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Any meditators here on CCZone? I'm not religious or spiritual; although I have been reading and casually practicing some parts of Buddhist philosophy for a while now. I started meditating a while ago at first to just relax. I quickly learned it is a much more powerful practice than simply allowing you to relax. It can be literally life changing. I won't go into all the details unless there's interest but here's a few things: There is a lot of misconception about meditation. For one; there are many different methods which lead to different things and have different goals. There's no 'right' or 'wrong'. A lot of people try meditating by 'clearing their mind' and think they can't because their mind keeps wondering so they're a failure at it. This is a misconception. It is impossible to clear your mind; one main goal of many common meditations including one called Vipassana is to focus on something (like your own breath) and note each time your mind wanders. If you realize your mind was wandering and you focus back on your breath that is not failure; it's success; that's part of the goal of this practice. The act of realizing your mind is wandering and redirecting it over time will help you develop better concentration and focus among many other things. For any who think it's just voodoo nonsense; there is actual scientific backing on it. Two interesting things that can happen as a result of meditation; Supposedly meditation can stimulate a nerve in the brain called the Vagus nerve which connects to many parts of the body and helps your body relax physically and is very good for the heart, lungs and digestion. Over time meditation has in some people helped deal with depression, anxiety and addictions. There is a network in the brain called the 'default mode network' which is active whenever we are not working on a particular problem like math, watching a movie etc. In other words; day dreaming. It is believed this area is responsible for self reflection and 'theory of mind' among other things. This network can be altered or shut off entirely while meditating. This can lead to very profound and bizarre feelings. It is an altered state of consciousness which is impossible to describe or understand without feeling it. It can be very pleasant but also scary. I also want to make a brief warning; its not all fun and games and isn't something that should be taken too lightly. Meditating, especially done poorly (too deeply, too much or too often) highly depending on the person and your personality can have negative effects. I've never been on a 'retreat' but I've read of people who've done those and have had episodes where they almost went insane.