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Thread: Meditation

  1. #41
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Shamatha (single-pointed concentration) and vipassana (non-judgmental awareness and observation of all thoughts and feelings - much easier when you've first used shamatha to quiet down your mind enough to notice each new thing and focus your attention on attention itself) are the two meditation forms I practise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    The opportunity cost for me is worth it. I get distracted easily and can get emotionally distraught easily. I plan to use it to help me with my focus and to facilitate calmness so that I can get things done. The things that distract me are a barrier to me getting things done. And I think you're only supposed to do it for like 20 mins at a time.
    There is some evidence that practice involving shamatha and vipassana ("mindfulness") could help these problems:

    (They don't use the words shamatha or vipassana but "mindfulness" is generally synonymous for vipassana, and shamatha precedes vipassana both traditionally and in the studies discussed below.)

    This paper explains why there is ample theoretical reason to test the effects of mindfulness on ADHD given what is known about the brains and cognitive and affective profiles of ADHD patients and the effects of meditation on the brain, cognition and affect.
    Meditation-Based Training

    This lady is a psychiatrist who was involved in the study below and runs a programme of mindfulness training for ADHD.
    Dr. Lidia Zylowska's website

    This one, like most preliminary studies, has no control group, so really just serves as a suggestion that it would be worth looking at further with rigorous, more conclusive studies (which in this case would probably involve using both groups given non-meditative relaxation methods and groups given no method as controls).
    Mindfulness Meditation Training in Adults and Adolescents With ADHD

    A more indepth look at the findings of the above study by a clinical psychologist.
    Mindfulness meditation for adults and teens with ADHD

    "The current findings support that a large portion of variability in trait mindfulness can be explained by ADHD status and personality traits of self-directedness and self-transcendence. It further suggests that interventions that increase mindfulness might improve symptoms of ADHD and increase self-directedness and/or self-transcendence."
    Mindfulness and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Small study of attention with non-ADHD group. Unlike the above study with people with ADHD, this study found that mindfulness meditation also improved working memory, not just sustained attention. The working memory deficit could be one aspect of ADHD that cannot be improved this way, or else the mindfulness programme used could have been in some way superior in the study of people without ADHD.
    The Impact of Intensive Mindfulness Training on Attentional Control, Cognitive Style, and Affect

    I recommend reading as much of the first paper as you can, but here are two paragraphs of interest:

    The two types of meditation may be linked to different systems of attention. Concentrative meditation has been linked to the orienting and conflict monitoring system, proposed by Posner and Petersen as the dorsal attention system, which is described as a voluntary attention system activated by presentation of cues indicating perceptual and response features of stimuli to which participants should direct their attention. In contrast, mindfulness meditation can be linked with the alerting system, or the ventral attention system, which is described as an alerting system that is activated during abrupt changes in sensory stimuli and detection of salient targets, especially when they are unexpected, are outside of the focus of attention, and have low probability of occurrence.

    That 'alerting system' is also problematic in ADHD:

    Some of the sustained attention problems among ADHD individuals may also be linked with deficits in alerting mechanisms, which are critical for normal cognitive functioning. Earlier work using spatial-orienting tasks suggested that ADHD individuals show difficulty in maintaining the alert state (sustained attention) in the absence of a warning signal. More recent studies using the Attentional Network Task (ANT) have replicated problems with alerting in ADHD, again mostly due to the inability of the individual to maintain the alert state when no warning signal was used. Other studies using tasks similar to ANT have also shown some evidence of abnormalities in alerting and/or executive control in ADHD in terms of slowed response times to abrupt visual cues, especially when faced with conflicting spatial cues.

    Anecdotally, I very much relate to what's described in that last paragraph. There's also evidence that people with ADHD (and the frequently comorbid borderline personality disorder - 60% of borderlines have a history of usually undiagnosed ADHD) have below average self-monitoring ability and subsequently inaccurate self-reporting (also suggested by that study of mindfulness levels found in ADHD adults linked to above). Teaching self-monitoring strategies improves attentiveness to task and productivity, according to a small study. Mindfulness is basically advanced self-monitoring, so it should be helpful too. This is what I've found. I'm getting better at noticing when my attention is moving or becoming split in the first place and noticing what triggered it (vipassana-related), and at peacefully acknowledging so, noting the task-irrelevance of the distraction, and returning focus with less fight-back from the distraction and discomfort (shamatha-related). The more quickly this all happens, the less I miss of what's going on around me in the process.

  2. #42
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    There are many books and websites offering instructions and tips for mindfulness meditation, but here's one I think is good for beginners:

    An Aussie mindfulness site

  3. #43
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    I overloaded my senses a little while ago... you may not believe it, but theres a limit to your absorbtion of information. My head felt crazy, then I discovered that meditation would help, and as victor mentioned earlier, I watched my thoughts until they slowed down. After that, I felt great... the idea is still with me now, and I can feel it's affect. a slower pace of thought has a much greater focus.
    5 3 9

  4. #44
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    I haven't found meditation to be useful. That's just me of course.

  5. #45
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    i never got anything out of meditating alone..mostly because i still need guidance, i think. that may sound like the opposite of meditation (which is usually associated with solitude), but i benefited from my martial arts teacher being around (he was knowledgeable with tai chi breathing exercises specifically). i always felt... what could best be described as... "electric jello" afterwards. it was a good feeling.

    otherwise, i feel like life can be meditative at any moment, but that's a type of meditation with different benefits.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    I've never really got meditation.

    I can more or less mute my thoughts on a whim and simply be, is that not what meditation is? Clearing one's mind to perhaps focus on a sensation, creative output, or nothing at all?

  7. #47
    Senior Member milkyway2's Avatar
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    I haven't really tried it other than in yoga class.

    I feel like there's always a voice in my head thinking stuff and even when I try to quiet it down it never shuts up.

    Maybe this is why I smoke pot, when I'm high feel like I can focus my mind on one thing at a time and my mind quiets down. And when I'm super baked I do almost feel like I'm thinking nothing at all..

    I really want to start meditating.

  8. #48
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    Default The Mantra

    I start my meditation by saying, "Intermingling the inner and the outer". And I keep on repeating this mantra.

    I begin with this mantra because it gives me direction. It gives me a way in which to go. It is also the way I want to go.

    So very soon I start to experience the intermingling of my inner and my outer. And very soon the words become unnecessary and a burden. So I let go the words. And there I am with my inner and outer mingling without any words - wordlessly.

    At this point I know precisely what I want to do, so I do it without any hesitation or thought. It may be simple as a shower or complex as a dance. But whatever it is, I want to do it without any doubt. And I very much enjoy doing it.

    So the two conditions for this kind of successful meditation are -

    Knowing what I want to do and saying it, and keep on saying it until I experience it.

    Being completely free to do what I want.

    Of course the reason behind this meditation is to heal the rift between my introverted self and my extroverted self.

    And so the purpose of typing is not to understand myself but to change myself.

  9. #49
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    I don't like meditating, I relax and clear my mind better with external stimulation, my INFJ sister debated that I could do so with any external stimulation such as music claiming it couldn't really be a kind of meditation but for me that's what works, clearing my mind isn't a hard thing for me to do. Sitting down with the expressed purpose of meditating doesn't work for me, I believe the I/E preference plays a role here, meditating does not revitalise or energise me, quite the opposite, it saps me.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Does anyone here have experience with meditating for the the spiritual purpose of uniting with (the true nature of) Reality? I am considering making a serious effort at this but am not sure how to go about it. I have experienced this spontaneously but would like to work at it through will.
    the shoheen ho of the wind of the west and the lulla lo of the soft sea billow - Alfred Graves

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