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Jean Turlington

This article gave some very interesting insights on how meditation works as well as how it applies to the meditation we practice at the beginning of class. When the article talked about "efforting" it made me immediately think of the breathing exercise that we sometimes listen to. The woman speaking in the exercise mentions if you notice your mind wander acknowledge that it is wandering and slowly bring your mind back to medication. She does not want people to get mad at themselves, or to try and work really hard to not think about things. I think efforting is what she is getting at because when people try to hard to meditate or not think about distractions the meditation does not work. Efforting hurts the meditation process and causes increased activity in the brain, when we want decreased activity for meditation. After reading this I feel that my understanding of meditation and what works best is more clear.
Another interesting thing in the article was the new technique for measuring brain activity in the posterior cingulate cortex. Using an average of brain activity and instead a shorter but more detailed time period allowed the experimenters to learn more about what was going on in the brain at different points of meditation. When people described what was happening in their brain at each point in time, scientist could much better understand how that affected the brain. One other thing I was intrigued by was the idea that even experienced meditators had time meditating and describing their meditation experiences in longer periods of time than one minute. This new research will definitely bring new ideas and insights into mindfulness.

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