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Psychological Concepts + How to Meditate
on September 30, 2009
This 3 disc, 3 ½ hour, 2009 Sounds True program is encased in a cardboard type tri-fold. It is said to draw on 30 years plus of research by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Richard Mendius. The cover states that it will show you how to strengthen your neural circuits that generate happiness, love, and inner peace and includes 7 guided meditations to reshape your brain. (OK. I'm in.) Note that the term "guided meditation" just means that someone is verbally guiding you through the meditation by talking to you and making suggestions.
There is a lot of really good information here and this is an excellent program, especially for those who want to learn to meditate but also want to be convinced first that it is worth their time commitment. This material provides how and why to meditate from a medical standpoint and can also be useful to seasoned meditators. The doctors also talk about how getting rid of your emotional baggage can help you. I can attest to that. Meditation has helped me bring up and confront some stuff I had buried inside. Once you bring it to the surface, you can begin to deal with it. This is a program that you can work with over and over, and will likely need to repeat to effectuate a positive change.
With the exception of the meditation segments on each CD, you can listen to the other/instructional parts in your car, on your way to work. I have listed the times for each track so you can figure out how everything is laid out and what way to listen best suits you.
Disc 1: Using Your Brain to Change Your Mind (total time 71:12)
1. Introduction (0:51)
2. Using Your Mind to Change Your Brain (13:59)
Drawing on a combination Western psychology and neurology and Eastern Buddhism, we explore how to be happier and have less anger and stress, to better understand difficult experiences, and to replace them with better states of mind. Rick begins this segment, followed by Richard. Both speak simply, in easy-to-understand language, and have voices that are pleasant to listen to. Both guys alternate throughout the 3 discs. Instead of getting caught up in all the "stuff" that is going on around us, they talk about how shifting your inner state-of-mind, one bit at a time, can effectuate positive change.
3. How Your Mind and Brain Work Together (20:08)
Your conscious mind is dependent upon your nervous system and is primarily dependent on your brain. Something transcendental is necessary for consciousness. This program is based primarily on Western (scientific) medicine. The complex brain is a gift--the extraordinary process of how it works (neurons firing, etc., even when someone is unconscious.) How brainwave patterns change and they change your mind, so you can deliberately effect a positive change in the physical structure of your brain.
4. Why Aren't People Happier? (10:32)
Explains how the brain generates suffering and how understanding these processes can allow you to suffer less.
5. The Effects of Meditation on Your Brain (15:31)
What scientific studies on meditating Tibetan monks have revealed, what happens in your brain when you meditate, and why. As someone who meditates frequently, I found this segment very interesting in helping me understand certain things about myself. If you listen to only segment 5 in this whole set, I think you will FIND time to meditate.
6. Guided Meditation: Appreciating Your Brain (10:06)
DO NOT DO THIS MEDITATION SEGMENT WHILE DRIVING. A bell indicates completion of the meditation. Do not jar yourself awake, but sit for a minute and then come out of it slowly.
(Disc 1, Segments 1 through 5 can be listened to in your car. You may have to listen to this information more than once, because there is a lot of scientific information here.)
Disc 2: Meditations to Change Your Brain (total time 78:47)
This disc is about 50 % meditation, so you cannot listen in the car unless you skip over each meditation and just listen to the instructional information, which you could do by track. The meditations are fairly brief, so if you are not good at meditating yet, the shorter ones will probably help you learn to focus better. The better you get at it, the longer you can meditate on your own. You can either stop the tape when you want to continue, or just do your own thing.
1. Introduction (0:40)
2. Taking Good Care of Yourself (4:58)--general information
3. Guided Meditation: Foundational Practices (15:04)
How to meditate practice.
4. How You Can Target Specific Changes in Your Brain (5:52)
Explaining psychologically what the meditation and the suggestions do in your brain.
5. The Four Steps to Taking in the Good (13:27)
You are mainly built up of stored memories of events and emotions. How you can help the brain to register positive experiences and why that is important.
6. Guided Meditation: Taking in the Good (7:32)
Practicing positive meditational experiences.
7. Introduction: Antidote to Stress (8:10)
What happens to the body in stress and why medically it happens. How to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to compensate and how it medically helps you.
8. Guided Meditation: Antidote to Stress (9:22)
How to relax body parts in a combo instructional and meditational experience.
9. Introduction: Healing Painful Experiences (4:52)
How you can influence the tone of your memories and shift your reaction to the painful memory.
10. Guided Meditation: Healing Painful Experiences (8:01)
Practicing the concept.
Disc 3: Meditations to Change Your Brain II (total time 73:32) This disc is 2 longer meditations and roughly 2 ten minute explanations--not a CD for the car.
1. Introduction: Steadying your Mind (12:41)
Voice in your head tends to chatter away on a lot of different subjects and build negative stories, which then causes you to expect negative happenings. Rick explains how attention works in the mind and brain. Steadiness of the mind is a real challenge for some, so you must practice and be patient with yourself.
2. Guided meditation: Steadying Your Mind (28:33)
A sampling of meditation methods to focus the mind on one thing.
3. Introduction: Mosaic Meditation (10:00)
Each moment of your life is like a mosaic of multi-sensual tiles that form a picture. This segment is about how the tiles are made and how we can rearrange them if we need to make a better picture.
4. Guided Meditation: Mosaic Meditation (22:15)
Practicing the concept.