Evidence on the effects of meditation??

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby greeneggsandsam » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:38 am

Hi all,

I got into a discussion with another about the effects of meditation, in which I was telling him about the advantages of practice.

In which he concluded it is no different to the bliss you can get from walking, reading a book etc.

Can someone please give some links on any evidence to the contrary (It has to be scientific studies done/published independently).

I know it must be out there!! The more the better.

:) Metta
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Re: Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:07 am

Many studies have shown beneficial effects of meditation. Even my dad who is about as materialist as one can get and who doesn't believe in Buddhism acknowledges the stress-reducing effect of meditation.

You can show your friend this US gov't website about it which he can use a springboard for further research as it has references. It doesn't get much more official than that.

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm
Peace,
James
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Re: Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby culaavuso » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:07 am

See the thread MRI and EEG of Jhana.

It has a link to a study, Case Study of Ecstatic Meditation: fMRI and EEG Evidence of Self-Stimulating a Reward System

From the abstract:
We test three mechanisms by which the subject might stimulate his own reward system by external means and reject all three. Taken together, these results demonstrate an apparently novel method of self-stimulating a brain reward system using only internal mental processes in a highly trained subject.
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Re: Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby pilgrim » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:18 am

And a simple to read article without the scientific jargon on how meditation improves cellular health.
http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/09/108886 ... cell-aging
or
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aditi-ner ... 76602.html
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Re: Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby greeneggsandsam » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:46 am

Thanks for all the links!!!

Although, a lot of the research seems inconclusive, i.e.. the researches seems to suggest...
Is this common in this kind of research??

Thanks.
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Re: Evidence on the effects of meditation??

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:28 am

greeneggsandsam wrote:Thanks for all the links!!!

Although, a lot of the research seems inconclusive, i.e.. the researches seems to suggest...
Is this common in this kind of research??

Thanks.

From what little I've read, yes. I think it's hard to come to objective conclusions about the subjective "quality of life" benefits that meditation brings. And I imagine most researchers don't want to risk damaging their credibility or risk losing funding by making bold claims.
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