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It's in the film "What the Bleep Do We Know"
It's ALREADY been proven.
And also neuroscientistics have been studying contemplatives (monks, llamas, etc.) and actually recording their ability to change there neurochemistry. You see certain emotions (like anger, depression, compassion, etc.) are associeted with differnt aspects of your neuro-chemistry. When you get angry you are literally releasing a bunch of anger shit into your brain. When you meditate you are training your mind to see differently and not engage every aspect of your emotional experience.
Look at the research on the Dala Lama particularly. It's pretty impressive.
Also, read anything by Uma Thurman's dad, Robert Thurman. He writes a lot about Tibetan practice and compares our astronauts to their "pshychonauts". Meditative practice isn't about leaps of faith or anti-intellectualism. It is actually just as "scientific" as our materialistic technology. In the case of contemplatives it is a technology of self, rather than an external technology.
It sounds like you are doing vipassana or "insight" meditation, which is the practice of realizing shunyata. It is basically finding some identifiable phenomena to focus and empty your mind of frivolous and unneccessary garbage .That is a very important practice.
What these people are practicing is probably tonglen or "sending and receiving", which is the practice of aspiring to heal the world with your own healing. The point is that we all experience anger, rage, depression, thirst, hunger, etc. If we can heal our own minds of these qualities, we can actually send out the very same healing energy to others. It isn't some ethereal force. Meditation is all about realizing that all that separates you from murderers across the world are linguistic distinctions. We are all part of the same blanket, although we may be different threads.
You don't have to buy it. But it makes a lot of sense to me.
How do you help potential murders? I mean, yes, you can fix socio-economic situations and try to intervene, but the point is to actually change the feelings that exist in the world through mindfulness. You can't fix every problem materially! Somethings have to start with the poison in our heads. Hate, vengefulness, greed, jealousy, etc. These are all common experience so why don't we actually pay attention to what they have to teach us about what we have in common. I help people all the time, it doesn't mean that that is the only way to do something.
In fact, I help way more when i am practicing tonglen than when i try to push some preconceived agenda about what this person actually needs when I really have no idea how to help in the first place.
Once again. I'm not going to cram this shit down anyones throat but if anyone IS actually legitimately interested I can explain what I've learned during 3 years of a deeply engaged practice with a guru and Tibetan lineage.
Take it or leave it. If you don't agree than go elsewhere and find your trip.
It just shows that you have a limited understanding of it, which is fine, it has been so quickly characatured by popular conceptions. Meditation is sooooo not idleness, it is actually a very difficult and techically accomplished exercise. Once again, if you care to criticize something at least have the decency to spend some time considering the reality of it rather than writing it off in some misconceived and half-backed notion of it.
Also, you aren't "ridding the world of evil" because in this conception of the world, there is no such thing as evil, only attachment and emotional patterns that rule our behavior but we can become freed from. That's no different than most things that modern psychology will say, but, in this case the person isn't reduced to one neurotransmitter that needs to be fixed and is given the autonomy to free themselves through practice.
You are missing the point. You can help people in all of those ways, and yes, they are good ways to help.
But the fact is no matter what, people will die, no matter what, people will starve, now matter what, people will suffer. The point if this kind of practice is not to "fix" those situations by altering the material reality (which you can do) but rather, to alter the way we experience our attachments to life, property, health, companions, etc.
Those things will all go away no matter what. No matter what we will suffer in some (probably many) ways during our lifes. The point is to find insight into those experiences and gain equanmity in the face of them, not to just give up on reality. You can attack the problem from both angles.
I cannot access the scholarly journals from off campus, but will find the articles and studies later.
Of course the studies are flawed, so what. Once again why the fuck is everyone so bent on materialistic evidence? If it can't be proved it doesn't exist! That's fine. I was just offering my experience and practice. I will shut up henceforth.
Here are a few articles (not scholarly journals) and they are fair and balanced i think:
It doesn't transcend anything because in my view, and in my experience through practice, apparent material reality is actually empty. The point is that all that exists, everything that we are experiencing as material reality is just a projection of our own discursive consciousness, which stands between us and a more basic, simplistic reality. It's not about the "true beleiver mentality". Literally, all Tibetan Buddhism boils down to is the dharma, the buddha, and tha sangha. You "worship" the dharma in some sense, but the dharma is completely secular....all the dharma is is the body of teachings, and the body of teachings is each moment I accept as a reflection of possibility to escape dukkhua (suffering). For instance, if I am in a shitty mood and a big thing of snow falls off the eves onto me, and it just shakes me alive, if I am practicing "right attitude" i could see that as dharma. The snow falling was teaching me to wake up and not let my moods destroy existence for me. If you lose a loved one it is also dharma teaching you that all we love will be lost. The dharma isn't a deity or a God or a universal design, it is just the body of reality and your relationship with it. The Buddha is just an example, not a God or deity either. In other words the Buddha is like your friend that you looked up to because he did something you really wanted to do. He is not above you, nor should you worship him, but you should learn from him. Finally the sangha is the spiritual community. They are all other people who have recognized that they are imperfect and want to train and perfect their minds. They have recognized the empitness of possession and attachment and so are going through a very similar battle to you.
There is no worship, only positive examples and experiences.
The last time you got into, or sat on the sidelines of, an argument online with someone who thought they knew all there was to know about health care reform, gun control, gay marriage, climate change, sex education, the drug war, Joss Whedon or whether or not 0.9999 repeated to infinity was equal to one – how did it go?
Did you teach the other party a valuable lesson? Did they thank you for edifying them on the intricacies of the issue after cursing their heretofore ignorance, doffing their virtual hat as they parted from the keyboard a better person?
No, probably not. Most online battles follow a similar pattern, each side launching attacks and pulling evidence from deep inside the web to back up their positions until, out of frustration, one party resorts to an all-out ad hominem nuclear strike. If you are lucky, the comment thread will get derailed in time for you to keep your dignity, or a neighboring commenter will help initiate a text-based dogpile on your opponent.
What should be evident from the studies on the backfire effect is you can never win an argument online. When you start to pull out facts and figures, hyperlinks and quotes, you are actually making the opponent feel as though they are even more sure of their position than before you started the debate. As they match your fervor, the same thing happens in your skull. The backfire effect pushes both of you deeper into your original beliefs.
Andrews a wizard