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  1. #31
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Let me try to understand what you're saying. Do you mean that in order for someone to meditate, they will already be in the state of "right-mindedness?" Or is this not what you mean? If this is indeed what you mean, then what of the violent/mentally unsound people who meditate? (If not, disregard the question.)
    First: when I say 'right minded' it does not mean morally or ethically right. I simply mean conductive to the meditation. It is not a value judgement.
    Second: some people might be able to meditate to make themselves more efficient killers or whatever. It's theoretically possible. I don't think this is the norm though because meditation is typically used to still the mind and induce clarity which in general should mitigate the need to kill anyone in the first place.

    I know that when I meditate I do not feel angry or violent afterwards, simply because I'm calm. Not because it has instilled some sort of moral rightness, but just because I have no motivation or reason to be violent. It also becomes easier to be compassionate since I don't have many reasons to be anything else. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    Alright fine, I suppose I'll give you that one.

    But can't it still be said that middle eastern countries generally emphasize meditative activities more than western countries, so they therefore will do more meditative-like things and with greater depth than people in western countries? (I realize that this is a huge generalization that should be broken down more.) Do you disagree? Why or why not?
    What is it that makes these things meditative? I can't really give an answer without knowing that.

    But I'll say again that a specific action is not necessarily meditative. Two people can stereotypically sit in the lotus position and chant "ohmmmm" and one of them will be meditating, yet the other might just be going through the motions with no meaningful result. That's the issue here.

  2. #32
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    A lot of this discussion of meditation doesn't really describe what meditation or prayer is specifically supposed to achieve, or what the subject is supposed to experience during the process.

    Anyway, to follow up on my earlier post about a TM class:

    At the time of that meditation class, I just felt that we were engaging in some light self-hypnosis. Once you get to that state, it’s easy to create mild altered states: Feelings of floating, out-of-body experiences, etc.

    For example, a well-studied phenomenon is the action of the parietal lobes of the brain. They determine spatial sense and navigation. They map objects perceived visually into coordinates relative to one’s body. It has been shown that you can shut down the parietal lobes when in a state of prayer or meditation, leading to a feeling of transcendence: selflessness and “unity with God.”

    [...] In the experiments, Newberg and D'Aquili used a technology called SPECT scanning to map the brains of several Tibetan Buddhists as they immersed themselves in meditative states. Later they did the same with Franciscan nuns who were engaged in deep, contemplative prayer. The scans photographed levels of neural activity in each subject's brain at the moment that person had reached an intense spiritual peak. The Buddhists typically described this moment as a blending into a larger oneness, and a sense of losing the self. The Franciscans described it as a sensation of a deeper, truer self being drawn into unity with God.

    When they studied the scans, Newberg and D'Aquili's attention was drawn to a chunk of the brain's parietal lobe they called the orientation association area. The area is responsible for defining the limits of the physical self, and for generating the perceptions of space in which that self can be oriented. In simpler terms, it draws the line between the self and the rest of existence. This is a task of staggering complexity, which requires a constant stream of neural information flowing in from the senses. What the scans revealed, however, was that at peak moments of prayer and meditation, the flow of neural impulses to the parietal lobe was dramatically reduced. [...]
    http://my.opera.com/lounge/forums/topic.dml?id=76055
    If you cause permanent damage to the parietal lobes, you get a permanent state of “self-transcendence."

    The Spiritual Brain: Selective Cortical Lesions Modulate Human Self-Transcendence

    Highlights
    Self-transcendence is a stable personality trait measuring predisposition to spirituality
    Brain damage induces specific and fast modulations of self-transcendence
    Self-transcendence increases after damage to lt and rt inferior parietal cortex

    Summary
    The predisposition of human beings toward spiritual feeling, thinking, and behaviors is measured by a supposedly stable personality trait called self-transcendence. [...] we found that selective damage to left and right inferior posterior parietal regions induced a specific increase of self-transcendence. Therefore, modifications of neural activity in temporoparietal areas may induce unusually fast modulations of a stable personality trait related to transcendental self-referential awareness. These results hint at the active, crucial role of left and right parietal systems in determining self-transcendence and cast new light on the neurobiological bases of altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors in neurological and mental disorders.
    http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/...2810%2900052-8
    So personally I never put much stock in the sensations and metal states achieved in meditation. It was mostly just at the margins; sometimes I would get a real strong feeling of floating and weightlessness, and that was kind of fun. But I ascribed all that stuff to a light form of self-hypnosis and considered it interesting but of little real significance.

    As I said earlier, I thought the best utility for meditation was as a relaxation exercise. Great for emptying the mind when trying to get to sleep.

  3. #33
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @FineLine What you describe is only the very first beginner stage in certain disciplines of meditation and isn't even the end result.

    What a lot of people call meditation is only scratching the surface. In Zazen this is what the beginners do, and when you master it there's two or three or more deeper stages that they hit you with.

    Edit:
    For example, with the shikantaza practice, you are fully present and aware of everything, yet empty. There's no special concentration or breathing or anything like that. You see everything, you are not altered in any way, all the thoughts and realities simply pass by and you observe them. Nothing else.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I await your evidence showing that no violence has ever been done by people who pray daily.

    Or could it be that your response was based on knee-jerk emotion rather than evidence? Nevermind, in that case.
    You expect me to mirror your style of emoting?

    I'm afraid not, for while I know that prayer can be associated with violent people, I know it is not necessarily so. Which is not how you would like to portray it, perhaps it satisfies the need for a very plain and simple version of life, what would you say?

  5. #35
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    You can lead a creeper to water but you can't make it sink.

  6. #36
    I'm not Trunks
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    ''Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.'' 2 Peter 1:21.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trunks View Post
    ''Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.'' 2 Peter 1:21.
    Given that someone has said you're a sockpuppet in another thread I wonder what you're doing and who you're trying to annoy with this.

  8. #38
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    @Lark, What was the exact quote from the Dalai Lama? I think he can be a bit idealistic, but I know he is actively working towards developing a secular morality. He has many collaborative panels of philosophers, neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, etc. to discuss various issues involving how the mind processes emotion, but I know that he has deliberately stated that he is not interested in making everyone Buddhist. He is interested in a secular approach to morality using a scientific approach to validating the ideas. I read one excellent book called: "Negative Emotions: a Scientific Dialog with the Dalai Lama".

    The Dalai Lama can take some of the discussions further than I agree with when he considers some metaphysical assumptions of consciousness, but much of the book is quite interesting. I just wish he would include some artists, because I know I would have plenty to say about using the arts to implement a secular education of morality which was not coercive to a particular belief system, but is one of the most excellent ways of exploring inter- and intra-personal awareness and sense of responsibility.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  9. #39
    Senior Member The Great One's Avatar
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    I've began doing meditation. It works pretty well.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    @Lark, What was the exact quote from the Dalai Lama? I think he can be a bit idealistic, but I know he is actively working towards developing a secular morality. He has many collaborative panels of philosophers, neuroscientists, educators, psychologists, etc. to discuss various issues involving how the mind processes emotion, but I know that he has deliberately stated that he is not interested in making everyone Buddhist. He is interested in a secular approach to morality using a scientific approach to validating the ideas. I read one excellent book called: "Negative Emotions: a Scientific Dialog with the Dalai Lama".

    The Dalai Lama can take some of the discussions further than I agree with when he considers some metaphysical assumptions of consciousness, but much of the book is quite interesting. I just wish he would include some artists, because I know I would have plenty to say about using the arts to implement a secular education of morality which was not coercive to a particular belief system, but is one of the most excellent ways of exploring inter- and intra-personal awareness and sense of responsibility.
    There's been a lot of attempts at secular morality, I dont believe that morality or moral philosophy requires secularisation to be honest. I see that as part of an agenda to drive religion out of the world and eliminate it, much in the way that religion once did to atheistic or secular beliefs. Which is a shame.

    I know that buddhists are not evangelical in their outlook, at least not in the sense of wishing to win converts and followers to their creed, but they have good reasons besides not being a proslestyising religion, many of the practicing and monastic buddhist communities are outraged or affronted when they meet their western counter parts. Peguy posted about it once.

    The metaphysical side of consciousness as discussed by the Dali Lama I'm not familiar with I'll confess, I know something about buddhist beliefs but the sources are diverse and very dated in all likelihood. There have been humanistic moral philosophies before now and attempts by thinkers to create world or system movements, like Erich Fromm and Socialist Humanism, or The Human Potential Movement and Positive Psychology/Philosophy and the Reverence For Life philosophy too.

    I wish I still had the original quote, unfortunately it was a meme/pic which was on facebook and it simply read if every child of the age of eight was trained in meditation then violence would be eliminated within two generations or something very closely to that wording.

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