Alternative Health Information


Meditation refers to any of a wide variety of spiritual practices (and their close secular analogues) which emphasize mental activity or quiescence.
The English word comes from the Latin matio, which could perhaps be better translated as "contemplation." This usage is found in Christian spirituality, for example, when one "mates" on the sufferings of Christ; as well as Western philosophy, as in Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, a set of six mental exercises which systematically analyze the nature of reality.
In the late nineteenth century, Theosophists adopted "Meditation" to refer to various spiritual practices drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions. Thus the English word "Meditation" does not exclusively translate any single term or concept from the sacred languages of Asia, such as the Sanskrit dhyana, samadhi, or pranayama. (Note that whereas in Eastern religions Meditation is often a central part of religious/spirtual practice, in Christianity it is rather a fringe activity if practised at all.)
However, the term Meditation contains the Latin root media ("middle"). So, Meditation could also be thought of as "centering," which might be more consistent with Eastern understandings of the concept.
"Meditation" in the modern sense may involve
· focusing the mind on a single object (such as a religious statue, or one's breath, or a mantra)
· a mental "opening up" to the divine, invoking the guidance of a higher power
· attempting to clear the mind of discursive or conceptual thought
· reasoned analysis of religious teachings (such as impermanence for Buddhists)
· simple relaxation
Practices of these types are found within various world religions (East and West) as well as some secular contexts such as the martial arts. It has been suggested that the recent popularity of "Meditation" in the West (for example, in the New Age movement) signals some discomfort with more traditional Western religious practices, such as prayer. Others see Meditation and prayer as harmonious: Edgar Cayce taught that "Through prayer we speak to God. In Meditation, God speaks to us."
From the point of view of psychology, Meditation can induce — or is itself — an altered state of consciousness. However, many religious people would challenge the assumption that such mental states (or any other visible result) are the "goal" of Meditation. In fact the goals of Meditation are quite varied, and range from spiritual enlightenment, to the transforMeditation of attitudes, to better cardiovascular health.
1 Types of Meditation
2 Meditation in context
3 Physical postures
4 Frequency and duration
5 Purposes and effects of Meditation
6 Health applications and clinical studies of Meditation
6.1 Meditation and the brain
6.2 Meditation and EEG's
6.3 Adverse effects
6.4 Meditation and drugs
7 See also
8 References
9 External links

Types of Meditation
"Gathering the Light", from The Secret of the Golden Flower, by C. G. Jung and Richard Wilhelm
According to Bogart (1991) and Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes (2000) the different techniques of Meditation can be classified according to their focus. That is, whether they focus on the field or background perception and experience, also called mindfullness, or whether they focus on a preselected specific object, also called "'concentrative' Meditation." There are also techniques that shift between the field and the object.
As difficult as the question of which practices qualify as "Meditation," is the question of how to categorize its different varieties. One common way is according to religion or lineage. However, some mative traditions such as yoga or tantra are common to several religions. Also, Meditation increasingly occurs outside of religious contexts, or crosses religious boundaries.
Many traditional classification schemes may be cited.
· Hinduism — many different schools exist.
· Vedanta
· Yoga as outlined by Patanjali describes eight "limbs" of spiritual practices, half of which might be classified as Meditation. Underlying them is the assumption that a yogi should still the fluctuations of his or her mind: Yoga cittavrrti nirodha.
· Transcendental Meditation (or TM) is the type used most often in clinical studies. Though avowedly secular, it emphasizes the recitation of Hindu mantras.
· Sant Mat teaches "sound and light Meditation" (surat shabd yoga)
· Osho taught a wide variety of mative techniques, including a "laughing Meditation".
· Sikhism encourages the divine Meditation on God's name, through simran.
· Buddhist Meditation — Meditation has always enjoyed a central place within Buddhism. The Buddha himself was said to have achieved enlightenment while mating under a Bodhi tree. Most forms of Buddhism distinguish between samatha and vipassana Meditation, both of which are necessary for enlightenment. The former consists of learning to focus the attention single-pointedly; the latter involves seeing the true nature of reality.
· Theravada Buddhism emphasizes vipassana Meditation directed towards anapana, mettā bhāvanā, or 38 other traditional topics (see: Kammatthana).
· In Mahayana schools, Tendai (Tien-tai), concentration is cultivated through highly structured ritual. Chinese Chan Buddhism (Sanskrit Dhyana, Japanese Zen) emphasizes ts'o ch'an and kung an Meditation practices. The esoteric Shingon sect shares many features with Tibetan Buddhism.
· Tibetan Buddhism famously emphasizes tantra for its senior practitioners; hence its alternate name of Vajrayana Buddhism. However, visitors to Tibetan monasteries are often surprised to discover that many monks go through their day without "mating" in a recognizable form, but are more likely to chant or participate in group liturgy.
· Taoism — includes a number of mative and contemplative traditions. Historically — to judge by the texts of the Tao Tsang — these often focused on ecstatic journeys to other realms (some of them within the human body). Today Chinese temple activity tends to be ritualized, routinized, conflated with other religions such as Buddhism, and very noisy. More quietistic, perhaps purer forms of Taoist "Meditation" is likely to be found at Taoist pilgrimage sites, such as the five sacred mountains in China.
· Qigong and Daoyin — a large, diverse array of Chinese breath training practises originally related to Taoism, Buddhism, traditional Chinese medicine and the Chinese and some Japanese martial arts.
· Judaism — Although Kabbalah and Hassidic Judaism have the explicit concept of Meditation (Hebrew hitbonenut), one can reasonably argue that a good deal of Jewish prayer (tefillah) is mative. Jewish prayer is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah ("intention," which is similar to mediative spirit) and keva (the ritualistic, structured elements). See Jewish Meditation, by Aryeh Kaplan.
· Christian Meditation — Christian traditions have various practices which might be identified as forms of "Meditation." Many of these are monastic practices.
· Eastern Orthodoxy recognizes the Jesus prayer or hesychasm which some have felt to be similar to Hindu mantra Meditation (an analogy which is not usually accepted by the Orthodox).
· Roman Catholicism includes various contemplative practices, such as the rosary, or the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola.
· Protestant groups — especially in the wake of pietism — came to emphasize Bible study, and changing one's life in accordance with scriptural principles and the Holy Spirit. Probably the Quaker meeting — in which participants sit quietly, waiting for the "inner light" to move someone to speak — best matches our expectations for what "Meditation" ought to look like. New Thought groups practice "Meditation" (often called such) during which various positive thoughts are " affirmed".
· Within Islam "Meditation" is normally associated with Sufism. It includes practices ranging from zikr (recitation of the divine names) to the sema of the Whirling Dervishes.
· The Church of the SubGenius teaches something called "excreMeditation," but this — like everything else put forward by that church — is meant as a satirical joke
Given the diversity of practices which are called "Meditation," the perceptive reader may well wonder how to distinguish between "mative" and non-"mative" activities. Is prayer a form of "Meditation"? What about attendance at mass? Taijiquan exercises? Football? Can watching television or listening to music be considered Meditation? The question of boundaries is a critical one for which no generally-accepted answer exists, though particular traditions may have their own understandings.
Meditation, to reflect off of the tranlation of "contemplation," is also a method of essay or contemplative writing in which one does continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature.

Meditation in context
While Meditation focuses on mental or psycho-spiritual activity, this is of course only one of several spheres of human existence; and we are social beings as well as individuals. Most traditions address the integration of mind, body, and spirit (this is a major theme of the Bhagavad-Gita); or that of spiritual practice with family life, work, and so on.
Often, Meditation is said to be incomplete if it has not led to positive changes in one's daily life and attitudes. In that spirit some Zen practitioners have promoted "Zen driving," aimed at reducing road rage.
Meditation is often presented not as a "free-standing" activity, but as one part of a wider spiritual tradition. (Nevertheless, many mators today do not follow an organized religion, or do not consider themselves to do so faithfully.) Religious authorities typically insist that spiritual practices such as Meditation belong in the context of a well-rounded religious life which may include such things as ritual or liturgy, scriptural study, and the observance of religious laws or regulations.
Perhaps the most widely-cited spiritual prerequisite for Meditation is that of an ethical lifestyle. Even many martial arts teachers will urge their students to respect parents and teachers, and inculcate other positive values. At the same time, many traditions incorporate "crazy wisdom" or intentionally transgressive acts, in their sacred lore if not in actual practice. Sufi poets (e.g. Rumi, Hafiz) celebrate the virtues of wine, which is forbidden in Islam (though one could argue that the poets are speaking metaphorically); some tantrikas indulge in the "five forbidden things that begin with the letter M."
Most mative traditions are "sober" ones which discourage drug use. Exceptions include some forms of Hinduism, which has a long tradition of hashish- or marijuana-using renunciates; and certain Native American traditions, which may use peyote or other restricted substances in a religious setting.
A number of mative traditions require permission from a teacher or elder, who in turn has received permission from another teacher, etc. Hinduism and Buddhism stress the importance of a spiritual teacher (Sanskrit guru, Tibetan lama). Orthodox Christianity has "spiritual elders" (Greek gerontas, Russian starets); Catholic religious have spiritual directors.
The immediate mative environment is often held to be important. Several traditions incorporate cleaning rituals for the place where one mates, and many more offer instructions or suggestions for an altar or other accessories.

Physical postures
Cross-legged posture. See also: Lotus Position
Different spiritual traditions, and different teachers within those traditions, prescribe or suggest different physical postures for Meditation. Most famous are the several cross-legged postures, including the so-called Lotus Position. For example, the Dalai Lama recommends the Seven Points of Vairocana in which
· the legs are crossed in either the Lotus Positon (here called the vajra position) or the other way, "Indian" or "tailor" fashion (here called the bodhisattva position)
· the eyes are kept open (thus affirming the world)
· the back is kept straight (like "an arrow" or "a stack of coins")
· the shoulders are kept even and relaxed
· the gaze is kept at a medium level — too low and one becomes drowsy; too high and one becomes restless
· the mouth is kept slightly open
· the tongue touches the roof of the mouth
Many mative traditions teach that the spine should be kept "straight" (i.e. that the mator should not slouch). Often this is explained as a way of encouraging the circulation of what we might call "spiritual energy," the "vital breath", or the "life force" (Sanskrit pranha, Chinese qi, Latin spiritus).
In some traditions the mator may sit on a Western chair, flat-footed (as in New Thought); sit on a stool (as in Orthodox Christianity); or walk in mindfulness (as in Theravada Buddhism).
Various hand-gestures or mudras may be prescribed. These generally carry theological meaning. For example, a common Buddhist hand-position is with the right hand resting atop the left (like the Buddha's begging bowl), with the thumbs touching.
Quiet is often held to be desirable, and some people use repetitive activities such as deep breathing, humming or chanting to help induce a mative state. The Tibetan tradition described above is probably in the minority for recommending that the eyes remain open; many forms assume that the eyes will be closed.
Often such details are shared by more than one religion, even in cases where mutual influence seems unlikely. One example would be "navel-gazing," which is apparently attested within Eastern Orthodoxy as well as Chinese qigong practice. Another would be the practice of focusing on the breath, which is found in Orthodox Christianity, Sufism, and numerous Indic traditions.
Sitting cross-legged (or upon one's knees) for extended periods or when one is not sufficiently limber, can result in a range of ergonomic complaints called "mator's knee".

Frequency and duration
These vary so much that it is difficult to venture any general comments. On one extreme there exist monks and nuns whose whole lives are ordered around Meditation; on the other hand, one-minute Meditations are not out of the question.
Twenty or thirty minutes is probably a typical duration. Experienced mators often find their sessions growing in length of their own accord. Observing the advice and instructions of one's spiritual teacher is generally held to be most beneficial.
Many traditions stress regular practice. Accordingly, many mators experience guilt or frustration upon failing to do so. Possible responses range from perseverence to acceptance.

Purposes and effects of Meditation
The purposes for which people mate vary almost as widely as practices. Meditation may serve simply as a means of relaxation from a busy daily routine; as a technique for cultivating mental discipline; or as a means of gaining insight into the nature of reality, or of communing with one's God. Many report improved concentration, awareness, self-discipline and equanimity through Meditation.
Many authorities avoid emphasizing the effects of Meditation — sometimes out of modesty, sometimes for fear that the expectation of results might interfere with one's Meditation. For theists, the effects of Meditation are considered a gift of God, and not something that is "achieved" by the mator.
At the same time, many effects (or perhaps side-effects) have been experienced during, or claimed for, various types of Meditation. These include:
· Greater faith in, or understanding of, one's religion
· An increase in patience, compassion, and other virtues
· Feelings of calm or peace, and/or moments of great joy
· Consciousness of sin, temptation, and remorse
· Sensitivity to certain forms of lighting, such as fluorescent lights or computer screens
· Surfacing of buried memories, possibly including memories of previous lives
· Experience of spiritual phenomena such as kundalini, extra-sensory perception, or visions of deities, saints, demons, etc.
· "Miraculous" abilities such as levitation (cf. yogic flying)
· Psychotic episodes (see medical section below)
Some traditions acknowledge that many types of experiences and effects are possible, but instruct the mator to keep in mind the spiritual purpose of the Meditation, and not be distracted by lesser concerns. For example, Mahayana Buddhists are urged to mate for the sake of "full and perfect enlightenment for all sentient beings" (the bodhisattva vow).

Health applications and clinical studies of Meditation
Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built just above the cave where Padmasambhava mated
In the recent years there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological effects of Meditation (Venkatesh et al., 1997; Peng et al., 1999; Lazar et al., 2000; Carlson, 2001). Many concepts of Meditation have been applied to clinical settings in order to measure its effect on somatic motor function as well as cardiovascular and respiratory function. Also the hermeneutic and phenomenological aspects of Meditation are areas of growing interest. Meditation has entered the mainstream of health care as a method of stress and pain reduction. For example, in an early study in 1972, transcendental Meditation was shown to affect the human metabolism by lowering the biochemical byproducts of stress, such as lactate, decreasing heart rate and blood pressure and inducing favorable brain waves. (Scientific American 226: 84-90 (1972))
As a method of stress reduction, Meditation is often used in hospitals in cases of chronic or terminal illness to reduce complications associated with increased stress including a depressed immune system. There is a growing consensus in the medical community that mental factors such as stress significantly contribute to a lack of physical health, and there is a growing movement in mainstream science to fund research in this area (e.g. the establishment by the NIH in the U.S. of 5 research centers to research the mind-body aspects of disease.) Dr. James Austin, a neurophysiologist at the University of Colorado, reported that Zen Meditation rewires the circuitry of the brain in his landmark book Zen and the Brain (Austin, 1999). This has been confirmed using sophisticated imaging techniques which examine the electrical activity of the brain.
Dr. Herbert Benson of the Mind-Body Medical Institute, which is affiliated with Harvard and several Boston hospitals, reports that Meditation induces a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body collectively referred to as the "relaxation response" (Lazar, 2003). The relaxation response includes changes in metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain chemistry. Benson and his team have also done clinical studies at Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayan Mountains.
Among other well-known studies within this particular field of interest we find the research of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts who have done extensive research on the effects of mindfulness Meditation on stress (Kabat-Zinn, 1985; Davidson, 2003).

Meditation and the brain
Mindfulness Meditation and related techniques are intended to train attention for the sake of provoking insight. Think of it as the opposite of attention deficit disorder. A wider, more flexible attention span makes it easier to be aware of a situation, easier to be objective in emotionally or morally difficult situations, and easier to achieve a state of responsive, creative awareness or "flow".
One theory, presented by Daniel Goleman & Tara Bennett-Goleman (2001), suggests that Meditation works because of the relationship between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. In very simple terms, the amygdala is the part of the brain that decides if we should get angry or anxious (among other things), and the pre-frontal cortex is the part that makes us stop and think about things (it is also known as the inhibitory centre).
So, the prefrontal cortex is very good at analyzing and planning, but it takes a long time to make decisions. The amygdala, on the other hand, is simpler (and older in evolutionary terms). It makes rapid judgements about a situation and has a powerful effect on our emotions and behaviour, linked to survival needs. For example, if a human sees a lion leaping out at them, the amygdala will trigger a fight or flight response long before the prefrontal cortex knows what's happening.
But in making snap judgments, our amygdalas are prone to error, seeing danger where there is none. This is particularly true in contemporary society where social conflicts are far more common than encounters with predators, and a basically harmless but emotionally charged situation can trigger uncontrollable fear or anger — leading to conflict, anxiety, and stress.
Because there is roughly a quarter of a second gap between the time an event occurs, and the time it takes the amygdala to react, a skilled mator may be able to intervene before a fight or flight response takes over, and perhaps even redirect it into more constructive or positive feelings.
The different roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex can be easily observed under the influence of various drugs. Alcohol depresses the brain generally, but the sophisticated prefrontal cortex is more affected than less complex areas, resulting in lowered inhibitions, decreased attention span, and increased influence of emotions over behaviour. Likewise, the controversial drug ritalin has the opposite effect, because it stimulates activity in the prefrontal cortex.
Some studies of Meditation have linked the practice to increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is associated with concentration, planning, meta-cognition (thinking about thinking), and with positive affect (good feelings). There are similar studies linking depression and anxiety with decreased activity in the same region, and/or with dominant activity in the right prefrontal cortex. Meditation increases activity in the left prefrontal cortex, and the changes are stable over time — even if you stop mating for a while, the effect lingers.

Meditation and EEG's
Electroencephalographs (EEG) recordings of skilled mators showed gamma wave activity that gradually expanded across the brain during Meditation. Gamma waves indicate synchrony between sections of the brain. These mators had 10 to 40 years of training in Buddhist-based mental training. EEGs done on mators who had received recent training turned up considerably less synchrony.
The experienced mators also showed increased gamma activity while at rest and not mating. The results of the study do not make clear whether Meditation training creates this activity or if individuals with high gamma activity are attracted to Meditation. (Lutz & Davidson, 2004).
Meditation also effects brain wave production as measured by an EEG machine. While the brain at a waking state is primarily in the Beta range of frequencies (14 - 21 cycles per second), while under Meditation the brain tends to slow down the Alpha range (7 - 14 cycles per second). One of the first Americans to study the effects of Meditation on brainwave production was Jose Silva who founded the Silva Method and Silva UltraMind System. Silva theorized that Meditation, in addition to stress relief could also be used for enhancing creativity and developing intuition.

Adverse effects
Predominantly, studies of Meditation report positive effects. However, some studies report that Meditation may have adverse effects in certain circumstances (Lukoff, Lu & Turner, 1998; Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes, 2000). If practiced improperly or too intensely, Meditation can lead to considerable psychological and physiological problems, such as the symptoms of Kundalini syndrome, Shamanic illness, Tumo or Qi-gong-related problems . Serious, and credible teachers of Meditation usually warn their students about the possible pitfalls of a contemplative path. Another issue concerns the adaptation of eastern mative concepts to a western culture, an adaptation that is often unfamiliar with the cultural matrix that the mative concept originated from. Eastern concepts of Meditation are often imported to a western setting within the popular context of new religious movements, or within the context of popular approaches to body and health. It is common for this popular context to be unfamiliar with the broad range of adverse affects that might occur during Meditation, and to have limited tools for dealing with them when they do arise.
Stories of unguided practitioners or inexpertly guided students developing chronic mental and physical health problems as a result of their attempts at Meditation training are not uncommon. English speaking practitioners, and teachers of Chinese Qi-Gong, notes that the practice of this contemplative exercise is sometimes accompanied by physical and psychological distress. The identification of this syndrome has led to the inclusion of a culture-sensitive category in the DSM-IV called Qi-Gong Psychotic Reaction (American Psychiatric Association, 1994: Appendix 1). Traditionally, Qi-Gong, at least, is considered more of a concentration focus and health maintenance regimen in aid of Meditation rather than a panacea for any problem or set of problems.
Since the practice of Meditation might include a powerful confrontation with existential questions, it is not considered wise to engage in intense Meditation techniques without an extended period of psychological preparation, preferably in contact with a credible teacher or clinician. In the case of Asian contemplative traditions there often exist major challenges connected to the way the particular tradition is to be applied to a Western culture, or a Western mindset. A growing body of clinical literature is now starting to address the phenomenon of Meditation-related problems (Lukoff, Lu & Turner, 1998; Perez-De-Albeniz & Holmes, 2000). Several side-effects have been reported, including uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations, mild dissociation and psychosis-like symptoms (Craven, 1989). From a clinical study of twenty-seven long term mators, Shapiro (1992) reported such adverse effects as depression, relaxation-induced anxiety and panic, paradoxical increases in tension, impaired reality testing, confusion, disorientation and feeling 'spaced out'. The possibility that Meditation might trigger strong emotional reactions is also reported by Kutz, Borysenko & Benson (1985). Within the context of therapy, Meditation is usually contraindicated when the therapeutic goal is to strengthen ego boundaries, release powerful emotions, or work through complex relational dynamics (Bogart, 1991).
The tendency of Meditation to disturb object-relations and release unconscious material implies that the beginning mator should approach the practice with moderation. It usually takes years of dedication to become stable in a contemplative practice, a perspective that is often overlooked by many new religious movements and New Age therapies. Another problematic feature of the modern New Age approach is its association with frauds and deliberate charlatans who promote themselves as "healers", promising miracle cures of any conceivable affliction for the right amount of money.
Also, mative traditions which include the use of drugs are generally considered to be harmful to the practitioner. Additionally, as with any practice, Meditation may also be used to avoid facing ongoing problems or emerging crises in the mator's life. In such situations, it may be helpful to apply mindful attitudes acquired in Meditation while actively engaging with current problems (see Hayes et al, 1999, chap. 3; Metzner, 2005).

Meditation and drugs
Some modern methods of Meditation do not include the use of drugs due to the known health problems associated with drug use. However, the use of stimulants has been proposed by some as a means to provide insight, and in some shamanistic traditions they are used as agents of ritual. Some Native American traditions for instance emphasized the smoking of a pipe containing tobacco or other plants. Some Hindu traditions use bhang, East Asian traditions use tea and Middle Eastern (and many Western) religious use coffee as an aid to Meditation.

See also
· Astral projection
· Autosuggestion
· Kinemantra Meditation
· Muraqaba
· Meditation (alternative medicine)
· Passage Meditation
· Psychology of religion
· retreat
· T'ai Chi Ch'uan
· Naam
· Kundalini
· Yoga Nidra
· Buddhist Meditation

· American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth ion. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
· Austin, James (1999) Zen and the Brain, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999, ISBN 0262511096
· Azeemi, Khwaja Shamsuddin (2005) Muraqaba: The Art and Science of Sufi Meditation. Houston: Plato, 2005, ISBN 0975887548
· Bogart G. (1991) The use of Meditation in psychotherapy: a review of the literature. American Journal of Psychotherapy, Jul;45(3):383-412. PubMed abstract PMID 1951788
· Carlson LE, Ursuliak Z, Goodey E, Angen M, Speca M. (2001) The effects of a mindfulness Meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients: 6-month follow-up. Support Care Cancer. 2001 Mar;9(2):112-23.PubMed abstract PMID 11305069
· Craven JL. (1989) Meditation and psychotherapy. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Oct;34(7):648-53. PubMed abstract PMID 2680046
· Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, Muller D, Santorelli SF, Urbanowski F, Harrington A, Bonus K, Sheridan JF. (2003) Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine 2003 Jul-Aug;65(4):564-70. PubMed abstract PMID 12883106
· Bennett-Goleman, T. (2001) Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart, Harmony Books, ISBN 0-609-60752-9
· Hayes SC, Strosahl KD, Wilson KG. (1999) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.
· Kabat-Zinn J, Lipworth L, Burney R. (1985) The clinical use of mindfulness Meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journ. Behav. Medicine. Jun;8(2):163-90. PubMed abstract PMID 3897551
· Kutz I, Borysenko JZ, Benson H. (1985) Meditation and psychotherapy: a rationale for the integration of dynamic psychotherapy, the relaxation response, and mindfulness Meditation. American Journal of Psychiatry, Jan;142(1):1-8. PubMed abstract PMID 3881049
· Lazar, Sara W.; Bush, George; Gollub, Randy L.; Fricchione, Gregory L.; Khalsa, Gurucharan; Benson, Herbert (2000) Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and Meditation [Autonomic Nervous System] NeuroReport: Volume 11(7) 15 May 2000 p 1581–1585 PubMed abstract PMID 10841380
· Lukoff, David; Lu Francis G. & Turner, Robert P. (1998) From Spiritual Emergency to Spiritual Problem: The Transpersonal Roots of the New DSM-IV Category. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 38(2), 21-50,
· Metzner R. (2005) Psychedelic, Psychoactive and Addictive Drugs and States of Consciousness. In Mind-Altering Drugs: The Science of Subjective Experience, Chap. 2. Mitch Earlywine, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
· Perez-De-Albeniz, Alberto & Holmes, Jeremy (2000) Meditation: Concepts, Effects And Uses In Therapy. International Journal of Psychotherapy, March 2000, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p49, 10p
· Peng CK, Mietus JE, Liu Y, Khalsa G, Douglas PS, Benson H, Goldberger AL. (1999) Exaggerated heart rate oscillations during two Meditation techniques. Int J Cardiol. 1999 Jul 31;70(2):101–7. PubMed Abstract PMID 10454297
· Shapiro DH Jr. (1992) Adverse effects of Meditation: a preliminary investigation of long-term mators. Int. Journal of Psychosom. 39(1-4):62-7. PubMed abstract PMID 1428622
· Venkatesh S, Raju TR, Shivani Y, Tompkins G, Meti BL. (1997) A study of structure of phenomenology of consciousness in mative and non-mative states. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Apr;41(2): 149–53. PubMed Abstract PMID 9142560
· Lutz, A. . . . and R.J. Davidson (2004). Long-term mators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(November 16).

External links
· Maharishi University - Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation
· The McGovern Institute at MIT and The Mind & Life Institute present...Investigating the Mind
· MIT Technology review - Meditation and the Brain
· Harvard University Gazette - Meditation changes temperatures
· Harvard University News - His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama visits Harvard
· University Of Wisconsin News - The Dalai Lama and scientists unite to study Meditation
· The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (subtitle) A Review of Contemporary Research, Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan, Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1999-2004, full text of e-book with extensive searchable bibliography (type * into search box to retrieve entire list of over 1800 citations)
· University of Oxford - Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy
· Harvard University Gazette - How not to get hooked
· Medical Observer - Making Sense of Meditation
· Free/OpenSource Meditation clock that runs on mobile devices
· Free primer on how to do traditional Shamatha Style Meditation, with links for more info.
· Buddhist Meditation
· Kadampa Buddhist Meditation
· Meditation in London
· SahajaYoga Meditation


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