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Mindfulness - an ancient meditation technique and an approved medicine

Updated on October 10, 2015

Mindfulness – an ancient meditation technique and an approved medicine


Most of the people agree that Yoga, listening classical music, chanting Om, etcetera are all great for health. The truth is no doctor can prescribe yoga or any of the other activities mentioned before to his patient – he is not allowed to. A doctor will certainly have no problem if his patient wants to try these and might even recommend some of these activities but he can not write it on his prescription. Any medicine or activity can only be prescribed if its efficacy has been tested with experiments in lab and approved by the medical fraternity.

A doctor can certainly prescribe mindfulness though. Mindfulness is usually prescribed for reducing stress and alleviating mental ailments like depression. Its efficacy has been tested and it has been accepted by the medical science. Mindfulness is found to be highly effective in preventing recurrence of depression.

John kabat Zinn is a pioneer scientist who started studying mindfulness scientifically. The medical fraternity looked at Zinn’s research with great skepticism initially. Many scientists carried on the research on this ancient form of meditation and the results came out to be promising. It was accepted as a therapy and psychologists formed a package in which mindful meditation was combined with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Mindfulness is based on vipassana meditation of Buddhism. Its practice helps the meditator to be aware of his experiences by observing them mindfully and accepting them without judgement. It is like a martial art for mind and practicing it desensitizes the ‘mind’s knuckles’—pain and pleasure do not have much impact on the well-practiced mind and it attains a peaceful state.

A mindful person develops a deeper (yet detached and non-judgmental) appreciation of life as it unfolds. Her mind attains a state where she does feel the pain but her suffering is reduced; she understands what pleasure is but her desire is tamed.

fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) images of meditators’ brains who have been practicing mindfulness for many years show that the activities in their brains exhibit a different pattern than common people. There is a monk named Matthieu Ricard, who has been doing meditation for more than thirty years, is said to be the happiest man alive. The claim is not verifiable, and Ricard himself refutes it blithely with a cheerful grin, but fMRI image of his brain does show ‘peaceful’ patterns.

Mindfulness has been studied comprehensively and numerous researches have verified its efficacy. It has been developed from an ancient Buddhist meditation technique and it is an effective modern day medicine.




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    • Parimalpolymath profile image
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      Prabhat Parimal 21 months ago from India

      Thank You so much Kimh039!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 21 months ago

      Nice hub, Parimalpolymath....and welcome to HubPages. I like the scientific perspective on mindfulness, and appreciate the distinction you made in the above comment between pain and suffering.

    • Sakshi Davessar profile image

      Sakshi Davessar 21 months ago from Punjab, India

      Most welcome. Yes you are absolutely correct. Yes i found it quite interesting

    • Parimalpolymath profile image
      Author

      Prabhat Parimal 21 months ago from India

      Thank You Sakshi!

      Yes, meditation does not offer some miracle as many believe, if one is experiencing pain the pain will be there but mindful practice will cause the meditator to accept the pain, eventually this will reduce the suffering.

      I am glad you read it so thoroughly!

    • Sakshi Davessar profile image

      Sakshi Davessar 21 months ago from Punjab, India

      Great !Thank you for sharing such an informational hub. I liked one line where you said this mindfulness meditation will be very helpful as we will sense pain but it will be reduced and that we will still know what pleasure is but our desires will be curbed. This would actually help to live our lives more easily