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Archive for March, 2014

Reduces Levels of Suicide

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Reduces Levels of Suicide

In a paper published in The Journal of Management & Social Science, practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) was found to reduce levels of suicide. The paper focuses on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM-Sidhi program, developed to prevent war and terrorism. The program emphasizes that societal stress leads to war, terrorism, and crime, and hypothesizes that TM can decrease this societal stress, and as a result, decrease war-related consequences. Suicide, an effect of societal stress, was one of the positive changes found to result from the TM-Sidhi program. Military personnel who participated in the program showed noticeable reductions in suicides, suggesting the success of Transcendental Meditation in this area.

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Fewer Car Accidents

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Fewer Car AccidentsAn article published in The Journal of Management & Social Science suggests that practicing Transcendental Meditation can reduce rates of car accidents. Focusing on the benefits of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program, the article notes how its main goal is to prevent conflict, crime, and terrorism on a national and international scale. By striving to diminish the societal stressors that it claims lead to war, Transcendental Meditation is hypothesized to reduce war-related consequences. Fewer car accidents, which often result as an effect of such societal stressors, are one of the positive changes found to result from the TM-Sidhi program, suggesting its success in lowering the rate of car accidents.

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Contributes to Fewer Crimes

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-4According to results published in multiple journals, meditation helps improve war-related effects such as contributes to fewer crimes. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi developed a military-focused Transcendental Meditation program called Invincible Defence Technology (IDT) whose goal was to reduce war-related conflict caused by society-wide stressors. IDT aims to reduce these large-scale societal stressors with the ultimate objective of reducing the war and terrorism-associated crime that is associated with those stressors. Upon completion of the IDT program, researchers found marked reductions in societal stress, resulting in diminished crime rates among the population. When administered to a population, IDT caused a dramatic reduction in war-related crime and conflict, demonstrating its crime-combating effects.

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Decreases Crime Rates

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-5A paper published in The Journal of Management & Social Science indicates that practicing Transcendental Meditation has the potential to reduce crime rates. The study focused on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s TM-Sidhi program, which was specifically developed to prevent large-scale conflict and crime. Mahesh’s program is based on the belief that societal stress can lead to national and international conflict, as well as crime and terrorism. The study hypothesizes that Transcendental Meditation can reduce these societal stressors, and as a result, decrease the violence associated with those stressors, including crime. Researchers documented notable reductions in crime rates following the completion of the program, suggesting the success of Transcendental Meditation in decreasing crime.

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Cultivate Selflessness

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-6According to a study conducted at the University of Missouri, practicing meditation can help cultivate selflessness. Neuropsychologists found that meditation helps people achieve spiritual transcendence, which is associated with acts of selflessness and helping others. Practicing meditation helps decrease activity in the right parietal lobe of the brain, a cerebral region connected to experiences of spiritual transcendence and selflessness. Religious practices such as prayer were found to have the same selflessness-causing effects as meditation. Researchers claim that regardless of culture or religion, anyone can practice meditation to achieve a transcendental state; they will all experience the same neurobiological processes that promote selflessness.

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Makes People Nonjudgmental

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-7In a study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, meditation was found to make people less judgmental. In the study, participants took part in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program where they practiced mindfulness meditation over the course of eight weeks. At the end of the program, participants’ MRI brain images showed changes in certain parts of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection, causing the participants to become less judgmental of their own feelings and perceptions. Mindfulness meditation concentrates on self-awareness, or nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and one’s emotional state of mind. Participants displayed improvements in all of these areas, suggesting that meditation can help people learn to be less judgmental.

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Encourages Kindness

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-8According to neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, meditation helps to encourage kindness. Meditation trains individuals to foster a positive emotional state and cultivate positive responses like benevolence. Compassion meditation constitutes visualizing someone the individual cares about, then capturing those feelings of love and kindness, and extending them towards others, regardless whether one likes them or not. When exposed to stimuli like a woman’s screams or a baby’s laughs, participants in the study who practiced compassion meditation displayed increased activity in certain regions of the brain associated with understanding others’ emotions. The researchers concluded that regularly practicing compassion meditation could train people to take kindness felt towards loved ones and direct it towards anyone.

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Fosters Compassion Towards Others

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-9Researchers from Emory University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences found that certain meditation practices foster compassion. Meditation practices that were designed to cultivate compassion were found to affect the physiological pathways in the brain associated with controlling stress. A compassion meditation program was developed based on an ancient Tibetan Buddhist mind-training technique. The program focused on individuals’ thoughts and emotions toward other people and concentrated on developing those emotions into altruistic and compassionate feelings. Participants who practiced compassion meditation displayed reductions in stress responses, which researchers suggest will help with stress management, and ultimately foster feelings of compassion towards others.

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Promotes Self-Awareness

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-10According to an article from Scientific American, meditation helps to promote self-awareness. Both hemispheres of the brain are associated with self-recognition and self-awareness, which help improve sensations of emotional and bodily perception. Practicing meditation promotes conceptual and bodily self-awareness by activating certain regions of the brain. Meditating also helps break down any boundaries between the physical and the emotional, allowing the individual to become more aware of his or her internal thoughts and feelings without disruption. Self-awareness thus improves the ability to think and perceive in the present moment, enhancing the overall conscious experience, as well as the physical sensation of orgasm and sexual pleasure.

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Decreases Menopause Symptoms in Women

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-11A study conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Florida State University found that mindfulness meditation reduces the symptoms of menopause in women. Participants who practiced mindfulness meditation regularly for a period of 8 weeks demonstrated a lower rate of menopausal symptoms, including fewer and less intense hot flashes. Other symptoms that were reduced include quality of sleep, mood stability, muscle pain, and stress. Mindfulness meditation is just one of several types of mind-body treatments that are associated with women’s improved well-being during menopause, which include yoga, tai chi, and other meditative techniques.

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Aids Decision-Making Process

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-12Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute discovered that mindfulness meditation can train individuals to make decisions informed by logic instead of emotion. While our tendency as humans is to rely on an emotional reaction when confronted with a difficult decision, meditators instead draw on a self-awareness that aids them in thinking rationally before making any decision, researchers suggested. In the study, Buddhist meditators and non-meditators participated in a decision-making game scenario. The MRI brain images of the participants showed different areas of the brain engaged in Buddhist meditators than non-meditators. The meditators were found to activate areas of the brain involved with awareness and a focus on the present moment, facilitating their logical decision-making process.

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Improves Rational Decision Making

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Silhouette of a man figure meditating in the outdoorsResearchers from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute found that individuals who practiced mindfulness meditation were more rational decision-makers than those who did not. The study analyzed Buddhist meditators, who were found to arrive at more logical decisions than non-meditator participants. By practicing mindfulness meditation, the study suggests, people are able to train their brains to think rationally rather than emotionally when forced to make an important decision. Researchers found that Buddhist meditators used areas of their brains associated with internal bodily states and attention to the present moment that helped with opting for the more rational approach when making decisions.

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Improves Neuroplasticity

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

meditation-image-14According to a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, practicing meditation can cause beneficial neuroplastic changes in the brain. These changes are caused by external environmental factors; while social stressors can harm the brain’s neuroplasticity, positive practices like meditation can improve its neuroplasticity, leading to enhanced emotional well-being. The brain’s neuroplasticity is measured by the number of cell connections it has. With regular meditation practice, the brain’s number of cell connections increases, improving the overall function of its neural networks and neuroplasticity. This strengthens certain areas of the brain associated with positive behaviors such as empathy, altruism, and kindness.

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