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Differentiating among forms of meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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5 February 2013
There are different kinds of meditation and they are not all the same, said renowned psychiatrist and researcher Norman Rosenthal, MD, at a recent medical conference.
He spoke at The New Science of Meditation and Self-Healing: Transcendental Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine, hosted by the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Medicine. Before starting on his main subject, how Transcendental Meditation can be used to heal and transform, he explained to the audience of medical professionals the three main forms of meditation.
'There are different kinds of meditation and all of them have . . . their proponents,' he said, showing a chart highlighting the differences. His aim was 'to differentiate them because they are not the same. . . . They all ask the person who is meditating to do something a little bit different.'
The first one involves focused attention. 'You're asked to focus on an object, an image, something. Then your focus drifts and you bring it back, drifts and you bring it back.'
The next is open monitoring, 'where you monitor your breathing, monitor your thoughts, monitor your feelings,' Dr Rosenthal explained.
The form of meditation that Dr Rosenthal is most interested in is automatic self-transcendence.
In this form, 'you are given a mantra by someone who is qualified to teach you how to use it.' Transcendental Meditation, on which there is a large body of published scientific research, falls in this category. Dr Rosenthal added that learning the technique is easy over the several sessions of the standard course, which allows one 'to get the knack of it, just like you would if you were swimming or skiing'.
He explained that learning Transcendental Meditation involves seven steps: two introductory lectures, a personal interview, and four teaching sessions. All Transcendental Meditation teachers have been trained for many months to teach in a standardized way which has been found to be very effective.
See related articles:
∙ US: Integrative medicine conference at University of Maryland focuses on healing through meditation
∙ University of Maryland hosts medical conference on benefits of Transcendental Meditation
∙ Conference highlights Transcendental Meditation role in integrative medicine
∙ Medical database holds extensive research on mind-body medicine, meditation
∙ The story behind the bestselling book Transcendence
∙ Studies show Transcendental Meditation can reverse heart disease, reduce blood pressure
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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