The author reports two cases in which depersonalization occurred during the waking consciousness of individuals who had engaged in meditative techniques designed to alter consciousness. Psychiatrists should be aware of this phenomenon, as the number organizations in the "consciousness movement" is increasing, and should ask people manifesting depersonalization about any involvement in activities leading to altered states of consciousness.
This article is a brief introduction to several different Eastern systems of philosophy and therapy. It surveys the Buddhist contributions and several contemporary applications of traditional meditation techniques within the framework of modern psychologic science. It is suggested that meditative exercises produce three therapeutic gains: insight into repetitive, self-defeating patterns of behavior, desensitization of painful thoughts, and the conditioning of the central nervous system.
Many patients can obtain rapid, short-term relief of anxiety through the use of simple, meditative techniques. Anxiety, tension, mild depressive feelings, and psychophysiologic symptoms frequently respond to such techniques. Five techniques are described, including physical self-support, attending to unpleasant feelings, listening to thoughts, listening to sounds, and paying attention to one's breathing. The techniques are easy to learn, innocuous, and well accepted by most patients.
Autonomic and electroencephalographic (EEG) correlates of Tantric Yoga meditation were studied in three groups of subjects as they progressed from normal consciousness into meditation. Groups differed in their level of meditation proficiency. Measures of skin resistance, heart rate, respiration, autonomic orienting responses, resting EEG, EEG alpha and theta frequencies, sleep-scored EEG, averaged evoked responses, and subjective experience were employed.
Meditation experiences are viewed from a constructivist perspective. Concentrative and mindfulness approaches are compared. It is concluded that, although these meditative techniques differ (and often are used in conjunction), they both yield insight into how the mind processes experience at both the preverbal and verbal levels.
Using positron emission tomography (PET), measurements of the regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (rCMRGlc) are able to delineate cerebral metabolic responses to external or mental stimulation. In order to examine possible changes of brain metabolism due to Yoga meditation PET scans were performed in 8 members of a Yoga meditation group during the normal control state (C) and Yoga meditative relaxation (YMR).
To examine the extent to which advanced meditative practices might alter body metabolism and the electroencephalogram (EEG), we investigated three Tibetan Buddhist monks living in the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, India. In a study carried out in February 1988, we found that during the practice of several different meditative practices, resting metabolism (VO2) could be both raised (up to 61%) and lowered (down to 64%). The reduction from rest is the largest ever reported.
OBJECTIVES: To review relevant literature describing prayer and guided imagery, and to demonstrate via the use of a vignette, the use of both prayer and guided imagery as one approach to offer spiritual care to oncology patients. DATA SOURCES: Review and research articles from multiple disciplines, and personal clinical experience. CONCLUSION: Meditative prayer and guided imagery are two approaches that can be used to provide spiritual care to cancer patients and families. While research has focused on elements of spirituality, research related to clinical interventions is limited.
We report extremely prominent heart rate oscillations associated with slow breathing during specific traditional forms of Chinese Chi and Kundalini Yoga meditation techniques in healthy young adults. We applied both spectral analysis and a novel analytic technique based on the Hilbert transform to quantify these heart rate dynamics.
Zen meditation, or zazen, has attracted the interest of many psychotherapists. The teachings and practices of the Soto Zen tradition are understood as encouraging important areas of both psychological and spiritual development. Zen, like the relational psychoanalytic theories, encourages its practitioners to become aware of the fundamentally distorted aspects of an overly individualistic view of human experience. As a spiritual practice, zazen increases the practitioner's tolerance and appreciation of the Wholeness that Buddhists refer to as Emptiness.