Mediation
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29-08-2012, 09:47 AM
Mediation
I recently listened to the "world full of woo" podcast and I noticed that meditation was included in Seth's list of woo. Is it really woo? I am very interested in meditation right now as a possible help for my depression issues and I have been unable to find anything so far in my online searches that would suggest that meditation is fake. In fact, Sam Harris the Neuroscientist seems to recommend it quite highly, and my interest in the subject was initiated by hearing him speak briefly about it. So what is "woo" about meditation?

This is my first post on these forums, since I have only just discovered the thinking atheist in the past 2 months.
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29-08-2012, 09:54 AM
RE: Mediation
Welcome, Torrack!

That's a good question. I heard a Joe Rogan Podcast recently with a 90 minute interview with Sam Harris. Sam had quite a lot to say about meditative states as well as psychedelic drugs. It's a pretty interesting topic. I'm sure I don't know about about the science to be much help, but you'll get plenty of ideas from the forum, I'm sure. Smile

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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29-08-2012, 10:17 AM
RE: Mediation
The word meditation is used in many ways, in a religious way is a load of BS about talking with god and getting in touch with the spiritual world which is nonsense, on the other hand, in a more scientific sense, is about getting to know oneself better and having more mental discipline, is like workout for the brain, which can be very useful when your brain is giving you a hard time.

btw the title is misspelled Confused

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29-08-2012, 11:28 PM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2012 11:33 PM by kim.)
RE: Mediation
Nope - meditation is not woo. Meditation is focusing concentration, quieting the mind, and harnessing the ability to do so at will. I do Yoga and meditate... and no woo goes on in this noggin. Thumbsup
Steal this book... or buy it, whatevs:
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Hittlemans...0911104216
It's about Yoga, but it will give you the single, most basic meditation instruction I've ever encountered. Nothing more is really necessary. My only contrary meditation advice; when it suggests you look into a candle flame - fuck that, you'll burn a hole in your retina. Just look at a bottle cap or a marble or something. You'll see what I mean when you get there.

If you don't want to do the Yoga stuff, you can probably get right to the meditation. But try to at least read through the book, to get the feel of the writing and instructions. The breathing exercises will enhance your body awareness, but may not really be necessary if you don't want to get too involved in anything other than the meditation.

I've recommended this book countless times for everything; for people who: want to lose weight, learn about nutrition, learn about their bodies, learn about Yoga, learn about themselves. It's not failed anyone I've ever suggested it to. I used to give it away to people. Quick read - hell, quick program - 28 days!! Photos might seem dated... they are. But they are the clearest and most precise for the breathing exercises.... really for everything it's very concise.
****
Torrack... Consider Torrack - sounds Romulan... cool. I think if you were Romulan, I'd have to say "cool", otherwise you'd be all paranoid and want to kill me... so, cool. Shy

Welcome to the forum. Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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30-08-2012, 08:12 AM
RE: Mediation
(29-08-2012 11:28 PM)kim Wrote:  Nope - meditation is not woo. Meditation is focusing concentration, quieting the mind, and harnessing the ability to do so at will. I do Yoga and meditate... and no woo goes on in this noggin. Thumbsup
Steal this book... or buy it, whatevs:
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Hittlemans...0911104216
It's about Yoga, but it will give you the single, most basic meditation instruction I've ever encountered. Nothing more is really necessary. My only contrary meditation advice; when it suggests you look into a candle flame - fuck that, you'll burn a hole in your retina. Just look at a bottle cap or a marble or something. You'll see what I mean when you get there.

If you don't want to do the Yoga stuff, you can probably get right to the meditation. But try to at least read through the book, to get the feel of the writing and instructions. The breathing exercises will enhance your body awareness, but may not really be necessary if you don't want to get too involved in anything other than the meditation.

I've recommended this book countless times for everything; for people who: want to lose weight, learn about nutrition, learn about their bodies, learn about Yoga, learn about themselves. It's not failed anyone I've ever suggested it to. I used to give it away to people. Quick read - hell, quick program - 28 days!! Photos might seem dated... they are. But they are the clearest and most precise for the breathing exercises.... really for everything it's very concise.
****
Torrack... Consider Torrack - sounds Romulan... cool. I think if you were Romulan, I'd have to say "cool", otherwise you'd be all paranoid and want to kill me... so, cool. Shy

Welcome to the forum. Smile

The confusion in many people's minds is that meditation and woo are connected culturally.
Some people/groups promote meditation as way to 'connect' with <insert woo here>, or <insert other woo here>.

Neuroscience research has shown that meditative practice has real effects.
You know I'm not given to woo, but I have felt the calming effects of guided meditation. I'm just not very good at it myself.

Probably just too lazy and undisciplined.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-08-2012, 08:30 AM
Mediation
(30-08-2012 08:12 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(29-08-2012 11:28 PM)kim Wrote:  Nope - meditation is not woo. Meditation is focusing concentration, quieting the mind, and harnessing the ability to do so at will. I do Yoga and meditate... and no woo goes on in this noggin. Thumbsup
Steal this book... or buy it, whatevs:
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Hittlemans...0911104216
It's about Yoga, but it will give you the single, most basic meditation instruction I've ever encountered. Nothing more is really necessary. My only contrary meditation advice; when it suggests you look into a candle flame - fuck that, you'll burn a hole in your retina. Just look at a bottle cap or a marble or something. You'll see what I mean when you get there.

If you don't want to do the Yoga stuff, you can probably get right to the meditation. But try to at least read through the book, to get the feel of the writing and instructions. The breathing exercises will enhance your body awareness, but may not really be necessary if you don't want to get too involved in anything other than the meditation.

I've recommended this book countless times for everything; for people who: want to lose weight, learn about nutrition, learn about their bodies, learn about Yoga, learn about themselves. It's not failed anyone I've ever suggested it to. I used to give it away to people. Quick read - hell, quick program - 28 days!! Photos might seem dated... they are. But they are the clearest and most precise for the breathing exercises.... really for everything it's very concise.
****
Torrack... Consider Torrack - sounds Romulan... cool. I think if you were Romulan, I'd have to say "cool", otherwise you'd be all paranoid and want to kill me... so, cool. Shy

Welcome to the forum. Smile

The confusion in many people's minds is that meditation and woo are connected culturally.
Some people/groups promote meditation as way to 'connect' with <insert woo here>, or <insert other woo here>.

Neuroscience research has shown that meditative practice has real effects.
You know I'm not given to woo, but I have felt the calming effects of guided meditation. I'm just not very good at it myself.

Probably just too lazy and undisciplined.

Or you're drinking too much coffee. Drinking Beverage

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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30-08-2012, 09:10 AM
RE: Mediation
(30-08-2012 08:30 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 08:12 AM)Chas Wrote:  The confusion in many people's minds is that meditation and woo are connected culturally.
Some people/groups promote meditation as way to 'connect' with <insert woo here>, or <insert other woo here>.

Neuroscience research has shown that meditative practice has real effects.
You know I'm not given to woo, but I have felt the calming effects of guided meditation. I'm just not very good at it myself.

Probably just too lazy and undisciplined.

Or you're drinking too much coffee. Drinking Beverage

You make a good argument.Drinking BeverageDrinking BeverageDrinking BeverageDrinking BeverageDrinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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