meditation practices increasingly enter global popular culture, promoted for postulated health benefits, the driving question of this research--how meditation may perpetuate human resilience for women who have experienced trauma based on their own perspectives of meditation practices--is a critical addition to the literature.

  15. Being Allowing and yet Directive: Mindfulness Meditation in the Teaching of Developmental Reading and Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garretson, Kate

    2010-01-01

    Because learning to meditate shares important qualities with learning to be a better reader and writer--for example, dispassionate noticing, becoming more aware of inner processes, a faith in inner wisdom, effort made with a light touch, the cultivation of a practice through simple, regular doing--practice in mindfulness meditation was used to…

  16. Exploring Mindfulness and Meditation for the Elementary Classroom: Intersections across Current Multidisciplinary Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routhier-Martin, Kayli; Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth; Blanch, Norine

    2017-01-01

    Mindfulness and meditation programs, and their associated benefits for education, can be examined within three related disciplines: psychology, elementary education, and exceptional education. A review of psychology research provides evidence that meditation and mindfulness work to balance the often negative effects of students' social-emotional…

  17. Intensive Training Induces Longitudinal Changes in Meditation State-related EEG Oscillatory Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manish eSaggar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The capacity to focus one’s attention for an extended period of time can be increased through training in contemplative practices. However, the cognitive processes engaged during meditation that support trait changes in cognition are not well characterized. We conducted a longitudinal wait-list controlled study of intensive meditation training. Retreat participants practiced focused attention meditation techniques for three months during an initial retreat. Wait-list participants later undertook formally identical training during a second retreat. Dense-array scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG data were collected during six minutes of mindfulness of breathing meditation at three assessment points during each retreat. Second-order blind source separation, along with a novel semi-automatic artifact removal tool, was used for data preprocessing. We observed replicable reductions in meditative state-related beta-band power bilaterally over anteriocentral and posterior scalp regions. In addition, individual alpha frequency decreased across both retreats and in direct relation to the amount of meditative practice. These findings provide evidence for replicable longitudinal changes in brain oscillatory activity during meditation and increase our understanding of the cortical processes engaged during meditation that may support long-term improvements in cognition.

  18. Intensive training induces longitudinal changes in meditation state-related EEG oscillatory activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggar, Manish; King, Brandon G.; Zanesco, Anthony P.; MacLean, Katherine A.; Aichele, Stephen R.; Jacobs, Tonya L.; Bridwell, David A.; Shaver, Phillip R.; Rosenberg, Erika L.; Sahdra, Baljinder K.; Ferrer, Emilio; Tang, Akaysha C.; Mangun, George R.; Wallace, B. Alan; Miikkulainen, Risto; Saron, Clifford D.

    2012-01-01

    The capacity to focus one's attention for an extended period of time can be increased through training in contemplative practices. However, the cognitive processes engaged during meditation that support trait changes in cognition are not well characterized. We conducted a longitudinal wait-list controlled study of intensive meditation training. Retreat participants practiced focused attention (FA) meditation techniques for three months during an initial retreat. Wait-list participants later undertook formally identical training during a second retreat. Dense-array scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected during 6 min of mindfulness of breathing meditation at three assessment points during each retreat. Second-order blind source separation, along with a novel semi-automatic artifact removal tool (SMART), was used for data preprocessing. We observed replicable reductions in meditative state-related beta-band power bilaterally over anteriocentral and posterior scalp regions. In addition, individual alpha frequency (IAF) decreased across both retreats and in direct relation to the amount of meditative practice. These findings provide evidence for replicable longitudinal changes in brain oscillatory activity during meditation and increase our understanding of the cortical processes engaged during meditation that may support long-term improvements in cognition. PMID:22973218

  19. Further Examination of the Quality of Changes in Creative Functioning Resulting from Meditation (Zazen) Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowger, Ernest L., Jr.; Torrance, E. Paul

    1982-01-01

    The quality of changes in creative functioning resulting from training in ZEN meditation (Zazen) and relaxation training were compared. Pre-posttest changes in the two groups, as revealed by the General Linear Models Procedure, revealed that the meditation group experienced greater perceived change resulting from new conditions, expression of…

  20. A Comparison of Behaviorial, Meditation, and Placebo Control Relaxation Training Procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Jeffrey E.; Poppen, Roger

    1985-01-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of two relaxation training procedures, one meditative and one behavioral, as compared to a placebo attention focusing procedure. Results indicate that behavior relaxation training, meditation, and attention focusing are all effective relaxation techniques. A discussion and conclusions are given. (MT)

  1. Intensive training induces longitudinal changes in meditation state-related EEG oscillatory activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggar, Manish; King, Brandon G; Zanesco, Anthony P; Maclean, Katherine A; Aichele, Stephen R; Jacobs, Tonya L; Bridwell, David A; Shaver, Phillip R; Rosenberg, Erika L; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Ferrer, Emilio; Tang, Akaysha C; Mangun, George R; Wallace, B Alan; Miikkulainen, Risto; Saron, Clifford D

    2012-01-01

    The capacity to focus one's attention for an extended period of time can be increased through training in contemplative practices. However, the cognitive processes engaged during meditation that support trait changes in cognition are not well characterized. We conducted a longitudinal wait-list controlled study of intensive meditation training. Retreat participants practiced focused attention (FA) meditation techniques for three months during an initial retreat. Wait-list participants later undertook formally identical training during a second retreat. Dense-array scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected during 6 min of mindfulness of breathing meditation at three assessment points during each retreat. Second-order blind source separation, along with a novel semi-automatic artifact removal tool (SMART), was used for data preprocessing. We observed replicable reductions in meditative state-related beta-band power bilaterally over anteriocentral and posterior scalp regions. In addition, individual alpha frequency (IAF) decreased across both retreats and in direct relation to the amount of meditative practice. These findings provide evidence for replicable longitudinal changes in brain oscillatory activity during meditation and increase our understanding of the cortical processes engaged during meditation that may support long-term improvements in cognition.

  2. Calm and smart? A selective review of meditation effects on decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sai; Yao, Ziqing; Wei, Jaixin; Yu, Rongjun

    2015-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of meditation to improve cognitive performance, emotional balance, and well-being. As a consequence, research into the psychological effects and neural mechanisms of meditation has been accumulating. Whether and how meditation affects decision making is not yet clear. Here, we review evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies and summarize the effects of meditation on social and non-social economic decision making. Research suggests that meditation modulates brain activities associated with cognitive control, emotion regulation and empathy, and leads to improved non-social and social decision making. Accordingly, we propose an integrative model in which cognitive control, emotional regulation, and empathic concern mediate the effects of meditation on decision making. This model provides insights into the mechanisms by which meditation affects the decision making process. More evidence is needed to test our explanatory model and to explore the function of specific brain areas and their interactive effects on decision making during meditation training. PMID:26257700

  3. The interventional effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions and interpersonal interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He X

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Xiaoli He,1 Wendian Shi,2 Xiangxiang Han,1 Nana Wang,1 Ni Zhang,1 Xiaoli Wang1 1Department of Psychology, Ningxia University, Yinchuan City, Ningxia, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China Abstract: The study aimed to investigate the effects of loving-kindness meditation on positive emotions, intragroup interactions, and complex understanding of others. A total of 50 freshmen not receiving any training in meditation intervention were randomly divided into the meditation group (25 subjects and the control group (25 subjects. The meditation group was implemented with group meditation intervention for 4 weeks, three times a week, about 30 minutes each time. The results revealed that the effect sizes in interpersonal interaction and complex understanding of others in the meditation group were both above 0.8, indicating strong effects. It was concluded that loving-kindness meditation can effectively improve positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and complex understanding of others in college students. Keywords: positive emotions, intergroup interactions, loving-kindness meditation, positive rate, complex understanding of others 

  4. Impact of meditation training on the default mode network during a restful state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Véronique A; Daneault, Véronique; Grant, Joshua; Scavone, Geneviève; Breton, Estelle; Roffe-Vidal, Sébastien; Courtemanche, Jérôme; Lavarenne, Anaïs S; Marrelec, Guillaume; Benali, Habib; Beauregard, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation has been shown to promote emotional stability. Moreover, during the processing of aversive and self-referential stimuli, mindful awareness is associated with reduced medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) activity, a central default mode network (DMN) component. However, it remains unclear whether mindfulness practice influences functional connectivity between DMN regions and, if so, whether such impact persists beyond a state of meditation. Consequently, this study examined the effect of extensive mindfulness training on functional connectivity within the DMN during a restful state. Resting-state data were collected from 13 experienced meditators (with over 1000 h of training) and 11 beginner meditators (with no prior experience, trained for 1 week before the study) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Pairwise correlations and partial correlations were computed between DMN seed regions' time courses and were compared between groups utilizing a Bayesian sampling scheme. Relative to beginners, experienced meditators had weaker functional connectivity between DMN regions involved in self-referential processing and emotional appraisal. In addition, experienced meditators had increased connectivity between certain DMN regions (e.g. dorso-medial PFC and right inferior parietal lobule), compared to beginner meditators. These findings suggest that meditation training leads to functional connectivity changes between core DMN regions possibly reflecting strengthened present-moment awareness.

  5. Neoliberal Meditations: How Mindfulness Training Medicalizes Education and Responsibilizes Young People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reveley, James

    2016-01-01

    Teaching mindfulness meditation at school has been advocated by educational researchers and practitioners in order to proactively target the well-being of young people. By conceptualizing mindfulness meditation as a technology of the self, in Foucauldian terms, this article considers the ideological implications of implementing mindfulness…

  6. Examining the Effects of Jyoti Meditation on Stress and the Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Daniel; Conley, Abigail H.; Young, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The authors examined whether Jyoti meditation (JM), a spiritually based meditation (Singh, 2012), influenced student counselors' (N = 60) level of stress and emotional intelligence (EI). Results from a randomized controlled trial and growth curve analysis provided a multilevel model in which JM reduced stress and EI moderated the effect.

  7. Zen meditation and ABC relaxation theory: an exploration of relaxation states, beliefs, dispositions, and motivations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillani, N B; Smith, J C

    2001-06-01

    This study is an attempt to rigorously map the psychological effects of Zen meditation among experienced practitioners. Fifty-nine Zen meditators with at least six years of experience practiced an hour of traditional Zazen seated meditation. A control group of 24 college students spent 60 min silently reading popular magazines. Before relaxation, all participants took the Smith Relaxation States Inventory (SRSI), the Smith Relaxation Dispositions/Motivations Inventory (SRD/MI), and the Smith Relaxation Beliefs Inventory (SRBI). After practice, participants again took the SRSI. Analyses revealed that meditators are less likely to believe in God, more likely to believe in Inner Wisdom, and more likely to display the relaxation dispositions Mental Quiet, Mental Relaxation, and Timeless/Boundless/Infinite. Pre- and postsession analyses revealed that meditators showed greater increments in the relaxation states Mental Quiet, Love and Thankfulness, and Prayerfulness, as well as reduced Worry. Results support Smith's ABC Relaxation Theory.

  8. Current Perspectives on the Use of Meditation to Reduce Blood Pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly M. Goldstein

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Meditation techniques are increasingly popular practices that may be useful in preventing or reducing elevated blood pressure. We reviewed landmark studies and recent literature concerning the use of meditation for reducing blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals. We sought to highlight underlying assumptions, identify strengths and weaknesses of the research, and suggest avenues for further research, reporting of results, and dissemination of findings. Meditation techniques appear to produce small yet meaningful reductions in blood pressure either as monotherapy or in conjunction with traditional pharmacotherapy. Transcendental meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction may produce clinically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. More randomized clinical trials are necessary before strong recommendations regarding the use of meditation for high BP can be made.

  9. Short term integrative meditation improves resting alpha activity and stroop performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yaxin; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-12-01

    Our previous research showed that short term meditation training reduces the time to resolve conflict in the flanker task. Studies also show that resting alpha increases with long term meditation practice. The aim of this study is to determine whether short term meditation training both increases resting alpha activity and reduces the time to resolve conflict in the Stroop task and whether these two effects are related. Forty-three Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned an experiment group given 5 days meditation training using integrative body-mind training (IBMT) and a relaxation training control. After training, only the IBMT group showed decreased conflict reaction time (RT), and increased resting mean alpha power. Moreover, the higher the enhancement of resting alpha power, the stronger the improvement of conflict RT. The results indicate that short term meditation diffusely enhances alpha and improves the ability to deal with conflict and moreover these two effects are positively related.

  10. Impact of short-term meditation and expectation on executive brain functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prätzlich, Martin; Kossowsky, Joe; Gaab, Jens; Krummenacher, Peter

    2016-01-15

    Meditation improves executive functions such as attention and working memory processes. However, it remains unclear to what extent contextual effects contribute to these improvements, since the role of meditation-associated expectations has not been investigated so far. In a randomized, single-blind, deceptive, between-subject design we compared the impact of short-term meditation (MG) on executive functioning with an expectation (ECG) and a passive control group (CG) as well as the effect of positive and negative outcome expectations. Fifty-nine healthy meditation-naïve volunteers participated on three consecutive days (20 min/session). Five groups were examined: 2 MGs, 2 ECGs and 1 CG. While one MG and one ECG were given positive suggestions concerning the effect of meditation on attention, the other two groups were given negative suggestions. MGs practised a focused attention meditation technique; ECGs were told that they were practising meditation but were given instructions for a sham meditation. CG participants sat in silence with their eyes closed. Interference control (Stroop task), selective sustained attention (d2 task), figural and verbal fluency measures of executive functions were assessed. Results indicate that suggestions have a substantial impact on interference control and verbal fluency, with positive suggestions leading to an increase in performance, whereas negative suggestions impeded improvement. This proof of concept study demonstrates the importance of the implementation of a credible ECG to elucidate context effects in meditation processes. It also indicates that suggestions can modulate the small effect of meditation on verbal fluency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Jason C; Manber, Rachel; Segal, Zindel; Xia, Yinglin; Shapiro, Shauna; Wyatt, James K

    2014-09-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Academic medical center. Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia: clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00768781. © 2014 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  12. Becoming and being a psychotherapist: a psychodynamic memoir and meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlinsky, David E

    2005-08-01

    The author reflects on the circumstances of his becoming a psychotherapist and meditates on their meaning. He notes the effect on his survival through childhood of his grandparents' emigration from Europe and the influence of his close-knit family on his personal needs and values. He then reflects on his early vocational interests; the transformational power of his education, as a student and faculty, at the University of Chicago; and the constructive force of his professional collaboration and personal friendship with Kenneth Howard. Finally, he considers why it is important to him not only to have become but to continue to be a psychotherapist. 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Prayer and meditation among Danish first time mothers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prinds, Christina; Hvidtjørn, Dorte; Skytthe, Axel

    2016-01-01

    among first time mothers conducted during the summer 2011. All Danish women who gave birth before the 32nd pregnancy week (n = 255), and double the number of mothers who gave birth at full term (n = 658) in 2010 were included (total n = 913). The questionnaire consisted of 46 overall items categorized...... or education.ConclusionsIn this explorative study we found specific practices of existential meaning-making through prayer and/or meditation among first time mothers, living in a very secularized context. Yet we know only little about character or importance of these practices among mothers, and hardly...

  14. Mindfulness meditation for veterans---implications for occupational health providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuellar, Norma G

    2008-08-01

    Mindfulness meditation (MfM) is a mind-body therapy identified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Initially taught in a formal classroom setting, MfM is a sustainable intervention with minimal costs that can be used over time. For veterans, after mastery, this technique shows promise in improving health outcomes and quality of life. This article describes MfM, discusses the conceptual framework and evidence-based research for MfM, and identifies the implications of MfM use by health care providers who are caring for war veterans.

  15. Immediate and long-term effects of meditation on acute stress reactivity, cognitive functions, and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Yogesh; Sharma, Ratna; Talwar, Anjana

    2012-01-01

    With the current globalization of the world's economy and demands for enhanced performance, stress is present universally. Life's stressful events and daily stresses cause both deleterious and cumulative effects on the human body. The practice of meditation might offer a way to relieve that stress. The research team intended to study the effects of meditation on stress-induced changes in physiological parameters, cognitive functions, intelligence, and emotional quotients. The research team conducted the study in two phases, with a month between them. Each participant served as his own control, and the first phase served as the control for the second phase. In phase 1, the research team studied the effects of a stressor (10 minutes playing a computer game) on participants' stress levels. In phase 2, the research team examined the effects of meditation on stress levels. The research team conducted the study in a lab setting at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. The participants were 34 healthy, male volunteers who were students. To study the effects of long-term meditation on stress levels, intelligence, emotional quotients, and cognitive functions participants meditated daily for 1 month, between phases 1 and 2. To study the immediate effects of meditation on stress levels, participants meditated for 15 minutes after playing a computer game to induce stress. The research team measured galvanic skin response (GSR), heart rate (HR), and salivary cortisol and administered tests for the intelligence and emotional quotients (IQ and EQ), acute and perceived stress (AS and PS), and cognitive functions (ie, the Sternberg memory test [short-term memory] and the Stroop test [cognitive flexibility]). Using a pre-post study design, the team performed this testing (1) prior to the start of the study (baseline); (2) in phase 1, after induced stress; (3) in part 1 of phase 2, after 1 month of daily meditation, and (4) in part 2 of phase 2, after

  16. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, Sara; Singer, Wolf; Melloni, Lucia

    2012-01-01

    During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2, and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2, and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that meditation modulates

  17. Magnetoencephalographic alpha band connectivity reveals differential Default Mode Network interactions during focused attention and open monitoring meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eMarzetti

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available According to several conceptualizations of meditation, the interplay between brain systems associated to self-related processing, attention and executive control is crucial for meditative states and related traits. We used magnetoencephalography to investigate such interplay in a highly selected group of virtuoso meditators (Theravada Buddhist monks, with long-term training in the two main meditation styles: focused attention (FA and open monitoring (OM meditation. Specifically, we investigated the differences between FA meditation, OM meditation and resting state in the coupling between the posterior cingulate cortex, core node of the Default Mode Network (DMN implicated in mind wandering and self-related processing, and the whole brain, with a recently developed phase coherence approach. Our findings showed a state dependent coupling of PCC to nodes of the DMN and of the executive control brain network in the alpha frequency band (8-12 Hz, related to different attentional and cognitive control processes in FA and OM meditation, consistently with the putative role of alpha band synchronization in the functional mechanisms for attention and consciousness. The coupling of posterior cingulate cortex with left medial prefrontal cortex and superior frontal gyrus characterized the contrast between the two meditation styles in a way that correlated with meditation expertise. These correlations may be related to a higher mindful observing ability and a reduced identification with ongoing mental activity in more expert meditators. Notably, different styles of meditation and different meditation expertise appeared to modulate the dynamic balance between fronto-parietal and DMN networks. Our results support the idea that the interplay between the DMN and the fronto-parietal network in the alpha band is crucial for the transition from resting state to different meditative states.

  18. Magnetoencephalographic alpha band connectivity reveals differential default mode network interactions during focused attention and open monitoring meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzetti, Laura; Di Lanzo, Claudia; Zappasodi, Filippo; Chella, Federico; Raffone, Antonino; Pizzella, Vittorio

    2014-01-01

    According to several conceptualizations of meditation, the interplay between brain systems associated to self-related processing, attention and executive control is crucial for meditative states and related traits. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate such interplay in a highly selected group of "virtuoso" meditators (Theravada Buddhist monks), with long-term training in the two main meditation styles: focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation. Specifically, we investigated the differences between FA meditation, OM meditation and resting state in the coupling between the posterior cingulate cortex, core node of the Default Mode Network (DMN) implicated in mind wandering and self-related processing, and the whole brain, with a recently developed phase coherence approach. Our findings showed a state dependent coupling of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to nodes of the DMN and of the executive control brain network in the alpha frequency band (8-12 Hz), related to different attentional and cognitive control processes in FA and OM meditation, consistently with the putative role of alpha band synchronization in the functional mechanisms for attention and consciousness. The coupling of PCC with left medial prefrontal cortex (lmPFC) and superior frontal gyrus characterized the contrast between the two meditation styles in a way that correlated with meditation expertise. These correlations may be related to a higher mindful observing ability and a reduced identification with ongoing mental activity in more expert meditators. Notably, different styles of meditation and different meditation expertise appeared to modulate the dynamic balance between fronto-parietal (FP) and DMN networks. Our results support the idea that the interplay between the DMN and the FP network in the alpha band is crucial for the transition from resting state to different meditative states.

  19. Loving-kindness meditation for posttraumatic stress disorder: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, David J; Malte, Carol A; McManus, Carolyn; Martinez, Michelle E; Felleman, Ben; Simpson, Tracy L

    2013-08-01

    Loving-kindness meditation is a practice designed to enhance feelings of kindness and compassion for self and others. Loving-kindness meditation involves repetition of phrases of positive intention for self and others. We undertook an open pilot trial of loving-kindness meditation for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Measures of PTSD, depression, self-compassion, and mindfulness were obtained at baseline, after a 12-week loving-kindness meditation course, and 3 months later. Effect sizes were calculated from baseline to each follow-up point, and self-compassion was assessed as a mediator. Attendance was high; 74% attended 9-12 classes. Self-compassion increased with large effect sizes and mindfulness increased with medium to large effect sizes. A large effect size was found for PTSD symptoms at 3-month follow-up (d = -0.89), and a medium effect size was found for depression at 3-month follow-up (d = -0.49). There was evidence of mediation of reductions in PTSD symptoms and depression by enhanced self-compassion. Overall, loving-kindness meditation appeared safe and acceptable and was associated with reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression. Additional study of loving-kindness meditation for PTSD is warranted to determine whether the changes seen are due to the loving-kindness meditation intervention versus other influences, including concurrent receipt of other treatments. Published 2013. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  20. Meditation and Dance in Creative Society: Contemplative Consciousness in Daoism, Zen and Argentine Tango

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieška Juzefovič

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the particularly relevant topic in the contemporary society – Asian meditative practices and methods of self-development. The first chapter deals with the notion of contemplative, enlightened consciousness in Daoism and Zen. The second chapter shows how meditative consciousness could be achieved through social tango. Six theses are argued as appropriate for both Daoism and Zen as well as tango: 1 contemplative, purified consciousness is empty of disturbing thoughts and focused toward the essence; 2 contemplative, purified consciousness is not only empty but also brimming full; 3 contemplative, purified consciousness is identical with everyday mind; 4 contemplative mind is functioning according to the principles of non-action and naturalness; 5 meditation leads toward the unity and integrity of consciousness and body, consciousness and outside world; 6 active meditation is an effective way to obtain aims mentioned above. The argumentation of such thesis helps to show that tango is akin to various meditative practices. So it could not only be successfully used as a form of entertainment but also as a meditative practice, leading toward aims, similar to those of Zen meditations.

  1. Larger Hippocampal Dimensions in Meditation Practitioners: Differential Effects in Women and Men

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eileen eLuders

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available On average, the human hippocampus shows structural differences between meditators and non-meditators as well as between men and women. However, there is a lack of research exploring possible sex effects on hippocampal anatomy in the framework of meditation. Thus, we obtained high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 long-term meditation practitioners (15 men / 15 women and 30 well-matched control subjects (15 men / 15 women to assess if hippocampus-specific effects manifest differently in male and female brains. Hippocampal dimensions were enlarged both in male and in female meditators when compared to sex- and age-matched controls. However, meditation effects differed between men and women in magnitude, laterality, and location on the hippocampal surface. Such sex-divergent findings may be due to genetic (innate or acquired differences between male and female brains in the areas involved in meditation and/or suggest that male and female hippocampi are differently receptive to mindfulness practices.

  2. Meditation effects within the hippocampal complex revealed by voxel-based morphometry and cytoarchitectonic probabilistic mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eileen eLuders

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Scientific studies addressing anatomical variations in meditators’ brains have emerged rapidly over the last few years, where significant links are most frequently reported with respect to gray matter (GM. To advance prior work, this study examined GM characteristics in a large sample of 100 subjects (50 meditators, 50 controls, where meditators have been practicing close to twenty years, on average. A standard, whole-brain voxel-based morphometry approach was applied and revealed significant meditation effects in the vicinity of the hippocampus, showing more GM in meditators than in controls as well as positive correlations with the number of years practiced. However, the hippocampal complex is regionally segregated by architecture, connectivity, and functional relevance. Thus, to establish differential effects within the hippocampal formation (cornu ammonis, fascia dentate, entorhinal cortex, subiculum as well as the hippocampal-amygdaloid transition area, we utilized refined cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps of (peri- hippocampal subsections. Significant meditation effects were observed within the subiculum specifically. Since the subiculum is known to play a key role in stress regulation and meditation is an established form of stress reduction, these GM findings may reflect neuronal preservation in long-term meditators – perhaps due to an attenuated release of stress hormones and decreased neurotoxicity.

  3. The potential effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gard, Tim; Hölzel, Britta K; Lazar, Sara W

    2014-01-01

    With a rapidly aging society it becomes increasingly important to counter normal age-related decline in cognitive functioning. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training programs may have the potential to counteract this decline. On the basis of a growing body of research that shows that meditation has positive effects on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults, meditation may be able to offset normal age-related cognitive decline or even enhance cognitive function in older adults. In this paper, we review studies investigating the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline. We searched the Web of Science (1900 to present), PsycINFO (1597 to present), MEDLINE (1950 to present), and CABI (1910 to present) to identify original studies investigating the effects of meditation on cognition and cognitive decline in the context of aging. Twelve studies were included in the review, six of which were randomized controlled trials. Studies involved a wide variety of meditation techniques and reported preliminary positive effects on attention, memory, executive function, processing speed, and general cognition. However, most studies had a high risk of bias and small sample sizes. Reported dropout rates were low and compliance rates high. We conclude that meditation interventions for older adults are feasible, and preliminary evidence suggests that meditation can offset age-related cognitive decline. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  4. Event-related delta, theta, alpha and gamma correlates to auditory oddball processing during Vipassana meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delorme, Arnaud; Polich, John

    2013-01-01

    Long-term Vipassana meditators sat in meditation vs. a control (instructed mind wandering) states for 25 min, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded and condition order counterbalanced. For the last 4 min, a three-stimulus auditory oddball series was presented during both meditation and control periods through headphones and no task imposed. Time-frequency analysis demonstrated that meditation relative to the control condition evinced decreased evoked delta (2–4 Hz) power to distracter stimuli concomitantly with a greater event-related reduction of late (500–900 ms) alpha-1 (8–10 Hz) activity, which indexed altered dynamics of attentional engagement to distracters. Additionally, standard stimuli were associated with increased early event-related alpha phase synchrony (inter-trial coherence) and evoked theta (4–8 Hz) phase synchrony, suggesting enhanced processing of the habituated standard background stimuli. Finally, during meditation, there was a greater differential early-evoked gamma power to the different stimulus classes. Correlation analysis indicated that this effect stemmed from a meditation state-related increase in early distracter-evoked gamma power and phase synchrony specific to longer-term expert practitioners. The findings suggest that Vipassana meditation evokes a brain state of enhanced perceptual clarity and decreased automated reactivity. PMID:22648958

  5. Transcending Gender: Female Non-Buddhists’ Experiences of the Vipassanā Meditation Retreat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Schedneck

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Female non-Buddhists have been writing detailed descriptions of their personal experiences in vipassanā meditation retreats since the 1960s. These memoirists relate to the English-speaking world their experience of the retreat process and self-transformations. Early memoirists traveled Asia in order to learn and practice vipassanā meditation. These memoirs are as much about the meditation practice itself as living in an Asian culture. The mindfulness craze, beginning in the late 2000s, brought with it increased awareness of vipassanā practice. At this time we see a renewed interest in recording vipassanā retreat experiences, but these are even more personal and not concerned with travel, as many vipassanā meditation retreats are now available outside of Asia. I consider four female memoirists: Marie Byles and Jane Hamilton-Smith, writing in the 1960s and 1970s, and Raji Lukkoor, and Jennifer Howd, whose memoirs appeared in 2010 and 2014, respectively. These women’s writings demonstrate that, although non-Buddhist female meditators understand vipassanā meditation as a nongendered practice, it is still an embodied, gendered experience. Each of these women has different reactions to the female gender on the retreat, from outrage at gender discrimination to acceptance of it, from judgment of female teachers and meditators to revealing a more feminine self.

  6. Meditative Therapies for Reducing Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kevin W; Berger, Christine C.; Manheimer, Eric; Forde, Darlene; Magidson, Jessica; Dachman, Laya; Lejuez, C. W.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders; meditative therapies are frequently sought by patients with anxiety as a complementary therapy. Although multiple reviews exist on the general health benefits of meditation, no review has been focused on the efficacy of meditation for anxiety specifically. METHODS Major medical databases were searched thoroughly with keywords related to various types of meditation AND anxiety. Over 1000 abstracts were screened, and 200+ full articles were reviewed. Only RCTs were included. The Boutron (2005) checklist to evaluate a report of a non-pharmaceutical trial (CLEAR-NPT) was used to assess study quality; 90% authors were contacted for additional information. Review Manager 5 was used for meta-analysis. RESULTS A total of 36 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis (2,466 observations). Most RCTs were conducted among patients with anxiety as a secondary concern. The study quality ranged from 0.3 to 1.0 on the 0.0–1.0 scale (mean = 0.72). Standardized mean difference (SMD) was −0.52 in comparison with waiting-list control (p meditation group compared to control. No adverse effects were reported. CONCLUSIONS This review demonstrates some efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms, which has important clinical implications for applying meditative techniques in treating anxiety. However, most studies measured only improvement in anxiety symptoms, but not anxiety disorders as clinically diagnosed. PMID:22700446

  7. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kevin W; Berger, Christine C; Manheimer, Eric; Forde, Darlene; Magidson, Jessica; Dachman, Laya; Lejuez, C W

    2012-07-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders and meditative therapies are frequently sought by patients with anxiety as a complementary therapy. Although multiple reviews exist on the general health benefits of meditation, no review has focused on the efficacy of meditation for anxiety specifically. Major medical databases were searched thoroughly with keywords related to various types of meditation and anxiety. Over 1,000 abstracts were screened, and 200+ full articles were reviewed. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included. The Boutron (Boutron et al., 2005: J Clin Epidemiol 58:1233-1240) checklist to evaluate a report of a nonpharmaceutical trial (CLEAR-NPT) was used to assess study quality; 90% of the authors were contacted for additional information. Review Manager 5 was used for meta-analysis. A total of 36 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis (2,466 observations). Most RCTs were conducted among patients with anxiety as a secondary concern. The study quality ranged from 0.3 to 1.0 on the 0.0-1.0 scale (mean = 0.72). Standardized mean difference (SMD) was -0.52 in comparison with waiting-list control (p meditation group compared to control. No adverse effects were reported. This review demonstrates some efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms, which has important clinical implications for applying meditative techniques in treating anxiety. However, most studies measured only improvement in anxiety symptoms, but not anxiety disorders as clinically diagnosed. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Effects of Breathing-Based Meditation on Earthquake-Affected Health Professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwakuma, Miho; Oshita, Daien; Yamamoto, Akihiro; Urushibara-Miyachi, Yuka

    On March 11, 2013, the Great East Japan Earthquake (magnitude 9) hit the northern part of Japan (Tohoku), killing more than 15 000 people and leaving long-lasting scars, including psychological damage among evacuees, some of whom were health professionals. Little is known about meditation efficacy on disaster-affected health professionals. The present study investigated the effects of breathing-based meditation on seminar participants who were health professionals who had survived the earthquake. This study employed a mixed methods approach, using both survey data and handwritten qualitative data. Quantitative results of pre- and postmeditation practice indicated that all mood scales (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, strain, and vigor) were significantly improved (N = 17). Qualitative results revealed several common themes (emancipation from chronic and bodily senses; holistic sense: transcending mind-body; re-turning an axis in life through reflection, self-control, and/or gratitude; meditation into mundane, everyday life; and coming out of pain in the aftermath of the earthquake) that had emerged as expressions of participant meditation experiences. Following the 45-minute meditation session, the present study participants reported improvements in all psychological states (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, strain, and vigor) in the quantitative portion, which indicated efficacy of the meditation. Our analysis of the qualitative portion revealed what and how participants felt during meditating.

  9. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, David S; Slavich, George M

    2016-06-01

    Mindfulness meditation represents a mental training framework for cultivating the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in how mindfulness meditation improves human health and well-being. Although studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve self-reported measures of disease symptomatology, the effect that mindfulness meditation has on biological mechanisms underlying human aging and disease is less clear. To address this issue, we conducted the first comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on immune system parameters, with a specific focus on five outcomes: (1) circulating and stimulated inflammatory proteins, (2) cellular transcription factors and gene expression, (3) immune cell count, (4) immune cell aging, and (5) antibody response. This analysis revealed substantial heterogeneity across studies with respect to patient population, study design, and assay procedures. The findings suggest possible effects of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, and biological aging, but these results are tentative and require further replication. On the basis of this analysis, we describe the limitations of existing work and suggest possible avenues for future research. Mindfulness meditation may be salutogenic for immune system dynamics, but additional work is needed to examine these effects. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  10. The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martires, Joanne; Zeidler, Michelle

    2015-11-01

    Insomnia is the most common reported sleep disorder with limited treatment options including pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Pharmacotherapy can be complicated by tolerance and significant side-effects and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia providers are limited in number. This article reviews mindfulness meditation as an additional therapy for insomnia. Both mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI) have been studied in the treatment of insomnia. Randomized controlled studies of MBSR and MBTI have shown overall reduction in sleep latency and total wake time and increase in total sleep time after mindfulness therapy using both patient reported outcome and quantitative measures of sleep. Mindfulness techniques have been shown to be well accepted by patients with long-lasting effects. A three-arm randomized study with MBSR, MBTI, and self-monitoring showed similar improvement in insomnia between the MBSR and MBTI groups, with possibly longer duration of efficacy in the MBTI group. Recent data show that MBTI is also an effective and accepted treatment for insomnia in older patients. Increasing evidence shows that mindfulness meditation, delivered either via MBSR or MBTI, can be successfully used for the treatment of insomnia with good patient acceptance and durable results.

  11. EEG microstates during different phases of Transcendental Meditation practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Pascal L; Travis, Frederick; Milz, Patricia; Parim, Niyazi

    2017-08-01

    Two phases of Transcendental Meditation (TM)-transcending and undirected mentation-were compared to each other and to task-free resting using multichannel EEG recorded from 20 TM practitioners. An EEG microstate analysis identified four classes of microstates which were labeled A, B, C and D, based on their similarity to previously published classes. For each class of microstates, mean duration, coverage and occurrence were computed. Resting and transcending differed from undirected mentation with decreased prominence of Class A and increased prominence of Class D microstates. In addition, transcending showed decreased prominence of Class C microstates compared to undirected mentation. Based on previous findings on the functional significance of the microstate classes, the results indicate an increased reference to reality and decreased visualization during resting and transcending compared to undirected mentation. Also, our results indicate decreased saliency of internally generated mentations during transcending compared to undirected mentation reflecting a more detached and less evaluative processing. It is proposed that the continuous cycling through these two phases of meditation during a TM session might facilitate and train the flexible modulation of the parameters of these microstates of these particular classes which are known to be altered in psychiatric disorders. This might promote beneficial stabilizing effects for the practitioner of TM.

  12. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  13. The problems of typology of Transcendental Meditation movement (TM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Tikhonova

    2018-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important tasks of present-day religious studies is developing a united and detailed systematisation of new religious movements. With the aim of fi nding out what place the Transcendental Meditation movement could occupy in it, this article considers various characteristics of the theory, practice and social peculiarities of this movement, off ered by researchers of new religious movements and representatives of the organisation itself. This paper also reveals problems of typology, the main of which is that diff erent opinions about the relationship of ideas of Hinduism with the elements of modern science in the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are designated in scientifi c and educational literature by diff erent terms, which, moreover, are ambiguous. In the conclusion of the article, variants of the stratifi ed typology are off ered, revealing a complete picture of the origin and transformation of the theories and practices of the Transcendental Meditation movement. The fi rst variant is aimed at inclusion in the unifi ed classifi cation of religions, which is supposed to be extended according to the principle applied by other scientifi c systems that take into account several levels of generalisation. The second variant can be employed in cataloguing new religious movements.

  14. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-03-19

    One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.

  15. Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation? A multicentre survey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ausiàs Cebolla

    Full Text Available Despite the long-term use and evidence-based efficacy of meditation and mindfulness-based interventions, there is still a lack of data about the possible unwanted effects (UEs of these practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of UEs among meditation practitioners, considering moderating factors such as the type, frequency, and lifetime duration of the meditation practices.An online survey was developed and disseminated through several websites, such as Spanish-, English- and Portuguese-language scientific research portals related to mindfulness and meditation. After excluding people who did not answer the survey correctly or completely and those who had less than two months of meditation experience, a total of 342 people participated in the study. However, only 87 reported information about UEs.The majority of the practitioners were women from Spain who were married and had a University education level. Practices were more frequently informal, performed on a daily basis, and followed by focused attention (FA. Among the participants, 25.4% reported UEs, showing that severity varies considerably. The information requested indicated that most of the UEs were transitory and did not lead to discontinuing meditation practice or the need for medical assistance. They were more frequently reported in relation to individual practice, during focused attention meditation, and when practising for more than 20 minutes and alone. The practice of body awareness was associated with UEs to a lesser extent, whereas focused attention was associated more with UEs.This is the first large-scale, multi-cultural study on the UEs of meditation. Despite its limitations, this study suggests that UEs are prevalent and transitory and should be further studied. We recommend the use of standardized questionnaires to assess the UEs of meditation practices.

  16. A review on how meditation could be used to comfort the terminally ill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Michael Stephen; Vernon, Bryan

    2015-10-01

    Our objective was to review how meditation could comfort the terminally ill. Our methodology was a literature search, which included books, journals, papers in collections, and online databases. The main search engines employed were Google Scholar and the Durham University Library. The main databases consulted were the Christian Meditation Centre, Project Meditation, and Stress-Related Facts and Well-Being at Monash. We were specifically interested in data acquired from clinical and nonclinical trials. The arguments needed to be based on qualitative and quantitative scientific data. Papers were published between 1985 and 2014. We then subdivided the review into three subcategories: physical, emotional, and self-awareness. When reviewing each category, we put our results into tabular form. In each table, we noted the percentage of terminally ill patients (TIPs) and non-terminally ill patients (NTIPs), and whether meditation had comforted them. Our review demonstrated that there are many areas that have yet to be researched. First, very little work has been done on how meditation affects the physical health of TIPs, including such variables as blood pressure, chronic pain, and sleeping patterns. However, no research has been done on heart disease, hypertension, depression, among others. Second, virtually no research has been conducted on how meditation affects the mental health of TIPs. Notably neglected areas include anxiety, compliance, depression, and stress. Third, no research has been done on whether meditation increases self-awareness in TIPs. In each of these cases, most NTIPs reacted positively; however, no research has been done on why TIPs reacted differently. Our results demonstrate the need for further research on how meditation affects terminally ill patients. In turn, this would enrich the debate on whether meditation should be prescribed for the dying.

  17. The Unique Brain Anatomy of Meditation Practitioners: Alterations in Cortical Gyrification

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    Eileen eLuders

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Several cortical regions are reported to vary in meditation practitioners. However, since prior analyses were focused on examining gray matter or cortical thickness, additional effects with respect to other cortical features might have remained undetected. Gyrification (the pattern and degree of cortical folding is an important cerebral characteristic related to the geometry of the brain’s surface. Cortical folding occurs early in development and might be linked to behavioral traits. Thus, exploring cortical gyrification in long-term meditators may provide additional clues with respect to the underlying anatomical correlates of meditation. This study examined cortical gyrification in a large sample (n=100 of meditators and controls, carefully matched for sex and age. Cortical gyrification was established via calculating mean curvature across thousands of vertices on individual cortical surface models. Pronounced group differences indicating larger gyrification in meditators were evident within the left precentral gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right cuneus, as well as left and right anterior dorsal insula (the latter representing the global significance maximum. Although the exact functional implications of larger cortical gyrification remain to be established, these findings suggest the insula to be a key structure involved in aspects of meditation. For example, variations in insular complexity could affect the regulation of well-known distractions in the process of meditation, such as daydreaming, mind-wandering, and projections into past or future. Moreover, given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, increased insular gyrification may reflect an ideal integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes. Due to the cross-sectional nature of this study, further research is necessary determine the relative contribution of nature and nurture to links between cortical gyrification and meditation.

  18. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Adam; Gruber, Thomas; Derose, Jennifer; Malinowski, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self-regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control. A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1), 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. Twenty-eight participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after eight weeks (T2) and after 16 weeks (T3), all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control) while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for 10 min. Event-related potential (ERP) analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160–240 ms post-stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310–380 ms post-stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (Variable Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography, VARETA) indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources

  19. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam W Moore

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control.A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1, 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. 28 participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after 8 weeks (T2 and after 16 weeks (T3, all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for ten minutes.Event-related potential (ERP analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160 – 240 ms post stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310 – 380 ms post stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (VARETA indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect.The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources, leading to improved self regulation of

  20. The Experience of Learning Meditation and Mind/Body Practices in the COPD Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Lehto, Rebecca H

    2016-01-01

    Persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exhibit high levels of comorbid anxiety that severely worsens their sensation of dyspnea and is associated with high levels of avoidance of essential activities resulting in an increase morbidity and mortality. Increasing meditation and mind/body practices have been shown to decrease anxiety, and improve intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships in general populations, however, results of studies in the COPD population have been mixed. Understanding how persons with COPD experience learning meditation and mind/body skills would aid future meditation-focused mind/body intervention design. A mixed-method study of a community based meditation-focused mind/body intervention for persons with COPD. Reflective journaling, phone exit interviews and survey measures: chronic disease respiratory questionnaire, and Anxiety Sensitivity 3 questionnaire. Eight weekly one hour meditation-focused mind/body classes that taught concentration and insight meditation skills along with mind/body exercises that facilitated increased body and emotional awareness. Out of 41 participants, 32 (73%) contributed detailed experience about learning and practicing meditation and mind/body practices that distilled into four themes, barriers to practice, learning style, emotional processing, and benefits of practice. Of those 32 participants 21 (73%) identified improvement in physical or emotional symptoms. Overall, 13 (40%) participants provided details regarding how they adapted specific meditation skills into daily life to improve emotional function and lessen dyspnea. Anxiety sensitivity to social situations was associated with a lack of participation. Lessons learned for larger scale application to future meditation and mind/body intervention design for chronic illness populations such as COPD are identified. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A meta-analytic review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on telomerase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutte, Nicola S; Malouff, John M

    2014-04-01

    The enzyme telomerase, through its influence on telomere length, is associated with health and mortality. Four pioneering randomized control trials, including a total of 190 participants, provided information on the effect of mindfulness meditation on telomerase. A meta-analytic effect size of d=0.46 indicated that mindfulness meditation leads to increased telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These results suggest the need for further large-scale trials investigating optimal implementation of mindfulness meditation to facilitate telomerase functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A translational neuroscience perspective on mindfulness meditation as a prevention strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Leve, Leslie D

    2016-03-01

    Mindfulness meditation research mainly focuses on psychological outcomes such as behavioral, cognitive, and emotional functioning. However, the neuroscience literature on mindfulness meditation has grown in recent years. This paper provides an overview of relevant neuroscience and psychological research on the effects of mindfulness meditation. We propose a translational prevention framework of mindfulness and its effects. Drawing upon the principles of prevention science, this framework integrates neuroscience and prevention research and postulates underlying brain regulatory mechanisms that explain the impact of mindfulness on psychological outcomes via self-regulation mechanisms linked to underlying brain systems. We conclude by discussing potential clinical and practice implications of this model and directions for future research.

  3. The Buddha and the computer: Meditation in an age of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, P

    1986-09-01

    Information overload is one of the factors behind current alarming statistics on stress. Meditation helps the body-mind resist the deleterious effects of the information onslaught. Though meditation is well known as a relaxation technique, its noetic value is often overlooked. Its benefits extend well beyond superficial soothing: it trains attention; it increases pattern recognition; and it reconnects us to the whole of our intelligence, enhancing coordination between its complementary poles. Meditation is a potent high-touch resource in a high-tech world.

  4. Overview: clinical and physiological comparison of meditation with other self-control strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, D H

    1982-03-01

    In 1977 the American Psychiatric Association called for a critical examination of the clinical effectiveness of meditation. The author provides a review of the literature bearing on clinical and physiological comparisons of meditation with other self-control strategies. He begins by providing a definition of mediation and then cites the literature comparing mediation with such self-regulation strategies as biofeedback, hypnosis, and progressive relaxation. He pays particular attention to the "uniqueness" of mediation as a clinical intervention strategy a well as the adverse effects of meditation. Finally, he offers suggestions and guidelines for future research.

  5. Long-term meditation is associated with increased gray matter density in the brain stem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Beek, Martijn van; Skewes, Joshua

    2009-01-01

    density in lower brain stem regions of experienced meditators compared with age-matched nonmeditators. Our findings show that long-term practitioners of meditation have structural differences in brainstem regions concerned with cardiorespiratory control. This could account for some......Extensive practice involving sustained attention can lead to changes in brain structure. Here, we report evidence of structural differences in the lower brainstem of participants engaged in the long-term practice of meditation. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we observed higher gray matter...

  6. Effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (Vipassana in the management of chronic low back pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangram G Patil

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic low back pain (CLBP is challenging to treat with its significant psychological and cognitive behavioural element involved. Mindfulness meditation helps alter the behavioural response in chronic pain situations. Significant body of research in the filed of mindfulness meditation comes from the work of Dr Kabat-Zinn. The current evidence in the field, though not grade one, shows that there is a place for mindfulness meditation in managing chronic pain conditions including CLBP. Further research to test the usefulness of mindfulness in CLBP should involve good quality randomized controlled trials of pure mindfulness based technique in matched subjects.

  7. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention for the General Public: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahbeh, Helané; Oken, Barry S

    2016-08-08

    Mindfulness meditation interventions improve a variety of health conditions and quality of life, are inexpensive, easy to implement, have minimal if any side effects, and engage patients to take an active role in their treatment. However, the group format can be an obstacle for many to take structured meditation programs. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention (IMMI) is a program that could make mindfulness meditation accessible to all people who want and need to receive it. However, the feasibility, acceptability, and ability of IMMI to increase meditation practice have yet to be evaluated. The primary objectives of this pilot randomized controlled study were to (1) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of IMMIs in the general population and (2) to evaluate IMMI's ability to change meditation practice behavior. The secondary objective was to collect preliminary data on health outcomes. Potential participants were recruited from online and offline sources. In a randomized controlled trial, participants were allocated to IMMI or Access to Guided Meditation arm. IMMI included a 1-hour Web-based training session weekly for 6 weeks along with daily home practice guided meditations between sessions. The Access to Guided Meditation arm included a handout on mindfulness meditation and access to the same guided meditation practices that the IMMI participants received, but not the 1-hour Web-based training sessions. The study activities occurred through the participants' own computer and Internet connection and with research-assistant telephone and email contact. Feasibility and acceptability were measured with enrollment and completion rates and participant satisfaction. The ability of IMMI to modify behavior and increase meditation practice was measured by objective adherence of daily meditation practice via Web-based forms. Self-report questionnaires of quality of life, self-efficacy, depression symptoms, sleep disturbance, perceived stress, and mindfulness

  8. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention for the General Public: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Background Mindfulness meditation interventions improve a variety of health conditions and quality of life, are inexpensive, easy to implement, have minimal if any side effects, and engage patients to take an active role in their treatment. However, the group format can be an obstacle for many to take structured meditation programs. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention (IMMI) is a program that could make mindfulness meditation accessible to all people who want and need to receive it. However, the feasibility, acceptability, and ability of IMMI to increase meditation practice have yet to be evaluated. Objectives The primary objectives of this pilot randomized controlled study were to (1) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of IMMIs in the general population and (2) to evaluate IMMI’s ability to change meditation practice behavior. The secondary objective was to collect preliminary data on health outcomes. Methods Potential participants were recruited from online and offline sources. In a randomized controlled trial, participants were allocated to IMMI or Access to Guided Meditation arm. IMMI included a 1-hour Web-based training session weekly for 6 weeks along with daily home practice guided meditations between sessions. The Access to Guided Meditation arm included a handout on mindfulness meditation and access to the same guided meditation practices that the IMMI participants received, but not the 1-hour Web-based training sessions. The study activities occurred through the participants’ own computer and Internet connection and with research-assistant telephone and email contact. Feasibility and acceptability were measured with enrollment and completion rates and participant satisfaction. The ability of IMMI to modify behavior and increase meditation practice was measured by objective adherence of daily meditation practice via Web-based forms. Self-report questionnaires of quality of life, self-efficacy, depression symptoms, sleep disturbance

  9. Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Adam; Lam, Chun Nok; Stussman, Barbara; Yang, Hui

    2017-06-15

    Despite a growing body of scientific literature exploring the nature of meditation there is limited information on the characteristics of individuals who use it. This is particularly true of comparative studies examining prevalence and predictors of use of various forms of meditation. A secondary analysis was conducted using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n = 34,525). Three popular forms of meditation were compared-mantra, mindfulness, and spiritual-to determine lifetime and 12-month use related to key sociodemographic, health behavior, health status, and healthcare access variables. The 12-month prevalence for meditation practice was 3.1% for spiritual meditation, 1.9% for mindfulness meditation, and 1.6% for mantra meditation. This represents approximately 7.0, 4.3, and 3.6 million adults respectively. A comparison across the three meditation practices found many similarities in user characteristics, suggesting interest in meditation may be more related to the type of person meditating than to the type of practice selected. Across meditation styles use was more prevalent among respondents who were female, non-Hispanic White, college educated, physically active; who used other complementary health practices; and who reported depression. Higher utilization of conventional healthcare services was one of the strongest predictors of use of all three styles. In addition to similarities, important distinctions were observed. For example, spiritual meditation practice was more prevalent among former drinkers. This may reflect use of spiritual meditation practices in support of alcohol treatment and sobriety. Reasons for use of meditation were examined using the sample of respondents who practiced mindfulness meditation. Wellness and prevention (74%) was a more common reason than use to treat a specific health condition (30%). Common reasons for use included stress management (92%) and emotional well-being (91%), and to support other health

  10. MEDITATE TO CREATE: THE IMPACT OF FOCUSSED-ATTENTION AND OPEN-MONITORING TRAINING ON CONVERGENT AND DIVERGENT THINKING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza S Colzato

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The practice of meditation has seen a tremendous increase in the western world since the 60s. Scientific interest in meditation has also significantly grown in the past years; however, so far, it has neglected the idea that different type of meditations may drive specific cognitive-control states. In this study we investigate the possible impact of meditation based on focused attention (FA and meditation based on open monitoring (OM on creativity tasks tapping into convergent and divergent thinking. Here we show that FA meditation and OM meditation exert specific effect on creativity. First, OM meditation induces a control state that promotes divergent thinking, a style of thinking that allows many new ideas of being generated. Second, FA meditation does not sustain convergent thinking, the process of generating one possible solution to a particular problem. We suggest that the enhancement of positive mood induced by meditating has boosted up the effect in the first case and counteract it in the second.

  11. Exploring relations among mindfulness facets and various meditation practices: Do they work in different ways?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebolla, Ausiàs; Campos, Daniel; Galiana, Laura; Oliver, Amparo; Tomás, Jose Manuel; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Soler, Joaquim; García-Campayo, Javier; Demarzo, Marcelo; Baños, Rosa María

    2017-03-01

    Several meditation practices are associated with mindfulness-based interventions but little is known about their specific effects on the development of different mindfulness facets. This study aimed to assess the relations among different practice variables, types of meditation, and mindfulness facets. The final sample was composed of 185 participants who completed an on-line survey, including information on the frequency and duration of each meditation practice, lifetime practice, and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. A Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes structural model was specified, estimated, and tested. Results showed that the Model's overall fit was adequate: χ 2 (1045)=1542.800 (pmindfulness facets were uniquely related to the different variables and types of meditation. Our findings showed the importance of specific practices in promoting mindfulness, compared to compassion and informal practices, and they pointed out which one fits each mindfulness facet better. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Mindfulness meditation in older adults with postherpetic neuralgia: a randomized controlled pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meize-Grochowski, Robin; Shuster, George; Boursaw, Blake; DuVal, Michelle; Murray-Krezan, Cristina; Schrader, Ron; Smith, Bruce W; Herman, Carla J; Prasad, Arti

    2015-01-01

    This parallel-group, randomized controlled pilot study examined daily meditation in a diverse sample of older adults with postherpetic neuralgia. Block randomization was used to allocate participants to a treatment group (n = 13) or control group (n = 14). In addition to usual care, the treatment group practiced daily meditation for six weeks. All participants completed questionnaires at enrollment in the study, two weeks later, and six weeks after that, at the study's end. Participants recorded daily pain and fatigue levels in a diary, and treatment participants also noted meditation practice. Results at the 0.10 level indicated improvement in neuropathic, affective, and total pain scores for the treatment group, whereas affective pain worsened for the control group. Participants were able to adhere to the daily diary and meditation requirements in this feasibility pilot study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. A Preliminary Study of Users' Experiences of Meditation in Virtual Reality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Thea Louise Strange; Anisimovaite, Gintare; Christiansen, Anders Schultz

    2017-01-01

    This poster describes a between-groups study (n=24) exploring the use of virtual reality (VR) for facilitating focused meditation. Half of the participants were exposed to a meditation session combing the sound of a guiding voice and a visual environment including virtual objects for the particip......This poster describes a between-groups study (n=24) exploring the use of virtual reality (VR) for facilitating focused meditation. Half of the participants were exposed to a meditation session combing the sound of a guiding voice and a visual environment including virtual objects...... for the participants to focus on. The other half of the participants were only exposed to the auditory guide. The participants' experience of the sessions was assessed using self-reported measures of perceived concentration, temporal duration, stress reduction, and comfort. Interestingly, no statistically significant...

  14. Effects of a Brief Meditation Training on Negative Affect, Trait Anxiety and Concentrated Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Baptista Menezes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractMeditation has been associated with positive psychological outcomes, but few studies have investigated brief interventions. This randomized controlled pilot study assessed the effects of five days of focused meditation on positive and negative affect, state and trait anxiety, as well as concentrated attention in a nonclinical sample distributed in two groups (experimental = 14, 51.8% female, Mage= 23.9; control = 19, 62% female, Mage= 24.9. The instruments used were the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale, State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Concentrated Attention Test. The meditation group reduced negative affect and trait anxiety, and also improved correct responses on the attention test, relative to controls. These preliminary findings indicate that even short focused meditation training may help improve some psychological variables. It is discussed that the early manifestation of these benefits may be especially relevant to strengthen the motivation to continue and practice regularly.

  15. Overview of outcome data of potential meditation training for soldier resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Brian

    2011-11-01

    In order to identify potential training to enhance comprehensive soldier fitness, this analysis searched MEDLINE via PubMed and elsewhere for 33 reasonably significant modalities, screening over 11,500 articles for relevance regarding soldier resilience. Evaluation of modalities that are exclusively educational or cognitive/behavioral in nature is deferred. Using the volume and quality of research over 40 parameters distributed among the five domains of resilience (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and family life), these data allow culling of most of the meditative modalities and discrimination among the remaining techniques. The resulting order of merit is Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation. Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation, in that order, have the most supporting data. Fortuitously, they also represent a cross section of the domain of techniques regarded as meditation, stress management, or relaxation, with three very different mechanisms of action. They are suitable potential options for improving soldier resilience.

  16. Meditation training for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagnini, Francesco; Di Credico, Chiara; Gatto, Ramona; Fabiani, Viviana; Rossi, Gabriella; Lunetta, Christian; Marconi, Anna; Fossati, Federica; Castelnuovo, Gianluca; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Banfi, Paolo; Corbo, Massimo; Sansone, Valeria; Molinari, Enrico; Amadei, Gherardo

    2014-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterized by progressive weakness leading to death by respiratory insufficiency, usually within three years. Although the patient's intellect and personality usually remain unimpaired, as the disease progresses, the patient becomes immobile, develops wasting, and speech becomes impaired, often resulting in social isolation and a high degree of psychological suffering. Mindfulness meditation has proven to be effective technique for reducing distress in many chronic diseases. However, to date, no study has investigated the effect of mindfulness meditation on patients with ALS. A mindfulness meditation training program for ALS patients needs to consider the particularities of ALS symptoms, including the loss of muscular functions and difficulties in respiration, together with the subsequent emotional impairments. With these caveats in mind, a modified protocol, based on original mindfulness meditation interventions, has been created specifically for the ALS population. This article describes the protocol and preliminary results.

  17. Mindfulness meditation as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katterman, Shawn N; Kleinman, Brighid M; Hood, Megan M; Nackers, Lisa M; Corsica, Joyce A

    2014-04-01

    Mindfulness-based approaches are growing in popularity as interventions for disordered eating and weight loss. Initial research suggests that mindfulness meditation may be an effective intervention for binge eating; however, no systematic review has examined interventions where mindfulness meditation was the primary intervention and no review has examined its effect on subclinical disordered eating or weight. Using the PRISMA method for systematic reviews, we reviewed 14 studies that investigated mindfulness meditation as the primary intervention and assessed binge eating, emotional eating, and/or weight change. Results suggest that mindfulness meditation effectively decreases binge eating and emotional eating in populations engaging in this behavior; evidence for its effect on weight is mixed. Additional research is warranted to determine comparative effectiveness and long-term effects of mindfulness training. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Three case reports of the metabolic and electroencephalographic changes during advanced Buddhist meditation techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, H; Malhotra, M S; Goldman, R F; Jacobs, G D; Hopkins, P J

    1990-01-01

    To examine the extent to which advanced meditative practices might alter body metabolism and the electroencephalogram (EEG), we investigated three Tibetan Buddhist monks living in the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, India. In a study carried out in February 1988, we found that during the practice of several different meditative practices, resting metabolism (VO2) could be both raised (up to 61%) and lowered (down to 64%). The reduction from rest is the largest ever reported. On the EEG, marked asymmetry in alpha and beta activity between the hemispheres and increased beta activity were present. From these three case reports, we conclude that advanced meditative practices may yield different alterations in metabolism (there are also forms of meditation that increase metabolism) and that the decreases in metabolism can be striking.

  19. Low and then high frequency oscillations of distinct right cortical networks are progressively enhanced by medium and long term Satyananda Yoga meditation practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eThomas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Meditation proficiency is related to trait-like (learned effects on brain function, developed over time. Previous studies show increases in EEG power in lower frequency bands (theta, alpha in experienced meditators in both meditation states and baseline conditions. Higher gamma band power has been found in advanced Buddhist meditators, yet it is not known if this occurs in Yoga meditation practices. This study used eLORETA to compare differences in cortical source activity underlying scalp EEG from intermediate (mean experience 4 years and advanced (mean experience 30 years Australian meditators from the Satyananda Yoga tradition during a body-steadiness meditation, mantra meditation and non-meditation mental calculation condition. Intermediate Yoga meditators showed greater source activity in low frequencies (particularly theta and alpha1 during mental calculation, body-steadiness and mantra meditation. A similar spatial pattern of significant differences was found in all conditions but the number of significant voxels was double during body-steadiness and mantra meditation than in the non-meditation (calculation condition. These differences were greatest in right (R superior frontal and R precentral gyri and extended back to include the R parietal and occipital lobes. Advanced Yoga meditators showed greater activity in high frequencies (beta and especially gamma in all conditions but greatly expanded during meditation practice. Across all conditions (meditation and non-meditation differences were greatest in the same regions; R insula, R inferior frontal gyrus and R anterior temporal lobe. Distinct R core networks were identified in alpha1 (8-10 Hz and gamma (25-42 Hz bands respectively. The voxels recruited to these networks greatly expanded during meditation practice to include homologous regions of the left hemisphere. Functional interpretation parallels traditionally described stages of development in Yoga proficiency.

  20. Value associated with mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise intervention in acute respiratory infection: the MEPARI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakel, David; Mundt, Marlon; Ewers, Tola; Fortney, Luke; Zgierska, Aleksandra; Gassman, Michele; Barrett, Bruce

    2013-08-01

    Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is among the most common, debilitating and expensive human illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess ARI-related costs and determine if mindfulness meditation or exercise can add value. One hundred and fifty-four adults ≥50 years from Madison, WI for the 2009-10 cold/flu season were randomized to (i) wait-list control (ii) meditation or (iii) moderate intensity exercise. ARI-related costs were assessed through self-reported medication use, number of missed work days and medical visits. Costs per subject were based on cost of generic medications, missed work days ($126.20) and clinic visits ($78.70). Monte Carlo bootstrap methods evaluated reduced costs of ARI episodes. The total cost per subject for the control group was $214 (95% CI: $105-$358), exercise $136 (95% CI: $64-$232) and meditation $65 (95% CI: $34-$104). The majority of cost savings was through a reduction in missed days of work. Exercise had the highest medication costs at $16.60 compared with $5.90 for meditation (P = 0.004) and $7.20 for control (P = 0.046). Combining these cost benefits with the improved outcomes in incidence, duration and severity seen with the Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection study, meditation and exercise add value for ARI. Compared with control, meditation had the greatest cost benefit. This savings is offset by the cost of the intervention ($450/subject) that would negate the short-term but perhaps not long-term savings. Meditation and exercise add value to ARI-associated health-related costs with improved outcomes. Further research is needed to confirm results and inform policies on adding value to medical spending.

  1. Relationship between Meditative Practice and Self-Reported Mindfulness: The MINDSENS Composite Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, Joaquim; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Demarzo, Marcelo M. P.; Pascual, Juan C.; Baños, Rosa; García-Campayo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. The present study explores the role of practice parameters on self-reported mindfulness skills. A total of 670 voluntary participants with and without previous meditation experience (n = 384 and n = 286, respectively) responded to an internet-based survey on various aspects of their meditative practice (type of meditation, length of session, frequency, and lifetime practice). Participants also completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and the Experiences Questionnaire (EQ). The group with meditation experience obtained significantly higher scores on all facets of FFMQ and EQ questionnaires compared to the group without experience. However different effect sizes were observed, with stronger effects for the Observing and Non-Reactivity facets of the FFMQ, moderate effects for Decentering in EQ, and a weak effect for Non-judging, Describing, and Acting with awareness on the FFMQ. Our results indicate that not all practice variables are equally relevant in terms of developing mindfulness skills. Frequency and lifetime practice – but not session length or meditation type – were associated with higher mindfulness skills. Given that these 6 mindfulness aspects show variable sensitivity to practice, we created a composite index (MINDSENS) consisting of those items from FFMQ and EQ that showed the strongest response to practice. The MINDSENS index was able to correctly discriminate daily meditators from non-meditators in 82.3% of cases. These findings may contribute to the understanding

  2. Six weeks of meditation training influences response bias in a discrimination task with emotional distractors

    OpenAIRE

    Carolina B Menezes; Mirtes G Pereira; Lisiane Bizarro

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Focused attention meditation is the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object in a sustained fashion, whose objective is to develop attentional and emotional regulatory skills./objective: We investigated the effect of a six-week focused attention meditation training on a discrimination task with emotional distractors by comparing participants’ discriminability and bias before and after training. Method: College students were randomly assigned to either focused meditatio...

  3. Effect of Short-Term Pranayama and Meditation on Cardiovascular Functions in Healthy Individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Ankad, Roopa B.; Herur, Anita; Patil, Shailaja; Shashikala, G.V.; Chinagudi, Surekharani

    2011-01-01

    Context: Asana, pranayama, and meditation are three main techniques of yoga practiced in India over thousands of years to attain functional harmony between the body and mind. Recent studies on long-term yogic practices have shown improvements in cardiovascular functions. Aim: The present study was conducted to ascertain if a short-term practice of pranayama and meditation had improvements in cardiovascular functions in healthy individuals with respect to age, gender, and body mass index (...

  4. Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Glenn N; Lange, Richard A; Bairey-Merz, C Noel; Davidson, Richard J; Jamerson, Kenneth; Mehta, Puja K; Michos, Erin D; Norris, Keith; Ray, Indranill Basu; Saban, Karen L; Shah, Tina; Stein, Richard; Smith, Sidney C

    2017-09-28

    Despite numerous advances in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Novel and inexpensive interventions that can contribute to the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease are of interest. Numerous studies have reported on the benefits of meditation. Meditation instruction and practice is widely accessible and inexpensive and may thus be a potential attractive cost-effective adjunct to more traditional medical therapies. Accordingly, this American Heart Association scientific statement systematically reviewed the data on the potential benefits of meditation on cardiovascular risk. Neurophysiological and neuroanatomical studies demonstrate that meditation can have long-standing effects on the brain, which provide some biological plausibility for beneficial consequences on the physiological basal state and on cardiovascular risk. Studies of the effects of meditation on cardiovascular risk have included those investigating physiological response to stress, smoking cessation, blood pressure reduction, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, endothelial function, inducible myocardial ischemia, and primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Overall, studies of meditation suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk, although the overall quality and, in some cases, quantity of study data are modest. Given the low costs and low risks of this intervention, meditation may be considered as an adjunct to guideline-directed cardiovascular risk reduction by those interested in this lifestyle modification, with the understanding that the benefits of such intervention remain to be better established. Further research on meditation and cardiovascular risk is warranted. Such studies, to the degree possible, should utilize randomized study design, be adequately powered to meet the primary study outcome, strive to achieve low drop-out rates, include long

  5. A Yoga and Compassion Meditation Program Reduces Stress in Familial Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    OpenAIRE

    Danucalov, M. A. D.; Kozasa, E. H.; Ribas, K. T.; Galdur?z, J. C. F.; Garcia, M. C.; Verreschi, I. T. N.; Oliveira, K. C.; Romani de Oliveira, L.; Leite, J. R.

    2013-01-01

    Familial caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease exhibit reduced quality of life and increased stress levels. the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program on the perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol levels in familial caregivers. A total of 46 volunteers were randomly assigned to participate in a stress-reduction program for a 2-month period (yoga and compassion meditation program-YCMP group) (n = 25) ...

  6. A Phenomenology of Meditation-Induced Light Experiences: Traditional Buddhist and Neurobiological Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared R. Lindahl

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The scientific study of Buddhist meditation has proceeded without much attention to Buddhist literature that details the range of psychological and physiological changes thought to occur during meditation. This paper presents reports of various meditation-induced light experiences derived from American Buddhist practitioners. The reports of light experiences are classified into two main types: discrete lightforms and patterned or diffuse lights. Similar phenomena are well documented in traditional Buddhist texts but are virtually undocumented in scientific literature on meditation. Within Buddhist traditions, these phenomena are attributed a range of interpretations. However, because it is insufficient and problematic to rely solely upon the textual sources as a means of investigating the cause or significance of these phenomena, these qualitative reports are also considered in relation to scientific research on light-related experiences in the context of sensory deprivation, perceptual isolation, and clinical disorders of the visual system. The typologies derived from these studies also rely upon reports of experiences and closely match typologies derived from the qualitative study of contemporary practitioners and typologies found in Buddhist literary traditions. Taken together, these studies also provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that certain meditative practices—especially those that deliberately decrease social, kinesthetic, and sensory stimulation and emphasize focused attention—have perceptual and cognitive outcomes similar to sensory deprivation. Given that sensory deprivation increases neuroplasticity, meditation may also have an enhanced neuroplastic potential beyond ordinary experience-dependent changes. By providing and contextualizing these reports of meditation-induced light experiences, scientists, clinicians, and meditators gain a more informed view of the range of experiences that can be elicited by contemplative

  7. Effects of meditation experience on functional connectivity of distributed brain networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy eHasenkamp

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This study sought to examine the effect of meditation experience on brain networks underlying cognitive actions employed during contemplative practice. In a previous study, we proposed a basic model of naturalistic cognitive fluctuations that occur during the practice of focused attention meditation. This model specifies four intervals in a cognitive cycle: mind wandering, awareness of mind wandering, shifting of attention, and sustained attention. Using subjective input from experienced practitioners during meditation, we identified activity in salience network regions during awareness of mind wandering and executive network regions during shifting and sustained attention. Brain regions associated with the default mode were active during mind wandering. In the present study, we reasoned that repeated activation of attentional brain networks over years of practice may induce lasting functional connectivity changes within relevant circuits. To investigate this possibility, we created seeds representing the networks that were active during the four phases of the earlier study, and examined functional connectivity during the resting state in the same participants. Connectivity maps were then contrasted between participants with high vs. low meditation experience. Participants with more meditation experience exhibited increased connectivity within attentional networks, as well as between attentional regions and medial frontal regions. These neural relationships may be involved in the development of cognitive skills, such as maintaining attention and disengaging from distraction, that are often reported with meditation practice. Furthermore, because altered connectivity of brain regions in experienced meditators was observed in a non-meditative (resting state, this may represent a transference of cognitive abilities off the cushion into daily life.

  8. Relationship between meditative practice and self-reported mindfulness: the MINDSENS composite index.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquim Soler

    Full Text Available Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. The present study explores the role of practice parameters on self-reported mindfulness skills. A total of 670 voluntary participants with and without previous meditation experience (n = 384 and n = 286, respectively responded to an internet-based survey on various aspects of their meditative practice (type of meditation, length of session, frequency, and lifetime practice. Participants also completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ, and the Experiences Questionnaire (EQ. The group with meditation experience obtained significantly higher scores on all facets of FFMQ and EQ questionnaires compared to the group without experience. However different effect sizes were observed, with stronger effects for the Observing and Non-Reactivity facets of the FFMQ, moderate effects for Decentering in EQ, and a weak effect for Non-judging, Describing, and Acting with awareness on the FFMQ. Our results indicate that not all practice variables are equally relevant in terms of developing mindfulness skills. Frequency and lifetime practice--but not session length or meditation type--were associated with higher mindfulness skills. Given that these 6 mindfulness aspects show variable sensitivity to practice, we created a composite index (MINDSENS consisting of those items from FFMQ and EQ that showed the strongest response to practice. The MINDSENS index was able to correctly discriminate daily meditators from non-meditators in 82.3% of cases. These findings may contribute to the understanding

  9. Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, J David; Pacilio, Laura E; Lindsay, Emily K; Brown, Kirk Warren

    2014-06-01

    To test whether a brief mindfulness meditation training intervention buffers self-reported psychological and neuroendocrine responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in young adult volunteers. A second objective evaluates whether pre-existing levels of dispositional mindfulness moderate the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on stress reactivity. Sixty-six (N=66) participants were randomly assigned to either a brief 3-day (25-min per day) mindfulness meditation training or an analytic cognitive training control program. All participants completed a standardized laboratory social-evaluative stress challenge task (the TSST) following the third mindfulness meditation or cognitive training session. Measures of psychological (stress perceptions) and biological (salivary cortisol, blood pressure) stress reactivity were collected during the social evaluative stress-challenge session. Brief mindfulness meditation training reduced self-reported psychological stress reactivity but increased salivary cortisol reactivity to the TSST, relative to the cognitive training comparison program. Participants who were low in pre-existing levels of dispositional mindfulness and then received mindfulness meditation training had the greatest cortisol reactivity to the TSST. No significant main or interactive effects were observed for systolic or diastolic blood pressure reactivity to the TSST. The present study provides an initial indication that brief mindfulness meditation training buffers self-reported psychological stress reactivity, but also increases cortisol reactivity to social evaluative stress. This pattern may indicate that initially brief mindfulness meditation training fosters greater active coping efforts, resulting in reduced psychological stress appraisals and greater cortisol reactivity during social evaluative stressors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Taren, Adrienne A.; Gianaros, Peter J.; Greco, Carol M.; Lindsay, Emily K.; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K.; Ferris, Jennifer L.; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L.; Bursley, James K.; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J. David

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month...

  11. Mean-field thalamocortical modeling of longitudinal EEG acquired during intensive meditation training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggar, Manish; Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Bridwell, David A; MacLean, Katherine A; Aichele, Stephen R; Jacobs, Tonya L; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-07-01

    Meditation training has been shown to enhance attention and improve emotion regulation. However, the brain processes associated with such training are poorly understood and a computational modeling framework is lacking. Modeling approaches that can realistically simulate neurophysiological data while conforming to basic anatomical and physiological constraints can provide a unique opportunity to generate concrete and testable hypotheses about the mechanisms supporting complex cognitive tasks such as meditation. Here we applied the mean-field computational modeling approach using the scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) collected at three assessment points from meditating participants during two separate 3-month-long shamatha meditation retreats. We modeled cortical, corticothalamic, and intrathalamic interactions to generate a simulation of EEG signals recorded across the scalp. We also present two novel extensions to the mean-field approach that allow for: (a) non-parametric analysis of changes in model parameter values across all channels and assessments; and (b) examination of variation in modeled thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) connectivity over the retreat period. After successfully fitting whole-brain EEG data across three assessment points within each retreat, two model parameters were found to replicably change across both meditation retreats. First, after training, we observed an increased temporal delay between modeled cortical and thalamic cells. This increase provides a putative neural mechanism for a previously observed reduction in individual alpha frequency in these same participants. Second, we found decreased inhibitory connection strength between the TRN and secondary relay nuclei (SRN) of the modeled thalamus after training. This reduction in inhibitory strength was found to be associated with increased dynamical stability of the model. Altogether, this paper presents the first computational approach, taking core aspects of physiology and

  12. Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Katherine A; Ferrer, Emilio; Aichele, Stephen R; Bridwell, David A; Zanesco, Anthony P; Jacobs, Tonya L; King, Brandon G; Rosenberg, Erika L; Sahdra, Baljinder K; Shaver, Phillip R; Wallace, B Alan; Mangun, George R; Saron, Clifford D

    2010-06-01

    The ability to focus one's attention underlies success in many everyday tasks, but voluntary attention cannot be sustained for extended periods of time. In the laboratory, sustained-attention failure is manifest as a decline in perceptual sensitivity with increasing time on task, known as the vigilance decrement. We investigated improvements in sustained attention with training (approximately 5 hr/day for 3 months), which consisted of meditation practice that involved sustained selective attention on a chosen stimulus (e.g., the participant's breath). Participants were randomly assigned either to receive training first (n = 30) or to serve as waiting-list controls and receive training second (n = 30). Training produced improvements in visual discrimination that were linked to increases in perceptual sensitivity and improved vigilance during sustained visual attention. Consistent with the resource model of vigilance, these results suggest that perceptual improvements can reduce the resource demand imposed by target discrimination and thus make it easier to sustain voluntary attention.

  13. I think therefore I om: cognitive distortions and coping style as mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, positive and negative affect, and hope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, Sharon; Kraus, Sue

    2009-06-01

    This study examined cognitive distortions and coping styles as potential mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, negative affect, positive affect, and hope in college students. Our pre- and postintervention design had four conditions: control, brief meditation focused on attention, brief meditation focused on loving kindness, and longer meditation combining both attentional and loving kindness aspects of mindfulness. Each group met weekly over the course of a semester. Longer combined meditation significantly reduced anxiety and negative affect and increased hope. Changes in cognitive distortions mediated intervention effects for anxiety, negative affect, and hope. Further research is needed to determine differential effects of types of meditation. Copyright 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Leveraging iPads to introduce meditation and reduce distress among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: a promising approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millegan, Jeffrey; Manschot, Bernard; Dispenzieri, Monica; Marks, Benjamin; Edwards, Ayesha; Raulston, Vanessa; Khatiwoda, Yojana; Narro, Marlo

    2015-12-01

    Distress is common among cancer patients. Regular meditation practice has the potential to mitigate this distress and improve quality of life for this population. Introducing meditation to cancer patients can be particularly challenging given the demands on patients' time from treatment and normal life events. This internal process improvement study examined the potential benefit of utilizing iPads during chemotherapy sessions to introduce meditation and reduce distress. Patients undergoing chemotherapy infusion were offered iPads with various meditation videos and audio files during the session. Levels of distress were measured using the distress thermometer at the beginning of chemotherapy and at the conclusion of chemotherapy. Seventy-three patients accepted the meditation iPads during the chemotherapy session. Among those who accepted the iPads, average distress dropped 46% by the end of the session (p iPads during chemotherapy is a potentially effective way to introduce meditation as a stress management tool for people with cancer.

  15. From a state to a trait: Trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during intervention predict changes in trait mindfulness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiken, Laura G.; Garland, Eric L.; Bluth, Karen; Palsson, Olafur S.; Gaylord, Susan A.

    2015-01-01

    Theory suggests that heightening state mindfulness in meditation practice over time increases trait mindfulness, which benefits psychological health. We prospectively examined individual trajectories of state mindfulness in meditation during a mindfulness-based intervention in relation to changes in trait mindfulness and psychological distress. Each week during the eight-week intervention, participants reported their state mindfulness in meditation after a brief mindfulness meditation. Participants also completed pre- and post-intervention measures of trait mindfulness and psychological symptoms. Tests of combined latent growth and path models suggested that individuals varied significantly in their rates of change in state mindfulness in meditation during the intervention, and that these individual trajectories predicted pre-post intervention changes in trait mindfulness and distress. These findings support that increasing state mindfulness over repeated meditation sessions may contribute to a more mindful and less distressed disposition. However, individuals’ trajectories of change may vary and warrant further investigation. PMID:25914434

  16. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, David S.; Slavich, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation represents a mental training framework for cultivating the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in how mindfulness meditation improves human health and well-being. Although studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve self-reported measures of disease symptomatology, the effect that mindfulness meditation has on biological mechanisms underlying human aging and disease is less clear. To address this issue, we conducted the first comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on immune system parameters, with a specific focus on five outcomes: (1) circulating and stimulated inflammatory proteins, (2) cellular transcription factors and gene expression, (3) immune cell count, (4) immune cell aging, and (5) antibody response. This analysis revealed substantial heterogeneity across studies with respect to patient population, study design, and assay procedures. The findings suggest possible effects of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, and biological aging, but these results are tentative and require further replication. On the basis of this analysis, we describe the limitations of existing work and suggest possible avenues for future research. Mindfulness mediation may be salutogenic for immune system dynamics, but additional work is needed to examine these effects. PMID:26799456

  17. Nondirective meditation activates default mode network and areas associated with memory retrieval and emotional processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian eXu

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nondirective meditation techniques are practiced with a relaxed focus of attention that permits spontaneously occurring thoughts, images, sensations, memories and emotions to emerge and pass freely, without any expectation that mind wandering should abate. These techniques are thought to facilitate mental processing of emotional experiences, thereby contributing to wellness and stress management. The present study assessed brain activity by functional magnetic resonance imaging in 14 experienced practitioners of Acem meditation in two experimental conditions. In the first, nondirective meditation was compared to rest. Significantly increased activity was detected in areas associated with attention, mind wandering, retrieval of episodic memories and emotional processing. In the second condition, participants carried out concentrative practicing of the same meditation technique, actively trying to avoid mind wandering. The contrast nondirective meditation > concentrative practicing was characterized by higher activity in the right medial temporal lobe (parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala. In conclusion, the present results support the notion that nondirective meditation, which permits mind wandering, involves more extensive activation of brain areas associated with episodic memories and emotional processing, than during concentrative practicing or regular rest.

  18. Meditation, mindfulness and executive control: the importance of emotional acceptance and brain-based performance monitoring

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    Inzlicht, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have documented the positive effects of mindfulness meditation on executive control. What has been lacking, however, is an understanding of the mechanism underlying this effect. Some theorists have described mindfulness as embodying two facets—present moment awareness and emotional acceptance. Here, we examine how the effect of meditation practice on executive control manifests in the brain, suggesting that emotional acceptance and performance monitoring play important roles. We investigated the effect of meditation practice on executive control and measured the neural correlates of performance monitoring, specifically, the error-related negativity (ERN), a neurophysiological response that occurs within 100 ms of error commission. Meditators and controls completed a Stroop task, during which we recorded ERN amplitudes with electroencephalography. Meditators showed greater executive control (i.e. fewer errors), a higher ERN and more emotional acceptance than controls. Finally, mediation pathway models further revealed that meditation practice relates to greater executive control and that this effect can be accounted for by heightened emotional acceptance, and to a lesser extent, increased brain-based performance monitoring. PMID:22507824

  19. Mindfulness meditation modulates reward prediction errors in the striatum in a passive conditioning task

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    Ulrich eKirk

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Reinforcement learning models have demonstrated that phasic activity of dopamine neurons during reward expectation encodes information about the predictability of rewards and cues that predict reward. Evidence indicates that mindfulness-based approaches reduce reward anticipation signal in the striatum to negative and positive incentives suggesting the hypothesis that such training influence basic reward processing. Using a passive conditioning task and fMRI in a group of experienced mindfulness meditators and age-matched controls, we tested the hypothesis that mindfulness meditation influence reward and reward prediction error signals. We found diminished positive and negative prediction error-related blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD responses in the putamen in meditators compared with controls. In the meditators, this decrease in striatal BOLD responses to reward prediction was paralleled by increased activity in posterior insula, a primary interoceptive region. Critically, responses in the putamen during early trials of the conditioning procedure (run 1 were elevated in both meditators and controls. These results provide evidence that experienced mindfulness meditators show attenuated reward prediction signals to valenced stimuli, which may be related to interoceptive processes encoded in the posterior insula.

  20. Interoception drives increased rational decision-making in meditators playing the Ultimatum Game.

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    Ulrich eKirk

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Human decision-making is often framed as a competition between cognitive and emotional processes in the brain. Deviations from rational processes are believed to derive from inclusion of emotional factors in decision-making. Here, we investigate whether a group of experienced Buddhist meditators are better equipped to regulate emotional processes compared with controls during economic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. We show that meditators accept unfair offers on more than half of the trials, whereas controls only accept unfair offers on one-quarter of the trials. By applying fMRI we show that controls recruit the anterior insula during unfair offers. Such responses are powerful predictors of rejecting offers in social interaction. By contrast, meditators display attenuated activity in high-level emotional representations of the anterior insula and increased activity in the lower-level interoceptive representations of the posterior insula. In addition we show that a subset of control participants who play rationally (i.e. accepts >85% unfair offers recruits the DLPFC reflecting increased cognitive demands to accept unfairness, whereas rational meditators by contrast activates the somatosensory cortex and posterior superior temporal cortex (pSTC. In summary, when assessing unfairness, meditators activate a different network of brain areas compared with controls enabling them to uncouple negative emotional reactions from their behavior. These findings highlight the clinically and socially important possibility that sustained training in mindfulness meditation may impact distinct domains of human decision-making.

  1. Influence of meditation on anti-correlated networks in the brain

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    Zoran eJosipovic

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Human experience can be broadly divided into those that are external and related to interaction with the environment, and experiences that are internal and self-related. The cerebral cortex appears to be divided into two corresponding systems: an extrinsic system composed of brain areas that respond more to external stimuli and tasks and an intrinsic system composed of brain areas that respond less to external stimuli and tasks. These two broad brain systems seem to compete with each other, such that their activity levels over time is usually anti-correlated, even when subjects are at rest and not performing any task. This study used meditation as an experimental manipulation to test whether this competition (anti-correlation can be modulated by cognitive strategy. Participants either fixated without meditation (fixation, or engaged in nondual awareness (NDA or focused attention (FA meditations. We computed inter-area correlations (functional connectivity between pairs of brain regions within each system, and between the entire extrinsic and intrinsic systems. Anti-correlation between extrinsic vs. intrinsic systems was stronger during FA meditation and weaker during NDA meditation in comparison to fixation (without mediation. However, correlation between areas within each system did not change across conditions. These results suggest that the anti-correlation found between extrinsic and intrinsic systems is not an immutable property of brain organization and that practicing different forms of meditation can modulate this gross functional organization in profoundly different ways.

  2. Spatially Nonlinear Interdependence of Alpha-Oscillatory Neural Networks under Chan Meditation

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    Pei-Chen Lo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the results of our investigation of the effects of Chan meditation on brain electrophysiological behaviors from the viewpoint of spatially nonlinear interdependence among regional neural networks. Particular emphasis is laid on the alpha-dominated EEG (electroencephalograph. Continuous-time wavelet transform was adopted to detect the epochs containing substantial alpha activities. Nonlinear interdependence quantified by similarity index S(X∣Y, the influence of source signal Y on sink signal X, was applied to the nonlinear dynamical model in phase space reconstructed from multichannel EEG. Experimental group involved ten experienced Chan-Meditation practitioners, while control group included ten healthy subjects within the same age range, yet, without any meditation experience. Nonlinear interdependence among various cortical regions was explored for five local neural-network regions, frontal, posterior, right-temporal, left-temporal, and central regions. In the experimental group, the inter-regional interaction was evaluated for the brain dynamics under three different stages, at rest (stage R, pre-meditation background recording, in Chan meditation (stage M, and the unique Chakra-focusing practice (stage C. Experimental group exhibits stronger interactions among various local neural networks at stages M and C compared with those at stage R. The intergroup comparison demonstrates that Chan-meditation brain possesses better cortical inter-regional interactions than the resting brain of control group.

  3. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Meditation for Work Stress, Anxiety and Depressed Mood in Full-Time Workers

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    R. Manocha

    2011-01-01

    Results. There was a significant improvement for the meditation group compared to both the relaxation control and the wait-list groups the PSQ (P=.026, and DD (P=.019. Conclusions. Mental silence-orientated meditation, in this case Sahaja Yoga meditation, is a safe and effective strategy for dealing with work stress and depressive feelings. The findings suggest that “thought reduction” or “mental silence” may have specific effects relevant to work stress and hence occupational health.

  4. What it means to be Zen: marked modulations of local and interareal synchronization during open monitoring meditation.

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    Hauswald, Anne; Übelacker, Teresa; Leske, Sabine; Weisz, Nathan

    2015-03-01

    Experienced meditators are able to voluntarily modulate their state of consciousness and attention. In the present study, we took advantage of this ability and studied brain activity related to the shift of mental state. Electrophysiological activity, i.e. EEG, was recorded from 11 subjects with varying degrees of meditation experience during Zen meditation (a form of open monitoring meditation) and during non-meditation rest. On a behavioral level, mindfulness scores were assessed using the Mindfulness Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS). Analysis of EEG source power revealed the so far unreported finding that MAAS scores significantly correlated with gamma power (30-250Hz), particularly high-frequency gamma (100-245Hz), during meditation. High levels of mindfulness were related to increased high-frequency gamma, for example, in the cingulate cortex and somatosensory cortices. Further, we analyzed the relationship between connectivity during meditation and self-reported mindfulness (MAAS). We found a correlation between graph measures in the 160-170Hz range and MAAS scores. Higher levels of mindfulness were related to lower small worldedness as well as global and local clustering in paracentral, insular, and thalamic regions during meditation. In sum, the present study shows significant relationships of mindfulness and brain activity during meditation indicated by measures of oscillatory power and graph theoretical measures. The most prominent effects occur in brain structures crucially involved in processes of awareness and attention, which also show structural changes in short- and long-term meditators, suggesting continuative alterations in the meditating brain. Overall, our study reveals strong changes in ongoing oscillatory activity as well as connectivity patterns that appear to be sensitive to the psychological state changes induced by Zen meditation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakata, Hiroki; Sakamoto, Kiwako; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. To clarify the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon, neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, and neurophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, have been used. However, it has been difficult to interpret the results, because there is some paradoxical evidence. For example, some studies reported increased neural responses to pain stimulation during meditation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula, whereas others showed a decrease in these regions. There have been inconsistent findings to date. Moreover, in general, since the activities of the ACC and insula are correlated with pain perception, the increase in neural activities during meditation would be related to the enhancement of pain perception rather than its reduction. These contradictions might directly contribute to the ‘mystery of meditation.’ In this review, we presented previous findings for brain regions during meditation and the anatomical changes that occurred in the brain with long-term meditation training. We then discussed the findings of previous studies that examined pain-related neural activity during meditation. We also described the brain mechanisms responsible for pain relief during meditation, and possible reasons for paradoxical evidence among previous studies. By thoroughly overviewing previous findings, we hypothesized that meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the ACC, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. We suggest that the characteristics of the modulation of this activity may depend on the kind of meditation and/or number of years of experience of meditation, which were associated with paradoxical findings among previous studies that investigated pain-related neural activities during meditation. PMID:25566158

  6. An analogue study of the initial carryover effects of meditation, hypnosis, and relaxation using native college students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colby, F

    1991-06-01

    An analogue study involving two experiments was conducted to test the initial carryover effects of hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation upon self-reports of awareness. In the first experiment, concentrative meditators reported fewer nonsensorial events than controls. In the second experiment, concentrative meditators again reported fewer nonsensorial events, but covariate analysis and pretest/posttest comparisons revealed that it was the controls who had changed, increasing their nonsensorial reports. In addition, the relaxation group increased its reports of somatic awareness. Results were discussed in terms of the effects of performance demands and the possibility that meditation and hypnosis might be able to disinhibit awareness processes otherwise inhibited by normal daily routines.

  7. Efficacy of rajayoga meditation on positive thinking: an index for self-satisfaction and happiness in life.

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    M G, Ramesh; B, Sathian; E, Sinu; S Rai, Kiranmai

    2013-10-01

    Psychological studies have shown that brief period of mindfulness meditation significantly improves critical cognitive skills. But, there are no studies which have assessed the effects of Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga Meditation (BKRM) practice on positive thinking and happiness in life. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis is BKRM enhances positive thinking and that essential to attain higher levels of self-satisfaction and happiness in life. This study is a cross sectional comparative study which was done between Rajayoga meditators and non-meditators. This study was conducted at BKRM Centres at Manipal and Udupi in Karnataka, India. Fifty subjects were selected for this study, which included those practising BKRM in their normal routine life (n=25) and non-meditators (n=25) who were aged 42.95+/15.29 years. Self-reported Oxford happiness questionnaire (OHQ) was administered to all subjects and their happiness scores and status were assessed and compared. Items related to self-satisfaction in life were selected from the OHQ and compared between meditators and non-meditators. Participants completed self-reported OHQ, from which data of happiness status and self-satisfaction in relation to meditation duration and frequency were analyzed by descriptive statistics and test of hypothesis. Mean happiness scores of BKRM were significantly higher (ppositive thinking. Irrespective of age and years of short-term or long-term meditation practice, enhanced positive thinking increases self-satisfaction and happiness in life.

  8. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect

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    Chuan-Chih Yang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common resting state functional connectivity methods. Interregional methods were paired with local measures such as Regional Homogeneity. As expected, significant differences in functional connectivity both between states (rest versus meditation and between time points (before versus after training were observed. During meditation, the internal consistency in the precuneus and the temporoparietal junction increased, while the internal consistency of frontal brain regions decreased. A follow-up analysis of regional connectivity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex further revealed reduced connectivity with anterior insula during meditation. After meditation training, reduced resting state functional connectivity between the pregenual anterior cingulate and dorsal medical prefrontal cortex was observed. Most importantly, significantly reduced depression/anxiety scores were observed after training. Hence, these findings suggest that mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression.

  9. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chuan-Chih; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Pinazo, Daniel; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Borchardt, Viola; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Balaguer, Raúl; Ávila, César; Walter, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common resting state functional connectivity methods. Interregional methods were paired with local measures such as Regional Homogeneity. As expected, significant differences in functional connectivity both between states (rest versus meditation) and between time points (before versus after training) were observed. During meditation, the internal consistency in the precuneus and the temporoparietal junction increased, while the internal consistency of frontal brain regions decreased. A follow-up analysis of regional connectivity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex further revealed reduced connectivity with anterior insula during meditation. After meditation training, reduced resting state functional connectivity between the pregenual anterior cingulate and dorsal medical prefrontal cortex was observed. Most importantly, significantly reduced depression/anxiety scores were observed after training. Hence, these findings suggest that mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression. PMID:26998365

  10. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chuan-Chih; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Pinazo, Daniel; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Borchardt, Viola; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Balaguer, Raúl; Ávila, César; Walter, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common resting state functional connectivity methods. Interregional methods were paired with local measures such as Regional Homogeneity. As expected, significant differences in functional connectivity both between states (rest versus meditation) and between time points (before versus after training) were observed. During meditation, the internal consistency in the precuneus and the temporoparietal junction increased, while the internal consistency of frontal brain regions decreased. A follow-up analysis of regional connectivity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex further revealed reduced connectivity with anterior insula during meditation. After meditation training, reduced resting state functional connectivity between the pregenual anterior cingulate and dorsal medical prefrontal cortex was observed. Most importantly, significantly reduced depression/anxiety scores were observed after training. Hence, these findings suggest that mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression.

  11. Chinese-chi and Kundalini yoga Meditations Effects on the Autonomic Nervous System: Comparative Study

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    Anilesh Dey

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cardiac disease is one of the major causes for death all over the world. Heart rate variability (HRV is a significant parameter that used in assessing Autonomous Nervous System (ANS activity. Generally, the 2D Poincare′ plot and 3D Poincaré plot of the HRV signals reflect the effect of different external stimuli on the ANS. Meditation is one of such external stimulus, which has different techniques with different types of effects on the ANS. Chinese Chi-meditation and Kundalini yoga are two different effective meditation techniques. The current work is interested with the analysis of the HRV signals under the effect of these two based on meditation techniques. The 2D and 3D Poincare′ plots are generally plotted by fitting respectively an ellipse/ellipsoid to the dense region of the constructed Poincare′ plot of HRV signals. However, the 2D and 3D Poincaré plots sometimes fail to describe the proper behaviour of the system. Thus in this study, a three-dimensional frequency-delay plot is proposed to properly distinguish these two famous meditation techniques by analyzing their effects on ANS. This proposed 3D frequency-delay plot is applied on HRV signals of eight persons practicing same Chi-meditation and four other persons practising same Kundalini yoga. To substantiate the result for larger sample of data, statistical Student t-test is applied, which shows a satisfactory result in this context. The experimental results established that the Chi-meditation has large impact on the HRVcompared to the Kundalini yoga.

  12. More meditation, less habituation? The effect of mindfulness practice on the acoustic startle reflex.

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    Antonova, Elena; Chadwick, Paul; Kumari, Veena

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness as a mode of sustained and receptive attention promotes openness to each incoming stimulus, even if repetitive and/or aversive. Mindful attention has been shown to attenuate sensory habituation in expert meditators; however, others were not able to replicate this effect. The present study used acoustic startle reflex to investigate the effect of mindfulness practice intensity on sensory habituation. Auditory Startle Response (ASR) to 36 startling probes (12 trials x 3 block with 40 ms inter-block intervals), was measured using electromyography (EMG) in three groups of participants (N = 12/group): meditation-naïve, moderate practice, and intensive practice. Intensive practice group showed attenuated startle habituation as evidenced by significantly less habituation over the entire experiment relative to the meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups. Furthermore, there was a significant linear effect showing between-block habituation in meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups, but not in the intensive practice group. However, the Block x Group interaction between the intensive practice and the meditation-naive groups was not significant. Moderate practice group was not significantly different from the meditation-naïve in the overall measure of habituation, but showed significantly stronger habituation than both meditation-naïve and intensive practice groups in Block 1. Greater practice intensity was significantly correlated with slower overall habituation and habituation rate in Blocks 2 and 3 in the intensive, but not in the moderate, practice group. The study provides tentative evidence that intensive mindfulness practice attenuates acoustic startle habituation as measured by EMG, but the effect is modest.Moderate practice, on the other hand, appears to enhance habituation, suggesting the effect of mindfulness practice on startle habituation might be non-linear [corrected] . Better understanding of the effect of mindful attention on

  13. Blood Pressure Response to Meditation and Yoga: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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    Park, Seong-Hi; Han, Kuem Sun

    2017-09-01

    To introduce research that presents scientific evidence regarding the effects of mantra and mindfulness meditation techniques and yoga on decreasing blood pressure (BP) in patients who have hypertension. A literature search was performed to identify all studies published between 1946 and 2014 from periodicals indexed in Ovid Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, KoreaMed, and NDSL by using the following keywords: "hypertension," "blood pressure," "psychotherapy," "relaxation therapy," "meditation," "yoga," and "mind-body therapy." The Cochrane's Risk of Bias was applied to assess the internal validity of the randomized controlled trial studies. Thirteen studies were analyzed in this meta-analysis by using Review Manager 5.3. Among 510 possible studies, 13 met the selection criteria. Seven examined meditation, and six examined yoga. The meta-analysis indicated that meditation and yoga appeared to decrease both systolic and diastolic BP, which were within similar baseline ranges, and the reduction was statistically significant; however, some results showed little difference. After an in-depth analysis of those results, BP range and patient age were revealed as the factors that affected the different results in some reports. In particular, meditation played a noticeable role in decreasing the BP of subjects older than 60 years of age, whereas yoga seemed to contribute to the decrease of subjects aged less than 60 years. While acknowledging the limitations of this research due to the differences in BP and the participants' ages, meditation and yoga are demonstrated to be effective alternatives to pharmacotherapy. Given that BP decreased with the use of meditation and yoga, and this effect varied in different age groups, scientifically measured outcomes indicate that these practices are safe alternatives in some cases.

  14. The Effects of Meditation on Grey Matter Atrophy and Neurodegeneration: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Nicole; Tufts, Emily; Auger, Leslie E

    2017-01-01

    The present systematic review is based on the premise that a variety of neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by grey matter atrophy in the brain and meditation may impact this. Given that age is a major risk factor for many of these progressive and neurodegenerative diseases and that the percentage of the population over the age of 65 is quickly increasing, there is an obvious need for prompt treatment and prevention advances in research. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, many are seeking non-pharmacological treatment options in attempts to offset the disease-related cognitive and functional declines. On the basis of a growing body of research suggesting that meditation is effective in increasing grey matter volume in healthy participants, this paper systematically reviewed the literature regarding the effects of meditation on restoring grey matter volume in healthy individuals and those affected by neurodegeneration. This review searched PubMed, CINAHL, and APA PsycNET to identify original studies that included MRI imaging to measure grey matter volume in meditators and post-mindfulness-based intervention participants compared to controls. Thirteen studies were considered eligible for review and involved a wide variety of meditation techniques and included participants with and without cognitive impairment. All studies reported significant increases in grey matter volume in the meditators/intervention group, albeit in assorted regions of the brain. Limited research exists on the mechanisms through which meditation affects disease-related neurodegeneration, but preliminary evidence suggests that it may offset grey matter atrophy.

  15. Brain changes in long-term zen meditators using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and diffusion tensor imaging: a controlled study.

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    Nicolás Fayed

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: This work aimed to determine whether (1H magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI are correlated with years of meditation and psychological variables in long-term Zen meditators compared to healthy non-meditator controls. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Design. Controlled, cross-sectional study. Sample. Meditators were recruited from a Zen Buddhist monastery. The control group was recruited from hospital staff. Meditators were administered questionnaires on anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment and mindfulness. (1H-MRS (1.5 T of the brain was carried out by exploring four areas: both thalami, both hippocampi, the posterior superior parietal lobule (PSPL and posterior cingulate gyrus. Predefined areas of the brain were measured for diffusivity (ADC and fractional anisotropy (FA by MR-DTI. RESULTS: Myo-inositol (mI was increased in the posterior cingulate gyrus and Glutamate (Glu, N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA and N-acetyl-aspartate/Creatine (NAA/Cr was reduced in the left thalamus in meditators. We found a significant positive correlation between mI in the posterior cingulate and years of meditation (r = 0.518; p = .019. We also found significant negative correlations between Glu (r = -0.452; p = .045, NAA (r = -0.617; p = .003 and NAA/Cr (r = -0.448; P = .047 in the left thalamus and years of meditation. Meditators showed a lower Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC in the left posterior parietal white matter than did controls, and the ADC was negatively correlated with years of meditation (r = -0.4850, p = .0066. CONCLUSIONS: The results are consistent with the view that mI, Glu and NAA are the most important altered metabolites. This study provides evidence of subtle abnormalities in neuronal function in regions of the white matter in meditators.

  16. Arousal vs. relaxation: a comparison of the neurophysiological and cognitive correlates of Vajrayana and Theravada meditative practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amihai, Ido; Kozhevnikov, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Based on evidence of parasympathetic activation, early studies defined meditation as a relaxation response. Later research attempted to categorize meditation as either involving focused or distributed attentional systems. Neither of these hypotheses received strong empirical support, and most of the studies investigated Theravada style meditative practices. In this study, we compared neurophysiological (EEG, EKG) and cognitive correlates of meditative practices that are thought to utilize either focused or distributed attention, from both Theravada and Vajrayana traditions. The results of Study 1 show that both focused (Shamatha) and distributed (Vipassana) attention meditations of the Theravada tradition produced enhanced parasympathetic activation indicative of a relaxation response. In contrast, both focused (Deity) and distributed (Rig-pa) meditations of the Vajrayana tradition produced sympathetic activation, indicative of arousal. Additionally, the results of Study 2 demonstrated an immediate dramatic increase in performance on cognitive tasks following only Vajrayana styles of meditation, indicating enhanced phasic alertness due to arousal. Furthermore, our EEG results showed qualitatively different patterns of activation between Theravada and Vajrayana meditations, albeit highly similar activity between meditations within the same tradition. In conclusion, consistent with Tibetan scriptures that described Shamatha and Vipassana techniques as those that calm and relax the mind, and Vajrayana techniques as those that require 'an awake quality' of the mind, we show that Theravada and Vajrayana meditations are based on different neurophysiological mechanisms, which give rise to either a relaxation or arousal response. Hence, it may be more appropriate to categorize meditations in terms of relaxation vs. arousal, whereas classification methods that rely on the focused vs. distributed attention dichotomy may need to be reexamined.

  17. Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus.

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    Hiroki eNakata

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. To clarify the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon, neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, and neurophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG and electroencephalography (EEG, have been used. However, it has been difficult to interpret the results, because there is some paradoxical evidence. For example, some studies reported increased neural responses to pain stimulation during meditation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC and insula, whereas others showed a decrease in these regions. There have been inconsistent findings to date. Moreover, in general, since the activities of the ACC and insula are correlated with pain perception, the increase in neural activities during meditation would be related to the enhancement of pain perception rather than its reduction. These contradictions might directly contribute to the ‘mystery of meditation’. In this review, we presented previous findings for brain regions during meditation and the anatomical changes that occurred in the brain with long-term meditation training. We then discussed the findings of previous studies that examined pain-related neural activity during meditation. We also described the brain mechanisms responsible for pain relief during meditation, and possible reasons for paradoxical evidence among previous studies. By thoroughly overviewing previous findings, we hypothesized that meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the ACC, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. We suggest that the characteristics of the modulation of this activity may depend on the kind of meditation and/or number of years of experience of meditation, which were associated with paradoxical findings among previous studies that investigated pain-related neural activities during meditation.

  18. Comparison of Two Types of Meditation on Patients' Psychosocial Responses During Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boxleitner, Gisela; Jolie, Shelley; Shaffer, Dana; Pasacreta, Nicholas; Bai, Mei; McCorkle, Ruth

    2017-05-01

    Radiation treatment for head and neck cancer introduces adaptive demands and subjects patients to significant and unique psychosocial challenges. There is growing evidence that meditation is useful in lessening anxiety and depression in cancer patients. This study compared the effects of two types of meditation training on the psychological responses of patients with head and neck cancer during radiation therapy. Randomized clinical trial. Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. A total of 29 patients with head and neck cancers were recruited and 28 patients were followed during their radiation therapy over 12 weeks. Depending on their group assignment, patients were taught one of two standardized meditations: meditation with a coach or self-meditation with a CD. Patient psychosocial responses were defined as anxiety, depression, and emotional distress and were measured by the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and the Emotional Distress Thermometer. Measures were self-reported and collected by the nurse manager at baseline and 6 and 12 weeks during the patient's scheduled weekly visit. No significant mean differences were found between the two meditation groups on all three outcomes: anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. Patients in both the meditation with a coach and self-meditation with a CD groups reported less distress from baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks, as evidenced by the HADS anxiety scale. This study demonstrated two equally effective meditation techniques that can be implemented with patients experiencing high stress during radiation treatments in any health care setting to decrease patient anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. The data established self-meditation with a CD as a more cost-effective alternative to meditation with a coach, which requires intensive training and time commitment for patients.

  19. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Madhav; Singh, Sonal; Sibinga, Erica M. S.; Gould, Neda F.; Rowland-Seymour, Anastasia; Sharma, Ritu; Berger, Zackary; Sleicher, Dana; Maron, David D.; Shihab, Hasan M.; Ranasinghe, Padmini D; Linn, Shauna; Saha, Shonali; Bass, Eric B.; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation. Objective To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health quality of life, attention, substance use, eating, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations. Evidence Review We included randomized trials with active controls that controlled for placebo effects, identified through November 2012 from MEDLINE®, PsycINFO, EMBASE®, PsycArticles, SCOPUS, CINAHL, AMED, Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using four domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size (ES) with 95 percent confidence intervals (CI). Findings After reviewing 17,801 citations, we included 47 trials with 3,320 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence to improve anxiety [ ES 0.38 (CI 0.12 to 0.64) at 8 weeks; ES 0.22 (0.02 to 0.43) at 3–6 months], depression [ES 0.30 (0.00 to 0.59) at 8 weeks; ES 0.23 (0.05 to 0.42) at 3–6 months] and pain [ES 0.33 (0.03 to 0.62)], and low evidence to improve stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life. We found either low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (drugs, exercise, other behavioral therapies). Conclusions and

  20. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyal, Madhav; Singh, Sonal; Sibinga, Erica M S; Gould, Neda F; Rowland-Seymour, Anastasia; Sharma, Ritu; Berger, Zackary; Sleicher, Dana; Maron, David D; Shihab, Hasan M; Ranasinghe, Padmini D; Linn, Shauna; Saha, Shonali; Bass, Eric B; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer A

    2014-03-01

    Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation. To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health-related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations. We identified randomized clinical trials with active controls for placebo effects through November 2012 from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycArticles, Scopus, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Two independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using 4 domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size with 95% confidence intervals. After reviewing 18 753 citations, we included 47 trials with 3515 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (effect size, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.12-0.64] at 8 weeks and 0.22 [0.02-0.43] at 3-6 months), depression (0.30 [0.00-0.59] at 8 weeks and 0.23 [0.05-0.42] at 3-6 months), and pain (0.33 [0.03- 0.62]) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life. We found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (ie, drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies). Clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in small to moderate

  1. Assessment of Cardiovascular Parameters during Meditation with Mental Targeting in Varsity Swimmers

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    Tyvin A. Rich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Athletes who develop an immunosuppressed state because of intensive training get upper respiratory infections (URIs and may respond to meditation. Reflective exercise (RE, a westernized form of Qigong, combines meditation, breathing, and targeted mental attention to an internal pulsatile sensation, previously shown to protect varsity swimmers from URIs during the height of training. We report here the evaluation of cardiovascular parameters measured during meditation combined with targeted imagery (interoception in a cohort of varsity swimmers taught RE. Methods. Thirteen subjects were enrolled on a prospective protocol that used the CareTaker, a noninvasive cardiovascular monitor before, during, and after RE training. Questionnaires regarding targeted mental imagery focusing on a pulsatile sensation were collected. The cardiovascular parameters include heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rate variability (HRV. Results. Increased variance in the subjects’ BP and HRV was observed over the training period of 8 weeks. In nine subjects there was an increased low frequency (LF HRV that was significantly (p<0.05 associated with the subject’s awareness of the pulsatile sensation that makes up a basic part of the RE practice. Summary. These data support further evaluation of HRV measurements in subjects while meditating with mental imagery. This direction could contribute to better understanding of neurocardiac mechanisms that relate meditation to enhanced immunity.

  2. Hemodynamic Responses on Prefrontal Cortex Related to Meditation and Attentional Task

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    Singh eDeepeshwar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 minutes of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of ‘During’ and ‘Post’ with ‘Pre’ state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (∆HbO and total hemoglobin (∆THC concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (∆HbR concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC, whereas in random thinking there was increased ∆HbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time was shorter in stroop color word task with reduced ∆THC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

  3. The possible role of meditation in myofascial pain syndrome: A new hypothesis

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    Prashanth Panta

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background of Hypothesis: Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS is the most common musculoskeletal pain disorder of the head and neck area. In the past, several theories were put forth to explain its origin and nature, but none proved complete. Myofascial pain responds to changing psychological states and stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, anger, depression and chronic pain are direct contributional factors. Myofascial pain syndrome may be considered as a psychosomatic disorder. There are numerous accepted palliative approaches, but of all, relaxation techniques stand out and initiate healing at the base level. In this article, the connection between mental factors, MPS and meditation are highlighted. Recent literature has shed light on the fundamental role of free radicals in the emergence of myofascial pain. The accumulating free radicals disrupt mitochondrial integrity and function, leading to sustenance and progression of MPS. Meditation on the other hand was shown to reduce free radical load and can result in clinical improvement. 'Mindfulness' is the working principle behind the effect of all meditations, and I emphasize that it can serve as a potential tool to reverse the neuro-architectural, neurobiological and cellular changes that occur in MPS. Conclusions: The findings described in this paper were drawn from studies on myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, similar chronic pain models and most importantly from self experience (experimentation. Till date, no hypothesis is available connecting MPS and meditation. Mechanisms linking MPS and meditation were identified, and this paper can ignite novel research in this direction.

  4. Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Lara; Hempel, Susanne; Ewing, Brett A; Apaydin, Eric; Xenakis, Lea; Newberry, Sydne; Colaiaco, Ben; Maher, Alicia Ruelaz; Shanman, Roberta M; Sorbero, Melony E; Maglione, Margaret A

    2017-04-01

    Chronic pain patients increasingly seek treatment through mindfulness meditation. This study aims to synthesize evidence on efficacy and safety of mindfulness meditation interventions for the treatment of chronic pain in adults. We conducted a systematic review on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with meta-analyses using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method for random-effects models. Quality of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach. Outcomes included pain, depression, quality of life, and analgesic use. Thirty-eight RCTs met inclusion criteria; seven reported on safety. We found low-quality evidence that mindfulness meditation is associated with a small decrease in pain compared with all types of controls in 30 RCTs. Statistically significant effects were also found for depression symptoms and quality of life. While mindfulness meditation improves pain and depression symptoms and quality of life, additional well-designed, rigorous, and large-scale RCTs are needed to decisively provide estimates of the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain.

  5. Pupillary Response to Negative Emotional Stimuli Is Differentially Affected in Meditation Practitioners

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    Alejandra Vasquez-Rosati

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Clinically, meditative practices have become increasingly relevant, decreasing anxiety in patients and increasing antibody production. However, few studies have examined the physiological correlates, or effects of the incorporation of meditative practices. Because pupillary reactivity is a marker for autonomic changes and emotional processing, we hypothesized that the pupillary responses of mindfulness meditation practitioners (MP and subjects without such practices (non-meditators (NM differ, reflecting different emotional processing. In a group of 11 MP and 9 NM, we recorded the pupil diameter using video-oculography while subjects explored images with emotional contents. Although both groups showed a similar pupillary response for positive and neutral images, negative images evoked a greater pupillary contraction and a weaker dilation in the MP group. Also, this group had faster physiological recovery to baseline levels. These results suggest that mindfulness meditation practices modulate the response of the autonomic nervous system, reflected in the pupillary response to negative images and faster physiological recovery to baseline levels, suggesting that pupillometry could be used to assess the potential health benefits of these practices in patients.

  6. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial.

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    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Bursley, James K; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J David

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. "Thinking about not-thinking": neural correlates of conceptual processing during Zen meditation.

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    Giuseppe Pagnoni

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have identified a set of brain regions that are metabolically active during wakeful rest and consistently deactivate in a variety the performance of demanding tasks. This "default network" has been functionally linked to the stream of thoughts occurring automatically in the absence of goal-directed activity and which constitutes an aspect of mental behavior specifically addressed by many meditative practices. Zen meditation, in particular, is traditionally associated with a mental state of full awareness but reduced conceptual content, to be attained via a disciplined regulation of attention and bodily posture. Using fMRI and a simplified meditative condition interspersed with a lexical decision task, we investigated the neural correlates of conceptual processing during meditation in regular Zen practitioners and matched control subjects. While behavioral performance did not differ between groups, Zen practitioners displayed a reduced duration of the neural response linked to conceptual processing in regions of the default network, suggesting that meditative training may foster the ability to control the automatic cascade of semantic associations triggered by a stimulus and, by extension, to voluntarily regulate the flow of spontaneous mentation.

  8. The Cultural Relevance of Mindfulness Meditation as a Health Intervention for African Americans

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    Woods-Giscombé, Cheryl L.; Gaylord, Susan A.

    2014-01-01

    African Americans experience a disproportionate rate of stress-related health conditions compared to European Americans. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be effective for managing stress and various stress-related health conditions. This study explored the cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation training for African Americans adults. Fifteen African American adults with past or current experience with mindfulness meditation training were interviewed. Participants felt that mindfulness meditation helped them with enhanced stress management, direct health improvement, and enhanced self-awareness and purposefulness. They felt that they would recommend it and that other African Americans would be open to the practice but suggested that its presentation may need to be adapted. They suggested emphasizing the health benefits, connecting it to familiar spiritual ideology and cultural practices, supplementing the reading material with African American writers, increasing communication (education, instructor availability, “buddy system,” etc.), and including African Americans as instructors and participants. By implementing minor adaptations that enhance cultural relevance, mindfulness meditation can be a beneficial therapeutic intervention for this population. PMID:24442592

  9. Mindfulness-oriented meditation improves self-related character scales in healthy individuals.

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    Campanella, Fabio; Crescentini, Cristiano; Urgesi, Cosimo; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that mindfulness meditation may improve well-being in healthy individuals and be effective in the treatment of mental and neurological disorders. Here, we investigated the effects of an 8-week mindfulness-mediation program on the personality profiles of three groups of healthy individuals with no previous experience with meditation as compared to a control group not enrolled in any training. Personality profiles were obtained through the Temperament and Character Inventory (Cloninger et al., 1993). In the experimental groups, significant increments after the training were obtained in all the three character scales describing the levels of self maturity at the intrapersonal (Self-Directedness), interpersonal (Cooperativeness), and transpersonal (Self-Transcendence) levels. No changes were found in the control group. Strikingly, these effects were significant only in those groups who were engaged in consistent daily meditation practice but not in the group who attended the meditation training but were less consistent in home practice. Since higher scores in the character scales are associated to a lower risk of personality disorder, we propose that the increase of self maturity after the training may be an important mechanism for the effectiveness of mindfulness-oriented meditation in psychotherapeutic contexts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. An integral investigation into the phenomenology and neurophysiology of Christian Trinity meditation

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    Stephen D. Edwards

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This integral investigation explored phenomenological and neurophysiologic, individual and collective dimensions of Christian Trinitarian meditation experiences in a volunteer, convenience sample of 10 practicing Christians, 6 men and 4 women, with a mean age of 48 years and an age range from 21 to 85 years. Participants meditated for a minimum period of 15 minutes, during which neurophysiologic data in the form of electroencephalographic (EEG, electromyographic (EMG, blood volume pulse (BVP and respiratory activity were recorded. A phenomenological analysis indicated that the meditation process generally involved a movement from body to mind to spirit as evident in reports of an increasingly relaxed, contented and focused state of consciousness characterised by Christian Trinitarian imagery, wonder, surrender, peace, bliss, openness and formlessness. The neuropsychological findings indicated significant increases, from baseline to meditation recordings, in the alpha and beta range, accompanied by increasing mean trends in the theta and gamma range, and decreasing mean trends in the delta range, EMG, BVP and respiration. Integrative findings indicated the practical theological value of small doses of Christian Trinity meditation to enhance spiritual life for those forms of waking, thinking, conscious behaviour needed in everyday world involvement and healing. Findings were discussed in relation to further integrative investigations and interventions with practical theological implications.

  11. The association between meditation practice and treatment outcome in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perich, Tania; Manicavasagar, Vijaya; Mitchell, Philip B; Ball, Jillian R

    2013-07-01

    This study aimed to examine the impact of quantity of mindfulness meditation practice on the outcome of psychiatric symptoms following Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Meditation homework was collected at the beginning of each session for the MBCT program to assess quantity of meditation practice. Clinician-administered measures of hypo/mania and depression along with self-report anxiety, depression and stress symptom questionnaires were administered pre-, post-treatment and at 12-month follow-up. A significant correlation was found between a greater number of days meditated throughout the 8-week trial and clinician-rated depression scores on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale at 12-month follow-up. There were significant differences found between those who meditated for 3 days a week or more and those who meditated less often on trait anxiety post-treatment and clinician-rated depression at 12-month follow-up whilst trends were noted for self-reported depression. A greater number of days meditated during the 8-week MBCT program was related to lower depression scores at 12-month follow-up, and there was evidence to suggest that mindfulness meditation practice was associated with improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms if a certain minimum amount (3 times a week or more) was practiced weekly throughout the 8-week MBCT program. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The Effect of Meditation on Self-Reported Measures of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Perfectionism in a College Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jaimie L.; Lee, Randolph M.; Brown, Lauren J.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of meditation, specifically Transcendental Meditation (TM), on college students' experience of stress, anxiety, depression, and perfectionistic thoughts was investigated using 43 undergraduate students. Self-report measures of the variables were completed prior to the start of the study. Student groups were trained in TM and practiced…

  13. Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response

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    Geoffrey W. Melville

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study compared acute (15 min yoga posture and guided meditation practice, performed seated in a typical office workspace, on physiological and psychological markers of stress. Twenty participants (39.6±9.5 yr completed three conditions: yoga, meditation, and control (i.e., usual work separated by ≥24 hrs. Yoga and meditation significantly reduced perceived stress versus control, and this effect was maintained postintervention. Yoga increased heart rate while meditation reduced heart rate versus control (<0.05. Respiration rate was reduced during yoga and meditation versus control (<0.05. Domains of heart rate variability (e.g., SDNN and Total Power were significantly reduced during control versus yoga and meditation. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced secondary to meditation versus control only (<0.05. Physiological adaptations generally regressed toward baseline postintervention. In conclusion, yoga postures or meditation performed in the office can acutely improve several physiological and psychological markers of stress. These effects may be at least partially mediated by reduced respiration rate.

  14. A cross-sectional evaluation of meditation experience on electroencephalography data by artificial neural network and support vector machine classifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yu-Hao; Hsieh, Ya-Ju; Shiah, Yung-Jong; Lin, Yu-Huei; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Tyan, Yu-Chang; GengQiu, JiaCheng; Hsu, Chung-Yao; Chen, Sharon Chia-Ju

    2017-04-01

    To quantitate the meditation experience is a subjective and complex issue because it is confounded by many factors such as emotional state, method of meditation, and personal physical condition. In this study, we propose a strategy with a cross-sectional analysis to evaluate the meditation experience with 2 artificial intelligence techniques: artificial neural network and support vector machine. Within this analysis system, 3 features of the electroencephalography alpha spectrum and variant normalizing scaling are manipulated as the evaluating variables for the detection of accuracy. Thereafter, by modulating the sliding window (the period of the analyzed data) and shifting interval of the window (the time interval to shift the analyzed data), the effect of immediate analysis for the 2 methods is compared. This analysis system is performed on 3 meditation groups, categorizing their meditation experiences in 10-year intervals from novice to junior and to senior. After an exhausted calculation and cross-validation across all variables, the high accuracy rate >98% is achievable under the criterion of 0.5-minute sliding window and 2 seconds shifting interval for both methods. In a word, the minimum analyzable data length is 0.5 minute and the minimum recognizable temporal resolution is 2 seconds in the decision of meditative classification. Our proposed classifier of the meditation experience promotes a rapid evaluation system to distinguish meditation experience and a beneficial utilization of artificial techniques for the big-data analysis.

  15. Self-reported health and satisfaction of patients with chronic diseases who meditate: a case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauche, Romy; Langhorst, Jost; Paul, Anna; Dobos, Gustav; Cramer, Holger

    2014-11-01

    While many clinical trials suggest that meditation is effective in reducing disease-related symptoms and increasing quality of life in diseased samples, subjective health benefits associated with the use of meditation under naturalistic conditions have not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in quality of life, mental health, and satisfaction in patients with chronic diseases who regularly use meditation versus those who do not. The study applied a case-control design. Patients with chronic diseases who regularly used meditation were selected from a larger observational trial and compared to matched control patients who did not meditate regularly. They were compared in terms of their reported quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire), mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), life and health satisfaction (Questionnaire for Life Satisfaction), and medication usage as well as health locus of control (German version of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale). A total of 115 meditators and 115 controls were compared. Cases showed higher quality of life on the bodily pain subscale, higher internal and less external health locus of control, and higher life satisfaction than controls. No group differences were found for general health perception, most other aspects of quality of life, anxiety, depression, and medication use and health satisfaction. Regular practice of meditation was not clearly associated with better health perception in chronically diseased patients. However, those who regularly used meditation reported better pain-related quality of life and are more satisfied with their life.

  16. The Impact of Classroom-Based Meditation Practice on Cognitive Engagement, Mindfulness and Academic Performance of Undergraduate College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napora, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the potential of classroom-based meditation practice as a tool to facilitate learning. Moreover, the impact of meditation on cognitive engagement, mindfulness and academic performance of undergraduate college students was investigated. Additionally, the relationships between mindfulness and cognitive engagement, and between…

  17. The trained experience: A study on the relationship between meditation practices and the actor’s system of knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Camuti, F.

    2016-01-01

    This dissertation addresses the relationship between meditative and performative practices. It examines those meditative and spiritual techniques that have been used and explored in the work of the Theatre Reformers of the Twentieth century. The approach towards such investigation is going to open

  18. School-Based Meditation Practices for Adolescents: A Resource for Strengthening Self Regulation, Emotional Coping, and Self-Esteem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisner, Betsy L.; Jones, Barbara; Gwin, David

    2010-01-01

    Schools are searching for innovative ways to meet the unique academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of adolescents, many of whom face serious personal and family challenges. An innovative practice that is currently being introduced into school settings is meditation. Types of meditation offered in school-based settings include…

  19. Meditation as a Potential Therapy for Autism: A Review

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    Sonia Sequeira

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown cause that affects approximately 1–3 percent of children and four times more boys than girls. Its prevalence is global and its social impact is devastating. In autism, the brain is unable to process sensory information normally. Instead, simple stimuli from the outside world are experienced as overwhelmingly intense and strain the emotional centers of the brain. A stress response to the incoming information is initiated that destabilizes cognitive networks and short-circuits adequate behavioral output. As a result, the child is unable to respond adequately to stimulation and initiate social behavior towards family, friends, and peers. In addition, these children typically face immune-digestive disorders that heighten social fears, anxieties, and internal conflicts. While it is critical to treat the physical symptoms, it is equally vital to offer an evidence-based holistic solution that harmonizes both their emotional and physical well-being as they move from childhood into adult life. Here, we summarize evidence from clinical studies and neuroscience research that suggests that an approach built on yogic principles and meditative tools is worth pursuing. Desired outcomes include relief of clinical symptoms of the disease, greater relaxation, and facilitated expression of feelings and skills, as well as improved family and social quality of life.

  20. Mindfulness meditation: do-it-yourself medicalization of every moment.

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    Barker, Kristin K

    2014-04-01

    This paper examines mindfulness as a popular and paradigmatic alternative healing practice within the context of contemporary medicalization trends. In recognition of the increasingly influential role popular media play in shaping ideas about illness and healing, what follows is a discursive analysis of bestselling mindfulness meditation self-help books and audio recordings by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The central and contradictory elements of this do-it-yourself healing practice as presented in these materials are best understood as aligned with medicalization trends for three principal reasons. First, mindfulness represents a significant expansion in the definition of disease beyond that advanced by mainstream medicine. Second, its etiological model intensifies the need for therapeutic surveillance and intervention. Third, by defining healing as a never-ending process, it permanently locates individuals within a disease-therapy cycle. In sum, the definition, cause, and treatment of disease as articulated by popular mindfulness resources expands the terrain of experiences and problems that are mediated by medical concepts. The case of mindfulness is a potent illustration of the changing character of medicalization itself. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Use of mindfulness, meditation and relaxation to treat vasomotor symptoms.

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    Goldstein, K M; Shepherd-Banigan, M; Coeytaux, R R; McDuffie, J R; Adam, S; Befus, D; Goode, A P; Kosinski, A S; Masilamani, V; Williams, J W

    2017-04-01

    Postmenopausal women with bothersome vasomotor symptoms (VMS) often seek alternatives to hormone-based treatment due to medication risks or personal preference. We sought to identify the effects of meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis and relaxation on VMS and health-related quality of life in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. To do this, we conducted an umbrella review supplemented by new randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) published since the most recent good-quality systematic review for eligible interventions. We searched MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Allied and Complementary Medicine Databases. We identified five systematic reviews and six new RCTs that met eligibility criteria. In a new meta-analysis examining four RCTs comparing paced respiration with a control group, we found that paced respiration is not associated with a statistically significant decrease in VMS frequency (standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.73 to 0.82, I 2  =   56.6%, three trials) or severity (SMD 0.06, 95% CI -0.69 to 0.80; I 2  =   65.1%, three trials). There was not sufficient new information to conduct meta-analyses that examined the effect of mindfulness or hypnosis on our outcomes of interest. No effect on VMS or quality of life was found between various relaxation or mindfulness interventions.

  2. Mindfulness meditation practice and executive functioning: Breaking down the benefit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

    This paper focuses on evidence for mindfulness meditation-related benefits to executive functioning, processes important for much of human volitional behaviour. Miyake et al. (2000) have shown that executive functions can be fractionated into three distinct domains including inhibition, working memory updating, and mental set shifting. Considering these separable domains, it is important to determine whether the effects of mindfulness can generalize to all three sub-functions or are specific to certain domains. To address this, the current review applied Miyake et al.'s (2000) fractionated model of executive functioning to the mindfulness literature. Empirical studies assessing the benefits of mindfulness to measures tapping the inhibition, updating, and shifting components of executive functioning were examined. Results suggest a relatively specific as opposed to general benefit resulting from mindfulness, with consistent inhibitory improvement, but more variable advantages to the updating and shifting domains. Recommendations surrounding application of mindfulness practice and future research are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Compassion meditation enhances empathic accuracy and related neural activity.

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    Mascaro, Jennifer S; Rilling, James K; Tenzin Negi, Lobsang; Raison, Charles L

    2013-01-01

    The ability to accurately infer others' mental states from facial expressions is important for optimal social functioning and is fundamentally impaired in social cognitive disorders such as autism. While pharmacologic interventions have shown promise for enhancing empathic accuracy, little is known about the effects of behavioral interventions on empathic accuracy and related brain activity. This study employed a randomized, controlled and longitudinal design to investigate the effect of a secularized analytical compassion meditation program, cognitive-based compassion training (CBCT), on empathic accuracy. Twenty-one healthy participants received functional MRI scans while completing an empathic accuracy task, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), both prior to and after completion of either CBCT or a health discussion control group. Upon completion of the study interventions, participants randomized to CBCT and were significantly more likely than control subjects to have increased scores on the RMET and increased neural activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). Moreover, changes in dmPFC and IFG activity from baseline to the post-intervention assessment were associated with changes in empathic accuracy. These findings suggest that CBCT may hold promise as a behavioral intervention for enhancing empathic accuracy and the neurobiology supporting it.

  4. Solus Secedo and Sapere Aude: Cartesian Meditation as Kantian Enlightenment

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    Suma Rajiva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recently Samuel Fleischacker has developed Kant’s model of enlightenment as a “minimalist enlightenment” in the tradition of a relatively thin proceduralism focused on the form of public debate and interaction. I want to discuss the possibility that such a minimalism, endorsed by Fleischacker, Habermas, Rawls, and others, benefits from a metaphysics of critical individual subjectivity as a prerequisite for the social proceduralism of the minimalist enlightenment. I argue that Kant’s enlightenment, metaphysically thicker than much contemporary proceduralism, constitutes a recovery and transformation of a subjective interiority deeply Cartesian in spirit and central to the reciprocity of the community of subjects in What is Enlightenment. This opens a space for a site of resistance to the social. Descartes’ solus secedo describes the analogical space of such a resistance for Kant’s sapere aude. The Meditations thus point forward implicitly to how a rational subject might achieve critical distance from tradition in its various forms, epistemic, ethical, moral, and political.

  5. Mindfulness meditation training alters cortical representations of interoceptive attention.

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    Farb, Norman A S; Segal, Zindel V; Anderson, Adam K

    2013-01-01

    One component of mindfulness training (MT) is the development of interoceptive attention (IA) to visceral bodily sensations, facilitated through daily practices such as breath monitoring. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined experience-dependent functional plasticity in accessing interoceptive representations by comparing graduates of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course to a waitlisted control group. IA to respiratory sensations was contrasted against two visual tasks, controlling for attentional requirements non-specific to IA such as maintaining sensation and suppressing distraction. In anatomically partitioned analyses of insula activity, MT predicted greater IA-related activity in anterior dysgranular insula regions, consistent with greater integration of interoceptive sensation with external context. MT also predicted decreased recruitment of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) during IA, and altered functional connectivity between the DMPFC and the posterior insula, putative primary interoceptive cortex. Furthermore, meditation practice compliance predicted greater posterior insula and reduced visual pathway recruitment during IA. These findings suggest that interoceptive training modulates task-specific cortical recruitment, analogous to training-related plasticity observed in the external senses. Further, DMPFC modulation of IA networks may be an important mechanism by which MT alters information processing in the brain, increasing the contribution of interoception to perceptual experience.

  6. Buddhist Ritual from Syntax to Cognition: Insight Meditation and Homa

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    Richard K. Payne

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The concept of “ritual syntax” is developed by relating it to cognitive studies of ritual, providing a fuller theoretical basis. Developing theoretical grounding requires differentiating between the members of five pairs of concepts: production is not the same as analysis, syntax is not the same as semantics, ritual is not the same as the mental, cognition is not the same as the mental, and syntax is not the same as language. These distinctions help avoid overly strong interpretations of the analogy between ritual and language. A discussion of “ritual” suggests that it is best conceptualized in terms of multiple scalar characteristics with degrees of ritualization. Two Buddhist practices, insight meditation and homa, are introduced as instances for the cognitive study of ritual. Syntax involves not simply ordering of elements, but also hierarchical organization of those elements. While syntax allows sentential elements to move within a sentence, ritual tends toward invariance. Invariance seems to contradict the claim that ritual is syntactically organized. However, rituals are often modeled on ordinary activities, producing a kind of “semantic” motivation for invariance.

  7. A single bout of meditation biases cognitive control but not attentional focusing: Evidence from the global-local task.

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    Colzato, Lorenza S; van der Wel, Pauline; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show that a single bout of meditation can impact information processing. We were interested to see whether this impact extends to attentional focusing and the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults underwent brief single bouts of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a global-local task. While the size of the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was unaffected by type of meditation, the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was considerably larger after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in particular kinds of meditation creates particular cognitive-control states that bias the individual processing style toward either goal-persistence or cognitive flexibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Debiasing the mind through meditation: mindfulness and the sunk-cost bias.

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    Hafenbrack, Andrew C; Kinias, Zoe; Barsade, Sigal G

    2014-02-01

    In the research reported here, we investigated the debiasing effect of mindfulness meditation on the sunk-cost bias. We conducted four studies (one correlational and three experimental); the results suggest that increased mindfulness reduces the tendency to allow unrecoverable prior costs to influence current decisions. Study 1 served as an initial correlational demonstration of the positive relationship between trait mindfulness and resistance to the sunk-cost bias. Studies 2a and 2b were laboratory experiments examining the effect of a mindfulness-meditation induction on increased resistance to the sunk-cost bias. In Study 3, we examined the mediating mechanisms of temporal focus and negative affect, and we found that the sunk-cost bias was attenuated by drawing one's temporal focus away from the future and past and by reducing state negative affect, both of which were accomplished through mindfulness meditation.

  9. Meditation has stronger relationships with mindfulness, kundalini, and mystical experiences than yoga or prayer.

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    de Castro, John M

    2015-09-01

    Contemplative practices can have profound effects on mindfulness and on physical and sensory and mystical experiences. Individuals who self-reported meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, or a combination of practices and their patterns of practice were compared for mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences. The results suggest that the amount of practice but not the pattern and social conditions of practice influences mindfulness and possibly mystical experiences. Meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, or a combination of practices all were found to be associated with enhancements of mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences, but meditation had particularly strong associations and may be the basis of the associations of yoga and prayer with these outcomes. The results further suggest that the primary association of contemplative practices is with the real time awareness and appreciation of sensory and perceptual experiences which may be the intermediary between disparate practices and mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. In Search of Inner Wisdom: Guided Mindfulness Meditation in the Context of Suicide

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    Liora Birnbaum

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Spiritual concerns are highly relevant, but often ignored, in psychotherapy in general and in suicide in particular. This article presents Internet data and clinical case material bearing on the topic, and describes an innovative therapeutic intervention administered in a group-workshop format with suicide survivors and mental health professionals. The technique incorporates relaxation and mindfulness meditation, with the addition of guided meditation in search of inner wisdom. Results of the group intervention are described and illustrated. Many participants reported a significant positive experience including connection to knowledge that was highly relevant to them in their current state of life. Whether such insights were experienced as coming from within (a deeper part of the self or from an external source (a guiding figure or presence, indications are that guided meditation can be a powerful resource for therapists and their clients, suicidal and otherwise. Possible applications in diverse populations and settings, as well as the need for further research, are discussed.

  11. Developing Higher-Order Skills with the MEDIT Web-based Learning Environment

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    C. Vanoirbeek

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Interaction among actors involved in a Web-based learning environment is widely thought of as a valuable process, in that it stimulates collaborative work and augments the effectiveness of learning itself. This may be extensively achieved by the integration of groupware tools and techniques, originally coming from the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work discipline. This paper reports on MEDIT, a Web-based environment that addresses various pedagogical issues and has been developed in line with the above. Offering complementary support, and not substituting traditional practices, our approach distinguishes three virtual workspaces and provides appropriate services for each of them. The paper focuses on the presentation of the innovative tools MEDIT is composed of. These concern the multiple view representation of a course, the creation and maintenance of student customised courses, several exercise methods, argumentative discourse between teachers and students, and group decision making. MEDIT has already been used in five undergraduate courses demonstrating promising evaluation results.

  12. Kumārajīva’s Meditative Legacy in China

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    Bhante Dhammadipa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The article shows that in China and other Far East countries, where Chinese Buddhism spread at the early stages of Mahāyāna Buddhism, traditional methods of Buddhist practice, as explained in the Āgamas, were in practice, but reinterpreted from the Mahāyānistic understanding. Eventually, in the periods following the decline of the Tang Dynasty those practices were mostly abandoned and replaced by pure Mahāyānistic meditation practices, especially those of the Chan (Zen and Pure Land schools. It can be clearly seen from the meditation treatises discussed in this article, which are attributed to Kumārajīva, the most popular translator of Indian Buddhist literature in China. Actually, as Western researchers show, these treatises are likely to be notes of Kumārajīva’s disciples, introduced into meditation by him.

  13. A yoga and compassion meditation program reduces stress in familial caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients.

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    Danucalov, M A D; Kozasa, E H; Ribas, K T; Galduróz, J C F; Garcia, M C; Verreschi, I T N; Oliveira, K C; Romani de Oliveira, L; Leite, J R

    2013-01-01

    Familial caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease exhibit reduced quality of life and increased stress levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program on the perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol levels in familial caregivers. A total of 46 volunteers were randomly assigned to participate in a stress-reduction program for a 2-month period (yoga and compassion meditation program-YCMP group) (n = 25) or an untreated group for the same period of time (control group) (n = 21). The levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and morning salivary cortisol of the participants were measured before and after intervention. The groups were initially homogeneous; however, after intervention, the groups diverged significantly. The YCMP group exhibited a reduction of the stress (P anxiety (P meditation program may offer an effective intervention for reducing perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol in familial caregivers.

  14. Short-term meditation induces changes in brain resting EEG theta networks.

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    Xue, Shao-Wei; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-06-01

    Many studies have reported meditation training has beneficial effects on brain structure and function. However, very little is known about meditation-induced changes in brain complex networks. We used network analysis of electroencephalography theta activity data at rest before and after 1-week of integrative body-mind training (IBMT) and relaxation training. The results demonstrated the IBMT group (but not the relaxation group) exhibited significantly smaller average path length and larger clustering coefficient of the entire network and two midline electrode nodes (Fz and Pz) after training, indicating enhanced capacity of local specialization and global information integration in the brain. The findings provide the evidence for meditation-induced network plasticity and suggest that IBMT might be helpful for alterations in brain networks. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex.

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    Kerr, Catherine E; Jones, Stephanie R; Wan, Qian; Pritchett, Dominique L; Wasserman, Rachel H; Wexler, Anna; Villanueva, Joel J; Shaw, Jessica R; Lazar, Sara W; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Littenberg, Ronnie; Hämäläinen, Matti S; Moore, Christopher I

    2011-05-30

    During selective attention, ∼7-14 Hz alpha rhythms are modulated in early sensory cortices, suggesting a mechanistic role for these dynamics in perception. Here, we investigated whether alpha modulation can be enhanced by "mindfulness" meditation (MM), a program training practitioners in sustained attention to body and breath-related sensations. We hypothesized that participants in the MM group would exhibit enhanced alpha power modulation in a localized representation in the primary somatosensory neocortex in response to a cue, as compared to participants in the control group. Healthy subjects were randomized to 8-weeks of MM training or a control group. Using magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recording of the SI finger representation, we found meditators demonstrated enhanced alpha power modulation in response to a cue. This finding is the first to show enhanced local alpha modulation following sustained attentional training, and implicates this form of enhanced dynamic neural regulation in the behavioral effects of meditative practice. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The varieties of contemplative experience: A mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists.

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    Lindahl, Jared R; Fisher, Nathan E; Cooper, David J; Rosen, Rochelle K; Britton, Willoughby B

    2017-01-01

    Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. A mixed-methods approach featured qualitative interviews with Western Buddhist meditation practitioners and experts in Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Interview questions probed meditation experiences and influencing factors, including interpretations and management strategies. A follow-up survey provided quantitative assessments of causality, impairment and other demographic and practice-related variables. The content-driven thematic analysis of interviews yielded a taxonomy of 59 meditation-related experiences across 7 domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective, somatic, conative, sense of self, and social. Even in cases where the phenomenology was similar across participants, interpretations of and responses to the experiences differed considerably. The associated valence ranged from very positive to very negative, and the associated level of distress and functional impairment ranged from minimal and transient to severe and enduring. In order to determine what factors may influence the valence, impact, and response to any given experience, the study also identified 26 categories of influencing factors across 4 domains: practitioner-level factors, practice-level factors, relationships, and health behaviors. By identifying a broader range of experiences associated with meditation, along with the factors that contribute to the presence and management of experiences reported as challenging

  17. The varieties of contemplative experience: A mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared R Lindahl

    Full Text Available Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. A mixed-methods approach featured qualitative interviews with Western Buddhist meditation practitioners and experts in Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Interview questions probed meditation experiences and influencing factors, including interpretations and management strategies. A follow-up survey provided quantitative assessments of causality, impairment and other demographic and practice-related variables. The content-driven thematic analysis of interviews yielded a taxonomy of 59 meditation-related experiences across 7 domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective, somatic, conative, sense of self, and social. Even in cases where the phenomenology was similar across participants, interpretations of and responses to the experiences differed considerably. The associated valence ranged from very positive to very negative, and the associated level of distress and functional impairment ranged from minimal and transient to severe and enduring. In order to determine what factors may influence the valence, impact, and response to any given experience, the study also identified 26 categories of influencing factors across 4 domains: practitioner-level factors, practice-level factors, relationships, and health behaviors. By identifying a broader range of experiences associated with meditation, along with the factors that contribute to the presence and management of experiences reported

  18. Prayer and meditation among Danish first time mothers-a questionnaire study.

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    Prinds, Christina; Hvidtjørn, Dorte; Skytthe, Axel; Mogensen, Ole; Hvidt, Niels Christian

    2016-01-19

    Mothers' existential dimensions in the transition to motherhood have not been described thoroughly. They might experience disruption and new perspectives in existential ways and this may especially be the case in preterm birth. The aim of this study was twofold. First we investigated the existential dimension of motherhood transition in a secularized context, through practices of prayer and meditation. Second we described the relationship between time of birth (term/preterm) and the prayer/meditation practices of the mothers. Data were gathered from a nationwide questionnaire survey among first time mothers conducted during the summer 2011. All Danish women who gave birth before the 32(nd) pregnancy week (n = 255), and double the number of mothers who gave birth at full term (n = 658) in 2010 were included (total n = 913). The questionnaire consisted of 46 overall items categorized in seven sections, which independently cover important aspects of existential meaning-making related to becoming a mother. The respondent rate was 57% (n = 517). Moments of praying or meditation 6-18 months post partum were reported by 65%, and mothers who responded affirmatively, practiced prayer (n = 286) more than meditation (n = 89), p meditation between mothers of full term or preterm born children, not even after controlling for perinatal or post partum loss, mode of birth, age, status of cohabiting or education. In this explorative study we found specific practices of existential meaning-making through prayer and/or meditation among first time mothers, living in a very secularized context. Yet we know only little about character or importance of these practices among mothers, and hardly anything about existential meaning-making among new fathers. Hence the implications of meaning-making practices related to other dimensions of health are difficult to address in a qualified way in care for new mothers and families.

  19. Impact of Heartfulness Meditation on Reducing Stress in Nursing Students: A Prospective Observational Study

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    Raja Amarnath G

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study and assess the effectiveness of Heartfulness Meditation in reducing stress levels of nursing students in a learning environment. Methodology: A cross-sectional research designed using a standard Perceived Stress Questionnaire pertaining to the subjective perception of things in the learning and clinical environment leading to emotional stress such as workload, worries, tension, and harassment as well as joyful conditions. Overall 120 students from I, II and IV years of a private nursing college in Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India participate in 3 hours (1 hour each day on 3 consecutive days Heartfulness meditation workshop. Results: The predominant themes represented are perceptions of the learning environment and clinical practice, coping, personal issues, balancing college work, and personal life. Mean Baseline stress scores of workload is higher for first and second-year students compared with final year students; Worries and Harassment score is higher in second-year students; Joy score is higher for first-year students; Tension score is higher in final year students. After Heartfulness meditation workshop, the mean decrease in workload, worries, tension and harassment score and mean increase in Joy score is observed in the participants. Conclusion: The investigation on the effectiveness of Heartfulness Meditation as a mental and emotional support tool to deal with and to mitigate stress reveals positive results. Based on these results, it is evident that Heartfulness meditation can be employed as a coping mechanism to deal with stress in a clinical and learning environment. Given the adverse effects of stress on the physiological and psychological well-being of caregivers; Heartfulness Meditation may be considered for inclusion in the standard curriculum of nursing colleges.

  20. Mechanistic Pathways of Mindfulness Meditation in Combat Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

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    Wahbeh, Helané; Goodrich, Elena; Goy, Elizabeth; Oken, Barry S

    2016-04-01

    This study's objective was to evaluate the effect of two common components of meditation (mindfulness and slow breathing) on potential mechanistic pathways. A total of 102 combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were randomized to (a) the body scan mindfulness meditation (MM), (b) slow breathing (SB) with a biofeedback device, (c) mindful awareness of the breath with an intention to slow the breath (MM+SB), or (d) sitting quietly (SQ). Participants had 6 weekly one-on-one sessions with 20 minutes of daily home practice. The mechanistic pathways and measures were as follows: (a) autonomic nervous system (hyperarousal symptoms, heart rate [HR], and heart rate variability [HRV]); (b) frontal cortex activity (attentional network task [ANT] conflict effect and event-related negativity and intrusive thoughts); and (c) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (awakening cortisol). PTSD measures were also evaluated. Meditation participants had significant but modest within-group improvement in PTSD and related symptoms, although there were no effects between groups. Perceived impression of PTSD symptom improvement was greater in the meditation arms compared with controls. Resting respiration decreased in the meditation arms compared with SQ. For the mechanistic pathways, (a) subjective hyperarousal symptoms improved within-group (but not between groups) for MM, MM+SB, and SQ, while HR and HRV did not; (b) intrusive thoughts decreased in MM compared with MM+SB and SB, while the ANT measures did not change; and (c) MM had lower awakening cortisol within-group (but not between groups). Treatment effects were mostly specific to self-report rather than physiological measures. Continued research is needed to further evaluate mindfulness meditation's mechanism in people with PTSD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Determinants of meditation practice inventory: development, content validation, and initial psychometric testing.

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    Williams, Anna-Leila; Dixon, Jane; McCorkle, Ruth; Van Ness, Peter H

    2011-01-01

    Background Meditation health benefits have been difficult to document, as many efficacy studies are marred by lack of statistical power secondary to small sample size and/or threats to validity from high attrition. To date, no published studies have examined barriers to meditation that are likely responsible for low enrollment and high attrition. Objective To develop an instrument to capture barriers to meditation use, namely, the Determinants of Meditation Practice Inventory (DMPI). Design A five-step, mixed-methods approach was used, including literature review, qualitative interviews, content validation, reliability testing, and construct validation. Participants/Setting Four distinct participant groups contributed. Four meditation teachers participated in qualitative interviews. Five expert panelists conducted the content validation. Ten nonmeditators participated in the pilot test. For reliability testing and construct validation, 150 cancer family caregivers participated. Outcome Measures Big Five Inventory (BFI) and Caregiver Reactions Assessment (CRA) were used to test convergent construct validity. Results The three content domains are perceptions and misconceptions, pragmatic concerns, and sociocultural beliefs. Initially, 53 items were generated. Three reviews by the expert panel concluded with a 22-item survey. After pilot testing, a 17-item survey was created. Data from 150 caregivers showed Cronbach's coefficient alpha of 0.87. The intraclass correlation for baseline and retest was 0.86 (confidence interval 0.82-0.90). BFI and CRA were significantly and positively correlated with DMPI. Conclusion Preliminary results indicate the DMPI is psychometrically sound. By identifying barriers to meditation, the DMPI will enable researchers to address the needs and concerns of the target population when designing recruitment and intervention procedures, potentially maximizing recruitment, minimizing attrition, and optimizing interpretation of results.

  2. Meditation awareness training (MAT) for improved psychological well-being: a qualitative examination of participant experiences.

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    Shonin, Edo; Van Gordon, William; Griffiths, Mark D

    2014-06-01

    Mindfulness-based interventions are reported as being efficacious treatments for a variety of psychological and somatic conditions. However, concerns have arisen relating to how mindfulness is operationalized in mindfulness-based interventions and whether its 'spiritual essence' and full potential treatment efficacy have remained intact. This qualitative study used interpretative phenomenological analysis to examine participant experiences regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of a newly designed secularized intervention called meditation awareness training (MAT) that follows a more traditional Buddhist approach to meditation. Participants (with issues of stress and low mood) reported experiencing improvements in psychological well-being due to receiving MAT. The wider implications are discussed.

  3. Mindfulness meditation improves emotion regulation and reduces drug abuse.

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    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2016-06-01

    The core clinical symptoms of addiction include an enhanced incentive for drug taking (craving), impaired self-control (impulsivity and compulsivity), emotional dysregulation (negative mood) and increased stress reactivity. Symptoms related to impaired self-control involve reduced activity in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), adjacent prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and other brain areas. Behavioral training such as mindfulness meditation can increase the function of control networks including those leading to improved emotion regulation and thus may be a promising approach for the treatment of addiction. In a series of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), we tested whether increased ACC/mPFC activity is related to better self-control abilities in executive functions, emotion regulation and stress response in healthy and addicted populations. After a brief mindfulness training (Integrative Body-Mind Training, IBMT), we used the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Profile of Mood States (POMS) to measure emotion regulation, salivary cortisol for the stress response and fMRI for brain functional and DTI structural changes. Relaxation training was used to serve as an active control. In both smokers and nonsmokers, improved self-control abilities in emotion regulation and stress reduction were found after training and these changes were related to increased ACC/mPFC activity following training. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers showed reduced ACC/mPFC activity in the self-control network before training, and these deficits were ameliorated after training. These results indicate that promoting emotion regulation and improving ACC/mPFC brain activity can help for addiction prevention and treatment. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Tai Chi and meditation-plus-exercise benefit neural substrates of executive function: a cross-sectional, controlled study.

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    Hawkes, Teresa D; Manselle, Wayne; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2014-12-01

    We report the first controlled study of Tai Chi effects on the P300 event-related potential, a neuroelectric index of human executive function. Tai Chi is a form of exercise and moving meditation. Exercise and meditation have been associated with enhanced executive function. This cross-sectional, controlled study utilized the P300 event-related potential (ERP) to compare executive network neural function between self-selected long-term Tai Chi, meditation, aerobic fitness, and sedentary groups. We hypothesized that because Tai Chi requires moderate aerobic and mental exertion, this group would show similar or better executive neural function compared to meditation and aerobic exercise groups. We predicted all health training groups would outperform sedentary controls. Fifty-four volunteers (Tai Chi, n=10; meditation, n=16; aerobic exercise, n=16; sedentary, n=12) were tested with the Rockport 1-mile walk (estimated VO2 Max), a well-validated measure of aerobic capacity, and an ecologically valid visuo-spatial, randomized, alternating runs Task Switch test during dense-array electroencephalographic (EEG) recording. Only Tai Chi and meditation plus exercise groups demonstrated larger P3b ERP switch trial amplitudes compared to sedentary controls. Our results suggest long-term Tai Chi practice, and meditation plus exercise may benefit the neural substrates of executive function.

  5. Focused attention, open monitoring and automatic self-transcending: Categories to organize meditations from Vedic, Buddhist and Chinese traditions.

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    Travis, Fred; Shear, Jonathan

    2010-12-01

    This paper proposes a third meditation-category--automatic self-transcending--to extend the dichotomy of focused attention and open monitoring proposed by Lutz. Automatic self-transcending includes techniques designed to transcend their own activity. This contrasts with focused attention, which keeps attention focused on an object; and open monitoring, which keeps attention involved in the monitoring process. Each category was assigned EEG bands, based on reported brain patterns during mental tasks, and meditations were categorized based on their reported EEG. Focused attention, characterized by beta/gamma activity, included meditations from Tibetan Buddhist, Buddhist, and Chinese traditions. Open monitoring, characterized by theta activity, included meditations from Buddhist, Chinese, and Vedic traditions. Automatic self-transcending, characterized by alpha1 activity, included meditations from Vedic and Chinese traditions. Between categories, the included meditations differed in focus, subject/object relation, and procedures. These findings shed light on the common mistake of averaging meditations together to determine mechanisms or clinical effects. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The measurement of regional cerebral blood flow during the complex cognitive task of meditation: a preliminary SPECT study.

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    Newberg, A; Alavi, A; Baime, M; Pourdehnad, M; Santanna, J; d'Aquili, E

    2001-04-10

    This study measured changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during the complex cognitive task of meditation using single photon emission computed tomography. Eight experienced Tibetan Buddhist meditators were injected at baseline with 7 mCi HMPAO and scanned 20 min later for 45 min. The subjects then meditated for 1 h at which time they were injected with 25 mCi HMPAO and scanned 20 min later for 30 min. Values were obtained for regions of interest in major brain structures and normalized to whole brain activity. The percentage change between meditation and baseline was compared. Correlations between structures were also determined. Significantly increased rCBF (P<0.05) was observed in the cingulate gyrus, inferior and orbital frontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and thalamus. The change in rCBF in the left DLPFC correlated negatively (P<0.05) with that in the left superior parietal lobe. Increased frontal rCBF may reflect focused concentration and thalamic increases overall increased cortical activity during meditation. The correlation between the DLPFC and the superior parietal lobe may reflect an altered sense of space experienced during meditation. These results suggest a complex rCBF pattern during the task of meditation.

  7. The Ancient-Turned-New Concept of "Spiritual Hygiene": An Investigation of Media Coverage of Meditation from 1979 to 2014.

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    Lauricella, Sharon

    2016-10-01

    A spiritual-yet not religious-practice, meditation has been touted as beneficial to boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, alleviating migraines, and increasing gray matter in parts of the brain. While scientific research on meditation is beginning to quantify its benefits, there is increasing concern among the scientific community that news outlets glorify the potential benefits of meditation. This paper considers coverage of meditation in mainstream print media by analyzing 764 articles printed in English from worldwide media outlets from 1979 to 2014. Frame theory analysis is employed to better understand how meditation is presented in print media and how the perception of the practice is interpreted by readers. Results indicate that articles reflect the health and wellness challenges present in contemporary culture, together with a desire for personal relief from such issues. The paper suggests that the practice of meditation as "spiritual hygiene" is indicative of a sociocultural shift in which meditative techniques are becoming increasingly recognized, encouraged, and practiced.

  8. Long-term meditation training induced changes in the operational synchrony of default mode network modules during a resting state.

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    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Kallio-Tamminen, Tarja

    2016-02-01

    Using theoretical analysis of self-consciousness concept and experimental evidence on the brain default mode network (DMN) that constitutes the neural signature of self-referential processes, we hypothesized that the anterior and posterior subnets comprising the DMN should show differences in their integrity as a function of meditation training. Functional connectivity within DMN and its subnets (measured by operational synchrony) has been measured in ten novice meditators using an electroencephalogram (EEG) recording in a pre-/post-meditation intervention design. We have found that while the whole DMN was clearly suppressed, different subnets of DMN responded differently after 4 months of meditation training: The strength of EEG operational synchrony in the right and left posterior modules of the DMN decreased in resting post-meditation condition compared to a pre-meditation condition, whereas the frontal DMN module on the contrary exhibited an increase in the strength of EEG operational synchrony. These findings combined with published data on functional-anatomic heterogeneity within the DMN and on trait subjective experiences commonly found following meditation allow us to propose that the first-person perspective and the sense of agency (the witnessing observer) are presented by the frontal DMN module, while the posterior modules of the DMN are generally responsible for the experience of the continuity of 'I' as embodied and localized within bodily space. Significance of these findings is discussed.

  9. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Group Training in Aphasia: Exploring Attention, Language and Psychophysiological Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Rebecca Shisler; Laures-Gore, Jacqueline; Love, Kim

    2018-01-01

    Background: Stroke is currently the leading cause of long-term disability in adults in the United States. There is a need for accessible, low-cost treatments of stroke-related disabilities such as aphasia. Aims: To explore an intervention for aphasia utilizing mindfulness meditation (MM). This preliminary study examines the feasibility of teaching…

  10. Stress and Anxiety Management in Nursing Students: Biofeedback and Mindfulness Meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratanasiripong, Paul; Park, Janet F; Ratanasiripong, Nop; Kathalae, Duangrat

    2015-09-01

    The current study investigated the efficacy of two brief intervention programs-biofeedback and mindfulness meditation-on levels of state anxiety and perceived stress in second-year Thai nursing students as they began clinical training. Eighty-nine participants from a public nursing college in Thailand were randomly assigned to one of three groups: biofeedback group, mindfulness meditation group, or a control group. All participants were given pre- and postintervention surveys, which included demographic information; the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (State Anxiety Scale); and the Perceived Stress Scale. Findings indicated that biofeedback significantly reduced anxiety and maintained stress levels in nursing students. Mindfulness meditation similarly decreased anxiety levels, while also significantly lowering stress levels. The biofeedback group exhibited significant reduction in anxiety levels among the three groups at postintervention. Despite stressors and demands nursing students experience as they begin clinical practice, study findings support the use of biofeedback and mindfulness meditation interventions to assist nursing students in managing stress and anxiety. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  11. Taming the Anxious Mind: An 8-Week Mindfulness Meditation Group at a University Counseling Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Michael C.

    2006-01-01

    This article describes an eight-week mindfulness meditation-based group that took place at a university counseling center. The group is patterned after the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Group members are taught…

  12. The Theoretical and Empirical Basis for Meditation as an Intervention for PTSD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Ariel J.; Strauss, Jennifer L.; Bomyea, Jessica; Bormann, Jill E.; Hickman, Steven D.; Good, Raquel C.; Essex, Michael

    2012-01-01

    In spite of the existence of good empirically supported treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), consumers and providers continue to ask for more options for managing this common and often chronic condition. Meditation-based approaches are being widely implemented, but there is minimal research rigorously assessing their effectiveness.…

  13. Psychotherapeutic Effects of Transcendental Meditation with Controls for Expectation of Relief and Daily Sitting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jonathan C.

    1976-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to isolate the trait-anxiety-reducing effects of transcendental meditation (TM) from expectation of relief and the concomitant ritual of sitting twice daily. The results strongly support the conclusion that the crucial therapeutic component of TM is not the TM exercise. (Author)

  14. Participant Characteristics and the Effects of Two Types of Meditation versus Quiet Sitting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fling, Sheila; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Compared restricted and expanded awareness types of meditation with quiet sitting, and controls. All groups except controls became less anxious, more intuitive, and more internal on locus of control. Found little evidence of differential change across groups. Those practicing more showed more anxiety reduction. (JAC)

  15. An Examination of the Impact of a College Level Meditation Course on College Student Well Being

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Claire; Munk, Dana

    2017-01-01

    Statement of the Problem: The competing pressures of college life can increase stress and anxiety in college students and have negative outcomes on academic performance and overall well-being. The purpose of this study was to use qualitative measures to examine how participation in a college level experiential meditation course impacted students'…

  16. Personality Correlates of Continuation and Outcome in Meditation and Erect Sitting Control Treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jonathan C.

    1978-01-01

    Anxious college students were assigned to transcendental meditation (TM) and a control treatment. Demographic and pretest personality variables were correlated with continuation in treatment. The TM dropout was more disturbed and less self-critical than the person who continued. Differing treatment rationales rendered the treatments effective for…

  17. Effectiveness of traditional meditation retreats: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoury, Bassam; Knäuper, Bärbel; Schlosser, Marco; Carrière, Kimberly; Chiesa, Alberto

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of studies are investigating traditional meditation retreats. Very little, however, is known about their effectiveness. To evaluate the effectiveness of meditation retreats on improving psychological outcomes in general population. A systematic review of studies published in journals or as dissertations in PSYCINFO, PUBMED, CINAHL or Web of Science from the first available date until October 22, 2016. A total of 20 papers (21 studies, N=2912) were included. Effect-size estimates of outcomes combined suggested that traditional meditation retreats are moderately effective in pre-post analyses (n=19; Hedge's g=0.45; 95% CI [0.35, 0.54], pmeditation styles. Results suggested large effects on measures of anxiety, depression and stress, and moderate effects on measures of emotional regulation and quality of life. As to potential mechanisms of actions, results showed large effects on measures of mindfulness and compassion, and moderate effects on measures of acceptance. In addition, changes in mindfulness levels strongly moderated clinical effect sizes. However, heterogeneity was significant among trials, probably due to differences in study designs, types and duration of the retreats and assessed outcomes, limiting therefore the implications of the results. Meditation retreats are moderately to largely effective in reducing depression, anxiety, stress and in ameliorating the quality of life of participants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Reiterated Concerns and Further Challenges for Mindfulness and Meditation Research: A Reply to Davidson and Dahl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dam, Nicholas T; van Vugt, Marieke K; Vago, David R; Schmalzl, Laura; Saron, Clifford D; Olendzki, Andrew; Meissner, Ted; Lazar, Sara W; Gorchov, Jolie; Fox, Kieran C R; Field, Brent A; Britton, Willoughby B; Brefczynski-Lewis, Julie A; Meyer, David E

    2018-01-01

    In response to our article, Davidson and Dahl offer commentary and advice regarding additional topics crucial to a comprehensive prescriptive agenda for future research on mindfulness and meditation. Their commentary raises further challenges and provides an important complement to our article. More consideration of these issues is especially welcome because limited space precluded us from addressing all relevant topics. While we agree with many of Davidson and Dahl's suggestions, the present reply (a) highlights reasons why the concerns we expressed are still especially germane to mindfulness and meditation research (even though those concerns may not be entirely unique) and (b) gives more context to other issues posed by them. We discuss special characteristics of individuals who participate in mindfulness and meditation research and focus on the vulnerability of this field inherent in its relative youthfulness compared to other more mature scientific disciplines. Moreover, our reply highlights the serious consequences of adverse experiences suffered by a significant subset of individuals during mindfulness and other contemplative practices. We also scrutinize common contemporary applications of mindfulness and meditation to illness, and some caveats are introduced regarding mobile technologies for guidance of contemplative practices.

  19. A computational model of focused attention meditation and its transfer to a sustained attention task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moye, Amir Sep; van Vugt, Marieke; van Vugt, Marieke K; Banks, Adrian P; Kennedy, William G

    2017-01-01

    Although meditation and mindfulness practices are widely discussed and studied more and more in the scientific literature, there is little theory about the cognitive mechanisms that comprise it. Here we begin to develop such a theory by creating a computational cognitive model of a particular type

  20. A Study on the Effects of Meditation on Anxiety and Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Önem, E. E.

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to find whether meditation can be effective in terms of anxiety and vocabulary learning in a foreign language learning context. To test this, an experimental pre-test and post-test study was designed. 61 students (14 male-47 female) from the English Language Teaching Department of a state university in Turkey were assigned into…

  1. The Dream Catcher Meditation: a therapeutic technique used with American Indian adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, R

    2001-01-01

    This article describes a short-term treatment insight-oriented model for American Indian adolescents, called Dream Catcher Meditation. It is aimed at helping clients' express unconscious conflicts and to facilitate differentiation and healthy mutuality. Though its duration can vary, twelve sessions are outlined here. Session descriptions include goals and sample questions. Also included are anecdotal material and reflections about cultural relevancy.

  2. The Effects of Loving Kindness Meditation on Subjective Well-being in Healthy Young Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Mohamed, Ahmed dahir

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Citation: Mohamed, A. D., Zulkifli, N., Seal, D. Lewis, C. R. (2015). TheEfficacy of Loving Kindness Meditation on Measures ofSubjective Well-Being in Healthy Young Adults: Preliminary Data. 2015Mindfulness Research Conference, Center for Child & Family Well-Being, University ofWashington. 17-18 April 2015.  

  3. Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjorback, Lone; Walach, Harald

    2012-01-01

    This article systematically reviews the evidence for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and analyses the conditions around their rising popularity. MBSR, MBCT and Mindfulness Meditation were used as key words. The inclusion criteria were...... popularity. We discuss the cultural and theoretical implications....

  4. Meditation as a Protective Factor Against Suicide In the US Army

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-09

    assisting with the treatment of psychological disorders, and promoting general health. This paper discusses and explores the research behind suicide...assisting with the treatment of psychological disorders, and promoting general health. This paper discusses and explores the research behind suicide...28 Psychological Disorders and Meditation

  5. Medical Students’ Stress Levels and Sense of Well Being after Six Weeks of Yoga and Meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lona Prasad

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To determine the effect of six weeks of yoga and meditation on medical students’ levels of perceived stress and sense of wellbeing prior to taking their exams. Methods. We conducted a prospective case-control study of first-through-third-year medical students at our academic institution, measuring levels of perceived stress and sense of wellbeing before and after a six-week yoga and meditation intervention. Questionnaires used for evaluation included the perceived stress scale (PSS and self-assessment surveys (SAS. The postintervention surveys were completed on the day of the students’ written exams. Results. A total of thirteen women and fourteen men participated. Median age was 28 (24 yrs–32 yrs. 48.1% were Caucasian, 7.4% Black, 11.1% Hispanic, 11.1% Asian, and 22.2% other. Paired t-tests showed a statistically significant reduction in perceived stress (18.44 versus 14.52; p=0.004 after the six-week yoga and meditation program. After the yoga intervention, self-assessment survey results showed a significant improvement in feelings of peace, focus, and endurance. Improvements in happiness, positivity, personal satisfaction, and self-confidence were also seen. An improvement in unsubstantiated parameters such as patience and fatigue was observed. Conclusion. Yoga and meditation may be effective in reducing stress levels and improving aspects of personal wellbeing in medical students.

  6. A Comparison of Exercise and Meditation in Reducing Physiological Response to Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sime, Wesley E.

    The purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of brief treadmill exercise and meditation with a placebo-control treatment for reduction in several physiological and psychological measures of stress, anxiety, and tension before and after a written final examination in 48 high-test anxiety subjects. The subjects, 24 men and 24 women,…

  7. Effects of natural stress relief meditation on trait anxiety: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Fabrizio

    2007-08-01

    Natural Stress Relief meditation, a mental technique which is practiced for 15 minutes twice a day, aims to reduce stress and anxiety by eliciting a specific state of physiological rest along with mental alertness. The meditation is taught in a self-administered program, requiring one hour of training during the first three days, followed by the regular twice daily practice. Each 15-min. session consists in sitting quietly with closed eyes while applying a specific mental procedure. To test the effectiveness of meditation in reducing trait anxiety, Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was administered to 25 participants four times over a 3-wk. period: one week before starting to practice the meditation, a few hours before starting, 1 wk. after, and 2 wk. after. The difference in Trait Anxiety score between pretreatment and before starting the practice was not significant, while it was significant both after the first week of practice (Cohen d=.46) and after the first 2 wk. of practice (d=.67).

  8. Improvisation and Meditation in the Academy: Parallel Ordeals, Insights, and Openings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarath, Edward

    2015-01-01

    This article examines parallel challenges and avenues for progress I have observed in my efforts to introduce improvisation in classical music studies, and meditation in music and overall academic settings. Though both processes were once central in their respective knowledge traditions--improvisation in earlier eras of European classical music,…

  9. The Role of Perceived Stress and Health Beliefs on College Students' Intentions to Practice Mindfulness Meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizer, Carol Ann; Fagan, Mary Helen; Kilmon, Carol; Rath, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Background: Understanding why individuals decide to participate in mindfulness-based practices can aid in the development of effective health promotion outreach efforts. Purpose: This study investigated the role of health beliefs and perceived stress on the intention to practice mindfulness meditation among undergraduate college students. Methods:…

  10. Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Ma, Yinghua; Wang, Junhong; Fan, Yaxin; Feng, Shigang; Lu, Qilin; Yu, Qingbao; Sui, Danni; Rothbart, Mary K.; Fan, Ming; Posner, Michael I.

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that months to years of intensive and systematic meditation training can improve attention. However, the lengthy training required has made it difficult to use random assignment of participants to conditions to confirm these findings. This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of meditation practice with the integrative body–mind training method shows significantly better attention and control of stress than a similarly chosen control group given relaxation training. The training method comes from traditional Chinese medicine and incorporates aspects of other meditation and mindfulness training. Compared with the control group, the experimental group of 40 undergraduate Chinese students given 5 days of 20-min integrative training showed greater improvement in conflict scores on the Attention Network Test, lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, and higher vigor on the Profile of Mood States scale, a significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in immunoreactivity. These results provide a convenient method for studying the influence of meditation training by using experimental and control methods similar to those used to test drugs or other interventions. PMID:17940025

  11. Effects of Selected Meditative Asanas on Kinaesthetic Perception and Speed of Movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Kanwaljeet; Bal, Baljinder S.; Deol, Nishan S.

    2009-01-01

    Study aim: To assess the effects of selected meditative "asanas" on kinesthetic perception and movement speed. Material and methods: Thirty randomly selected male students aged 18-24 years volunteered to participate in the study. They were randomly assigned into two groups: A (medidative) and B (control). The Nelson's movement speed and…

  12. Mindfulness Meditation Training and Executive Control Network Resting State Functional Connectivity: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Creswell, J David

    Mindfulness meditation training has been previously shown to enhance behavioral measures of executive control (e.g., attention, working memory, cognitive control), but the neural mechanisms underlying these improvements are largely unknown. Here, we test whether mindfulness training interventions foster executive control by strengthening functional connections between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC)-a hub of the executive control network-and frontoparietal regions that coordinate executive function. Thirty-five adults with elevated levels of psychological distress participated in a 3-day randomized controlled trial of intensive mindfulness meditation or relaxation training. Participants completed a resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan before and after the intervention. We tested whether mindfulness meditation training increased resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) between dlPFC and frontoparietal control network regions. Left dlPFC showed increased connectivity to the right inferior frontal gyrus (T = 3.74), right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) (T = 3.98), right supplementary eye field (T = 4.29), right parietal cortex (T = 4.44), and left middle temporal gyrus (T = 3.97, all p work showing increased functional connectivity among brain regions associated with executive function during active meditation by identifying specific neural circuits in which rsFC is enhanced by a mindfulness intervention in individuals with high levels of psychological distress. Clinicaltrials.gov,NCT01628809.

  13. Pulling your self together: Meditation enhances the congruence between implicit and explicit self-esteem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koole, S.L.; Govorun, O.; Chang, C.

    2009-01-01

    Self-reported or explicit self-esteem frequently conflicts with indirectly assessed, implicit self-esteem. The present research investigated whether meditation may reduce such inner conflicts by promoting congruence between implicit and explicit self-esteem. Relative to control conditions,

  14. Recovering by Means of Meditation: The Role of Recovery Experiences and Intrinsic Motivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooff, M.L.M. van; Baas, M.

    2013-01-01

    The effectiveness of meditation as a tool to recover from stress has already been widely established. However, less is known about the potential psychological mediating and moderating mechanisms affecting its effectiveness. The present study aimed to advance insight in this respect by examining the

  15. Meditation and yoga practice are associated with smaller right amygdala volume: the Rotterdam study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.A. Gotink (Rinske); M.W. Vernooij (Meike); M.K. Ikram (Kamran); W.J. Niessen (Wiro); Krestin, G.P. (Gabriel P.); A. Hofman (Albert); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); M.G.M. Hunink (Myriam)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractTo determine the association between meditation and yoga practice, experienced stress, and amygdala and hippocampal volume in a large population-based study. This study was embedded within the population-based Rotterdam Study and included 3742 participants for cross-sectional

  16. The Effects of Behavior Therapy, Self-Relaxation, and Transcendental Meditation on Cardiovascular Stress Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puente, Antonio E.; Beiman, Irving

    1980-01-01

    Compared Behavior Therapy (BT), self-relaxation (SR), transcendental meditation (TM), and a waiting-list control group (WL) on measures of cardiovascular and subjective stress response. Results indicate that BT and SR were more effective than either TM or WL in reducing cardiovascular stress response. (Author)

  17. Physical activity, mindfulness meditation, or heart rate variability biofeedback for stress reduction: a randomized controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Zwan, J.E.; de Vente, W.; Huizink, A.C.; Bögels, S.M.; de Bruin, E.I.

    2015-01-01

    In contemporary western societies stress is highly prevalent, therefore the need for stress-reducing methods is great. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of self-help physical activity (PA), mindfulness meditation (MM), and heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) in reducing

  18. Meditation Lowers Stress and Supports Forgiveness among College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oman, Doug; Shapiro, Shauna L.; Thoresen, Carl E.; Plante, Thomas G.; Flinders, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Objective and Participants: The authors evaluated the effects on stress, rumination, forgiveness, and hope of two 8-week, 90-min/wk training programs for college undergraduates in meditation-based stress-management tools. Methods: After a pretest, the authors randomly allocated college undergraduates to training in mindfulness-based stress…

  19. Observing the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Meditation on Anxiety and Depression in Chronic Pain Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rod, Kim

    2015-09-01

    People whose chronic pain limits their independence are especially likely to become anxious and depressed. Mindfulness training has shown promise for stress-related disorders. Chronic pain patients who complained of anxiety and depression and who scored higher than moderate in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) as well as moderate in Quality of Life Scale (QOLS) were observed for eight weeks, three days a week for an hour of Mindfulness Meditation training with an hour daily home Mindfulness Meditation practice. Pain was evaluated on study entry and completion, and patients were given the Patients' Global Impression of Change (PGIC) to score at the end of the training program. Forty-seven patients (47) completed the Mindfulness Meditation Training program. Over the year-long observation, patients demonstrated noticeable improvement in depression, anxiety, pain, and global impression of change. Chronic pain patients who suffer with anxiety and depression may benefit from incorporating Mindfulness Meditation into their treatment plans.

  20. Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Ma, Yinghua; Wang, Junhong; Fan, Yaxin; Feng, Shigang; Lu, Qilin; Yu, Qingbao; Sui, Danni; Rothbart, Mary K; Fan, Ming; Posner, Michael I

    2007-10-23

    Recent studies suggest that months to years of intensive and systematic meditation training can improve attention. However, the lengthy training required has made it difficult to use random assignment of participants to conditions to confirm these findings. This article shows that a group randomly assigned to 5 days of meditation practice with the integrative body-mind training method shows significantly better attention and control of stress than a similarly chosen control group given relaxation training. The training method comes from traditional Chinese medicine and incorporates aspects of other meditation and mindfulness training. Compared with the control group, the experimental group of 40 undergraduate Chinese students given 5 days of 20-min integrative training showed greater improvement in conflict scores on the Attention Network Test, lower anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue, and higher vigor on the Profile of Mood States scale, a significant decrease in stress-related cortisol, and an increase in immunoreactivity. These results provide a convenient method for studying the influence of meditation training by using experimental and control methods similar to those used to test drugs or other interventions.

  1. The Use of Meditation in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratter, Jonathan; Hogan, John D.

    A total of 24 children, meeting several criteria for being diagnosed as having an attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, were selected for study. Children were assigned to one of three conditions: a meditation-training group, a progressive-muscle-relaxation group, or a waiting-list control group. Subjects in the training groups were seen…

  2. Pranayama Meditation (Yoga Breathing) for Stress Relief: Is It Beneficial for Teachers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepburn, Stevie-Jae; McMahon, Mary

    2017-01-01

    The effects of stress can have a significant impact on an individual's personal life, relationship with colleagues, job satisfaction and career prospects. If unmanaged, stress can be the trigger that drives talented, motivated teachers out of our classrooms and into other professions. Yoga and meditation have been prescribed as a form of…

  3. The Effect of Three Different Meditation Exercises on Hypertension: A Network Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongchang Yang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to use the pairwise and network meta-analysis to estimate the effects of different meditation exercises on the control of systolic blood pressure (SBP and diastolic blood pressure (DBP. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs were retrieved from PubMed and Embase up to June 2016, which are published in English and reported on meditation exercise for hypertensive patients. Risks of bias assessment of the included studies were assessed by Cochrane Collaboration Recommendations and network meta-analysis was performed by ADDIS. Mean difference (MD and its 95% confidence interval (CI were used as the effect size. A number of 19 RCTs were included in this study. Results of pairwise comparisons indicated that meditation exercise could significantly decrease the SBP and DBP, compared with other interventions (MD = −7.10, 95% CI: −10.82 to −3.39; MD = −4.02, 95% CI: −6.12 to −1.92. With good consistence and convergence, network meta-analysis showed that there were no significant differences between meditation and other interventions on SBP. For DBP, Qigong was significantly lower than “no intervention” (MD = −11.73, 95% CI: −19.85 to −3.69. Qigong may be the optimal exercise way in lowering SBP and DBP of hypertensive patients, but a detailed long-term clinical research should be needed in the future.

  4. More meditation, less habituation? The effect of mindfulness practice on the acoustic startle reflex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Antonova

    Full Text Available Mindfulness as a mode of sustained and receptive attention promotes openness to each incoming stimulus, even if repetitive and/or aversive. Mindful attention has been shown to attenuate sensory habituation in expert meditators; however, others were not able to replicate this effect. The present study used acoustic startle reflex to investigate the effect of mindfulness practice intensity on sensory habituation.Auditory Startle Response (ASR to 36 startling probes (12 trials x 3 block with 40 ms inter-block intervals, was measured using electromyography (EMG in three groups of participants (N = 12/group: meditation-naïve, moderate practice, and intensive practice.Intensive practice group showed attenuated startle habituation as evidenced by significantly less habituation over the entire experiment relative to the meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups. Furthermore, there was a significant linear effect showing between-block habituation in meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups, but not in the intensive practice group. However, the Block x Group interaction between the intensive practice and the meditation-naive groups was not significant. Moderate practice group was not significantly different from the meditation-naïve in the overall measure of habituation, but showed significantly stronger habituation than both meditation-naïve and intensive practice groups in Block 1. Greater practice intensity was significantly correlated with slower overall habituation and habituation rate in Blocks 2 and 3 in the intensive, but not in the moderate, practice group.The study provides tentative evidence that intensive mindfulness practice attenuates acoustic startle habituation as measured by EMG, but the effect is modest.Moderate practice, on the other hand, appears to enhance habituation, suggesting the effect of mindfulness practice on startle habituation might be non-linear [corrected] . Better understanding of the effect of mindful

  5. Complex integrated method of dynamic meditation with Buddhists’ breathing in case of neurotic reactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.I. Omelyanenko

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to elaborate complex integrated method of psychological influence upon sport dancers in time of training on base of Buddhists’ meditation “conscious breathing” for neurotic reactions elimination, professional skill improvement and psycho emotional stability advance. Material : twenty dancers at the age of 40-50 with neurotic reactions participated in the research. At the first stage of the research all the subjects’ ability to focus attention at breathing during sports dancing performance was examined. At the second stage training in method of dynamic meditation applied for martial arts of the experimental group of 10 subjects was conducted. Both individual and group training sessions were held. At the third stage the experimental group joined dynamic meditation and breathing at dance performance. At the fourth stage the experimental group’s results were compared with the control group’s results. Results : at the first stage of the research all the subjects noted difficulties in focusing attention on Buddhists’ nasal breathing and dance technique come-down. 3-5 sessions of training in method of dynamic meditation were necessary for the subjects of the experimental group at the second stage of the research. At the third stage of the research all the subjects of the experimental group could control their nasal breathing at dance performance without dance technique come-down. At the fourth stage the comparative evaluation of the results of the experimental and control groups revealed that it was necessary 3-7 sport dance practice sessions for elimination of the neurotic reactions. No such effect was observed in the control group. Conclusions : The results of the research prove that Buddhists’ meditation “conscious breathing” may be joined with dynamic meditation successfully. It’s impossible to focus attention continuously on breathing at time of sport dance performance. The elaborated technique of the integration of

  6. Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga and Meditation Retreat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Rael Cahn

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Thirty-eight individuals (mean age: 34.8 years old participating in a 3-month yoga and meditation retreat were assessed before and after the intervention for psychometric measures, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, circadian salivary cortisol levels, and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Participation in the retreat was found to be associated with decreases in self-reported anxiety and depression as well as increases in mindfulness. As hypothesized, increases in the plasma levels of BDNF and increases in the magnitude of the cortisol awakening response (CAR were also observed. The normalized change in BDNF levels was inversely correlated with BSI-18 anxiety scores at both the pre-retreat (r = 0.40, p < 0.05 and post-retreat (r = 0.52, p < 0.005 such that those with greater anxiety scores tended to exhibit smaller pre- to post-retreat increases in plasma BDNF levels. In line with a hypothesized decrease in inflammatory processes resulting from the yoga and meditation practices, we found that the plasma level of the anti-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-10 was increased and the pro-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-12 was reduced after the retreat. Contrary to our initial hypotheses, plasma levels of other pro-inflammatory cytokines, including Interferon Gamma (IFN-γ, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α, Interleukin-1β (IL-1β, Interleukin-6 (IL-6, and Interleukin-8 (IL-8 were increased after the retreat. Given evidence from previous studies of the positive effects of meditative practices on mental fitness, autonomic homeostasis and inflammatory status, we hypothesize that these findings are related to the meditative practices throughout the retreat; however, some of the observed changes may also be related to other aspects of the retreat such as physical exercise-related components of the yoga practice and diet. We hypothesize that the patterns of change observed here reflect mind-body integration and well-being. The increased BDNF levels

  7. Mindfulness meditation regulates anterior insula activity during empathy for social pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laneri, Davide; Krach, Sören; Paulus, Frieder M; Kanske, Philipp; Schuster, Verena; Sommer, Jens; Müller-Pinzler, Laura

    2017-08-01

    Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, promote health, and well-being, as well as to increase compassionate behavior toward others. It reduces distress to one's own painful experiences, going along with altered neural responses, by enhancing self-regulatory processes and decreasing emotional reactivity. In order to investigate if mindfulness similarly reduces distress and neural activations associated with empathy for others' socially painful experiences, which might in the following more strongly motivate prosocial behavior, the present study compared trait, and state effects of long-term mindfulness meditation (LTM) practice. To do so we acquired behavioral data and neural activity measures using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an empathy for social pain task while manipulating the meditation state between two groups of LTM practitioners that were matched with a control group. The results show increased activations of the anterior insula (AI) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as well as the medial prefrontal cortex and temporal pole when sharing others' social suffering, both in LTM practitioners and controls. However, in LTM practitioners, who practiced mindfulness meditation just prior to observing others' social pain, left AI activation was lower and the strength of AI activation following the mindfulness meditation was negatively associated with trait compassion in LTM practitioners. The findings suggest that current mindfulness meditation could provide an adaptive mechanism in coping with distress due to the empathic sharing of others' suffering, thereby possibly enabling compassionate behavior. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4034-4046, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. The experience of transcendental meditation in middle school students: a qualitative report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosaen, Cara; Benn, Rita

    2006-01-01

    Transcendental Meditation (TM), a sitting meditation technique designed to quiet the mind and induce physical and mental relaxation, has been widely studied in adults. Our objective was to explore systematically the first-person experience of young adolescents who practice TM. A descriptive, qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Middle school setting. Participants included 10 seventh grade students who have practiced TM for a one-year period of time. Themes described by students resulting from meditation included the following: (1) an increasing state of restful alertness; (2) improvement in skills indicative of emotional intelligence (self-control, self-reflection/awareness, and flexibility in emotional response); and (3) improvement in academic performance. The state of restful alertness induced by meditation appeared central to facilitating growth in social-emotional capacities, academic performance, and flexibility in emotional response. The inner state of restful alertness provided students with greater capacity to expand their ways of looking inwardly at themselves and their relationships with others (emotional intelligence) as well as focusing their attention on controlling their behavior and keeping on task in school. Students described beneficial effects of TM: an increased state of restful alertness and greater capacity for self-reflection, self-control, and flexibility as well as improved academic performance. The state of restful alertness induced by meditation may facilitate the growth of social-emotional capacities necessary for regulating the emotional labiality and interpersonal stress of adolescence. Future empirical validation is needed to analyze systematically the impact of this practice on students' social-emotional and cognitive development and to determine whether its practice can serve as a protective function for helping students successfully meet the challenges of adolescence.

  9. Quantitative assessment of Heart Rate Dynamics during meditation: An ECG based study with Multi-fractality and visibility graph

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirban eBhaduri

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Abstract: The cardiac dynamics during meditation is explored quantitatively with two chaos-based non-linear techniques viz. multi-fractal detrended fluctuation analysis and visibility network analysis techniques. The data used are the instantaneous heart rate (in beats/minute of subjects performing Kundalini Yoga and Chi meditation from PhysioNet. The results show consistent differences between the quantitative parameters obtained by both the analysis techniques. This indicates an interesting phenomenon of change in the complexity of the cardiac dynamics during meditation supported with quantitative parameters.The results also produce a preliminary evidence that these techniques can be used as a measure of physiological impact on subjects performing meditation.

  10. New beginnings: evidence that the meditational regimen can lead to optimization of perception, attention, cognition, and other functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushell, William C

    2009-08-01

    A "framework" is presented for understanding empirically confirmed and unconfirmed phenomena in the Indo-Tibetan meditation system, from an integrative perspective, and providing evidence that certain meditative practices enable meditators to realize the innate human potential to perceive light "at the limits imposed by quantum mechanics," on the level of individual photons. This is part of a larger Buddhist agenda to meditatitively develop perceptual/attentional capacities to achieve penetrating insight into the nature of phenomena. Such capacities may also allow advanced meditators to perceive changes in natural scenes that are "hidden" from persons with "normal" attentional capacities, according to research on "change blindness," and to enhance their visual system functioning akin to high-speed and time-lapse photography, in toto allowing for the perception, as well as sophisticated understanding, of the "moment to moment change or impermanence" universally characteristic of the phenomenal world but normally outside untrained attention and perception according to Buddhist doctrine.

  11. Brain Changes in Long-Term Zen Meditators Using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Controlled Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayed, Nicolás; Lopez del Hoyo, Yolanda; Andres, Eva; Serrano-Blanco, Antoni; Bellón, Juan; Aguilar, Keyla; Cebolla, Ausias; Garcia-Campayo, Javier

    2013-01-01

    Introduction This work aimed to determine whether 1H magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are correlated with years of meditation and psychological variables in long-term Zen meditators compared to healthy non-meditator controls. Materials and Methods Design. Controlled, cross-sectional study. Sample. Meditators were recruited from a Zen Buddhist monastery. The control group was recruited from hospital staff. Meditators were administered questionnaires on anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment and mindfulness. 1H-MRS (1.5 T) of the brain was carried out by exploring four areas: both thalami, both hippocampi, the posterior superior parietal lobule (PSPL) and posterior cingulate gyrus. Predefined areas of the brain were measured for diffusivity (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) by MR-DTI. Results Myo-inositol (mI) was increased in the posterior cingulate gyrus and Glutamate (Glu), N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and N-acetyl-aspartate/Creatine (NAA/Cr) was reduced in the left thalamus in meditators. We found a significant positive correlation between mI in the posterior cingulate and years of meditation (r = 0.518; p = .019). We also found significant negative correlations between Glu (r = −0.452; p = .045), NAA (r = −0.617; p = .003) and NAA/Cr (r = −0.448; P = .047) in the left thalamus and years of meditation. Meditators showed a lower Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) in the left posterior parietal white matter than did controls, and the ADC was negatively correlated with years of meditation (r = −0.4850, p = .0066). Conclusions The results are consistent with the view that mI, Glu and NAA are the most important altered metabolites. This study provides evidence of subtle abnormalities in neuronal function in regions of the white matter in meditators. PMID:23536796

  12. Advantage of meditation over exercise in reducing cold and flu illness is related to improved function and quality of life

    OpenAIRE

    Obasi, Chidi N.; Brown, Roger; Ewers, Tola; Barlow, Shari; Gassman, Michele; Zgierska, Aleksandra; Coe, Christopher L.; Barrett, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Obasi et?al. (2012) Advantage of meditation over exercise in reducing cold and flu illness is related to improved function and quality of life. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 00(0), 00?00. Purpose? To examine whether apparent advantages following training in meditation over exercise can be attributed to specific symptoms, functional impairments, or quality?of?life indicators assessed by the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS?24). Methods? Res...

  13. Efficacy of Rajayoga Meditation on Positive Thinking: An Index for Self-Satisfaction and Happiness in Life

    OpenAIRE

    M.G., Ramesh; B., Sathian; E., Sinu; S. Rai, Kiranmai

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Psychological studies have shown that brief period of mindfulness meditation significantly improves critical cognitive skills. But, there are no studies which have assessed the effects of Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga Meditation (BKRM) practice on positive thinking and happiness in life. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis is BKRM enhances positive thinking and that essential to attain higher levels of self-satisfaction and happiness in life.

  14. Alterations in Resting-State Functional Connectivity Link Mindfulness Meditation With Reduced Interleukin-6: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, J David; Taren, Adrienne A; Lindsay, Emily K; Greco, Carol M; Gianaros, Peter J; Fairgrieve, April; Marsland, Anna L; Brown, Kirk Warren; Way, Baldwin M; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness meditation training interventions have been shown to improve markers of health, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not known. Building on initial cross-sectional research showing that mindfulness meditation may increase default mode network (DMN) resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) with regions important in top-down executive control (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [dlPFC]), here we test whether mindfulness meditation training increases DMN-dlPFC rsFC and whether these rsFC alterations prospectively explain improvements in interleukin (IL)-6 in a randomized controlled trial. Stressed job-seeking unemployed community adults (n = 35) were randomized to either a 3-day intensive residential mindfulness meditation or relaxation training program. Participants completed a 5-minute resting-state scan before and after the intervention program. Participants also provided blood samples at preintervention and at 4-month follow-up, which were assayed for circulating IL-6, a biomarker of systemic inflammation. We tested for alterations in DMN rsFC using a posterior cingulate cortex seed-based analysis and found that mindfulness meditation training, and not relaxation training, increased posterior cingulate cortex rsFC with left dlPFC (p mindfulness meditation training improvements in IL-6 at 4-month follow-up. Specifically, these alterations in rsFC statistically explained 30% of the overall mindfulness meditation training effects on IL-6 at follow-up. These findings provide the first evidence that mindfulness meditation training functionally couples the DMN with a region known to be important in top-down executive control at rest (left dlPFC), which, in turn, is associated with improvements in a marker of inflammatory disease risk. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Mindfulness meditation and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship: A small-scale exploration of therapists' experiences using grounded theory methods

    OpenAIRE

    Millon, G.; Halewood, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Difficulties with containing or processing emotions brought up in the countertransference response have long been understood as having the potential to cause a rupture in the therapeutic relationship, often with damaging results for the client. As increasing numbers of psychotherapists are becoming interested in mindfulness meditation, and as evidence is building to suggest that mindfulness meditation is an effective way of relating to one's thoughts and emotions in a non-judgemen...

  16. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Tong Len Meditation Practice in Cancer Patients: Evaluation of a Distant Psychological Healing Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaro, Gioacchino; Pandolfi, Paolo; Collina, Natalina; Frezza, Giovanni; Brandes, Alba; Galli, Margherita; Avventuroso, Federica Marzocchi; De Lisio, Sara; Musti, Muriel Assunta; Franceschi, Enrico; Esposti, Roberta Degli; Lombardo, Laura; Cavallo, Giovanna; Di Battista, Monica; Rimondini, Simonetta; Poggi, Rosalba; Susini, Cinzia; Renzi, Rina; Marconi, Linda

    2016-01-01

    Tong Len meditation is an important therapeutic tool in the Tibetan medicine, and it can be used for self-healing and/or to heal others. Currently, in the West, there is no scientific study concerning the efficacy of a Tong Len distant healing effect on psychological disorders in cancer patients. To evaluate a distant healing effect of Tong Len meditation on stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and self-perceived quality of life in cancer patients. These psychological objectives were chosen as a consequence of the limited scientific literature of present day. We performed a double-blind randomized controlled trial on 103 cancer patients with tumors. Overall, 12 meditators used Tong Len in aid of 52 patients randomly selected as experimental group, while the remaining 51 patients constituted the control group. Patients and meditators did not know each other. All patients completed profile of mood states (POMS) and European Quality of Life-5 dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaires before treatment (T0), after two (T1) and three months of treatment (T2), and one month after treatment cessation (T3). With regard to the parameters related to depression, a statistically significant improvement (P = .003) was observed in the treatment group compared to controls. On the other hand, the vigor/activity parameter saw significant improvements in the control group (P = .009). Both groups exhibited significant improvements in the other factors assessed in the POMS and EQ-5D questionnaires. This study did not provide sufficient evidence supporting an efficacy of Tong Len meditation in distant psychological healing as compared to a control condition. The research highlighted some psychological improvements through Tong Len distant meditation in a group of patients unknown to meditators. Therefore, the enhancement detected in most parameters in both treatment and control groups raises interest on in-depth analysis and evaluation of distant meditation on cancer patients to mitigate

  17. [Mind-body approach in the area of preventive medicine: focusing on relaxation and meditation for stress management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yunesik

    2010-09-01

    Emotional support and a stress management program should be simultaneously provided to clients as effective preventive services for healthy behavioral change. This study was conducted to review various relaxation and meditation intervention methods and their applicability for a preventive service program. The author of this paper tried to find various relaxation and meditation programs through a literature review and program searching and to introduce them. The 'Relaxation Response' and 'Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)' are the most the widely used meditative programs in mainstream medical systems. Abdominal breathing, Progressive Musclular Relaxation (PMR), Relaxative Imagery, Autogenic Training (AT) and Biofeedback are other well-known techniques for relaxation and stress management. I have developed and implemented some programs using these methods. Relaxation and meditation classes for cancer patients and a meditation based stress coping workshop are examples of this program. Relaxation and meditation seem to be good and effective methods for primary, secondary and tertiary preventive service programs. Program development and standardization and further study are needed for more and wider use of the mind-body approach in the preventive service area of medicine.

  18. Effects of long-term meditation practice on attentional biases towards emotional faces: An eye-tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlov, S V; Korenyok, V V; Reva, N V; Tumyalis, A V; Loktev, K V; Aftanas, L I

    2015-01-01

    Attentional biases towards affective stimuli reflect an individual balance of appetitive and aversive motivational systems. Vigilance in relation to threatening information reflects emotional imbalance, associated with affective and somatic problems. It is known that meditation practice significantly improves control of attention, which is considered to be a tool for adaptive emotional regulation. In this regard, the main aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of meditation on attentional bias towards neutral and emotional facial expressions. Eyes were tracked while 21 healthy controls and 23 experienced meditators (all males) viewed displays consisting of four facial expressions (neutral, angry, fearful and happy) for 10 s. Measures of biases in initial orienting and maintenance of attention were assessed. No effects were found for initial orienting biases. Meditators spent significantly less time viewing angry and fearful faces than control subjects. Furthermore, meditators selectively attended to happy faces whereas control subjects showed attentional biases towards both angry and happy faces. In sum we can conclude that long-term meditation practice adaptively affects attentional biases towards motivationally significant stimuli and that these biases reflect positive mood and predominance of appetitive motivation.

  19. Breathing meditation by medical students at Khon Kaen University: effect on psychiatric symptoms, memory, intelligence and academic achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paholpak, Suchat; Piyavhatkul, Nawanant; Rangseekajee, Poonsri; Krisanaprakornkit, Thawatchai; Arunpongpaisal, Suwanna; Pajanasoontorn, Niramol; Virasiri, Surapol; Singkornard, Jintana; Rongbudsri, Somchit; Udomsri, Chonnikarn; Chonprai, Chanatiporn; Unprai, Peerada

    2012-03-01

    To examine the short-term effects on fifth-year medical students of a 4-week, breathing meditation-based, stress reduction intervention on psychiatric symptoms, memory function, intelligence, and academic achievement. Using a randomized control trial, the meditation group practiced every 8.00 to 8.20 a.m. before beginning daily learning schedule. Meditation emphasized mindful awareness of the breath during inhaling and exhaling. The control group went about their normal activities in the other room. The psychiatric symptoms were measured using the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), the memory used the Wechsler Memory Scale-I (WMS-I), the intelligence used the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM), and the academic achievement used psychiatry course MCQ examination score. Analysis was done using Ancova statistic. Fifty-eight volunteer medical students during their psychiatry rotation between June 2008 and May 2009, were randomized into either in the meditation (n = 30) or the control (non-meditation) (n = 28) group. There was no significant difference between the groups in their respective SCL-90, WMS-I, APM, and psychiatry course MCQ examination score. Among normal, intelligent, mentally healthy persons, short-term breathing meditation practice will not likely change psychiatric symptoms, memory function, intellectual performance, and academic achievement.

  20. Pons to Posterior Cingulate Functional Projections Predict Affective Processing Changes in the Elderly Following Eight Weeks of Meditation Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Shao

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Evidence indicates meditation facilitates affective regulation and reduces negative affect. It also influences resting-state functional connectivity between affective networks and the posterior cingulate (PCC/precuneus, regions critically implicated in self-referential processing. However, no longitudinal study employing active control group has examined the effect of meditation training on affective processing, PCC/precuneus connectivity, and their association. Here, we report that eight-week meditation, but not relaxation, training ‘neutralized’ affective processing of positive and negative stimuli in healthy elderly participants. Additionally, meditation versus relaxation training increased the positive connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and the pons, the direction of which was largely directed from the pons to the PCC/precuneus, as revealed by dynamic causal modeling. Further, changes in connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and pons predicted changes in affective processing after meditation training. These findings indicate meditation promotes self-referential affective regulation based on increased regulatory influence of the pons on PCC/precuneus, which new affective-processing strategy is employed across both resting state and when evaluating affective stimuli. Such insights have clinical implications on interventions on elderly individuals with affective disorders.

  1. Changes in trait brainwave power and coherence, state and trait anxiety after three-month transcendental meditation (TM) practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomljenović, Helena; Begić, Dražen; Maštrović, Zora

    2016-03-01

    The amount of studies showing different benefits of practicing meditation is growing. EEG brainwave patterns objectively reflect both the cognitive processes and objects of meditation. This study aimed to examine the effects of transcendental meditation (TM) practice on baseline EEG brainwave patterns (outside of meditation) and to examine weather TM reduces state and trait anxiety. Standard EEG recordings were conducted on volunteer participants (N=12), all students or younger employed people, before and after a three-month meditation training. Artifact-free 100-second epochs were selected and analyzed by Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis. Endlers Multidimensional Anxiety Scales (EMAS) were used to assess anxiety levels. Power (μV(2)) and coherence levels were compared in the alpha, beta, theta and delta frequency band. Changes in EEG patterns after meditation practice were found mostly in the theta band. An interaction effect was found on the left hemisphere (pmeditation practice. Most of the changes were found in the occipital and temporal areas, less in the central and frontal areas. State anxiety decreased after TM practice. Findings suggest TM practice could be helpful in treating different kinds of disorders, especially anxiety disorders.

  2. Pons to Posterior Cingulate Functional Projections Predict Affective Processing Changes in the Elderly Following Eight Weeks of Meditation Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Robin; Keuper, Kati; Geng, Xiujuan; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-08-01

    Evidence indicates meditation facilitates affective regulation and reduces negative affect. It also influences resting-state functional connectivity between affective networks and the posterior cingulate (PCC)/precuneus, regions critically implicated in self-referential processing. However, no longitudinal study employing active control group has examined the effect of meditation training on affective processing, PCC/precuneus connectivity, and their association. Here, we report that eight-week meditation, but not relaxation, training 'neutralized' affective processing of positive and negative stimuli in healthy elderly participants. Additionally, meditation versus relaxation training increased the positive connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and the pons, the direction of which was largely directed from the pons to the PCC/precuneus, as revealed by dynamic causal modeling. Further, changes in connectivity between the PCC/precuneus and pons predicted changes in affective processing after meditation training. These findings indicate meditation promotes self-referential affective regulation based on increased regulatory influence of the pons on PCC/precuneus, which new affective-processing strategy is employed across both resting state and when evaluating affective stimuli. Such insights have clinical implications on interventions on elderly individuals with affective disorders. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The role of Rajyoga meditation for modulation of anxiety and serum cortisol in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery: A prospective randomized control study

    OpenAIRE

    Usha Kiran; Suruchi Ladha; Neeti Makhija; Poonam Malhotra Kapoor; Minati Choudhury; Sambhunath Das; Parag Gharde; Vishwas Malik; Balram Airan

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Rajyoga meditation is a form of mind body intervention that is promoted by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. This form of meditation can be easily performed without rituals or mantras and can be practiced anywhere at any time. The practice of Rajyoga meditation can have beneficial effects on modulating anxiety and cortisol level in patients undergoing major cardiac surgery. Materials and Methods: A prospective randomized control study was carried out in a single ter...

  4. Meditation-related activations are modulated by the practices needed to obtain it and by the expertise: an ALE meta-analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fregona, Sara; Skrap, Miran; Fabbro, Franco

    2012-01-01

    The brain network governing meditation has been studied using a variety of meditation practices and techniques practices eliciting different cognitive processes (e.g., silence, attention to own body, sense of joy, mantras, etc.). It is very possible that different practices of meditation are subserved by largely, if not entirely, disparate brain networks. This assumption was tested by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of meditation neuroimaging studies, which assessed 150 activation foci from 24 experiments. Different ALE meta-analyses were carried out. One involved the subsets of studies involving meditation induced through exercising focused attention (FA). The network included clusters bilaterally in the medial gyrus, the left superior parietal lobe, the left insula and the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG). A second analysis addressed the studies involving meditation states induced by chanting or by repetition of words or phrases, known as "mantra." This type of practice elicited a cluster of activity in the right SMG, the SMA bilaterally and the left postcentral gyrus. Furthermore, the last analyses addressed the effect of meditation experience (i.e., short- vs. long-term meditators). We found that frontal activation was present for short-term, as compared with long-term experience meditators, confirming that experts are better enabled to sustain attentional focus, rather recruiting the right SMG and concentrating on aspects involving disembodiment.

  5. Meditation related activations are modulated by the practices needed to obtain it and by the expertise:an ALE meta-analysis study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eTomasino

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The brain network governing meditation has been studied using a variety of meditation practices and techniques practices eliciting different cognitive processes (e.g., silence, attention to own body, sense of joy, mantras, etc.. It is very possible that different practices of meditation are subserved by largely, if not entirely, disparate brain networks. This assumption was tested by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE meta-analysis of meditation neuroimaging studies, which assessed 150 activation foci from 24 experiments. Different ALE meta-analyses were carried out. One involved the subsets of studies involving meditation induced through exercising focused attention. The network included clusters bilaterally in the medial gyrus, the left superior parietal lobe, the left insula and the right supramarginal gyrus. A second analysis addressed the studies involving meditation states induced by chanting or by repetition of words or phrases, known as ‘mantra’. This type of practice elicited a cluster of activity in the right supramarginal gyrus, the SMA bilaterally and the left postcentral gyrus. Furthermore, the last analyses addressed the effect of meditation experience (i.e., short- vs. long-term meditators. We found that frontal activation was present for short-term, as compared with long-term experience meditators, confirming that experts are better enabled to sustain attentional focus, rather recruiting the right supramarginal gyrus and concentrating on aspects involving disembodiment.

  6. Meditation-related activations are modulated by the practices needed to obtain it and by the expertise: an ALE meta-analysis study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fregona, Sara; Skrap, Miran; Fabbro, Franco

    2013-01-01

    The brain network governing meditation has been studied using a variety of meditation practices and techniques practices eliciting different cognitive processes (e.g., silence, attention to own body, sense of joy, mantras, etc.). It is very possible that different practices of meditation are subserved by largely, if not entirely, disparate brain networks. This assumption was tested by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of meditation neuroimaging studies, which assessed 150 activation foci from 24 experiments. Different ALE meta-analyses were carried out. One involved the subsets of studies involving meditation induced through exercising focused attention (FA). The network included clusters bilaterally in the medial gyrus, the left superior parietal lobe, the left insula and the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG). A second analysis addressed the studies involving meditation states induced by chanting or by repetition of words or phrases, known as “mantra.” This type of practice elicited a cluster of activity in the right SMG, the SMA bilaterally and the left postcentral gyrus. Furthermore, the last analyses addressed the effect of meditation experience (i.e., short- vs. long-term meditators). We found that frontal activation was present for short-term, as compared with long-term experience meditators, confirming that experts are better enabled to sustain attentional focus, rather recruiting the right SMG and concentrating on aspects involving disembodiment. PMID:23316154

  7. Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lone Overby Fjorback

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article systematically reviews the evidence for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT and analyses the conditions around their rising popularity. MBSR, MBCT and Mindfulness Meditation were used as key words. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials using the standard MBSR/MBCT program with a minimum of 33 participants. Twenty four studies were included. MBSR improved mental health in ten studies compared to waitlist control or treatment as usual. Moreover, MBSR was as efficacious as active control group in four studies, and showed a tendency over active control in one study. MBCT reduced the risk of depressive relapse in all five included studies. Evidence supports that MBSR improves mental health and MBCT prevents depressive relapse. It is interesting to observe that meditation based therapy programs are rapidly enjoying popularity. We discuss the cultural and theoretical implications.

  8. The Hold and Release Practice: A New Way into Meditation and Mindfulness

    OpenAIRE

    Cohen, E

    2015-01-01

    I initially developed the ‘Hold and Release Practice’ (HRP) whilst working with enhanced-care service users in the NHS and private practice (between 2005-2009). The HRP was subsequently developed and introduced to BA(Hons) Psychology & Society undergraduates between (2011-2014) and to Interdisciplinary Psychology MA students at Leeds Metropolitan University (2013-2014), and to over 100 participants at various ‘Yoga Manchester – Meditation for Beginners’ workshops (from 2013 onwards). More rec...

  9. Impact of Heartfulness Meditation on Reducing Stress in Nursing Students: A Prospective Observational Study

    OpenAIRE

    Raja Amarnath G; Raja Marimuthu S; Sugirtha Jenitha; Chitra Rajan; Sujatha Karumari; Swati Patel

    2018-01-01

    Objective: To study and assess the effectiveness of Heartfulness Meditation in reducing stress levels of nursing students in a learning environment. Methodology: A cross-sectional research designed using a standard Perceived Stress Questionnaire pertaining to the subjective perception of things in the learning and clinical environment leading to emotional stress such as workload, worries, tension, and harassment as well as joyful conditions. Overall 120 students from I, II and IV years of a p...

  10. Women Benefit More Than Men in Response to College-based Meditation Training

    OpenAIRE

    Rahil Rojiani; Juan F. Santoyo; Juan F. Santoyo; Hadley Rahrig; Harold D. Roth; Harold D. Roth; Willoughby B. Britton; Willoughby B. Britton

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: While recent literature has shown that mindfulness training has positive effects on treating anxiety and depression, there has been virtually no research investigating whether effects differ across genders—despite the fact that men and women differ in clinically significant ways. The current study investigated whether college-based meditation training had different effects on negative affect for men and women.Methods: Seventy-seven university students (36 women, age = 20.7 ± 3.0 y...

  11. Relationship between Meditative Practice and Self-Reported Mindfulness: The MINDSENS Composite Index

    OpenAIRE

    Soler, Joaquim; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Demarzo, Marcelo M. P.; Pascual, Juan C.; Baños, Rosa; García-Campayo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. the present study explores the ...

  12. Aromatherapy with two essential oils from Satureja genre and mindfulness meditation to reduce anxiety in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Soto-V?squez, Maril? Roxana; Alvarado-Garc?a, Pa?l Alan Arkin

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study was to verify whether association of aromatherapy with essential oils of Satureja brevicalyx or Satureja boliviana and mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety levels in humans. A randomized experimental trial was carried out with 108 participants who were divided into 6 groups, comprising a waiting list control group and five experimental groups. Aromatherapy was carried out by inhalation of essential oils while mindfulness intervention program was focused on “flow me...

  13. A Bottom up Initiative: Meditation & Mindfulness 'Eastern' Practices in the "Western" Academia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singla, Rashmi

    a case of bottom up initiative, where the students themselves have demanded inclusion of non- conventional psychosocial interventions illustrated by meditation and mindfulness as Eastern psychological practices, thus filling the gap related to the existential, spiritual approaches. The western...... course dynamic developed and the evaluation is to be delineated in the paper. In addition, both pedagogical psychological aspects and long term consequences of such initiatives are discussed. Lastly implications for future integration of knowledge in a globalised world are perspectivised through...

  14. Altered processing of self-related emotional stimuli in mindfulness meditators.

    OpenAIRE

    Lutz J; Brühl A B; Doerig N; Scheerer H; Achermann R; Weibel A; Jäncke L; Herwig U

    2016-01-01

    Mental health benefits of mindfulness techniques are thought to involve changes in self processing such as decreased attachment to the self higher self compassion and lower emotional reactivity to inner experience. However self related emotion processing in regular mindfulness practitioners is not extensively studied. In the current work we investigate differential neural and behavioral correlates of self criticism and self praise in 22 mid to long term mindfulness meditators (LTM) compared t...

  15. The neural mediators of kindness-based meditation: a theoretical model

    OpenAIRE

    Mascaro, Jennifer S.; Darcher, Alana; Negi, Lobsang T.; Raison, Charles L.

    2015-01-01

    Although kindness-based contemplative practices are increasingly employed by clinicians and cognitive researchers to enhance prosocial emotions, social cognitive skills, and well-being, and as a tool to understand the basic workings of the social mind, we lack a coherent theoretical model with which to test the mechanisms by which kindness-based meditation may alter the brain and body. Here, we link contemplative accounts of compassion and loving-kindness practices with research from social c...

  16. The neural mediators of kindness-based meditation: a theoretical model

    OpenAIRE

    Jennifer Streiffer Mascaro; Jennifer Streiffer Mascaro; Alana eDarcher; Lobsang Tenzin Negi; Charles eRaison; Charles eRaison

    2015-01-01

    Although kindness-based contemplative practices are increasingly employed by clinicians and cognitive researchers to enhance prosocial emotions, social cognitive skills, and well-being, and as a tool to understand the basic workings of the social mind, we lack a coherent theoretical model with which to test the mechanisms by which kindness-based meditation may alter the brain and body. Here we link contemplative accounts of compassion and loving-kindness practices with research from social co...

  17. Physical Activity, Mindfulness Meditation, or Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback for Stress Reduction: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

    van der Zwan, Judith Esi; de Vente, Wieke; Huizink, Anja C.; B?gels, Susan M.; de Bruin, Esther I.

    2015-01-01

    In contemporary western societies stress is highly prevalent, therefore the need for stress-reducing methods is great. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of self-help physical activity (PA), mindfulness meditation (MM), and heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) in reducing stress and its related symptoms. We randomly allocated 126 participants to PA, MM, or HRV-BF upon enrollment, of whom 76 agreed to participate. The interventions consisted of psycho-education and a...

  18. Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation for Primary School Children: Effects on Attention and Psychological Well-Being

    OpenAIRE

    Crescentini, Cristiano; Capurso, Viviana; Furlan, Samantha; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-01-01

    Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly being used as methods to promote psychological well-being of clinical and non-clinical adult populations. Much less is known, however, on the feasibility of these forms of mental training on healthy primary school students. Here, we tested the effects of a mindfulness-meditation training on a group of 16 healthy children within 7–8 years of age from an Italian primary school. An active control condition focused on emotion awareness was employed...

  19. Effects of a Mindfulness Meditation Course on Learning and Cognitive Performance among University Students in Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Ching, Ho-Hoi; Koo, Malcolm; Tsai, Tsung-Huang; Chen, Chiu-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness training has recently gained much research interest because of its putative benefits for both mental and physical health. However, little is available in its effects on Asian students. Therefore, a quasi-experimental pre/posttest design was used to assess the effects of a one-semester mindfulness meditation course in 152 first-year Taiwanese university students and compared with 130 controls. The Chinese version of the College Learning Effectiveness Inventory (CLEI) and a computer...

  20. Women Benefit More Than Men in Response to College-based Meditation Training

    OpenAIRE

    Rojiani, Rahil; Santoyo, Juan F.; Rahrig, Hadley; Roth, Harold D.; Britton, Willoughby B.

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: While recent literature has shown that mindfulness training has positive effects on treating anxiety and depression, there has been virtually no research investigating whether effects differ across genders—despite the fact that men and women differ in clinically significant ways. The current study investigated whether college-based meditation training had different effects on negative affect for men and women. Methods: Seventy-seven university students (36 women, age = 20.7 ± 3...