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Another perspective.

To the author(s):

The worst thing that can happen when I communicate critique is for me to make a claim that is arrived at by unreasoning, or one that is a culturally acquired but unwarranted belief. The best thing that can happen is to be informed by my reader or listener where my reasoning is incorrect. (This is also known as peer review, in science.)

Wikipedia can be a continuous challenge between authors and editors [please note I have not touched your article], and this situation cannot change so long as editing is possible. Setting oneself up for this is completely the choice of the authors (including me, as can be seen from the quick retort I received below from an uninterested party).

As far as the importance of religious traditions being the focus of the article, I would like to remind the author that most major religious traditions have a long real world history—beyond the academic rhetoric of this article—of intolerance as well as violence. If one only wants to see idealized examples, all of that history is missed. At least some readers are probably aware of the historical conflicts between Islam and Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, which continue to this day with varying degrees of animosity and violence (there are dozens of others that need not be listed here).

Yet all of these religious traditions and their historical proponents have rich traditions of meditation. The folks responsible for history, those who were part of it, were in many cases proponents of meditation. That much can be discerned from the author’s reliance on historicity.

There is no way, I believe, of realistically reconciling the differences between religions and calling it MEDITATION, and thus the article would more properly be entitled, PAN-RELIGIOUS SURVEY OF MEDITATION. The author’s own bias cannot be suppressed, and should not be. I see the inclusion of the late Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, for example. Probably dozens of other popular philosophers, i.e., those still in print or for which published works and papers could be located, could be included.

From this one could conclude that meditation means all things to all people. Meditation is a subjective human endeavor and bias regarding purpose and goals cannot be eliminated.

To present MEDITATION as an academic historical review without noting quite a few traditions that are in practical terms historically incompatible leaves the reader who is aware of this to reject the topic entirely, seeing that historically it has not worked out well between competing schools of thought. If the author could tease out what he or she believes is the essence of meditation that is common to all of these traditions, that would be a valuable introduction.

Does history affect validity?

We are currently making history, as is every living person. Our viewpoints need not be and should not be validated solely on the history of (mostly religious) traditions of meditation noted by the author.

In the particular philosophy I am most aligned with, the purpose of mediation ultimately is to help remove ignorance and delusion, to go beyond false views and perceive the world as it really is. (A similar purpose is found in the ongoing quest of science.)That is not so simple a task as joining in a tradition, religious or non-religious, and practicing ritualized meditation. This is currenty difficult to discern in your article, at least for me.

The goal and purpose of meditation from my point of view would be thwarted by filtering information through religious traditions or viewing the world through the lens of unwarranted conclusions. I expect that the commentator above, who is a teacher of meditation, would recognize that.

Surely there must be some readers who come here to learn how to meditate. It would be good, I think, to put that type of instruction up front, followed by historical examples of meditation and how they differ.

Mixing the two very different topics (historical perspective and actual practice) leaves the novice in a position of deciding whether to learn to spin like a Sufi or retire to a cave atop an icy summit awaiting the next life, whether to take up the Roman Catholic rosary or to press their forehead to the ground on schedule for ritual prayer of the Islamic tradition—because all of these are religious meditation practices despite being mutually incompatible religions.

I happen to follow a particular Buddhist tradition, of the Theravada school. It is of significant note that the differences in Buddhist traditions is a great as the differences in the endemic religions that added the word “Buddha” to their dogma and went on evolving from that point historically. The gaps between them are as great as the gaps between religious faith in some god and absolute atheism—literally, because that in fact is one of the dividing points.

Thank you for reading my comments. I will visit this site later if time permits.


FYI I did NOT read it. It was verbose soap boxing. And you must be using the Chrome browser, made a mess. History2007 (talk) 21:01, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


Ok, you did not read it. Discussion here is supposed to be about the article, and I see you are more interested in speculation about computer related topics, for which I can only tell you that I got thorough using MS Windows from Yahoo. Obviously you are not interested in content; I can accept that.

I do not know how you arrived at the conclusion that my discussion was verbose soap boxing if you did not read it. That's ok. It is a free speech country and you are entitled to express your particular attitude. I have made a serious attempt to contact people who are interested in the topic at hand, MEDITATION and addressed content, adding perspective that I think would be cogent and relevant.

For what the article is, I am grateful for the addition to Wikipedia. There are however other relevant aspects that I believe have been missed. You, having not read the comment, would not know, as can be seen from your necessarily prejudicial and definitely pejorative comment.

I regret that you are compelled to respond sans intellectual content or connection to the article. Try to be happy. In the future I will avoid replying to you beyond this as I do not wish to accept invitations to engage in a fight. Araktsu (talk) 22:40, 27 February 2011 (UTC) _________________________________________________

I did read User:Araktsu's remarks (as modified after History2007's response). Though I think his/her intent was sincere for improving the article, I agree that they tend somewhat in the direction of soapboxing (see WP:SOAP), and they are certainly verbose (see suggestions re length in WP:TALK#Good_practices). Arkatsu, please read the manual of style (WP:MOS), and also please note that Wikipedia is not a how-to manual (WP:NOT). With regard to your other concerns about similarities vs differences across traditions, I regard these issues as already having been dealt with (at appropriate length per WP:DUE) in the current article. -- Health Researcher (talk) 23:54, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


The section on Secular techniques looks like it has sources, but many of them are far from WP:RS and just point to company web sites, e.g. Eaglelife communications. Since when is this WP:RS? I think it is not. The Herbert Benson Harvard reference, on the other hand is 100% WP:RS. I will mark these commercial websites as cn and unless RS sources are added, they need to be trimmed. History2007 (talk) 18:28, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

TM: to include or not to include.... or do we exclude MBSR?

I have questions and concerns about the recent deletion by User:Gatoclass of the subsection on TM (Transcendental Meditation). I apologize for the length of this post, and I hope it is otherwise readable.

First let me say I sympathize with the reason stated in Gatoclass's change-log when he deleted the TM section: "this is not an article for listing particular groups". In the past I have quoted his contention that the page should not highlight particular groups, and I think that some variant of such a principle is absolutely necessary.

But TM has a lot of parallels to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is not only mentioned by name, but given a bit of extra prominence by the subheader entitled "Mindfulness". I think it is a useful exercise to consider the many parallels between TM and MBSR. TM played a special role in the kindling of interest in meditation in the West in the 1960s and 1970s, and MBSR had a similar role in the 1990s and 2000s. Studies of TM and MBSR have each contributed greatly to the scientific literature on meditation. MBSR was largely founded by a single individual (by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mentioned on the page), just as was TM (by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, not mentioned on the page), and both have specific organizations that sponsor them (and I believe both now offer credentialing for instructors). Finally, one can make a case that the difference in the "secularity" of MBSR and TM (a concern cited by Gatoclass) is a matter of degree rather than kind (with MBSR having Buddhist connections, just as TM has Hindu connections). In sum, many characteristics are shared by TM and MBSR - probably many more similarities than differences. If we exclude TM from the page, should we also exclude MBSR?

I don't think we should exclude MBSR, so I'm inclined to think we should not totally exclude TM. Perhaps a few changes could rebalance the page, enhancing its impartiality. Perhaps the "mindfulness" header should be eliminated, although the historical reference to MBSR seems worthwhile. Perhaps one or two sentences in the secular section could mention the historical role of TM, say that its claims to secularity are contentious, and link to a main article for TM. Third, perhaps the historical role of both of these groups could be mentioned very briefly in the cross-cultural dissemination section. These are ideas that come initially to mind, and to my mind perhaps would be enough to restore balance. What do others think? -- Health Researcher (talk) 20:27, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

As I said, I'm strongly opposed to the listing of individual groups at this page. If you mention one, sooner or later they will all be trying to gain a foothold. There is nothing so unique about TM that its mention is justified here. It's basically just another Hindu sect with secular pretensions. As for MBSR, I know nothing about them but now that you've mentioned them I guess I'll have to take a closer look at that section too. Gatoclass (talk) 21:07, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it does open the door. But does the door have to be wide open, or just ajar? Overall, I would totally agree that from what we have seen if the door is wide open, everyone and his brother who went on a 3 day trip to Asia will try to include their own method of meditation that was invented in the airport as their flight was delayed and they had to wait and meditate. I am actually not in favor of the mindfulness items, but think that a very small "exile section" at the end can mention the major groups such as TM just because they have so much hype. Alas in this world hype goes a long way. But that said, I am only 55% vs 45% in favor of it, so do not count me as having a serious opinion on this issue. The problem, as Gatoclass feels, is that if the door is ajar, one has to keep one's foot in there, else the publicity seeking groups will try to push it wide open. So it will waste effort. So maybe I am 50/50 on the issue afterall, or may be 45% vs 55% in favor of excluding them all to save the headaches and the inevitable verbose lectures next month on why "airport meditation" must get in. History2007 (talk) 21:22, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
After a few days, let me agree 100% with GatoClass on this and avoid them all. I saw that there are spam-machines running now at full capacity on a few things, e.g. Talk:God the Father from yet another "World University" is just starting. It is just a question of time before we see them on here too spamming their meditation style. After all it is advertising for free. So I would agree with no specific approaches, including TM, as suggested. History2007 (talk) 14:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I see what you mean, the "January..." editor is quite energetic in spamming. But some seem to suspect he is a repeated sock and not even sincere. Oh well, this too will pass. Health Researcher (talk) 04:26, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
No need to panic, my friends. Waves of spam come and go, and this meditation page hasn't had much lately. Spam-prevention must also be balanced by other considerations (e.g., WP:DUE requires inclusion of important material). Finally, there are many fuzzy lines with regard to what constitutes a "group". For example, do we ban all mention of a sometimes-secretive group called the Roman Catholic Church [ :-) ]? Communicating the main contours of the history and conceptualization of meditation across cultures/traditions is this page's priority. We can tell much of this story without mentioning particular organizationally continuous entities. But tossing out WP:DUE in order to impose an a priori ban on mentioning any organizations would seem to be both unnecessary and contrary to Wikipedia's principles of balance. Health Researcher (talk) 17:31, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
RC, secretive? They are in the news every other week. They have made millions in payments to victims in recent years - it is all over the news... wink. History2007 (talk) 17:35, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't follow TM but I show respect. TM is very famous for pure meditation in India and West. Article has bias to West. In Indian many meditation are famous not mentioned in topic.

No mention of Paramahansa Yogananda. How can it be? No mention of Guru meditation. Very famous in India. Many more.(Januarythe18th (talk) 14:05, 26 March 2011 (UTC)).

Discussion on deletion of sourced content on research

I am a newbie but recently made an edit referring to some research I had come across about physiological criteria (EEG) that distinguishes between three general categories of meditation; open monitoring, focused attention and automatic self-transcending. This was published in Consciousness and Cognition in 2010. First mistake was I gave the pre-publication reference instead of this; Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 19, Issue 4, December 2010, Pages 1110-1118 Travis, F.; Shear, J. Sorry.

My edit has been deleted by Health Researcher on the grounds that it gives undue weight to Transcendental Meditation. He has a point as both the authors of the paper are themselves practioners of Transcendental Meditation. So I have a question. Does this invalidate their research which has been published in a peer reviewed journal? If yes then a lot of meditation research is suspect as many researchers publishing about different kinds of meditation practise one method or another.

Health Researcher does make a good substantial point that most of the modern literature refers to two basic kinds of meditation which would be the open monitoring and focused attention varieties and that it is too early and there is not enough research to mention this research about a third category. Again this does raise the issue of how does one handle new research which challenges existing knowledge? Should I have put a caveat in? My understanding and this may be incorrect is that one should be making relatively small edits rather than writing large essays. (This is the most I have written in one go on wiki so far). Doing a quick google search before writing this I came across someone who was referring to the Travis Shears research and noted that it could be compared with the threefold division of Sanyama found in Ptanjali's yoga sutras. Ptanjali writes about dharana which would be the equivalent of focused attention, dhyana which would be the equivalent of open monitoring and samadhi which would be the equivalent of automatic self-transcending. Now I would say that when writing about meditation Ptanjali has some authority. Would it make a difference if I made this point in the edit?

I thought the Travis Shears approach of saying that different types of meditation produce different types of physiological effects and that 3 distinct patterns can be seen from analysing EEG was interesting and worth passing on to the reader. Whilst it is true that most of the examples of automatic self transcending are from the TM research literature what I liked about their approach was that they were not saying that one type of meditation was better than another but that different meditations produce different effects in the brain and so I do disagree that it was giving undue weight to TM but I am conscious of being new to all this so I would appreciate some advice from more experienced hands as I am not really that familiar with the wiki etiquette. For example is there somewhere else in wiki this point belongs? It seemed to me to be a general point about meditation rather than a point about TM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oxford73 (talkcontribs) 19:57, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello Oxford. There is a great deal of material to cover on this page, so there is really not much room for facts that are not central to whatever subheader topic they are under. Note that Wikipedia is generally written from secondary sources (WP:MOS), so individual studies are less relevant than reviews, or reviews of reviews. There have been a variety of typologies given of meditation over the years, and Travis et al is just one. Maybe the page should contain more info on typologies, but in that case it should give balanced coverage. Plus, as in the previously linked talk from earlier, the Travis study does seem to be a bit tendentious (e.g., disguised promotion of a particular method, i.e., TM). All these considerations add up to making me see the study as not meriting direct citation here. Regards -- Health Researcher (talk) 03:15, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Well it is probably true that Travis and Shears did want to push TM but the paper should be judged independently of their motivations. In particular this is not an individual study and Travis has done a lot of those on TM but it is a review of different meditations and what sets it apart from other reviews is that it is not a qualitative review but one based on physiological criteria and so is very relevant. One problem with meditation is that the general public tend to lump them altogether and proponents tend to be passionate about their own favourites. Here is a study that does not say that one meditation is better but just says that different meditations have objectively distinguishable different effects on the brain. The brain studies they refer to are by a variety of researchers and not all done by themselves. It seems to me that it is in the spirit of the wiki guidelines to provide objective criteria for different meditations rather than relying on subjective reports of differences. It does seem to me that because Travis and Shears do generally want to promote TM you want to dismiss this particular paper even though this paper does not especially recommend TM but just says it is different and other meditations are also different from each other. To be colloquial - what's not to like?

On a more general note what happens when two editors disagree? I am not so bothered about this particular paper (even though I think it should be in) but in general how are these things resolved? Oxford73 (talk) 20:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

In these cases, usually a 3rd editor is asked to provide an opinion to break the deadlock. However, this topic is complicated enough that 3rd parties may hesitate to provide an opinion. In that case WP:STATUSQUO rules, and the existing situation persists. In this case, I do not know enough about this detailed situation to provide a 3rd opinion, else I would have. It will take serious research to be able to take sides on this particular edit. History2007 (talk) 20:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Ox, for the sake of Wikipedia, one of the things not to like about the Travis study is that it is very new and there is no basis for believing that it will be influential. That's why I cited WP:UNDUE as the reason for not including it here. Perhaps (?) it would be appropriate at Research on meditation, where more details can be covered. But those who are familiar with TM research know that it is not news when TM researchers construct categories that make TM seem special. But the question always remains whether TM's latest conceptual invention will ever become notable and used and cited beyond the TM researchers themselves. In regard to concepts, TM research has at best a very mixed track record, and its concepts are often non-influential (despite their ostensible employment of Upanishadic and other traditional concepts). Regards - Health Researcher (talk) 22:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Now that you mentioned that I think the length of it will be as long as the summary here, so you guys should decide if it fits in the Research on meditation page. So my suggestion would be to see if it fits there, because if it is to be included that would be the place. If individual studies a re listed here, then why have the other Main page for research? So the place to discuss it will be there. History2007 (talk) 22:58, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not going to venture an opinion here but I'll note that there is an article devoted to research on TM: Transcendental Meditation research.   Will Beback  talk  23:21, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I just saw that, did not know it was there. And has a NPOV flag on it. This TM topic is just controversial. That is the only thing I am sure about. History2007 (talk) 00:52, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I didn't realise there was an entry "research on meditation" and having had a quick look, the EEG section would seem appropriate. Re Health Researchers point about TM researchers constructing categories to suit themselves, in this specific instance there are a couple of kinds of meditation, Quigong and TM, that showed different EEG patterns from other kinds of meditation so this does not seem to be a case of "constructing artificial" categories but rather seeing 3 patterns of EEG results and the categories being based on these different patterns ie the categories are based on the experimental evidence. Although their review is new the studies on which it is based are not new as EEG research on meditation has been going on for decades. What is new is that they have given an overview of these existing different studies and highlighted 3 distinct EEG signatures.

It does seem to me that one has to make a distinction between the fact that Health Researcher is probably correct that Travis and Shears have a personal motivation to promote TM and the results of their review of research. Often people who do research on any kind of meditation have a preference for a particular system but this is where the scientific method and replication is important. This study summarises EEG research by a lot of EEG researchers on meditation and finds 3 distinct patterns - there may be more - but it seems that this is a finding worth reporting but as you suggest it may be better in research on meditation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oxford73 (talkcontribs) 19:24, 26 March 2011 (UTC) Oxford73 (talk) 19:33, 26 March 2011 (UTC) I forgot to sign.

Ox, I notice that your remarks above were completely silent about the very important question of whether this study will actually be influential with anyone outside of TM research. Why do you come back with such a torrent of words without addressing the central point re WP:DUE? Methinks you protest (so to speak) a great deal... Health Researcher (talk) 19:57, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't think I am qualified to say whether or not it will be generally influential - only time will tell - but it just seems to me an interesting observation. One of the things about Wiki in comparison to ordinary encyclopedia's is that it is very up to the minute. The 3 patterns strike me as interesting but have no idea how influential it will be. How many citations does research have to have to be considered influential? Oxford73 (talk) 06:16, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Ox, in answer to your question: Regarding the number of citations required for something to be influential, I that's usually relative. Notice that guidelines such as WP:DUE use words such as "proportion", i.e., that different perspectives are represented in "proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint". Consider the two-pole or two-category classification of meditation as concentrative and/or mindfulness (such as used by Cahn & Polich (2006), who do not use the categories rigidly, but state that "most meditative techniques lie somewhere on a continuum between the poles of these two general methods", p. 180). These two categories or components have been widely used in the meditation literature for decades, and some form of this two-category system has probably been invoked and cited thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of times in modern scholarship/research on meditation. Health Researcher (talk) 05:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Sudden page restructuring

There was a sudden, unannounced page restructuring by Jan 18th, and I noticed that Health Researcher was less than happy with it on his talk page - and asked for time to review it. I think this type of dramatic change and large content deletion needs discussion. I am going to call WP:BRD on it, until it is discussed by a few people. And again, Jan 18th added the material that had been deleted twice by Health Researcher, per the suggestion of GatoClass about specifics, my agreement with GatoClass's view and Health Researcher's edit.

But I must say that there is something wrong here, in that although I have repeatedly stated that I view Jan 18th's unending invitations to go and take free classes (no 800 number yet, but he says he will give the nearest class location) as WP:SOAP and bordering on blatant spam, I see the separation of eastern and western approaches as not so bad. So I will revert it per BRD and Ithink the rest of it needs to be discussed, but I would not be opposed to a east west section division. However, the rest of it needs consensus anyway. History2007 (talk) 12:51, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

This is not true representation at all, just personal attack. I have no such intention. You mean Sahaj Yoga editor. I changed their bit.
Topic was a mess and now is better. I have no opposition if he want to add to it. I think no important information missing.
This is simple truth. History2007 is making a provokation to cover up removal of Brahma Kumari and Sahaj Yoga sections.
All this talk is just to remove Brahma Kumari and Sahaj Yoga section and give me bad reputation. (Januarythe18th (talk) 13:39, 26 March 2011 (UTC)).
No, I can not agree. In this edit you started on the track that there are 8,500 centers to take classes. Then in this edit you asked where the user lives so you can send him to one of the free classes. In this edit yet another user said that January18 "is not behaving in accordance with the objectives of the project and is more interested in banging on in an incoherent and non-neutral manner about a single subject they seem to be obsessed with". I did not say that, another user did. And the first 2 reverts of your insertion were done by Health Researcher, not myself. And you were again reverted by Excirial on this page. Per WP:BRD you should have discussed, not reverted. Please consider this a warning, and at this point you should "self-revert" and discuss with other users to avoid an edit war. History2007 (talk) 17:02, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Gee, as if History2007 and I and other editors don't have other things we'd rather be doing than besmirching January's reputation (sarcasm). January, I'm not going to take the time to read through and evaluate all of your sudden edits (viewable as a DIFF, but I can say that I saw a number of things that I disagreed with (including not only your third reinsertion of the Brahma Kumaris material, but also creation of a special section for Rajneesh). (Unlike History2007, I also oppose the creation of an East/West dichotomy, for various reasons) I saw no need to gut the secular meditation section. Furthermore, most of your changes were totally unexplained in your change-log. Please remember that WP is a collaborative venture, or else you are soon likely to violate the 3 revert rule WP:3RR, or instigate some other administrative incident (WP:ANI). At this point, per WP:BRD, you should discuss your proposed changes, and not simply reinsert them. Regards -- Health Researcher (talk) 19:27, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, it looks like that so far nobody is in agreement about anything. That is part Wikipedia. So I guess no separation of East/West (given that you object) and no acceptance of Jan18's edit. History2007 (talk) 20:13, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry. I am being busy these days.

I am thinking that a better idea is to work from new version because many mistakes in old version.

This is just cover to remove Brahma Kumari and Sahaj Yoga data by Christian souls who know little of Indian culture. History2007 is simple opposition party to Brahma Kumaris makes stumbling block and now Health Researcher makse sarcasm.

January, I have edited and indeed created quite a few pages related to Indian culture, so please stop trying to play the culturally misunderstood victim. The most blatant bit of cultural insensitivity I see happening at present is your disregard for WIKIPEDIA culture. You don't seem to understand it, and you seem not to be aware that you don't understand it. Time for you to slow down and start being more sensitive to what you read in WP:MOS, WP:BRD, WP:AGF, as well as any other WP links that may have been cited to you - or you are likely to be blocked for your expanding set of mistakes. Health Researcher (talk) 18:12, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Typical problems, Buddhist mindfulness is put in "Western" secular section. Buddhism is Eastern religion. It has Western section but no Eastern section, why? Meditation far more common in East and Eastern religions. Western bias written because authors are all Whites.

Topic mention prayers and prayer beads. Prayer is not meditation. Prayer is good but has own topic already. Meditation cannot be everything else topic becomes everything. Some say walking, swimming, smoking drugs is my meditation, can topic include everything?

Why removal of Brahma Kumaris, Sahaj Yoga etc? Brahma Kumaris is unique religion for meditation only. Awarded many, many awards from United Nations for collecting more than ONE BILLION minutes of peace, much news reports. No other religion the same. How no mention of Transcendental Meditation? Indian Maharishi make huge following in West. Transcendental Meditation is part of Hinduism. I don't know Sahaj Yoga so much but they are also very famous in India. Both far bigger and more followers than small Islam or Christian sect.

Why removal?

Look at first statement. What fool wrote "and done without any external involvement"? What about mudra, asana, yantra, swami, etc etc etc. Damned fool knows nothing about Indian religions. How to say that? Japa not meditation, instead mantra yoga. Mantra yoga not meditation.

Article is written at most gross level of meditation called Savitarka, no description of path through Savichara, Sananda, Sasmita, Asamprajnata to highest level. No reflection of 5,000 year tradition. Needs lot of work. I keep your Western data, I know little of it and so do not touch.

Let us have our tradition and respect for it. (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:02, 27 March 2011 (UTC)).

Also meny "Citation needed" going through to May 2009 and old. Why mention Muslim have to pray 5 times a day? That is good but not mediation. Topic cannot be everything about every religion. (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:09, 27 March 2011 (UTC)).

It is clear that Jan18 is performing Wikipedia:Tendentious editing here by repeatedly editing "against consensus" as in this edit. I recommend that his account should receive a block, given that he had received warnings before. I do not want to revert his last change in order not to start an edit war, but I would recommend that his changes should be reverted per lack of consensus for such a major change. I would note the completely different and reasonable discussion that is taking place with Oxford73 in which issues are being discussed openly and frankly. However, Jan18 is clearly breaching protocols and a should be reverted. History2007 (talk) 14:27, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Look at result. Topic is far better now. Add what you like.

Life is simple, isn't it? We are all adults here. Let us talk frankly.

This is simple truth. You start attack on Brahma Kumaris here. Now you want to stop me by making illogical attack because I am Prajapita Brahma Kumari follower and add Brahma Kumaris to this topic.

I offer discussion, you ignore it entirely. Instead you attack me. Who is doing work around here?

You tell me you want to discuss, then answer what I wrote above! (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:41, 27 March 2011 (UTC)).

I think you should read the Wikipedia policies about consensus. You do not have consensus for your changes. Period. History2007 (talk) 14:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

If you want to change, change for good. No need to destroy all my work.

We are adults, isn't it? What is going on is plain to see.

It is simple provocation by attacking person.

You don't have my consensus, so who is right?

Look at result and be honest. Many improvements. (Januarythe18th (talk) 15:23, 27 March 2011 (UTC)).

I have clearly stated the "policy" before. If you do not read the policy, I cannot be your personal policy tutor for ever. And my apologies if I can not refer you to one of "8500 free classes" that teach cooperative editing. You are editing against Wikipedia protocols and against consensus and should self-revert now. Else you will be reverted by others anyway, and will eventually be blocked out of Wikipedia. History2007 (talk) 15:50, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, January is repeatedly editing against WP protocols and against consensus. I reverted his latest violation of WP:BRD process. I think we need to start moving on the administrative sanctions right away, he seems impervious to mere explanations and warnings. What's the next step? Should something be filed at WP:ANI? Or another administrative noticeboard? Health Researcher (talk) 18:04, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
If Jan18 does not "revert and then lecture" there is no need for any action. I do feel like I am attending one of the "free classes" whenever the lectures start. But if Jan18 keeps reverting sans consensus then some action will be necessary, and any of the admins who have been observing here, e.g. GatoClass or WillbeBack, who are familiar with the page could issue an admin warning and that may settle it. And the issue is not just WP:BRD (which can involve a single divergent opinion) but Wikipedia:Tendentious editing given that he is double reverted by 2 editors. If Jan18 continues in this mode, it will naturally lead to a block on his account via WP:3RR etc. But let us hope Jan18 will donate a large number of "minutes of peace" here and no war will break out. History2007 (talk) 18:46, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

So, discuss.

I have made observations. You say nothing just joke at me.

Answer specific point please. I keep asking you discuss specific changes then do not destroy all my work under pretense. For example, why "Modern definitions and Western models" not "Modern definitions"? You think some people in India are not modern do not have same values and education as Chritian whites? How can Buddhist be secular? Buddhism is ancient Indian religion.

History2007, you make false accusations and create false prejudices against me, even religious prejudice. I do no such things as you say.

Please, yes, ask for expert opinion on the version I worked on. Preferably expert in meditation.

Please just don't be making false cover up of what you are going and why.

(Januarythe18th (talk) 13:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)).

No, I can agree with your comments. But given your comments, it is best that I wait for other comments as well, given that this is clearly a 3-way difference of opinion. History2007 (talk) 16:05, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I hesitate to comment as someone new to this but January 18th does seem to be making some valid points. eg about confusing prayer and meditation and what is west and what is east etc. I am guessing the problem is editing without first getting a concensus. There is no point in having a situation of continual posting/deleting. Can we agree on one of January 18th points as I think he feels he/she is not being heard and I think there is some useful stuff there? Oxford73 (talk) 20:05, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, you are absolutely welcome to comment Oxford. The issue has been that Jan18 was reverting after BRD was called. He should have discussed, not revert again. As is, there is no overall agreement about the total changes he made:
  • I like the change of separation of east/west, but HealthResearcher does not agree with me.
  • I do not agree with much of his terminology, and the addition of minor items (which I had called spam before), and HealthResearcher agrees on that with me, etc.
So there are too many edits in one item and we need to discuss one by one. I am waiting for more comments from Researcher, you, other users, etc. So please provide your comments one item at a time. That is how consensus gets established. This issue will not resolve in one day, but in a few days maybe. History2007 (talk) 20:22, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, we need to discuss changes one by one - now that WP:BRD has been invoked, that will be how consensus gets established. I will create a new subsection for January to offer additional specific proposals for changes that he'd like to see. He should break his ideas up into chunks that are small enough for us to discuss and evaluate one by one. Based on my somewhat vague impressions from scrolling through his earlier massive restructuring, I suspect that some of his proposed changes may well be accepted, and others rejected. I'll make a subsection for the first "batch" of, say, 2 or 3 that he'd like to propose.Health Researcher (talk) 04:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

"Too many edits" means you not want to give it enough attention but it is simple if you use the History page. Thank you Oxford soul.

Guru says, "First the woodman must use the axe, then the carpenter can use the plane", isn't it? Meaning is simple to see. Actually, this is more like the gardener making the garden healthy and beautiful by pulling weeds and cutting back the tree.

Very little actually got removed. Topic was a mess. Lot of duplication and written in a strange English.

I am happy to combine all religions as one. Of course, in Hinduism we say all religions are one. "Many path, same goal", isn't it? But then I object to "In a Western context". Why "In a Western context" if not "In a Eastern context". But then, if "In a Eastern context" were East and West? You think China is same as India? It isn't so! And why not "In a African context"? You think Africans don't meditate?

Probably is first authors all Westerners and now Westerners want to keep the topic Western but I tell you, India is number one for meditation. Hindu, Buddhist, Yoga, even Christian comes to India before West and many say even Christ came to India.

OK, so I accept all religions are one. (Januarythe18th (talk) 21:44, 28 March 2011 (UTC)).

It's fine with me to change the header "Modern Definitions and Western Models" to simply "Modern Definitions". I haven't heard any arguments for the longer name. If no one argues soon to keep the longer name, then probably we have consensus. Health Researcher (talk) 04:25, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with that title change, it is a minor issue. But I think the difference between prayer and meditation (which can be subtle at times) also needs consideration. History2007 (talk) 07:29, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
On that note, I would like to see if we know of references for the separation or amalgamation of western and eastern approaches. I would favor separation, but I think we need a basis for that. I think it is one thing to say consensus says merge them or not, but is there any "formal basis" for separating or not separating them? Do we know of references that say they can be lumped? Do we know of references that say they are distinct? That would be the best basis for deciding if east/west should be together or not. History2007 (talk) 07:46, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Subsection for Batch #1 of January's proposed changes

As per my previous comment (here), I'm starting this subsection for User:Januarythe18th to propose the changes that he'd like to see, one by one. I suggest that he start out with 2 or 3 proposed changes, perhaps numbered 1, 2, 3. January, please try to be specific enough that if there is consensus in support of the change, then any one of us could implement it. Thus, you may often want to include actual (proposed) alternate text. Thanks. Health Researcher (talk) 04:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree, they can just be opened up for discussion one by one. Or as Guru said: use ax to break multi-question, so they can be discussed, but try not to give lecture. History2007 (talk) 07:28, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Modern definitions is fine by me but most of History2007 comment is just silly games play to stop any change. Even positive change. Duplication. No, I do not agree. Old topic is not good. New topic has same data but better to read.

Fine, he want to stop me adding Brahma Kumari and Sahaj Yoga. Let him argue against 8 United Nations Peace Messenger Awards and fame. Actually I think we must add Maharish and TM cos Maharishi did so much to bring meditation to West. Also Satchitanada.

Reference is also false argument. Look to other topics, many say West/East etc many have all in one. You need reference to say India is in East, or all religions are one? Which is it? (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:22, 29 March 2011 (UTC)).

Difference between Prayer and Meditation

Prayer normally involves meaning. Meditation sometimes involves meaning especially religous meditations which are contemplating something to do with the religion but it may not neccessarily be religious; it could be contemplating, for example, the stars and the universe. A technique of concentration would not normally involve meaning as the idea is to concentrate and shut out other phenomena. Many meditations aim at inner silence where there is awareness but no object of awareness. (That is why I wanted to put in the Travis Shears paper as it provides an objective way to distinguish between different meditations. Does anyone know of any research measuring brain waves with an EEG during prayer?) Oxford73 (talk) 09:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, an "intuitively correct" point in my view and I would agree with that but I have no references to validate that viewpoint. I doubt EEG will give definite answers, but I wonder if there are even CATScans which would be more accurate perhaps. And of course, the meaning of meaning needs clarification. But this very discussion may open a set of interesting questions. History2007 (talk) 12:50, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes prayer is used as an umbrella category that (in a particular context or tradition) includes meditation (or "meditative prayer", but also other types of prayer, such as petitionary prayer. An example is Margaret M Poloma & Brian F Pendleton (1989). "Exploring types of prayer and quality of life: A research note". Review of Religious Research. 31 (1): 46–53. ISSN 0034-673X. But the lines are often fuzzy and as we know the word "meditation" varies across traditions in what it means. Few if any differences can be neatly aligned with Eastern/Western distinctions (just as geneticists tell us that different so-called "races" have much more in common than different, so that the race construct is close to unintelligible biologically). Western forms of contemplative prayer can be quite concentrative (e.g., Cloud of Unknowing and its "naked intent"), and Eastern forms can be quite devotional (e.g., some Upanishads as well as the Bhagavad Gita, instruct one to meditate on a personal God). Furthermore, even if the mental activity during prayer does not itself involve a "message" that one seeks to communicate to God (as in petitionary prayer), the act of meditation or contemplative prayer may be conceived as an offering to God, which would seem to involve various implicit meanings (e.g., Bhagavad Gita 18:65, "Make every act an offering to me..."). This would apply even where the meditative activity itself is supposed to be carried out without "discursive thought", which is perhaps as close as we can get to a distinguishing feature of what this page calls "meditation" (i.e., Eastern-based "meditation" and Western-based "contemplative prayer"). In sum, even if we can turn up a few sources that use a prayer vs meditation distinction as an analytic category, 1) prayer is also likely to be an umbrella category of which meditation is a part, and 2) such distinctions are likely to be meaningful and to have been applied primarily to specific cultural contexts or traditions. Such considerations make me think that a prayer/meditation distinction is not likely to be a good basis for restructuring the page, even conceptually. Plus there's the reliable sources issue. Sorry to make such a long post with many somewhat technical references. I hope it was otherwise readable. Health Researcher (talk) 04:00, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Health Researcher that we should not restructure the page but would suggest a heading about prayer and meditation making some of the points that health researcher makes ie in some cases the two terms are almost equivalent and in other cases they are not. The fact that there are secular forms of meditation validates this point. Are there secular forms of prayer? It is definitely an area where we need to tread carefully to maintain a NPOV but it would also be negligent if we did not allude to this distinction. Oxford73 (talk) 08:54, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

This is getting to be fun and interesting. I have for long wanted to research this, but had not gotten around to it. It is clear that HealthResearcher knows much more about it than I do, and given that he has typed useful info here, I think it will be a good idea to inform the readers about the issues. I think a paragraph or two about it will be interesting. The question I ask, and have no scientific answer for is: "where does prayer end and meditation begin" and "where does meditation end and prayer begin"? I think eventually after Apple builds a CTscanner into iphone27 then there will be better answers, but for now, we can probably try to give some rough answers. I should, however, point out that in the Western styles of meditation, the breakthrough was (guess what) "control of attention" and nuns were specifically taught how to do that to move beyond prayer. So again, as expected, attention seems to be the key player, but a formal basis for that with WP:RS refs need to be found. History2007 (talk) 09:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Beyond is the word but why separate East and West if you dont let me separate East and West Historyman? Answer is, same as in East. Meditation is beyond thought, beyond prayer.

First pratyahara, then dharana (low level of meditation teachs concentration) then dhyana leads to samadhi. But not all can do.

In Hinduism, we say one path good for one type of persons, another path good for other. But prayer is not meditation otherwise why two words? Is so, why not merge prayer and mediation topics, or make new topic on "meditative prayer" then? But this does not excuse deleting all my work as reaction or answer all points.

If someone is chanting Japa beads, they are chanting. Mantra yoga, not meditating or Raja Yoga. Mantra yoga differnt path. Raja Yoga means highest or king of yoga (raja means kings). All religions are yogas.

Difference between meditation and meditative. Here meditative is just adjective meaning "like" but not "same". Health researcher makes a long comment but avoids simple fact. Is japa (prayer) beads meditation? Answer, no. So why at top of page?

In India, we study all this for 5,000 years. Such people not considered authority like pundit. If simple or young soul cannot sit and focus mind, then guru gives them simple yoga like mantra or karma. If soul is loving like gopis, then guru gives them loving yoga like bhakti. Deffernt yoga for different souls but not meditation. (Januarythe18th (talk) 10:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)).

Ok, I will meditate on that, and pray for more references and less lectures. History2007 (talk) 10:13, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

January 18th is making an interesting point. In the west there is definitely confusion and overlap between prayer and meditation as the religions use the words interchangeably. It could be that with the influx of meditation techniques from the east that this is less clear: that as Jan 18 says in the east the distinction is very clear between meditation and prayer and assuming the others of us on this thread are all from the west then we could be showing cultural bias and the prayer meditation distinction correlates to some degree but not completely with an east west distinction. ie in the east there may be a clear distinction between the two whilst in the west it is more muddied. It is certainly true that there has been an increase in interest in meditation in the west as a result of the spread of Vedanta in the west over the last 150 years. (See Goldbergs new book American Veda.)and that the two difference conceptions have got mixed. We need to tease out these different threads. This could be really useful and helpful if we get it right. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oxford73 (talkcontribs) 20:06, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I suspect it would be possible to create a paragraph or so that addresses the question of how meditation has been distinguished from (or seen as a subtype of) prayer, since that seems like a FAQ that many readers may wonder about. I strongly suspect that the answer varies from tradition to tradition and perhaps in some cases author to author. But with luck, perhaps we can find at least one WP:RS that would provide some sort of cross-traditional overview. Inspection of the cross-tradition reviews that we already cite might uncover a paragraph, for example, where this Q has been addressed. Then possibly we could uncover additional sentences that address how the distinction has been made (or not made) within particular traditions. Such a plan strikes me as a good bet for success. --Health Researcher (talk) 21:12, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I think:
  • I do not know about other cases, but I can say for sure that in Christianity, the terms prayer and meditation are not used interchangeably by those in the know, but may be confused by large portions of the public. There are specific books from the 16 century onwards on how to go beyond prayer. Please see Lectio divina for the original steps.
  • I think unless specific definitions of prayer and meditation are provided, there is no way to know if they are getting confused. So what are your definitions for prayer and meditation, in the west (if there is a uniform def) and in the east (if there is a uniform def). And "east" means Buddhist, Shinto, Korean, ....? Do we know that they all use uniform concepts? I doubt that.
  • And I wonder how many meditation techniques there are for intercession. There are many intercessory prayers which involve a beneficiary. Do meditative techniques in the east have "requests for the recovery of my uncle" within them? Western meditation usually has no petition, but is just an expression of love.
I see this as a much more complicated topic. History2007 (talk) 21:18, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
On the other issue of East vs West, remember that there is no one "East". Theravada ≠ Mahayana ≠ Pure Land ≠ Taoism ≠ Hinduism ≠ Sikhism .... etc. (I see History just made this point too...) Perhaps January can cite a sharp distinction for traditions for which he has a cultural insider's perspective (e.g., dhyana vs something else... although, ironically, dhyana links to a disambiguation page!). But even if January can cite such a sharp distinction, he is unlikely to be a cultural insider to all so-called "Eastern" traditions. Turning to the reliable sources, please notice the Bond, Ospina et al study cited on the page, which was done as part of the influential review by Ospina et al. That paper sought to identify "demarcation criteria" for meditation, drawing upon expert knowledge from 6 different methods, mostly eastern-derived (see note 61 for list). Note that their success was somewhat modest, although they did manage to find 3 common features. But if they had this much difficulty merely in defining meditation per se, I suspect that there would be additional difficulty once a term such as "prayer" (which surely has different translations in different languages) is brought into the picture. What strikes me as most feasible is to have a paragraph or so (as suggested above) to attempt to generalize about the FAQ, and then let different traditions include a sentence or two under their own headers if that makes sense. If January's knowledge extends to Hinduism as a whole (not just BK), then he could be helpful for crafting a sentence along those lines for the Hinduism section. Likewise for others for areas they know well. Health Researcher (talk) 21:25, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I think you are beginning to convince me to switch sides. Yes, as you said "there is no east" but "there are many easts". In fact, this whole issue of "my view is that...." is reminiscent of the eastern story of the Blind men and an elephant. And I think many writers on the topic should think about the 'Blind men and an elephant' story before publishing books on the topic. The more I think about it, the more I see it as a complex issue, as you said too, in that opinions are formed within one tradition, then "blindly" applied to others - pun intended. History2007 (talk) 21:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
By the way, I think it will be very hard to define prayer, as referenced study you mentioned indicated, although I posted that as a challenge. Just as an aside, there is an old saying in the fashion world: "style is so easy to recognize, so hard to define". I think that goes for prayer too. History2007 (talk) 21:55, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Every now and then one has the gratification of swaying someone towards one's (hopefully correct) perspective :-) . But for you and others, as just another window into the difficulty of making East vs West generalizations, consider the chapter on Pure Land Buddhism by Huston Smith and Philip Novak (2003), which is viewable in Google. They write that "when Westerners began to be interested in Buddhism, its Pure Land school looked too much like Christianity to seem interesting" (p. 187), despite the fact that "the largest sect in Japanese Buddhism is Shin Buddhism, which is in the Pure Land tradition" (p. 186). In the course of the chapter (pp.185-198), the authors describe a variety of parallels between Christianity and Pure Land. Thus, we should remember that the view Westerners see of the East may not only suffer from projections (seeing similarity where there is difference), but may also suffer from exoticizing (deemphasizing similarity and focusing only on exaggerated differences). This may or may not be relevant to the immediate issue at hand, but I think it's useful general background for writing a page like this. -- Health Researcher (talk) 22:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree that we need to be careful about putting together things that are in fact different even if it is only in subtle ways. I think the kernel of truth in Jan 18's point is that there are definitely cases where meditation and prayer have both quite different goals and involve different practices. The problem is that in many cases there are greater similarities between prayer and meditation - certainly in public perception - than there is between different kind of meditations. As Jan 18th says in the case of many meditations the aim is for transcedental consciousness where one goes beyond (transcends) all meaning and all objects of awareness and this is quite distinct from prayer and also many other types of meditations. Again this is the point brought out in the Travis Shears paper but by using the objective criteria of EEG measurements. It would be helpful in whatever way to clarify these distinctions. At present we do not give enough emphasis to those meditations which emphasise the transcendent but rather put more weight on those that emphasise concentration and contemplation and this is simply incorrect. So thinking about this it is not so much east and west as Health Reasearcher has clarified and not so much about prayer and meditation again has Health Research has demonstrated but about giving due weight to those meditations that emphasise the transcendent. Oxford73 (talk) 05:44, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Forgot to say meditation should not be categorised as a sub type of prayer. It stands on its own. Oxford73 (talk) 05:45, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

If transcends all meaning means "losing it" in the general sense, I think that is present in both eastern and western cases and the eventual goal of contemplation is in that direction. But I think the whole idea of "transcend and lose it" needs better and formal definition, rather than just a vague concept of "I have been there". Not that it may be readily available, but certainly several WP:RS refs for statement of that type are needed. History2007 (talk)

Prayer is asking for what we want. Contemplation is thinking about what is. Meditation method of becoming or being that which is. In Hinduism, not BK, they say "Tatwamasi". In Christianity same, I AM.

And how can topic not mention Shankaracharya and Sanyas tradition? (Januarythe18th (talk) 07:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)).

No, it is absolutely not the case that all prayers are "asking what we want". Those are called petition based prayers and are a subset of all prayers. FYI that is why Wikipedia needs references, because any editor can just lecture that "X is Y" and insist on that repeatedly. That is not how Wikipedia works. So I challenge you to prove that "Prayer is asking for what we want" with WP:RS references that say all prayers involve petitions. In fact there are references that say not all prayers involve petitions, as in the page prayer, which I recommend reading. That page correctly states that: There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayers that "ask what we want" are petitionary, and a subset of all prayers. History2007 (talk) 11:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

None of it is meditation then. Prayer should stay on prayer page.

Can you defend putting prayer beads on meditation page? I think not, so why waste time by argue? I am happy for you, put prayer on prayer page.

Simple, isn't it? Show me reference that prayer beed is meditation or I take it off again. (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)).

Guru said: [ Go to Amazon, buy this book]. It is all about meditation by beads. History2007 (talk) 15:16, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Simple, says "Pathways to Meditation". Pathway is not destination. Road to Rome is not Rome, isn't it? May be a long distance away which is what I say. Guru starts chela where ever chela is on the pathway. Prayer Beads is prayer for bhakti souls and we all agree difference. Sacred Words is mantra, chanting, for more simple beginner souls. Chanting sankirtan etc is not meditation either. Idea is that one mind become more still and passions decrease then soul can climb higher and use higher tools.

Probably author is thinking about bhava not meditation. Depends on original translation. Actually, I find that Wikipedia has pages on bhava and bhavana which is sometimes translated into English as "meditation" but meditation is dhyana. Title means nothing. (Januarythe18th (talk) 17:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)).

Guru said: Yes, "path to Rome is full of traffic these days", so will take time. But he also said: Read The everything Buddhism book by Jacky Sach 2003 ISBN 9781580628846 specially page 175 which says how to use beads for meditation. History2007 (talk) 17:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Sach is Jew name, isn't it? Why it has Jew scrolls on front cover of Buddhism book? What these people know?

Look at cover. It is not serious saurce. Book to make money, Again confuses prayer and chanting mantra with meditation. Mantra is path to meditation for some but not meditation.

What your point? Anyone can write book say pornography is meditation, cricket is meditation, taking drug is meditation, running is meditation etc etc etc. Discrimination power is necessary, isn't it? Pornography is pornography, cricket is cricket, meditation is meditation. Atricle cannot be everything, let us keep it to meditation East and West.

What do you say?(Januarythe18th (talk) 01:00, 1 April 2011 (UTC)).

Guru said that the statement "cricket is cricket, meditation is meditation" is too deep to need comment here. Guru seems to be speechless at the wisdom displayed here, can say no more. I say that I see several very confident and very incorrect statements here. Very, very incorrect, e.g.:
In Hinduism, not BK, they say "Tatwamasi". In Christianity same, I AM.
I say that statement is very incorrect, very, very incorrect, because in Christianity, "I am" is a claim to be God, so if you go into a church and say "I am", without a predicate they think you are claiming to be God. There are 7 uses of "I am" (Qui est in Latin) "with a predicate" in the New Testament and 2 "without a predicate", which is a claim to be God. How do I know that, because I wrote the Wikipedia article on I am. So Guru is speechless, and I am tired of reading lecture after lecture which sound very confident, but are very, very incorrect. I am speechless too. History2007 (talk) 02:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
January, I my sense is that you have toned down the "lecturing" and are offering your sincere concerns in a spirit of discussion, and I want to thank you for that. I agree with some of your concerns. I think that to some extent Wikipedia is limited in how clearly it can convey even valid distinctions by the admixture of reliable sources. With regard to the subsection on beads, I wonder if we can find a WP:RS that indicates that under some definitions of meditation (e.g., definitions that are closer to dhyana, or perhaps also to the fourth stage of lectio divina), beads are viewed as an encumberance, because they keep the attention on a lower level. We could add such a sentence to that paragraph on beads, which I agree, has its limitations. Outside of Wikipedia, one can do some things that are more difficult to do within Wikipedia. Health Researcher (talk) 03:15, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
At the top level the bead situation is quite simple: Do all meditations use beads? No. Do some meditations use beads? Yes. And refs say that too. History2007 (talk) 10:14, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Strange you spends so much time inserting prayers and prayer beads into mediation but no effort at all on Prayer beads topic. Are you just anti-meditation? I say meditation topic should be as devoid of prayer as meditation is. Move all data on prayers and beads to their own topic. Simple link is enough, isn't?

Why topic says "beads to count prayers" when we talk about meditation and yet miss out on Hindu swamis who made meditation famous in the West like Maharishi-ji?

In mediation the mediator does not pray. They meditate. Mantra Yoga, chanting on Japa, is not meditation. Why give wrong information?

Thank you Health Researcher. I don't know lectio divina means but you understand better than author of that child's book on meditation who is deluded thinking she know something. Example, beginning of path of meditation is good posture in order to sit but good posture is not meditation. Monks and yogis wear robes, but put on robes is not meditation. Same with mantra, same with beads, same with prayer, same with contemplation thoughts even. We start at the outside with the gross and work our way inside into silence.

The student licks the outside of the jar and thinks he is tasting the honey, isn't it?

According to Hinduism, Christ was a Copper Aged bhagat soul but never reach fulled enlightenment. Followers' self-realisation even less. Christ studied with the Buddhists in middle east and travelled to Kashmir to study with the masters in the monasteries there. He is much loved in India but in India many reach higher state of god consciousness than him. In fact, many stories of Christna and the Bible comes from stories of Krishna and Hinduism.

You have your opinion, I prefer those of Sri Ramana on subject. What the Christians know about nature of Brahm element?

My feeling is opposition against me here is not natural and is based on prejudice so I have no interest in being with it. (Januarythe18th (talk) 14:35, 3 April 2011 (UTC)).

Hello January, I think you are probably correct that editing this page is a poor fit for you. In your latest post you have reiterated your opinions about the desirable page content, but you have not addressed or perhaps even registered or understood the issues that others, such as History2007 and myself, have raised regarding your proposals. But editing Wikipedia (WP) requires the ability to find an appropriate place for multiple points of view. I do appreciate that you are coming from a particular spiritual perspective, but Wikipedia has requirements for balance (WP:MOS, WP:DUE), and cannot be merely a forum for one perspective. Also, I disagree with your attempt to speak for Hinduism as a whole about the nature of Christ. Sri Ramakrishna seemed to regard him as an incarnation (avatar), and I am sure that there are many other influential Hindu sources that make similar claims. If you confuse the opinions of sources that you simply "prefer" with those Hinduism as a whole or of Truth itself, you risk falling back into the "lecturing" that has not been greatly appreciated here. Best of luck in finding a forum that is a good fit for you. Health Researcher (talk) 15:45, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I am also correct to say motivation of other editor to erase all my work is not simple pure intent. It is an attack.

Till they admit that, there is no point in discussion. As to argue over Christ was an avatar with Christians, there is also no point!

Strange both topics on Jesus and Christ do not mention Hindu view. Few Hindus would accept Christ was avatar but all would accept he was a holy man perform siddhis (miracles) like many in India do. In fact, not such great miracles either.

We say Jesus was Treta Yuga soul (Silver Age heaven only) and acharya who took a many incarnations learning experiences of heaven and hell before the pure Christ soul entered him. Then both worked to establish Christian dynasty. Both continued to take reincarnation to support their religion until this day. The Christ soul was taking its first incarnation and so was very pure and powerful, but not as pure and powerful as father Abraham and Buddha who came first. Actually, Baba says both the Jesus soul and Christ soul are here on earth today and must purify themselves before new world starts. Christ never experience heaven on earth, but Jesus will have small taste. Not high status though. Christ has his Golden Age after world has already fallen.

But I am still troubled by beginning of topic. It says, "Meditation is generally an internal, personal practice and done without any external involvement, except perhaps prayer beads to count prayers ...". Why prayers? Prayers are not mediation. It is simple fact. No expert say "prayers are meditation". I think they confuse meditation with devotion.

In East, Hindu and Buddhist, we don't use Japa to count prayers. We count mantras, yes, but mantras are not prayers. Christian counting Lords Prayer or Hail Marys, is that mediation? No, I do not think so. I do not think any expert say so Just prayers, so why at top of mediation topic then?

Please answer me that. (Januarythe18th (talk) 03:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)).

Also, why "Modern definitions and Western models" right at top. What so important about new Western models?

Structure is not logical. (Januarythe18th (talk) 03:11, 4 April 2011 (UTC)).

Which are problematic links?

User:Lentower just tagged this page's references as being subject to link rot (DIFF), but it is unclear which links are problematic. A naked "http" does not appear anywhere. Can anyone identify which links are problematic vis-a-vis the link rot concern? --Health Researcher (talk) 01:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I think you should leave him a message to explain, else remove the tag after 2 days. History2007 (talk) 01:49, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Tag removal is generally at least five days.
I'm often surprised that editors don't read the WP guidelines linked to, from boxes. The brief summary in a box can't cover an entire issue. If you WP:AGF, you would follow the links.
If you do follow these links, you'll find that the web citations (at least) are missing many preferred fields. E.g. <ref>{{cite web |url= |title=NCAAM, Meditation: An Introduction "Uses of Meditation for Health in the United States |}} is at least missing |accessdate = |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=. The last three are discussed in detail at WP:LINKROT.
There is already one citation marked as a [dead link].
One of the goals of WP, is to have detailed full citations, not just minimal ones, that will work as long as WP does.
As the box notes, there are tools that help with citation generation. Lentower (talk) 03:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I think Lentower is right, now that I have looked. I removed the deadlink marked. Anyway, I looked through the text and there are several, e.g. in Secular Meditation referring to Monroe Institute, etc. and NewAge referring to company websites. But those are not even WP:RS sources and there is no need for fixing them, either new sources should be added or those deleted anyway. As I was looking through I realized many of the links go to very flimsy websites, e.g. personal pages on tripod. Beyond the attribute fixes, the quality of many of the links is just rock bottom, just rock bottom in terms of meeting WP:RS, and fixes or removal are in order. History2007 (talk) 04:17, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Did you follow WP:DEADREF before deleting this [dead link]? The reflex should be to fix/replace/both a link, not remove it. Lentower (talk) 20:56, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
PS: Afterwards, I realized who you are Len. Greetings. History2007 (talk) 04:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
 ; - )
Thanks for all your efforts on WP. GNUpedia has ended up about the way I expected. BTW, mere users grasp articles, not database elements.
The point of |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= is they allow a web cite to survive the death of it's link. The first two could be automated, but doing so would swamp the present archive sites. Lentower (talk) 06:14, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
|doi is another field that allows a web cite to survive the death of it's link. Actually, a change in it's URL 'spelling'. Lentower (talk) 21:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
NOTE: Please do not click on the URL in the post below unless you have a good antivirus program. History2007 (talk) 13:01, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
To elaborate, the point of |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= is for archived versions of sites which may no longer be available for various reasons. For instance, the URL marked as dead can be found at this url, but because the edit history showed the link being removed due to being a non-RS in addition to being a dead site, I will not add it back to the page (I leave that to the discretion of editors more familiar with the subject). However, as per WP:LINKROT, using an archived version of a page is preferable to removing the reference entirely, so please bear that in mind when removing references. Thank you. - SudoGhost (talk) 11:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, but notice to anyone else, if you do not have a firewall or antivirus, do not click on the wayback archive link because Norton has marked that site as infected and I did not even open it. That is a problem with external links anyway - you never know where you end up. But anyway, I suggest deleting that wayback link above from this page. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 12:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Very odd, I wasn't aware of any malware on the link, I'm using Linux so that never occurred to me, especially because the page was already in the article. Strange. - SudoGhost (talk) 22:26, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I just booted into my Windows partition and opened the link in a sandbox, and none of my antivirus (Avast, AVG, Malwarebytes) went off. It may be a false positive with Norton, but it's worth looking into. - SudoGhost (talk) 22:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Which site(s) has Norton marked? *,, or both? As WPian editors, we should be skeptical about such black listing, and take care in deciding it it's legit or not. It is often done poorly and much too conservatively. Note that * was taken over by Google a wh_ile back (I assume it is still part of Google), and big companies are known to have squabbles with one another. {As an aside, I have wondered why is no longer archiving the static web, but not enough to find out why.) Lentower (talk) 22:29, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Norton flags it as dangerous, so you should run some type of check on your computer just to be sure it is ok. Not a big deal for me, but it is wayback that gets flagged I think, but I do not even want to investigate it. Just a warning and let us move on. History2007 (talk) 22:34, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I found the problem. Waybackmachine has archived a few pornographic websites that contained malware, and so Norton has flagged the entire site. There is a norton report that gives details about it, but I'm hesitant to link the report, due to pornographic URLs detailed in the threat section. However, the link in question is not a security threat. - SudoGhost (talk) 22:40, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
A clear conflict between WP goal of using web archiving, and Norton's one-size fits all black listing policy. Thanks for chasing this down. Lentower (talk) 22:50, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

A bot to check and flag infected links?

Now, I just had a separate idea/suggestion for Len and SudoGhost. How about a bot that runs through Wikipedia external links and checks if they are infected or not, so Wiki-users can be protected. I do not have time to work on that but if you guys feel like spreading the idea or work on it or whatever eventually it will be nice. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 13:10, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

This is not an easy bot to run. You have to have a quality list of what sites are infected. That is kept up-to-date. Takes a lot of computing and human resources. Might be possible to use Norton's, or another black list provider, but that involves a high level of trust, a different set of bot maintenance issues, and legal permissions, etc. Lentower (talk) 22:40, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I wish I had not opened this Pandora's box, but let this be my last comment on it. I think if one has a computer with Norton, one just accesses the site and then tries to parse the resulting HTML page. If the resulting page has a Norton warning, then it is probably marked. So teh bot just accesses the site, parses the HTML and sees if it is a Norton page. I do not know the Norton license deal, but technically, that is how I would have tried it. Now I will log off, so we will not have to talk about it too much. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 22:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Link on the effects of meditation in relation to pain

There was an article in WebMD[1] I came across that discussed meditation. "April 6, 2011 -- Even very brief instruction in meditation appears to help people cope with pain, and a newly published brain imaging study may explain why." I didn't know if this would be something worth including in the article, so I thought I'd place it in the talk page first. The scientific studies section has quite a few references already, and I didn't want to overcrowd the section with references, so I wanted to bring it up here to inquiry as to how relevant the WebMD article was. - SudoGhost (talk) 07:54, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I think some type of general agreement has emerged in the scientific literature that meditation can be "beneficial" whatever beneficial may mean. And many MDs do it themselves because they feel the effects. The question will be finding the solid references, because there are so many less than reliable claims as well, and they do in fact confuse the issue by hiding the serious studies by overcrowding the field. So my suggestion would be to use the solid refs and get rid of the many personal blog spots etc. Web MD is actually a semi-respectable source, but I think HealthResearcher knows more about this issue than myself. My suggestion would be to delete an unreliable reference everytime we add a reliable one. History2007 (talk) 08:55, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Scientific Studies

This section could do with an introductory health warning about not comparing apples and pears i.e. as the page makes clear meditation covers a multitude of practices and so simply referring to research on meditation is only giving half the story. Different methods of meditation will cause different effects on the physiology during meditation and after meditation according to what the person is doing. Any comments? I added in some refs on the Judaism section.Oxford73 (talk) 13:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I fully agree. Meditation is a really large brush with which a whole pile of things are painted. Intuitively (and scientifically) it is clear that various meditative acts affect physiology in the short term (and perhaps the long term). But lumping them all together is not correct, as you said. History2007 (talk) 13:47, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I also agree: none of the findings warrant being generalized to everything called "meditation." Of course, the current version of the scientific studies section doesn't include many claims, and most are already somewhat hedged. Including a well-crafted sentence about limits to generalizability might be an improvement. But I do not intend to endorse an opening for someone to drive in their truck and say "only method A has been proven to support health outcome X". Different methods tend often (though not always) to produce similar results on many well-being-related outcomes. Perhaps we can find a quotable published reference that concisely expresses both sides of this delicate line. -- Health Researcher (talk) 16:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Right. Not a trivial task, however. But then these are the early days of research on this. Remember when the 128K Mac first came out? That is where we are now. History2007 (talk) 22:57, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I would suggest putting at the end of the 2nd para in this section something like, "When reviewing scientific research on meditation it must be remembered that different methods of meditation have various practices and goals. Even meditations that appear superficially similar, such as mantra meditation, may vary in their outcomes and goals." I would use reference 55 to support this point Taylor 1999.Oxford73 (talk) 09:27, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I see no big deal in that, but something in the back of my mind says: there are also similarities. History2007 (talk) 13:13, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
There certainly are similarities and this is what is assumed by some of these global reviews but there are also differences as shown by all sorts of research such as EEG and in this instance it is the differences that need emphasising.Oxford73 (talk) 13:46, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is a close call, however. History2007 (talk) 16:16, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── My sense is that phrases such as "it must be remembered" are seldom used in WP. Usually we try to state relevant facts clearly and then let readers decide what must or must not be remembered. There has never been an empirical study that looked at "all" forms of meditation, so every existing study is based on some very limited subset of meditative methods/approaches, usually only one per study. Occasionally studies have been designed to detect differences between two or more methods, often on short-term lab-based measures that are of more interest to scientists than to the public in search of improved well-being. Therefore it's much easier to be precise about a few findings of differences than about a broad background of similarity. But I think we should mention both sides of this phenomenon (both similarity+difference), supporting both with outside source citation(s), and then letting readers decide what they will choose to remember. So let's also try to find something substantive about similarities that is quotable/citeable. Health Researcher (talk) 17:52, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

PS For giving examples of different effects produced by different methods, a good source of examples is likely to be the Cahn and Polich review (ref 8), a review that I've never heard charged with tendentiousness, unlike some reviews by proponents of specific methods. Health Researcher (talk) 19:58, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
These are good points. There is a line in the 2007 NCCAM report, referred to in this section, which is in the discussion part of the report which seems to encapsulate what I am trying to get at. "The broad categories we have employed can be criticized as being simplistic and as ignoring subtle differences among practices." How about quoting this line from the report?Oxford73 (talk) 10:37, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe, though a limitation of that quote is that its section (pp 194-5) does not allude to evidence for differences in effects, and we are not employing those same NCCAM categories in this article. Interesting how they use the possible role of differences as a call for "more explicit descriptions of techniques," which has long been systematically resisted by a certain well-known technique whose advocates often plead for the importance of differences between techniques. More broadly, what could we quote on the other side of the ledger, about the background of broad similarity? About not missing the "forest" of background similarity for being too caught in real or imagined differences among the "trees"? Health Researcher (talk) 16:55, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
The similarity is that they all promote spiritual development but Tai Chi and Qui Gong involve exercise which is quite different from some other techniques referred to. Even with 2 mantra meditations the outcomes can be different. It is something like the "butterfly effect". Small differences in initial conditions can have a huge effect later on. Related to this I came across a critique of the this study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2008 and it articulates some of my concerns more clearly than my original statement about apples and pears. I wonder if that critique is worth a sentence? Oxford73 (talk) 08:53, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
The butterfly effect item seems interesting. Could you say more please? History2007 (talk) 09:07, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
An analogy would be aiming a rocket to go to the moon. A small degree out when it leaves earth could have a big consequences later on unless it is self-correcting. Meditations may appear superficially similar eg using a mantra but the specific instructions followed by the meditator can make a difference which is one reason why different physiological measurements are found with different meditations. More to the point are weaknesses in the 2007 report which I think merit a mention.Oxford73 (talk) 09:09, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I have studied the butterfly effect and the mathematical issues therein for years - a fascinating topic. More interesting cases involve more complexity than rockets, but that is another story. But I do not have exact info or even a semi-scientific discussion about how that translates into meditation. Any more specific items you may have? History2007 (talk) 09:17, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Remember that people don't pursue meditation in a vacuum. Serious meditators commonly engage in some sort of spiritual fellowship with those on the same path, as well as other allied disciplines, such as practice of virtues (compassion, forgiveness, etc). This makes it extremely difficult to empirically distinguish effects of differences in what is done within the time set aside for meditation versus effects from what is done in the supporting practices (also versus, of course, some sort of synergy between the two). Speaking of a "butterfly effect" risks being misleading because there's nowhere near the same level of determinism and high-precision predictiveness possible in human studies as is possible in physics - at least not of the kind being suggested here. Thus, talk of "butterfly effects" remains theoretically rather than empirically based, which means that every school of meditation is free to offer its own theory, if it so desires, about why its method might be most intrinsically effective as a technical procedure. But unless there's a cogent scientific argument involved, persuasive to those outside of the school itself, there's little to distinguish such assertions from simple self-serving biases, regardless of how sincere they might be. I'm not aware of any such arguments in the scientific literature that have gained significant traction. Of course, researchers such as Goleman (who we cite) have long conceptualized the training of attention as the distinguishing feature of meditation in general, that helps distinguish/characterize meditation -- and the training of attention is a conception that is quite alive in the literature (see Wadlinger et al, 2010). -- Health Researcher (talk) 16:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Also: Some of the most interesting work in comparing different methods comes from primarily Christian samples, comparing what might be called a spiritual mantra versus a secular mantra as a focus for meditation. These are two studies by Wachholtz and Pargament (2005, 2008). They suggest that the spiritual mantra may have produced better results because it activates a spiritual "lens" through which the world can be interpreted. Such a spiritual lens could naturally lead to intensified application to spiritual fellowship and virtues, and thus there is a theoretical basis for believing there could be long-term differences as well as the observed short term diffferences. But note that many different meditative systems encourage fellowship and virtues, and would help activate a spiritual "lens". I think I've read that argument somewhere, but don't have time to track it down. But how much of this will meet WP:DUE for our tiny tiny bit of space on this page, is unclear. -- Health Researcher (talk) 16:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

We still have not addressed the question: What are the best citations for characterizing the broad common background of similar findings of positive effects that are evident across many methods. I contend this is "half the story" of characterizing the relationship between different methods. Let's not lose ourselves in focusing on the fascinating "trees" of differences, and forget to address the other half of the forest. -- Health Researcher (talk) 16:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

You had a very good point about meditation not taking place in a vacuum. And I think the article is missing that. Please feel free to add something about that. In fact, even secular meditation has some type of context.
On a separate note, and let us not get side tracked here, the butterfly effect (not a great Wikipage) is about the lack of "determinism and high-precision predictiveness" in the physical world. FYI: for over a century, the three-body problem issues (also not a good Wikipage!) have dogged physicists, only to be reincarnated at the subatomic level - but that is another story. That was why I hinted that the rocket (or bullet) example was too simple. Physics is far less deterministic than people expect. So meditation by its nature will be even less deterministic. History2007 (talk) 16:34, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

AHRQ Report

The article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2008) makes a few criticisms of the 2007 Alberta report as follows; It mixed mental techniques - meditation - with those that had a more physical component such as Tai Chi, it didn't distinguish well enough between studies with and without good controls, criticised studies for not being double blind when that is very tricky with these sorts of experiments, and it did not look at effects of meditation on smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.Oxford73 (talk) 15:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I think that it is good that the JACM critique you list has been published. It is by a prominent TM researcher, which does not mean it is irrelevant to Wikipedia, but to my mind means we should be extra careful to be citing it for the right reasons (if we cite it at all), since TM is known to have a strong promotional effort. It's possible that it would be worth citing over at the Research on meditation page, but not here, since space here is very limited. Furthermore, if we mention here any of what the critique says, we should make sure there is no disconnect with what we are doing here. For example, the AHRQ report says "The categories are only meant to be descriptive and conclusions have not been made on the basis of the broad categories, but at the level of individual practices." (p. 209). So if we don't cite the AHRQ report's broad categories -- which I don't think this page does at present -- then it could be a red herring (or an attack on a straw man) to cite the Orme-Johnson critique of the AHRQ's broad categories. The critique itself has only been cited 2 times on Google Book, so it doesn't have much stand-alone notability - though it's useful as one of the few if not the only published critiques of the AHRQ report.
Let me add that personally, I agree in the abstract with a number of things the critique says -- it provides what might be a useful checklist of methodological desiderata -- but it's often hard to tell how much the AHRQ conclusions might have been modified by following such suggestions. And as usual with TM research productions, it gives enormous attention to TM as an illustrative example, and minimal attention to anything else. Health Researcher (talk) 19:09, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

There we go again: east and west

I called a BRD on east/west separation, so let us repeat our semi-annual discussion on that. I used to want the separation, but I was convinced otherwise before. So, gentlemen, get your keyboards ready. History2007 (talk) 08:18, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


The current definition "trains his or her mind or self-induces a mode of consciousness in order to realize some benefit" is very sloppy and colloquial. Isn't there a more sophisticated definition? Shouldn't it refer in some way to meditation being, in essence, the exercise in trying to consciously control bodily functions which are normally subconscious? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

You may be right that it is overly colloquial. But whatever is suggested as an alternative should be informed by the definitions from the highly-cited publications -- definitions that are quoted in the table in the Definitions section. I don't think "bodily functions" would be an appropriate phrase -- only one of those definitions mentions the "body" and to me that usage seems slightly strange. Meditation typically primarily references what one does with one's mind. Personally I would agree with your implication that meditation can result in bringing into consciousness of things that have previously been unconscious. But that doesn't seem to be how meditation is usually defined, at least not in those definitions in highly-cited publications. They mention attention, but not the unconscious. -- Health Researcher (talk) 00:20, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree, but I think we should put a comment in the text somewhere (perhaps as a note below) that we have danced this dance before, discussed the WP:RS issues at length, etc. Otherwise the response above needs to be provided every few months. Given that you crafted the current definition, and know more about the topic anyway, would you like to put together a few sentences as a "note" that would go at the end to answer a similar question that will be asked in 6 months? Thanks. History2007 (talk) 02:40, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
History2007, thanks for inserting that note, that looks good. -- Health Researcher (talk) 16:02, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually that was a comment inside the page that I added, I was hoping to also have a visible footnote saying: "definition of meditation is hard... etc." but was not sure how to say that with a suitable reference. History2007 (talk) 16:07, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Meditation isn't always about controlling bodily functions. Bodily functions are affected by meditation but sometimes as a spontaneous by product of practice and not by deliberate manipulation. This is the problem of trying to define a word that is used in so many different ways by different traditions.Oxford73 (talk) 13:03, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
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