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Hello -MMN - Is One Meditation Better or More Useful Than Another?

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9 November 2019

Is One Meditation Better or More Useful Than Another?

Hello -,

The purpose of this article is for you to answer the question in the title. Not only that! The Meditation I propose to you is the most powerful on the planet! I intend to only discuss and compare Mindfulness Meditation (very popular in Western Culture) and Active Meditation (the Active part being the Mind). I choose to call it CALM Guided Imagery Meditation.

Neuroplasticity

I choose to start by talking about Neuroplasticity because of the enormous scientific advances that have been made in this area to aid the people of the world. Has it been around for a long time? Oh yes! As an example ask the sporting world where it has been used to master complex movements on say the horizontal or parallel bars.

Here is a definition of Neuroplasticity taken from https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=40362
Neuroplasticity
The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

Brain reorganization takes place by mechanisms such as "axonal sprouting" in which undamaged axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect neurons whose links were injured or severed. Undamaged axons can also sprout nerve endings and connect with other undamaged nerve cells, forming new neural pathways to accomplish a needed function.

For example, if one hemisphere of the brain is damaged, the intact hemisphere may take over some of its functions. The brain compensates for damage in effect by reorganizing and forming new connections between intact neurons. In order to reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated through activity.

You will notice that the definition is very much oriented to the medical areathe essence is that new neural pathways are formed to help the person to function better. New neural pathways can be formed in any area of life to assist any person to achieve. To achieve the formation of new neural pathways the brain must be guided to form those new pathways and this is best done in the Theta Meditation State.

What is Guided Imagery Meditation?

I asked Mr Google and got the answer:
Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that uses positive mental images to influence how you feel. It can enhance for example traditional Parkinson's treatment. With guided imagery, you use your imagination to create relaxing or positive images and experiences. Your body interprets these as real.

Here is what a Guided Imagery Pioneer, Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD  US says (paraphrased) at  http://www.healthjourneys.com/Main/Home/What-Is-Guided-Imagery :
Guided imagery meditation focuses and directs the imagination in proactive, positive ways. It is not a strictly "mental" activity. It involves the whole body, the emotions and all the senses, and it is precisely this body-based focus that makes for its powerful impact.”

One of the most appealing and forgiving features about imagery is that almost anyone can use it. Although children and women probably have a slight, natural advantage, imagery skips across the barriers of education, class, race, gender and age - a truly equal opportunity intervention.

Guided imagery is easy. It requires only a little time and discipline to develop a high level of skill. People can invent their own imagery, or they can listen to imagery that's been created for them. Either way, their own imaginations will sooner or later take over, because, even when listening to imagery that's been recorded, the mind will automatically edit, skip, change or substitute what's being offered for what is needed, becoming a kind of internal launching pad for the genius of each person's unique imagination.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

From Dr Jon Kabat Zinn: Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, in the present without judgement. http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness.

And from http://meditationscience.weebly.com/what-is-mindfulness-meditation.html.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Mindfulness is non-judgmental, open-hearted, friendly, and inviting of whatever arises in awareness. It is cultivated by paying attention on purpose, deeply, and without judgment to whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us. By intentionally practicing mindfulness, deliberately paying more careful moment-to-moment attention, individuals can live more fully and less on ‘automatic pilot,’ thus, being more present for their own lives.

What is the Difference between the CALM Guided Imagery Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation?

The CALM Peaceful Place system incorporates simple ways to behaviour change – changing and dropping negative habits and to gain new positive habits. What “dropping negative habits” really means is dropping the neural pathway of the negative habit and replacing it with a “new positive habit” being a new neural pathway. I’m sure you’re asking – “is the old habit really gone”? The science is that the forming of a new neural pathway by imaging or visualising or sensing in some way the desired outcome has been proven – this is now what is called neuroplasticity and indeed the process has been photographed. Dr Joe Dispenza writes about the science in his book “Evolve your Brain” and he calls it “Changing an Implicit Memory” (which is a memory in the subconscious mind). He uses the language “Cells that fire together, wire together” – that is forming a new neural pathway being the desired outcome.

There is a corollary to “Cells that Fire Together, Wire Together” 
Science has also shown that an important corollary to the 'fire together, wire together' mantra is nerve cells that no longer fire together will no longer wire together. The good news is that those nerve cells don't want to remain inactive. Instead, they seek out new connections and they use recycled neural growth factor to attach themselves to new neurons. This means that the old neural pathway, when not used, drops away. So “is the old habit really gone” The answer is – “yes”. Page 396 of "Evolve Your Brain" by Dr Joe Dispenza (2009).I have written more at http://www.calm.com.au/article/252.

So you are able to form new Implicit Memories with Guided Imagery Meditation – pruning away the old implicit memory and thus having the new habit housed in your cerebellum – the seat of the subconscious mind. This is the only kind of meditation that achieves “dropping an old habit and forming a new one”. Since 1990 my meditations have been Guided Imagery Meditations so that one can establish new neural pathways (and thereby dropping the old habit) in areas such as Stress, Pain, Healing, Forgiveness, Creativity, Weight Release, Anger, Self Confidence, Exams, Sleep, Inner Peace, Relationships, Fears and Phobias, Letting Go, Love, Worry and Anxiousness, Depression, Birthing, Smoking and more.

How Long Does it Take to Drop the old Habit and Form a New One?

Some people can do it faster than others because of their quality of visualisation and the differing senses used for visualisation and the quality of the Meditation. What I have learned over 30 years is that a 20 minute Guided Imagery Meditation done for 30 days can form a new neural pathway thereby achieving a new habit. I claim that this is the most powerful meditation on the Planet.

One thing to know is that most meditations, because one is in the Theta Meditation State, relieves Stress. Using the CALM Peaceful Place Methods you learn to Release Stress in seconds.

So -, isn't it exciting and fantastic that the science of the brain has shown that change can be achieved. With positive energy all of us can affect the world positively. I leave you with the original question “Is one Meditation Better or More Useful Than Another”? 

All The Best

Sandy MacGregor

"Your gift from God is your potential Your gift to God is to use it."

 

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