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November 29, 2014

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Focused attention and Open Awareness…personally I do agree,
this is the substance and intention of meditation.
In a 2011 study at Harvard University, researchers took people who never meditated before , and had them do short, daily sessions of meditation practices.
Then they scanned their brains and found the gray matter in the areas associated with wellbeing and compassion literally grew, while areas associated with stress literally shrank. Of course meditation practice helps not only prevention or improvement of depression, loneliness, anxiety, ,but also prevention of Alzheimer dementia and decrease of age -related cognitive decline. Mindfulness is linked to lower level of cortisol -the stress hormone.
Meditation also boosts self -Esteem, self control and performance.
There is no right or wrong method of meditation. The goal is to quiet the thinking process, and open the Awareness.

That “classification” does seem to cover all types of meditation (probably because the classification is so very broad?) : (a) structured (allegedly leading to Shunyata, to use Buddhist jargon) ; (b) open (allegedly leading to “insight”, again per Theravad terminology) ; and (c) some combination of classes a and b.

I’m no expert, but I’ve read the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, and I guess all 108 types there would answer to this classification.

What about these two, though (which occur to me quite at random, and perhaps there are more of these types that aren’t so easy to pigeonhole) :

(1) Traditional Christian prayer, as well as devotional chanting and singing per some other traditions (basically, full-on devotion—not mantra recitation per se, simply open-ended giving in to emotion/devotion by way of singing of heart-felt but extempore prayer or singing). [Perhaps this may not really qualify as meditation at all?]

(2) The Whirling-Dervish dance of the Sufis. [This certainly is formal meditation, sometimes allegedly leading to bliss/trance. No idea if it really does, but that can be said for all techniques. It does seem as “valid” a meditation form as any other.]

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