My understanding is the same as Mayka’s.

Being non-reactive does not mean being passive.  Popular terms that are similar 
are ‘go with the flow’ or ‘follow the Tao’.

I personally think non-reactive is actually not a good descriptive term.  You 
do react, but your reactions are spontaneous not premeditated.



From: [] On Behalf Of 
Maria Lopez
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?





Non being reactive in the TNH tradition means that you are opened to the 
experience that is in front of you.  Means to have an open mind. Means that one 
is not a narrow mind.   It means that one is not limited by pre-concepts and 
ideas in a way that nothing new can get into one.   Nothing new can be learnt.  
New experiences in that way are not welcome.  It doesn't seem to me that that 
is your case.  You actually seem to be quite an open mind person.   If one 
reacts and one knows that one is reacting .  One could also  do an step forward 
and finding out why one is reacting.    But it will be one and no one else who 
has to see into that.   Having a reaction with the unknown is a normal reaction 
we all have. The difference with a non practicioner is that the non 
practicioner reacts and doesn't know of reacting.


To me this article has not a particular value in the theme is talking about  
because is written from an outsider and not from within the direct experience 
of the practice.  I wonder if this may be the reason the writer of the article 
backs up continusly himself/herself  with the use of science,  pompous names, 
professions, schools to persuade better his/her readers to convert better his 
readers to whatever he wants to convert them.  This is called religious 


Have I answer what you were asking?. 





--- On Wed, 20/10/10, Rose P <> wrote:

From: Rose P <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?
Date: Wednesday, 20 October, 2010, 13:51


Yes, indeed Mayka. This question of 'non-reactivity to experience' though, I'm 
a little confused as to whether that's part of the aim of meditation (this is 
not really the word I'm looking for at all......but I don't have a better 
one...). Non-reactivity to experience could be helpful in certain situations, 
but not in others? Or always helpful.....? For a beginner like myself there's 
something appealing about non-reactivity as a 'goal', albeit probably an 
unattainable one. 



--- On Wed, 10/20/10, Maria Lopez <> wrote:

From: Maria Lopez <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 12:16 PM


Empathy, care for a patient,  altruism, love,  compassion has always been in 
very good reputable all Hospitals from Pamplona, Spain which are well know to 
all  high standard up Professional in the medical field in Europe . strangely 
enough those hospitals happen to be in its majority in the hands of OPUS Dei 
and catholic church (or at least they were) .  The real  mystery here is once 
again in the heart.  And no matter who embodies that heart.  Nothing at all is 
possible without the heart.  If mindfulness is show in a scientific way the 
outcome will be a disaster



--- On Wed, 20/10/10, Rose P <> wrote:

From: Rose P <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?
Date: Wednesday, 20 October, 2010, 12:21


This was a really interesting article Ed. The bit that really stood out for me 
was 'Years of meditation cultivates a natural non-reactivity to experience.' It 
made me wonder whether, once everything else is stripped away (the words, the 
concepts, the debates, and indeed the 'wondering'...), is non-reactivity to 
experience the essence, the key, the aim of the practise....



--- On Wed, 10/20/10, ED <> wrote:

From: ED <>
Subject: [Zen] Positive neural changes in the brain due to meditation?
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 6:48 AM



Mindfulness: Meditation Vs. Skill Set

October 7, 2010

By  <> 4u Articles 

As a long term yogic and vipassana meditator, and a mindfulness-based 
psychotherapist who regularly teaches meditation practices to my patients, I 
find the growth of mindfulness as a clinical intervention very timely. Last 
year, I attended two conferences focused on the use of mindfulness as a 
clinical intervention: Meditation and Psychotherapy at Harvard Medical School 
and Mindfulness and Psychotherapy at UCLA. 

Interestingly, the conference at Harvard featured a greater percentage of 
presenters who do not use meditation as an intervention in their clinical work. 
For them, mindfulness is a teachable skill set, extrapolated from a way of 
viewing life gained from sustained Buddhist meditation practices. 

These presenters included: Steven Hayes, founder of ACT, Lizbeth Roemer, U Mass 
GAD researcher and clinician, Tal Ben-Shahar, Harvard Lecturer on Positive 
Psychology, and Jayme Shorin, LICSW, sensorimotor trainer. The fact that the 
organizers of the Harvard conference felt it necessary to devote over half of 
the presentation time to methodologies that do not include meditation was, for 
me, significant. 

Though this might be expected at a Mindfulness and Psychotherapy conference, in 
fact the UCLA conference featured more presenters discussing the use of 
meditation and compassion practices as a clinical intervention. 

These presenters included: Thich Nhat Hahn, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and 
meditation teacher, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Harriett Kimble Wrye, and Trudy 
Goodman, all psychologists and meditation teachers, and Dr. Daniel Siegel & 
Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar presenting the neurobiology of meditation.

Due to the continuing trend in mental health toward brief, CBT [Cognitive 
Behavior Therapy] methods and away from depth-oriented, psychodynamic 
therapies, one can easily see how a reduction of mindfulness to an easily 
deliverable skill set would be a natural outcome of the environment in which it 
is delivered. 

But is the doing away with meditation practice psychotherapeutically wrong or 
ineffective? Not necessarily. 

Even in the East, Karma Yoga is an example of a path to liberation which 
eschews formal meditation practice in favor of a commitment to the work one 
does in the world as spiritual practice. 

Also, with neuroscience showing significant brain changes from long-term 
mindfulness meditation, one can easily see how a researcher like Steven Hayes 
could create mental exercises that simulate, through active questioning of the 
validity of language, the realization of the contextual nature of the self., 
i.e., Am I really these thoughts and beliefs that my mind continually comes up 

Years of meditation cultivates a natural non-reactivity to experience. But why 
wait years, when simple instructions for distress tolerance, like those 
featured in DBT can be dispensed to patients suffering from emotion 
dysregulation? Following in the footsteps of ACT is Acceptance-based 
psychotherapy which focuses on delivering skills for realizing and accepting 
here and now experience with compassion; something vipassana meditation and 
metta practices are well documented at cultivating in long-term practitioners. 
Yet again, why practice meditation at all when mindfulness skills can be 
learned and behaviors changed?

Additionally, it must be acknowledged that most psychotherapists will not want 
to learn and commit to a daily mindfulness meditation practice, or be trained 
to teach mindfulness meditation. Therefore, it may be more desirable and 
practical in clinical settings to deliver a CBT-like mindfulness skill set 
rather than teach meditation


In light of all these benefits, what do we lose in clinical practice when we 
allow instruction of vipassana/mindfulness meditation to fall into disfavor or 
become outmoded? The following list is my best guess at an answer to this 

1.The long and short term stress-reducing physical effects of meditation

2.The plethora of profoundly, positive neural changes evidenced in the brains 
of long term vipassana/Tibetan Buddhist meditators 

3.The deep emotional healing that comes from metta/forgiveness/compassion 
meditation practices 

4.The benefits of setting aside time in our busy lives for silence, meditation 
and contemplation

5.The cultivation of peacefulness

6.The deepening of connection with and respect for our planet and all living 
things upon it, which naturally arise from sustained meditation practice

7.The shared joy of a community of meditators; whether traditional sanghas or 
8-week mindfulness-based groups like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), 
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression Relapse Prevention (MBCT), 
or Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for addiction recovery (MBRP). 

I have seen patients experience radical change from incorporating mindfulness 
meditation and mindfulness skills into their daily lives and I am excited to 
offer MBRP, a mindfulness-based intervention for addiction relapse prevention 
in San Jose, CA in March 2008. Please contact me for more information.


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