NEW335H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Alternative Medicine, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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13 Dec 2017
Lecture 1
1.Give a definition of meditation that accommodates the two main goals of the practice.
Trains the mind/ an altered state of consciousness [alteration of neural circuits (neural plasticity)/
altered neurophysiology/neurochemistry)/ voluntary control fostering mental well-being,
development, calm, clarity, and concentration,)
2. Describe the demographic that typically engages in meditation. Why is demographic information
Higher income, younger age, higher education, higher stress levels, lower body mass index
Maybe these demos practice more often because they are the ones most sensitive to its effects
~60% are females
3. What are some elements common to many meditative practices?
Fixed attention, breathing practices, assumed postures, physical exercises, mantras, script rehearsal,
ceremonial objects/dresses philosophical attitudes and lifestyles, Religious beliefs
4. Explain how lifestyle and ideology are an important factor in the effects of meditation and the results
of meditation studies.
Ideology may be a compounding factor, complicating the effects observered from mediation (are
people subscribed to Buddhist beliefs more calm to being with, in which case mediation might not be
the defining factor of calmness.
5. What do we mean he e say editatio is ‘copleetary alteratie edicie?” Ho is this
different than alternative medicine?
Meditative practices that are not accompanied by a philosophical/religious/lifestyle beliefs are said to
complementary medicine. (i.e. secular meditation). As the name suggests it not prescribed as a
treatment by and in itself, rather it is advocated as a supplement. As opposed to alternative medicine,
which claims to stand alone as a treatment by and in itself.
6. Differentiate mindfulness and transcendental meditation. How do they differ in their features, goals
and effects? (Please note that part of this answer may be found in other lectures)
Trans: Large commercial industry/ Short training period/ Goal is a enlightenment, inner calmness/
Mantra/ Cardiovascular effects/ low scientific research.
MBSR: community organization (non-profit)/ Longer training period- weeks/ Goal= present, in the
moment, non-judgmental/ No mantras/ Mood and pain disorders (limited cardiovascular)/ High
7. Define mindfulness. What is the difference between mindfulness, mindfulness meditation and
mindfulness-based stress reduction?
Mindfulness: trait/philosophy of being mindful
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