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View Diary: When God is Least Expected (160 comments)

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  •  To have an eccentricity.... (0+ / 0-)

    ..... that does not impel you to do evil isn't much to worry about. Indeed, many religious people say their eccentricities cause them to do good. One does wonder why they don't simply do the good anyway and skip the prayer and so on, but since the good does get done quite often by these people under those circumstances, religious observances are a harmless addendum to it.

    It's when they try to persuade others that their eccentricities are fact-based that eyebrows are raised.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:33:37 PM PDT

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    •  Eccentrics! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, Jim P, melo, tikkun, niemann

      Do you have any idea how condescending you sound towards those who have a different belief system than you do?

      Well, maybe we're not totally off our rockers; at best maybe our faith is just an eccentricity - an urge to do good and not evil with no explanation.

      Are you aware that for many of us - Prayer, meditation can, and often is, a profound part of that urge to do good.

      I don't ask you to agree with me, just to treat me as a thinking human being who just believes differently that you do, and who expects my intellect to be treated with the same respect as I show towards yours.

      _Let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Robert Kennedy_

      by bogieshadow on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:48:14 PM PDT

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      •  And science tells us that prayer & meditation ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, niemann, bogieshadow

        ... produce empirically proven physiological benefits to the body and mind.

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:26:33 PM PDT

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        •  An effective meditative practice has no necessary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JosephK74, JBL55

          connection with religious belief or prayer.  I wonder if any of the research showing physiological benefits to prayer controlled for its meditation-like effects.  

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:53:52 PM PDT

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          •  I think for purposes of research ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            congenitalefty

            ... prayer & meditation are considered to be different words for the same thing.

            It's funny how hostile some folks can be to meditation being considered prayer and vice versa.

            "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

            by JBL55 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:02:07 AM PDT

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            •  As a retired research clinical neuropsychologist (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JBL55, Tonedevil

              who served as the methodology editor for a refereed professional journal, I'd reject out of hand any study of the effects of prayer that didn't include a control for its potential  mind-focusing and relaxing  effects, with something like TM seeming close to perfect.  

              As someone who was a pretty devout Catholic for my first 25 years and a Buddhist convert for the last 5 years, my own experience suggests that prayer and meditation are VERY different, even neuroanatomically.  For example, one goal of meditation is to quiet the speech centers, which is hardly a goal in many approaches to prayer.    

              "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

              by Oliver St John Gogarty on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 08:42:20 AM PDT

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              •  As you say: (0+ / 0-)
                For example, one goal of meditation is to quiet the speech centers, which is hardly a goal in many approaches to prayer.
                 

                Not all.  

                Of course, I can only speak for my own approach to prayer.

                "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

                by JBL55 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

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                •  Be still and listen. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JBL55

                  I have always looked upon stillness and openess as essential to prayer.

                  If you're too busy talking to God (or whatever Spirit/essence you happen to believe in), you'll never hear anything except your own clamoring thoughts.

                  _Let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Robert Kennedy_

                  by bogieshadow on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 11:39:49 AM PDT

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                  •  My point is that the beneficial psycho- (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tonedevil

                    physiological benefits of prayer may not have any necessary connection with a religious context or purpose.  When a great many people meditate and benefit from it, they're not listening for God or trying to connect with anything supernatural.   If those people show the same psychophysiological patterns as people who are praying, it would suggest that the effects have nothing to do with prayer per se.  

                    "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                    by Oliver St John Gogarty on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:27:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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