“Mind the Hype” – Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation Under Scientific Scrutiny

“Misinformation and poor methodology associated with past studies of mindfulness may lead public consumers to be harmed, misled and disappointed,” study authors stated.

Co-authors from 15 different institutions including Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Vanderbilt and Stanford University, offer a critical review of the status and deficiencies of research in mindfulness meditation.  Here is the authors’ summary of their article:

During the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has gone from being a fringe topic of scientific investigation to being an occasional replacement for psychotherapy, tool of corporate well-being, widely implemented educational practice, and “key to building more resilient soldiers.” Yet the mindfulness movement and empirical evidence supporting it have not gone without criticism. Misinformation and poor methodology associated with past studies of mindfulness may lead public consumers to be harmed, misled, and disappointed. Addressing such concerns, the present article discusses the difficulties of defining mindfulness, delineates the proper scope of research into mindfulness practices, and explicates crucial methodological issues for interpreting results from investigations of mindfulness. For doing so, the authors draw on their diverse areas of expertise to review the present state of mindfulness research, comprehensively summarizing what we do and do not know, while providing a prescriptive agenda for contemplative science, with a particular focus on assessment, mindfulness training, possible adverse effects, and intersection with brain imaging. Our goals are to inform interested scientists, the news media, and the public, to minimize harm, curb poor research practices, and staunch the flow of misinformation about the benefits, costs, and future prospects of mindfulness meditation.

Brown University press release on the study can be found at this link:  https://news.brown.edu/articles/2017/10/mindfulness-meditation

 

Rajiv Malhotra – “Holy Spirit is not the same as Shakti or Kundalini – Beliefnet”

 

via Holy Spirit is not the same as Shakti or Kundalini – Beliefnet

An excellent article by eminent Hindu scholar, Rajiv Malhotra, regarding the popular notion that the Holy Spirit in Christianity is the same as Kundalini or Shakti in Hinduism. Do not miss the link on the second page of the article on Beliefnet to an article in “America Magazine – The Jesuit Review” by Francis X. Clooney, S. J. for a Catholic response to the debate.

I would hope all of Brooke Boon’s “Holy Yoga” followers would take note of the debate here when they attempt to incorporate Hindu metaphysical chakra theory into their belief systems.  “Christian Yoga” practitioners should take note that the raising of the Kundalini is what they are in reality trying to do with pranayama breathing and mental focusing exercises to balance their so-called “energy” or Kundalini.

The Daily Wire : Yoga Is A Pagan Ritual. Maybe Christians Should Find A Different Workout Routine, by Matt Walsh

 

Via the Daily Wire:

Blogger Matt Walsh describes some of the issues Christians face rationalizing their yoga practice on his blog post at The Daily Wire – “Yoga is a Pagan Ritual. Maybe Christians Should Find a Different Workout Routine.”    I share too in his experience of being mocked by other Christians who have little understanding of the ancient Hindu practice and how pantheistic Eastern religions interpret spiritual disciplines and experience.  They should do some background research before mocking other believers. Being a resource for background research has been one of the main purposes of this website for over 15 years.  There are many references here to the work of Hindu scholars that say that yoga cannot be separated from Hinduism.  I recommend Rajiv Malhotra’s – A Hindu View of “Christian Yoga,”  as well as many other articles referenced here at yogadangers.com.

 

Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences – Brown University

Via the Brown University news site:

Challenges can occur:
Meditation is increasingly practiced in the West to achieve medical or psychological benefits, but the practice, rooted in ancient tradition, can produce a wider range of sometimes challenging experiences, that have not yet been well studied.

“Though it has gained popularity in the West as medically and psychologically beneficial, meditation can produce a much wider variety of outcomes, not all of them calm and relaxing, according to a new study that analyzes meditation-related challenges.”  To read more:  https://news.brown.edu/articles/2017/05/experiences