Meditation 2.0: A new way to meditate

Dr. Amit Sood, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and founder of the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing, narrates this animation, which he produced after becoming frustrated with how difficult it was to meditate. After he realized that modern humans might need to do meditation a different way, he came up with this approach. Here are a couple of paragraphs from his description:

I was born in India. I like meditation. What is not to like about meditation? It is known to be relaxing, health improving, brain enhancing, and free of side effects. The problem was–after decades of learning and practicing I must confess that  I found meditation a very difficult practice. I had a few good days, but on most days I didn’t even know what I was doing. If after years of practice, this was my state, I can only begin to imagine what others might be going through. It occurred to me
that the busy minds of the 21st Century need a modified version of the practice to access its full benefits. I went back to the drawing board, immersed myself in neuroscience and evolutionary biology.
I started developing a simpler way to access meditation,  which was in many ways very different from what I had learned over the years. Applying those ideas helped my personal practice, but I was still unsure.
In the midst of it all, I met the world’s preeminent authority on meditation – His Holiness Dalai Lama.

7 responses

  1. Interesting notion that Dr. Sood presents, yet I wonder if Meditation 2.0 is more a “gateway” practice and may feed “overdrive” experiences at the expense of deeper healing necessary for the development of whole human beings.
    Two things came to mind that he and others may find useful:
    1. A great tip from Ram Dass’ 1990 book Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook: his statement to the effect that: that noticing that/when your mind has wandered and bringing it back is the real practice of meditation. That’s helped me enormously.
    2. A very recent post by neuroscience educator Mark Brady which includes the following (see post and graphics at: https://floweringbrain.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/why-so-many-people-hate-their-jobs/):
    2.1. The Tree of Contemplative Practices which shows “a whole host of possibilities that can help in the effective management of” ..,. stress via “Adrenal Management Practices (AMPs) that are not only effective and work for you, but that fit you so well that you actually look forward to doing them.” The tree is a tool developed by The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society at: http://www.comtemplativemind.org].
    2.2. “There are untold other ways to effectively manage stress … But each of us has to experiment and find out
    A. What might actually work for you; and
    B. What actually works that you can actually DO.”
    The tree includes a wide range of categories of practice and possible activities. Some of my favorites are: Relational Practices such as storytelling and Activist Practices such as mindfulness and bearing witness (for example, contributing to and promoting ACES Too High). This supports comments posted by JMAIZLISH above.
    I plan to experiment with Dr. Sood’s 2.0 options. Even so, my personal and professional experience definitely support the benefits of trauma therapies (EMDR, and others) that are allowing many to strengthen neural pathways for relaxation and presence in a very connected way and lead me to advocate for “high touch” in addition to “high tech” – each in its place, as useful in any present moment.
    Thanks for this connection, Jane!
    L.I. Simpson, MPH, CPSS

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  2. Pingback: Meditation 2.0: A New Way to Meditate • SJS

  3. Dr. Sood’s Meditation 2.0 provides what may be one solution for people who are vulnerable to highly disturbing and arousing thoughts, feelings, and bodily reactions when attempting to follow the instructions of Meditation 1.0. Such people need to be and feel active in some sense. Yoga and similar physical practices are one recommendation for them. Meditation 2.0 may be another, or a mental activity which can accompany physical activation. As Dr. Sood describes it, Meditation 2.0 supports an active mental posture, and thus does accentuate the traumatized person’s feeling of being passive and vulnerable.

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