Free Essay

Meditation the Real Medicine

In: English and Literature

Submitted By onewuf
Words 1905
Pages 8
David J Blake page 1
English 102-12
Professor Kupillas
3.15.2011

Meditation the Real Medicine Writing an argument paper can be difficult, but my topic that I have chosen makes it somewhat easier since it is one that is used every day of my life. With it I can meet the daily challenges that most everyone take for granted. Like, eating and drinking we think nothing of those skills, well for me it is the same as eating and drinking. It has to be or I won't be able to function throughout my day. In 1981 I broke my lower lumbar spine in 4 places, a fall that accrued during a Special OP’s training exercise. I fell four stories and landed in water, but it felt like cement. For the next year my life was in a hospital traction bed and told I would never walk again. I walk today but the pain remains, a constant reminder of a day that changed my life forever and started me in the world of pain management. As one starts thinking about the argument topic they want to write about, this was a no brainier for me in choosing the topic to write about. A practice that is, as routine as eating or brushing one's teeth for most people. This routine is as important to me as to the daily challenges that most everyone take for granted. My argument topic is on meditation vs. alpha-medicine drug treatments. Let’s get some clearly to the facts about meditation this might be helpful in an argument against some of the assumptions on meditation, which is something I practice in my life every single day to relieve my back pain. So, what is meditation? What are some of the pro's and con's? Are there any side effects to meditation? Let's start off with what is meditation. Meditation was originally a practice of many Eastern religions, but has grown in popularity in the Western parts of the world in recent years. According to the encyclopedia, meditation usually refers to a state of extreme relaxation and Page 2 concentration, in which the body is generally at rest and the mind quieted of surface thoughts. (Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion by David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan 2009 page 559) There are many forms of meditation, like spiritual, ritual, healing, and relaxing. Most of the more popular systems of meditation are of Eastern origin. In many eastern countries meditation is performed as a religion ritual mainly is preforming body awareness and not being used as a religious or spiritual activity. There is another form of meditation that are practice that being pray and worship, wherein the practitioner turns spiritual thoughts over in the mind and engages the brain in higher thinking processes"( Enlightenment and reform in 18th-century Europe by Derek Edward Dawson Beales 2005 page 13). The goals in this kind of meditation are to receive spiritual insights and find new way of understanding through being enlighten. Another form that is so ancient but accepted in many cultures throughout the world would be the body healing itself through meditation. I have particularly strong identification with this form of meditation due to my back condition. I often argue with medical doctors the value and its healing power through meditation. Many of my doctors argue that meditation has downsides to it and are advocates for modern alpha-medicine drug treatments. So let’s started by listing both sides, this is what I came up with. An argument for meditation is it is an ancient & cross-cultural technique that has been around since the beginning of mankind. One would have to agree that anything this old and widely accepted must be valuable and have some benefits. Meditation has been known to lead to a direct and profound knowledge concerning total complete reality, body, mind, and soul. The knowledge one can get through meditation can transform one's relationship to a form of reality and to oneself awareness. Meditation gives many other benefits both physiological and Page 3 psychological in nature; this is what would be the basic of treatment and healing process. “Beyond these empirically verified benefits and there are many other benefits for the practitioner like insight, reasoning, and wisdom (A clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 page 20). Meditation, like any other treatment, can help create meaning and purpose in someone’s life and connect us to others who share in this meaning of complete reality as well. Meditation is used for healing purposes throughout the different cultures in our world. This treatment is becoming common in today's medicine as a way to reduce pain and stress. Meditation will teach compassion, kindness and awareness of a patient’s mental status, which is cultivated through meditation. Meditation also helps with relaxation, releasing stress, and improving concentration, gaining insight or improving self-discipline for the person that use it on a routine basic. But there is the counter argument to meditation that leaves us questioning the benefits. Argument against meditation is simply the remnants of pre-modern and is viewed as antiquated cultures and religions, many of which were the cause the world great suffering of precious human resources in the world (Abelson, Peter (April 1993) Schopenhauer and Buddhism. Philosophy East and West Volume 43, Number 2, pp. 255-278. University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved on: 12 April 2008). That meditation can lead to disengagement of society with the world. That long periods of meditation or improperly done meditation may lead to negative psychological or physical effects. The word “may” is the key word here and one that doctors will use when they share their opinion. That healing without engaging meditation can be done in other ways for living a meaningful and healthy life, like the use of alpha-medication which is drug treatments. Meditation will often help with the release of emotions. Doctor’s argue if the Page 4 emotions are powerful enough that are released through meditation, it could cause psychological effects to the brain. That meditation has been known to cause some individuals depression, panic, anxiety or confusion. Let’s not forget that meditation can lead a state of profound confusion and dissociation. We can see clearly both of these perspectives have some truth for meditation and against meditation. So see both sides and hearing the argument against meditation that my doctor's claim is good for treatment of injuries. As they argue that using meditation for long periods may lead to negative psychological or physical effects. Point out that patients develop psychosis, dissociation and uncomfortable sensations from meditation. According Orme-Johnson D. W (Neuroimaging. NeuroReport 17(12):1359-63, 2006) that study neuroimaging of meditation at Stanford Research Institute has an effect on brain reactivity to pain. That this study found that adverse effects such as antisocial behavior, confusion, depression, anxiety, frustration, emotional stability, tension, restlessness and procrastination correlated with the amount of time spent in transcendental meditation. The went on to posting warnings against meditation persist through religious and literary texts that meditation is not a health path, but rather one with many challenges and adverse effects. How does Stanford Research have the right to changeling the technique of an ancient cultural, without reams of data? What proof is shown to base these statements on? Are there facts to support their finding? So looking into these claims they made there was little support to back the Stanford Research Institute claim against long periods of meditation. In fact the issue was later squashed due to the combination of alpha-medication drug treatments and meditation being use in 90% of the people they researched. So they were using people that combined meditation with alpha medicine drug treatments to give them result in their favor. Page 5 So what about meditation on the spiritual side? Meditation has various spiritual purposes. Meditation brings about body soul and mind awareness with a spiritual energy or higher power, which is the ability to perceive experiences in real-time as they happen. As many Eastern philosophies agree that the mind attaches itself to things that may have already happened in one's past, then meditation will help in the release of emotions from our past and it would then focus one's mind on the present events around them. It could serve simply as a means of relaxation from our busy routine at the end of a long day, or even as a means of gaining insight into the nature of reality or of communing with one’s God. This type of meditative practice is common in Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and in most Christian belief (Goleman's (1988) Meditative Mind, and Shear's (2006) Experience of Meditation, both listed in this article's bibliography).

In conclusion there are so many types of meditation through the world. The purposes for someone to meditate may vary almost as widely as the meditative practices itself, but for me it is the alternative to a healthier way of life. So, adding meditation to my routine brings many positive physical, mental and spiritual benefits, like reducing my stress which contributes my overall health is only the tip of the iceberg of benefits. If there are possible side effects from long term use of meditation, there is not enough proof to convince me that alpha-medicine drug treatments would be a better choice in pain reduction. For I'm very formularize with the adverse effect of alpha medicine drug treatments.... Meditation is the real natural medicine that I have chosen! Page 6
References
Abelson, Peter (April 1993) Schopenhauer and Buddhism. Philosophy East and West Volume 43, Number 2, pp. 255-278. University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved on: 12 April 2008 A clinical guide to the treatment of human stress response by George S. Everly, Jeffrey M. Lating 2002 page 20
Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion by David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan 2009 ISBN page 559
Enlightenment and reform in 18th-century Europe by Derek Edward Dawson Beales 20 page 13
Geisler M. Therapeutiche Wirkungen der Transzendentalen Meditation auf drogenkonsumenten (Therapeutic effects of Transcendental Meditation on drug use). Zeitschrift fur Klinische Psychologie 7:235-255, 2008. Jean L. Kristeller (2010). Ruth A. Baer & Kelly G. Wilson. ed "Spiritual engagement as a mechanism of change in mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies". Assessing mindfulness and acceptance processes in clients: Illuminating the theory and practice of change (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger): 152–184. Page 161 states "In Christianity, the term 'contemplation' is parallel to the term 'meditation' as it has entered contemporary usage"
Orme-Johnson D.W, et al. Neuroimaging of meditation’s effect on brain reactivity to pain. NeuroReport 17(12):1359-63, 2006.
The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation: Scientific Studies of Contemplative Experience: An Overview. http://www.noetic.org/research/medbiblio/chl
Roger Walsh & Shauna L. Shapiro (2006). "The meeting of meditative disciplines and western psychology: A mutually enriching dialogue". American Psychologist (American Psychological Association) 61 (3): 227–239. There are many different types of meditation, at least dozens, or perhaps many more: For descriptions of some of the more prominent approaches, both eastern and western, see Goleman's (1988) Meditative Mind, and Shear's (2006) Experience of Meditation, both listed in this article's bibliography

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