Author Topic: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma  (Read 6996 times)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« on: March 12, 2010, 08:55:16 AM »
Stefan Molyneaux is a very interesting researcher and thinker:

The Bomb in the Brain Part 1 - The Effects of Child Abuse

The Bomb in the Brain Part 2 - The Freedomain Radio Interview with Dr Felitti

The Bomb in the Brain Part 3 - The Biology of Violence: The Effects of Child Abuse

The Bomb in the Brain Part 4 - The Death of Reason - The Effects of Child Abuse

In the last video he touches on why I have posted this here. "Self knowledge" is the cure. Meditation is a tool for achieving just that.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

sylvanhart

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 02:17:45 PM »
Hopefully I will get around to watching this over the weekend. My main interest in brain science is autism, since I'm what you would call an "aspie." So like half autistic or something. I wonder how meditation could change the brain of someone on the autism spectrum. Anyone have knowledge, experience, or speculation?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 04:13:46 PM »
sylvanhart,

I thoroughly recommend you do take the time to watch the whole series. It also touches on ADHD and many other related issues.

There is a discussion on meditation and autism here: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt47188.html

Also on the same forum "Meditation not medication": http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt17582.html

- Based on this video (actually about ADHD and meditation):

ADHD: Meditation, not Medication

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 10:19:57 PM »
Thank you for that last video. You can realy see on the kids faces that they seem more positive and alive :-)

And I like what Fraya wrote about meditation  on that forum;
Quote
In my opinion its something that should be taught in school.. definately more useful than knowing the names of the ships Columbus sailed on.

So true lol  ;D

sylvanhart

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 01:58:48 AM »
Thanks for the links, Matthew. I see some synchronicity with my own experience of intense exercise and meditation. I've been recommended SSRIs for anxiety and depression in the past, but fortunately I've never allowed any (perscription) mind-altering medication past my lips.


The whole childhood abuse thing reminds me of the book, The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff, which I own. For example, the common practice of leaving infants in cribs could be classed as abuse.

The blurb from the web site:
"Jean Liedloff, an American writer, spent two and a half years deep in the South American jungle with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is. She offers a new understanding of how we have lost much of our natural well-being and shows us practical ways to regain it for our children and for ourselves."

http://www.continuum-concept.org/cc_defined.html

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 06:34:22 AM »
That's a great book sylvan, you might also benefit from reading some Alice Miller. "Breaking down the wall of silence" is a good one.

M
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 02:03:15 PM »

Quote
In my opinion its something that should be taught in school.. definately more useful than knowing the names of the ships Columbus sailed on.


Agreed.

In my 12 years of school, I was taught everything under the sun except how to live a happy, peaceful life. Really Sad.

The question is: What use will the knowledge of Geography be when death dances before me?

CP
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 08:09:20 PM »
It seems to be that philosophy, psychology and politics need to be core subjects for children from about age 11 if they are ever to understand themselves, the world and their place in it.

Meditation can be taught to 3 year olds and they get it really easily.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

sinkingthinking

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2010, 08:55:29 PM »
Very interesting information there about the findings with sensory deprivation, although I'd like to know whether any studies have controlled for other associated experiences that might be causing the brain differences: drug use of the mother while pregnant or nursing, malnutrition, head trauma or shaking etc., all common in cases of neglect.

I am using both meditation and medication (among other things) for ADHD. Unfortunately I can't afford the luxury of waiting for meditation to thicken the relevant parts of the brain (which is how it appears it would work) as I have a life to lead here and now, and it's a daily struggle for me to keep any kind of order and reliability in that life, and therefore security (of work, career prospects, relationships, finding a place to live where I'll pay proper rent, and in almost every sense living independently of other people's help, which I still haven't achieved in my early twenties and with a high 'on paper' IQ). The medications (the stimulant ones, anyway) work from the day or sometimes week first taken, because they increase dopamine levels without the need to alter the structure of the brain first (although there is some evidence that they may over time do this as well - this is the only true 'long-term effect' supported by any scientific evidence, that they might increase the chance of the brain catching up to normal development, suggesting that the lack of dopamine could be a cause for the neurological underdevelopment in the first place, rather than the other way round).

In the interest of fact, and fact with massive implications for individuals and society, I would like to point out first of all that the above lady is talking about transcendental meditation, which unlike vipassana is a trademarked product sold by a single profit-making organisation, which you have to pay in order to read quite how it's done. Secondly, she is either misinformed (or more accurately, disinformed), or deliberately slandering her competition, by repeating falsehoods about the medications in this video.

The effects DO NOT include ANY long-term side effects; usually any side effects subside after a few weeks, alternatively if the medication is stopped, they go away as soon as the drug leaves the body. My response to the ones she alleges:

They don't increase the chance of substance abuse. Some studies have shown no difference in risk between medicated and unmedicated teens and adults, and others have suggested that they significantly DECREASE the risk of that and of tobacco smoking (also 80% in ADHD adults). They temper impulsivity, and reduce the need for self-medication. These factors should theoretically make them reduce the risk of substance abuse occurring and even make it easier for people to give up substances like caffeine (which helps us calm down, concentrate and even sleep, being a mild stimulant like the medication), cigarettes and illegal drugs, and there's anecdotal and scientific evidence that indeed they do both of these things.

Neither is there substantial evidence that they increase the rate of sudden death. The only study to have looked into that found a slightly higher rate of use among children who died suddenly than among those who died in car accidents, but the authors of the study concluded that the limitations of its design and size meant that the difference could be caused by other factors. A larger study has been commisioned but as of yet it would be unreasonable to rush to reduce the use of the stimulants when children's long-term outcomes are statistically so much improved by them, and children are monitored for cardiovascular changes when put on it so it can be discontinued if significant changes occur.

This favourite non-fact of Scientology (the same organisation that condemns any use of even anti-convulsants for brain damaging, life-threatening seizures) also comes from coverage given to several cases of teenagers suddenly dying on them. With so many teenagers taking them in the USA and elsewhere, statistically, a few of the thousands of teenaged victims of sudden death syndrome annually are going to have happened to have been on this and all kinds of medication - most people just don't realise how common the phenomenon is and so assumed a causal relationship. Most probably some victims were on allergy medicine too - so what? Anyway, in response to the ensuing panic, a black box warning suggesting they might be implicated in sudden death syndrome was put on the medications in a few countries, in case the families of anyone who died in the future while taking them tried to sue. This warning was removed after the FDA decided the study and anecdotes provided insufficient evidence to justify it.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 09:48:39 PM by sinkingthinking »

elliberto

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 02:01:04 PM »
Came across a new (at least for me) view on chronic fatigue syndrome and fybromyaligia.
Like the bomb in the brain series it also revolves around the amygdala.
Even if you don't suffer from those ilnesses interesting stuff IMO as I guess we all suffer more or less from the unhealthy loop which according to this theory causes those ilnesses of contributes to them.
Instead of explaining it myself here's an explanation of the guy who came up with this theory and the treatment (which he of course is trying to sell):

SESSION 2: PART 1
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2: PART 1

SESSION 2: PART 2
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2: PART 2

SESSION 2: PART 3
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2: PART 3
 
SESSION 2: PART 4
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2: PART 4

SESSION 2: PART 5
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2, PART 5

SESSION 2: PART 6
Gupta Programme - SESSION 2: PART 6

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 01:32:16 AM »
Very interesting series, however he is not accurate about one thing: The Amygdala processes information on a more basic level than the cortex and much quicker, flooding the brain with chemicals that over-ride cortex responses which come out of thinking. He refers to the Amygdala delivering "responses" - it doesn't - it delivers reactions, and very quickly:

The difference between a response and a reaction:

  • A reaction is habitual, conditioned and automatic: unthought and immediate.
  • A response is chosen from recognised and considered options: contemplated, which takes time.

The Amygdala is responsible for the habitual reactions.

The cortex is responsible for chosen responses.

Also I have been writing recently about the importance of the Vagus nerve in mediating calming of the mind:

There is a particular issue with Anapana at the nose. By focussing one's attention on the nose one is primarily using the 5th Cranial nerve, the Trigeminal nerve, as the  conduit of sensation to the brain. This means that most of the meditative activity is taking place entirely in your head because the Trigeminal nerve directly enters the brain stem and does not pass through the spinal cord.

.....

This is important because when one is meditating in this way, as opposed to nostril-focussed Anapana, one is using/activating many other nerves and neurological systems - particularly the Vagus, or 10th Cranial nerve, "The Wanderer" - so called because it wanders down the neck, into the chest and abdomen and controls and senses the larynx, other parts of the speech and hearing apparatus and senses the visceral muscles of the chest, trunk and abdomen including the diaphragm and the organs including your heart (though control of the diaphragm is principally by the Phrenic nerve and the heart by the Cardiac nerve, you also want these fully activated).

The Vagus nerve amongst other things is responsible for:

Quote from: Yale School Of Medicine
Provides visceral sensory information from the larynx, esophagus, trachea, and abdominal and thoracic viscera, as well as the stretch receptors of the aortic arch and chemoreceptors of the aortic bodies .

 
Thus by focussing on the entire breathing process in the body one is activating many more nerves - particularly the Vagus, a very important nerve to have properly activated, and is actively reconnecting body (through the Vagus and other nerves) and mind (through awareness).

The importance of this is shown by the close relationship of the Vagus and the Amygdala:

Quote
University of Virginia psychologists have moved the science of memory forward, reporting that stimulating the vagus nerve, which carries sensory messages to and from the brain, releases the neurotransmitter norepinephrine into the amygdala, strengthening memory storage in limbic regions of the brain that regulate arousal, memory and feeling responses to emotionally laden stimuli.

Their findings, which appear in the February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience (Vol. 118, No. 1), outline the neural pathway through which hormones that are released in the body affect specific parts of the brain during meaningful or emotionally arousing events in order to strengthen memories that will later foster sentimental pleasure or torture us with relived trauma.

The researchers--psychobiologists Cedric L.Williams, PhD, Derrick Hassert, PhD, and Teiko Miyashita, PhD--conclude that the vagus nerve is the "missing link" between the hormone epinephrine outside the brain and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine inside the brain.

"It had always been puzzling how the peripheral release of epinephrine could have these central effects on memory," says John Disterhoft, PhD, editor of Behavioral Neuroscience and a neurobiologist at Northwestern University. "This work helps us to understand how arousal responses in the body periphery, such as fight or flight, affect the brain--which they must if they are going to enhance learning as much as they are known to do."

Armed with these new insights, scientists can now more carefully calibrate how they stimulate the vagus nerve to influence the release of norepinephrine, flood the amygdala and strengthen memory. Or they can pursue more efficient blockers to shut out intrusive memories. The implications are many, offering explanations of known phenomena and holding out hope for improved treatments.

From: http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/vagus.aspx


Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 01:42:56 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

elliberto

  • Guest
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 01:55:30 AM »
Quote
The Amygdala is responsible for the habitual reactions.

The cortex is responsible for chosen responses.

Even though he might inappropriately might have used the word 'responses' I didn't get the impression that anywhere he wanted to convey that the amygdala does anything more than habitual reactions.
Sometimes he usese phrases as: the amygdala thinks this or that, but IMO that's just his way of getting a point across.
Remember those dvd's are (also) meant for people suffering from chronic fatigue.  In that situation it might be better to use easy to understand more loose language instead of a more formal but completely accurate language.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation, brain science, politics and childhood trauma
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 08:08:26 AM »
Actually at one point in this series he accurately uses the word reaction, but just the once.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
3638 Views
Last post March 04, 2008, 07:40:02 PM
by Flipasso
3 Replies
4281 Views
Last post September 12, 2008, 07:23:56 PM
by Flipasso
1 Replies
1539 Views
Last post January 24, 2011, 08:28:07 AM
by Morning Dew
4 Replies
2833 Views
Last post November 04, 2014, 06:19:15 PM
by Matthew
0 Replies
1095 Views
Last post October 30, 2013, 11:14:20 AM
by lotusflower
5 Replies
1462 Views
Last post January 30, 2017, 01:39:49 PM
by mettajoey
2 Replies
1147 Views
Last post May 21, 2018, 09:34:59 PM
by Matthew