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  • Meditation

    Do we have any meditators on the board? Amongst such a crowd of switched-on neuronuts, I would expect so...

    Given the rather strong focus here on pain, factors contributing to pain, and the differences between pain and nociception, I think many here would find Vipassana meditation particularly interesting.

    So how about it - is anyone engaged in serious systematic training of attention, awareness, interoception, etc, and if so, which methods have you found the most beneficial, useful, or interesting and why?


  • #2
    Only during treatment.
    Diane
    www.dermoneuromodulation.com
    SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
    HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
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    @dfjpt
    SomaSimple on Facebook
    @somasimple

    "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

    “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

    “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

    "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

    "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

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    • #3
      Hello Simon, I started my interest in meditation when I was about 15 and have had various periods of regular practice, some courses,( TM, yoga) , most recently Vipassana (about 7 years ago). I'm not always keen to meditate as it interferes with swimming training and my other hobby, drinking coffee!
      :lightbulb vox clamantis in deserto

      Geoff Fisher
      Physiotherapist

      Comment


      • #4
        I am quite interested in meditation and more specifically the claims therein. I am extremely interested in the pursuit of understanding of self awareness through science. Recently Diane posted some fabulous info on the insula (did I get that right?) and its contribution to a sense of self, sense of awareness.

        I have heard it quoted or stated here before that there are no miracles or supernatural experiences, just stuff we don't understand yet.

        I have often wondered if the enlightened ones haven't inadvertently bunged up there computing systems by sitting still for so long or by a major tweaking event. If you read the the works of these people like U.G Krishnamurti, Jed Mckenna, Sri Nisargadatta, they'll tell you that having no sense of self doesn't work well in terms of getting along with others.

        Interested in where this thread goes
        Nathan

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        • #5
          Mindfullness

          Hi Simon,
          Our team teaches mindfullness meditation a la Jon Kabat-Zinn by occupational therapists and psychologists. It is 2/3s of what we do in our PMP which is 3rd wave CBT, ACT - acceptance and commitment therapy. Personally I do some mindfullness daily. As a parent of toddlers I find it helpful to be mindfull of my impatience.
          We find the term mindfullness, which is just meditation really, does not have the preconception and baggage that some people attatch to meditation.
          Personally I think that meditation is the most useful thing to do after understanding pain and graded exposure.
          Kind thoughts,
          Steve
          Peering over the shoulders of giants.

          Know pain. Know gain.

          Comment


          • #6
            I recently went to the Vipassana 10-day meditation course taught by S.N Goenka.
            You weren't allowed to talk or communicate in any otther way to other students during your stay. Every day consisted of about 10 hours of meditation. In my back I noticed persistent pain on and off nearly the whole course. But every once in awhile I was able to get rid of the pain or lessen the pain just by observing the painful spot without attachment to it. That was one of the most interesting experiences there.

            The course was completely free. You don't pay even for the food or accomodation.

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            • #7
              I spent some time practising mindfulness, ACT and CBT some years back out of curiosity more than anything else.

              Meditation is something I have never thought much about nor wanted to do; not sure why. Same with yoga - it just does not gel with me. However, I have been known to sit or lie very still and think of nothing but one sound for half an hour or more. My father used to call me off with the fairies, which annoyed me because I never saw any fairies.

              Perhaps the real difficulty I have with considering meditation and yoga is the class context - far too distracting.

              Nari

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              • #8
                meditation

                http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/bo...pagewanted=all

                I am very interested in attending the 10 day Vipassana course and knowing more about it. Tim Parks account is interesting . I had set myself a goal of doing it before 50 which will be a tall order ...
                I have done a good deal of meditation but find it difficult to shut of the critic within .......
                I think for the times we live in its almost imperative to do some kind of 'mindful' practice in whatever shape or form suits you . I found it allowed me to step back from the suffering at work and be more effective. The noticing of your own physiology -probably an improved intereoceptive awareness is something that is valuable in most areas of life I feel.

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                • #9
                  I did an independent study in undergraduate studies on meditation. practiced it during the semester, and on and off since. Tremendous benefits for myself that I still experience today. The course was 30 years ago...
                  Not every jab needs to be answered with a haymaker. - Rod Henderson

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                  • #10
                    In undergraduate I took a course on consciousness in which we had to meditate as well as write a journal about our experiences. It was a subjective, first person approach to exploring the nature and problem of consciousness.

                    One of the debates in the field of consciousness is whether first person, "subjective" observations of consciousness as well as thought experiments can tell us anything useful about the nature of the human experience; consciousness.

                    I believe that Susan Blackmore is an advocate of the importance of first person investigations including meditation.

                    In physical therapy school, we briefly touched upon Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness based stress reduction and the idea of a body scan.

                    I have some background personally in meditation through the consciousness course. I took yoga while playing football for the "physical" benefits of improving my flexibility, but was surprised by the profound mental effects and benefits of the practice. I was blessed to have had a very traditional instructor, which I enjoyed.

                    I view mindfulness based activities and approaches as interesting ways of changing (improving?) perception, acceptance, and mental state. Personally, I enjoy them. Scientifically, I think they are interesting areas of study. Some of the work that investigates the neural responses and brain activity of expert meditators and monks (>10,000 hours of practice) are fascinating. Like anything, if people believe in it enough, it has the potential to be life changing.

                    I do not have the reference off hand, but I believe there was a study comparing the neural responses of expert meditators vs. non-meditators. They set up a bell to ring a set time intervals (predictable). What they found is non-meditators neural response lowered as they (their nervous systems) habituated to the sensory input (as well as began to predict it I imagine), where-as the meditators had the exact same intensity of neural response throughout. Disclaimer: that is my remembrance of the study, and may be way off base.
                    Kyle Ridgeway, PT, DPT
                    PT Think Tank |@Dr_Ridge_DPT | Google+
                    "It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow." - Ralph Ellison

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                    • #11
                      I have been informally practicing mindfulness. And sporadically in the past formal meditation. For me a moving type of mindfulness is working best, along the vain of Zinn's work. Teach us to sit still by parks was what I sort of expect from the meditation community and I think it probably works for some, but it seemed to me that many accounts of retreats parallel a process that many people seem to go through as they age anyway. There is a documentary series called 7up or the up series that follows people every 7 years and they just released 56up. Haven't seen it yet but what I find interesting is how they all seem to mellow as they age, just a function of time. I think some of that gets attributed to meditation by some teachers (Jack Kornfield for example )

                      I think it does have value. I see literature that supports that, but I think it is pretty flexible in how it can be applied and I like the idea of shedding baggage which seems to collect around so many of these communities.

                      Would still like to go to a silent retreat someday though. More for the experience of it I guess.
                      Byron Selorme -SomaSimpleton and Science Based Yoga Educator
                      Shavasana Yoga Center

                      "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" Richard Feynman

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                      • #12
                        Meditation

                        Without meditation, Dynamic meditation ( with movement and sound) I would never have become a Physical Therapist. I was helped to befriend my body and start using it, through Dynamic meditation, meditative body therapy and dance meditation.
                        After practising that for nearly twenty years, I started studying PT.
                        It was a disaster. My approach to anything in life was open, receptive.
                        I had no goals and could not see any value in setting goals. (As I see you discuss in another thread here)
                        But I learned. Goalsetting.The really hard way. It took me ten years to finish my BSc.
                        I've worked some years as PT now, substituting.
                        And now I'm more or less forced to go on studying, because a BSc is not enough for a PT here in Stockholm anymore. I've worked and studied and now I am just studying, but behind my schedule.
                        And worn out.
                        Where did my receptivity and openess go?

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                        • #13


                          It's still in there - somewhere.
                          Life is so loaded with unnecessary stress, isn't it?

                          Part of me longs to go back to the good old days when we were just wordless primates grooming each other. I blame the stress on having developed language, which led to symbolism, which led to arguments and positions, and having to defend them. Along the way everything got more complicated and more hoops were added before anyone could attain the right to do anything.
                          Diane
                          www.dermoneuromodulation.com
                          SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
                          HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
                          Neurotonics PT Teamblog
                          Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
                          Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
                          @PainPhysiosCan
                          WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
                          @WCPTPTPN
                          Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

                          @dfjpt
                          SomaSimple on Facebook
                          @somasimple

                          "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                          “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                          “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                          "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                          "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No kidding. Finding receptivity again and again as it gets lost has been a surprise to me. I thought once you got it you had it.

                            I did realize you had to keep doing it over and over.
                            Byron Selorme -SomaSimpleton and Science Based Yoga Educator
                            Shavasana Yoga Center

                            "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" Richard Feynman

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you for the support.

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