Mindfulness is Next To Godliness

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Mindfulness is Next To Godliness

 

ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2011) — Death can be terrifying. Recognizing that death is inescapable and unpredictable makes us incredibly vulnerable, and can invoke feelings of anxiety, hatred and fear. But new research by George Mason University psychology professor Todd Kashdan shows that being a mindful person not only makes you generally more tolerant and less defensive, but it can also actually neutralize fears of dying and death.


"Mindfulness is being open, receptive, and attentive to whatever is unfolding in the present moment," says Kashdan. In his latest research, Kashdan and his colleagues wanted to find out if mindful people had different attitudes about death and dying.

"Generally, when reminded of our mortality, we are extremely defensive. Like little kids who nearly suffocate under blanket protection to fend off the monster in the closet, the first thing we try to do is purge any death-related thoughts or feelings from our mind," says Kashdan.

"On the fringes of this conscious awareness, we try another attempt to ward off death anxiety. We violently defend beliefs and practices that provide a sense of stability and meaning in our lives."

Kashdan says this practice often has an ugly side -- intolerance and abuse. "When people are reminded that death is impending, their racist tendencies increase," he says. In a series of experiments conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia, for example, white people asked to read about a crime committed by another person give harsher penalties for black compared with white defendants after being reminded of their mortality.

Kashdan wondered what might prevent these defensive, intolerant reactions from occurring. In a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, he and his colleagues looked at what might happen when mindfulness and the terror of death collide.

"A grudge match between humanity and death," says Kashdan.

If mindful people are more willing to explore whatever happens in the present, even if it uncomfortable, will they show less defensiveness when their sense of self is threatened by a confrontation with their own mortality?

Based on the results of 7 different experiments, the answer appears to be yes. When reminded about their death and asked to write about what will happen when their bodies decompose (in grisly detail), less mindful people showed an intense dislike for foreigners that mention what's wrong with the United States (pro-U.S. bias), greater prejudice against black managers who discriminated against a white employee in a promotion decision (pro-white bias), and harsher penalties for social transgressions such as prostitution, marital infidelities, and drug use by physicians that led to surgical mishaps.

Across these various situations, on the contrast, mindful people showed a lack of defensiveness toward people that didn't share their worldview. Mindful people were diplomatic and tolerant regardless of whether they were prompted to think about their slow, systematic decline toward obliteration.

"What we found was that when asked to deeply contemplate their death, mindful people spent more time writing (as opposed to avoiding) and used more death-related words when reflecting on the experience. This suggests that a greater openness to processing the threat of death allows compassion and fairness to reign. In this laboratory staged battle, mindfulness alters the power that death holds over us," Kashdan says.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228151800.htm

 

 

 

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 I'm suspicious of

 I'm suspicious of definitions such as 'mindful'.  Did the studies determine before hand who the mindful were? Or were the ones that had a more comprehensive answer considered to be more mindful?  

I see the premise making sense, but I think it is much more complicated then they make it sound.  Mindful is being defined as not suffering from ADD...   which sort of makes sense but it's very subjective.

I've recently had to experience my father in law pass away in a palliative ward, we weren't close as I have only met him a hand full of times in my life.  Near the end, my wife came to terms with some differences, and we spent a lot of time by his death bed.  It's a real eye opener, and the smell of death is thick in that hospital ward.  People act quite differently, and everyone seems more 'mindful'.  I also don't think that the experience can be replicated in a controlled scientific environment unless people are actually being executed.  People act unpredictably in a real situation.  It's an emotional roller coaster.

Edit: mistype and added sentence.

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 Well, the actual article

 

Well, the actual article would cost $12 to download. Normally, as a psychiatric social worker, I would just open it at work for free but I am two days into a three week vacation so that is not going to help.

 

Although I do kind of like the idea that executions might play a role if the study is to be replicated. I imagine that it should be possible to run parallel studies in prison employees. Then check to see if the legality of executions is relevant to the outcome.

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Hmm, I'll have to read the

Hmm, I'll have to read the article if it pops up for free.

 

My first reaction is there are too many foo-foo words.  I'm wary of any sociology that depends too much on vague statements...I'm curious to know how you would isolate and control these results.

 

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Look

 

I'd suggest the study related to perfectly healthy people jotting down their feelings about mortality. If they were open, they worried less about the end.

No doubt people face to face with death act in a different manner. My father died in a nursing home after a long illness and I confess I found this very hard to handle. He was about 44 when I was born so I was early 30s when he was late 70s.

Nevertheless, he seemed to accept things after a period of denial and he went quietly in the end. I don't think death is ever pleasant - and it's only ever described by those on this side of the fence.

On a side-note I think immortality is religion's strongest attraction. My mum's looking forward to seeing Dad again and hanging out with jesus. It must be very comforting at a level tho' she shows no great wish to die right now. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Ah mellestad, welcome to

 

Ah mellestad, welcome to my personal hell. I am a published author in the soft sciences, mainly because I have helped to design studies that probably help someone somewhere.

 

Seriously, I have asked such mission critical questions as “should you disclose a psychiatric diagnosis when registering for college”? Well, if you are looking to get an automatic 25 point bonus on all of your final exams, then sure. If you are looking to get the guidance officers to steer you away from the hardest teachers, again sure.

 

If you are trying to integrate into general society (which is full of messed up people in general) then probably not.

 

Don't get me wrong here. I deal with a fascinating array of clinical presentations. However, I got into that study about twenty years ago when it was “discovered” that some people with a psychiatric diagnosis were going to school on their own with no support. So the real question became “how do we support those people”. Umm, they were not asking for support.

 

A better question would probably be: “can we get more people into school and how do we go about that?”

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Quote:Generally, when

Quote:

Generally, when reminded of our mortality, we are extremely defensive.

Blanket generalization.

False Positive.

The narrative is targeting an audience with confirmation bias.

Busted.

This is not a scientific study.

It's anecdotal.

Quote:
Like little kids who nearly suffocate under blanket protection to fend off the monster in the closet, the first thing we try to do is purge any death-related thoughts or feelings from our mind," says Kashdan.

So, some kids suck their thumbs?

Groundbreaking!

Quote:
"On the fringes of this conscious awareness, we try another attempt to ward off death anxiety. We violently defend beliefs and practices that provide a sense of stability and meaning in our lives."

Blanket generalization.

False Positive.

The narrative is targeting an audience with confirmation bias.

Quote:
Kashdan says this practice often has an ugly side -- intolerance and abuse. "When people are reminded that death is impending, their racist tendencies increase," he says.

WTF??!!??

The guy is a loon.

There's NO correlation between the fear of death and racism, just as there is no correlation between the fear (or acquiesence) of death, and necrophilia.

 

Quote:
In a series of experiments conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia...

"We see funding flushed down the toilet" one analyst reports...

.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Stop the presses. I agree

Stop the presses. I agree with rednef...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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My wife is a

My wife is a psychotherapist. To maintain your certification with the State board ya hafta do so many hours of study per year. Guess what the big trend in counseling is?  Ya got it....Mindfulness. Someone is stealing from the Buddha. Wasn't that one of the eight fold path.  Om Mani Padme Hum... namaste. Bye ya'll

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Kapkao wrote:Stop the

Kapkao wrote:

Stop the presses. I agree with rednef...

I usually agree with redneF ... otherwise ya get those long long rebuttals


 

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TGBaker wrote:My wife is a

TGBaker wrote:

My wife is a psychotherapist. To maintain your certification with the State board ya hafta do so many hours of study per year. Guess what the big trend in counseling is?  Ya got it....Mindfulness. Someone is stealing from the Buddha. Wasn't that one of the eight fold path.  Om Mani Padme Hum... namaste. Bye ya'll

From wiki:

wiki wrote:
In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves conscious awareness of one's current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result[citation needed] in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientationto experience (the second component) involves accepting one's mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer's research on decision-making). Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results[citation needed] in the development of a Beginner's mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.

 

Jesus H. Christ.  Goddamned buzzword hippies.

 

Anyway, so all they're saying is they are trying to study meditation in a clinical setting, right?  Is there something new attached to the buzzwords, or are they just sexing it up?

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mellestad wrote:TGBaker

mellestad wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

My wife is a psychotherapist. To maintain your certification with the State board ya hafta do so many hours of study per year. Guess what the big trend in counseling is?  Ya got it....Mindfulness. Someone is stealing from the Buddha. Wasn't that one of the eight fold path.  Om Mani Padme Hum... namaste. Bye ya'll

From wiki:

wiki wrote:
In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves conscious awareness of one's current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result[citation needed] in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientationto experience (the second component) involves accepting one's mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer's research on decision-making). Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results[citation needed] in the development of a Beginner's mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.

 

Jesus H. Christ.  Goddamned buzzword hippies.

 

Anyway, so all they're saying is they are trying to study meditation in a clinical setting, right?  Is there something new attached to the buzzwords, or are they just sexing it up?

Dude!!!! Moderation moderator.  Peace yea take the old stuff Eastern meditation, try to make some New Age  stuff respectful by grounding it in the old stuff and sexy it up. Psychology is not science.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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I can see some point in

I can see some point in 'meta'-awareness of my current state of mind, and particularly of the processing of current input, ie what you are hearing and seeing and actively interpreting. I do find that helps me catch possible mis-interpretation, mis-perception, while the 'raw' input is still accessible, so I do what feels like a rewind back to what might have been a mistake in 'reading' the input. Its much too late to pick up certain kinds of perceptual mistakes when you are thinking back on it after intervening experiences.

"Conscious awareness of ones own thoughts" in a broader sense seems a bit circular, compared to "awareness' of 'lower'-level processing as I discussed above. Needs to be clarified a bit - awareness of your instinctive or 'gut' reactions to what you are perceiving or thinking about, so as to be able to distinguish them from more rational or reasoned judgments, for example. Awareness of how your own attitudes may have changed over time is also helpful, to put things in perspective.

"Accepting one's mindstream" - ???

If the rest of that means maintaining an awareness of alternative ways of looking at and analysing what you experience, sure.

"Thinking in alternative categories"? Again, a bit of an unnecessarily 'buzzword-compliant' way of putting a basic aspect of critical thinking.

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BobSpence1 wrote:I can see

BobSpence1 wrote:

I can see some point in 'meta'-awareness of my current state of mind, and particularly of the processing of current input, ie what you are hearing and seeing and actively interpreting. I do find that helps me catch possible mis-interpretation, mis-perception, while the 'raw' input is still accessible, so I do what feels like a rewind back to what might have been a mistake in 'reading' the input. Its much too late to pick up certain kinds of perceptual mistakes when you are thinking back on it after intervening experiences.

"Conscious awareness of ones own thoughts" in a broader sense seems a bit circular, compared to "awareness' of 'lower'-level processing as I discussed above.

"Accepting one's mindstream" - ???

If the rest of that means maintaining an awareness of alternative ways of looking at and analysing what you experience, sure.

"Thinking in alternative categories"? Again, a bit of a unnecessarily 'buzzword-compliant' way of putting a basic aspect of critical thinking.

  I think that you do experience your own thoughts with very little or any conscious input into their formulation. Thoughts seem to be more responsive to your conscious focusing... your awareness pops here and there . Your thoughts give you a little narrative association. .. hey look there's a bird. What the hell is that dude slamming his breaks on for?  I think is what such things as "mindstream" means going all the way back to William James.  I agree the "thinking in alternative categories" is  a new age buzzword. Mindfulness is not about categories so much as it is about focusing, and suspending a typical dialogue  process in the mind

 

Mindfulness helps with attention and reduces the randomness of a primitive program that wants to survey the environment. Meditation and mindfulness are very beneficial don't get me wrong. I am very concerned when a 2600 year old practice is packaged and sold with other non-tested goodies thrown in the bag.  But here in the states can setup up a certification program.  You purchase the materials and  get a few study books, a DVD and some review notes. Then you fill out the test and send it back. Then you can teach mindfulness, or hypnosis for that matter.

 

Mindfulness therapy is no fad, experts say

There is solid evidence that mindfulness therapy, which combines elements of Buddhism and yoga, can relieve anxiety and improve mood.

  • Mindfulness therapy encourages patients to focus on their breathing and… (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters)
January 08, 2011|By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma — lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled.

Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that's taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country. 


"Mindfulness has become a buzzword, especially with younger therapists," said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Mindfulness therapy encourages patients to focus on their breathing and their body, to notice but not judge their thoughts and to generally live in the moment. It may sound a bit squishy and New Agey to some, but Hofmann and other experts say mindfulness has something that discredited theories of the past never had: solid evidence that it can help.

"


The treatment seemed to help ease the mental stress of people recovering from cancer and other serious illnesses, but it had the strongest benefits for people diagnosed with mood disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and recurring depression.

 

 

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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TGBaker wrote:mellestad

TGBaker wrote:

mellestad wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

My wife is a psychotherapist. To maintain your certification with the State board ya hafta do so many hours of study per year. Guess what the big trend in counseling is?  Ya got it....Mindfulness. Someone is stealing from the Buddha. Wasn't that one of the eight fold path.  Om Mani Padme Hum... namaste. Bye ya'll

From wiki:

wiki wrote:
In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves conscious awareness of one's current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result[citation needed] in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientationto experience (the second component) involves accepting one's mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer's research on decision-making). Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results[citation needed] in the development of a Beginner's mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.

 

Jesus H. Christ.  Goddamned buzzword hippies.

 

Anyway, so all they're saying is they are trying to study meditation in a clinical setting, right?  Is there something new attached to the buzzwords, or are they just sexing it up?

Dude!!!! Moderation moderator.  Peace yea take the old stuff Eastern meditation, try to make some New Age  stuff respectful by grounding it in the old stuff and sexy it up. Psychology is not science.

 

 

 

Lol.  The thing that gets me though is psychology *can* be a science when people approach it the right way.  Oh well.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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TGBaker wrote: Psychology

TGBaker wrote:

 Psychology is not science.

Exactly.

It's a pseudo science, based on anecdotal evidence, conjecture, and neurophysics.

 

Kapkao wrote:

Stop the presses. I agree with rednef...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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It's wrong of me no doubt

 

 

But I tend to think of mindfulness - or disconnection of the prefrontal cortex - as listening to the connectome. Just feeling and not concentrating. Rather than deliberately seeking this state I get it sailing or riding a motorcycle - anything that involves no specific thinking - sort of mental balancing. This is prob not what Bob is talking about but there's something to be said for getting your inner voice to shut up for a while. I agree with some one upthread - this way of thinking or relaxing your thoughts and being opening is denigrated by the label new age. It's just a natural way for humans to sometimes be that evidence suggests may be beneficial.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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mellestad wrote:TGBaker

mellestad wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

mellestad wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

My wife is a psychotherapist. To maintain your certification with the State board ya hafta do so many hours of study per year. Guess what the big trend in counseling is?  Ya got it....Mindfulness. Someone is stealing from the Buddha. Wasn't that one of the eight fold path.  Om Mani Padme Hum... namaste. Bye ya'll

From wiki:

wiki wrote:
In this two-component model, self-regulated attention (the first component) involves conscious awareness of one's current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, which can result[citation needed] in metacognitive skills for controlling concentration. Orientationto experience (the second component) involves accepting one's mindstream, maintaining open and curious attitudes, and thinking in alternative categories (developing upon Ellen Langer's research on decision-making). Training in mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices, oftentimes as part of a quiet meditation session, results[citation needed] in the development of a Beginner's mind, or, looking at experiences as if for the first time.

 

Jesus H. Christ.  Goddamned buzzword hippies.

 

Anyway, so all they're saying is they are trying to study meditation in a clinical setting, right?  Is there something new attached to the buzzwords, or are they just sexing it up?

Dude!!!! Moderation moderator.  Peace yea take the old stuff Eastern meditation, try to make some New Age  stuff respectful by grounding it in the old stuff and sexy it up. Psychology is not science.

 

 

 

Lol.  The thing that gets me though is psychology *can* be a science when people approach it the right way.  Oh well.

I think that a lot of therapeutic stuff is called folk psychology.  The theoretical research is scientific ...praxis and theory


 

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

But I tend to think of mindfulness - or disconnection of the prefrontal cortex - as listening to the connectome. Just feeling and not concentrating. Rather than deliberately seeking this state I get it sailing or riding a motorcycle - anything that involves no specific thinking - sort of mental balancing. This is prob not what Bob is talking about but there's something to be said for getting your inner voice to shut up for a while. I agree with some one upthread - this way of thinking or relaxing your thoughts and being opening is denigrated by the label new age. It's just a natural way for humans to sometimes be that evidence suggests may be beneficial.

 

 

 

 

Typically in mindfulness meditation on fMRI's the prefrontal area lights up as consciousness  seems to heighten.  I think with glossolalia the prefrontal goes down as the emotional and limbic heightens.  Maybe you are taping into the emotive like the glossolalia or ecstatic which is a form of mysticism???? Mindfulness  meditation is the typical focusing in on a mandala, a candle or mantra to train your attention. Then mindfulness per se maybe what you are doing but focusing in on your emotional state. There are several methods of meditation, the zero method of no object ( Hindu) also called the bull method. The Zen method seems closer to the mindfulness discussed here. In the bull method an EEG should not show a ripple when a spoon is dropped. A normal reading would see a spike and a leveling off. With the Zen method you see the spike but not the leveling off. It drops back to base immediately ( non attachment).


 

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Probably all

 

 

I am doing is relaxing. It's not something I ever thought to give a name to. There's just things that feel good - sailing alone on a good day, riding on a road with camber, laying beside a creek in the national park smelling the mud and waterweed. Maybe I'm just misinterpreting the meaning of mindfulness. This emotional connection you're talking about is what I'm having to a high degree. I'm not thinking, just feeling good.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:  I

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

I am doing is relaxing. It's not something I ever thought to give a name to. There's just things that feel good - sailing alone on a good day, riding on a road with camber, laying beside a creek in the national park smelling the mud and waterweed. Maybe I'm just misinterpreting the meaning of mindfulness. This emotional connection you're talking about is what I'm having to a high degree. I'm not thinking, just feeling good.

 

 

 

I think it may still be mindfulness. There's the Buddhist state of non-attachment but then the mystic looks for that ecstasy. Seems to me that is what interests you. Joseph Campbell called it bliss and summed up his philosophy as "Follow Your Bliss". I think I like the ecstasy better than the non-attachment.


 

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TGBaker wrote:I think it may

TGBaker wrote:

I think it may still be mindfulness. There's the Buddhist state of non-attachment but then the mystic looks for that ecstasy. Seems to me that is what interests you. Joseph Campbell called it bliss and summed up his philosophy as "Follow Your Bliss". I think I like the ecstasy better than the non-attachment.

You're a hedonist.

Cool...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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redneF wrote:TGBaker wrote:I

redneF wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

I think it may still be mindfulness. There's the Buddhist state of non-attachment but then the mystic looks for that ecstasy. Seems to me that is what interests you. Joseph Campbell called it bliss and summed up his philosophy as "Follow Your Bliss". I think I like the ecstasy better than the non-attachment.

You're a hedonist.

Cool...

Don't you go telling that. But hell yeh.


 

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