Holistic Thinking


What is holistic thinking? It’s something that not a lot of people are familiar with but may come to see as a vital angle to tackle the world from. First, let’s go out there and define just how the average person thinks these days when they do any thinking at all.


Most people these days think analytically. This is not a bad thing. I can’t stress this enough. There is nothing wrong with being analytical. I’m only saying that sometimes, it provides too narrow a viewpoint and the situation might benefit from a different perspective.


You see, analytical thinking is all about logical reasoning. It involves taking a system and understanding its parts, seeing how they work together to produce a larger effect. They see the world as events and products of individual factors and their attributes.


The flaw in this line of thinking is that it can sometimes distance itself from the context of what they’re analysing. There are also times when the analysis zeroes in on one detail but ends up missing the forest because they’re too obsessed with one tree.


Now, let’s take a moment to contrast that with holistic thinking.


Holistic thinking is about dialectical reasoning and involves looking at a system through its patterns. You understand how it works through the effects it has, and then react to them. Individual parts are less of a concern, and you view things through the external forces that work on an object.


The focus of holistic thinking is in context, relationships, and background elements. In other words, you’re not focusing on a single tree. In fact, individual trees are not really on your mind. Your concern is the forest, and the impact things like nearby communities and the lumber industry have on it.


Analytical thinking is all about reductionism and the details. Holistic thinking is about looking at the big picture. Both approaches have their benefits, but also their flaws.


Sometimes, analytical thinking is the best approach. For example, if you’re trying to figure out what part of your workout is most effective, you’ll want to analyse individual bits. Maybe even try to cut out this or that, until you’ve pinpointed what works and what doesn’t.


Approaching the workout as a whole doesn’t let you do this. You need to look at each part on its own, analyse its effects, to get a result.


In contrast, when working with something like posture with kinesiotherapy – which you can learn more about from this website – it pays to see things as a whole. Posture is more than just the spinal column, but also your muscles, upper body, lower body, and even movements.


Looking at just one part causes you to miss the interactions of the whole. Without looking at that whole, along with factors such as lifestyle and diet, you’ll lose something crucial to your objective.


As I’ve said, most people tend to think analytically by default. It’s how we’re taught in school, most of the time. However, who knows how well we could do if we started learning how to think holistically?


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Science – Does it invalidate religion?


The idea that science has replaced religion has become popular these days. Some put religion to one side as now of date. People are noticing a huge development in research into the working of the human brain which seems to support this view.


New imaging technologies allow science to measure blood flow and neural activity whilst people are meditating and praying. Science claims it can predict and measure religious experience in this way. Atheists like Richard Dawkins are saying this is evidence that religious experience is nothing more than natural activity in certain parts of the brain. From this they conclude that there is no such thing as any supernatural reality.


What science has found

It has been found that intense or mystical experiences associate themselves with cordinated activity in certain areas of the brain and absence of activity in other parts. For example both meditating Buddhist monks and praying Catholic nuns demonstrate a decreased activity in the parietal lobes. This is a brain region responsible for spatial orientation. They also show increased activity in their frontal lobes. This is a brain region responsible for concentration. Similar patterns of brain activity are observed for singing, meditation and prayer regardless of the specific spiritual belief of the people studied.


Alternative explanation

There is an alternative interpretation. Just because religious experiences are accompanied by predictable brain activity, why should this mean they are caused by it? When two things go together, either of them influences the other. Alternatively, some third factor influences both.


One cannot expect science to investigate spiritual factors that might be involved. Quite rightly researchers depend on using natural tools to measure phenomena. Science practices methodological naturalism. This is a strategy for studying the world, by which scientists choose not to consider supernatural causes – even as a remote possibility. So, science does not theorize about any unnatural causes of what it studies.


Drug induced religious experience

Those who are skeptical about religion say if psychedelic drugs can produce mystical and religious experiences then religion is due to brain chemistry and not to God. Users of such substances report that they have remarkably spiritual experiences.


These drugs produce a wide range of often extraordinarily vivid perceptions. The kind of experience depends on several factors including the individual’s type of spiritual orientation, and the expectations of the social setting, as well as the specific drug and its dosage. Since the early 1960’s researchers have shown that, for many, such chemicals have induced positive benign and blissful mystical and religious states. However some have agonizing encounters with loneliness, hopelessness, guilt and visions of dark forces.


When we are in an altered state of consciousness something releases the mind from its attachment to, and its rational awareness of, the external material world. I would suggest then we become more aware of a normally hidden inner world of spirit. I would say this inner world consists of both a presence of timelessness and unity but also a presence of dark forces. So these drugs expose full awareness of this inner world which is not observable using our physical senses.


To my way of thinking we make a huge mistake to suppose that the mere swallowing of a pill can yield the same results as years of spiritual discipline and growth. Also it is an error to suppose that religious experience is nothing more than a brain in a certain chemical state.


Science and religion

So do you think that science invalidates religion? Or do you think, as I do, that when some argue that only science has the truth, they are not arguing scientifically at all. Actually, I would say they are stepping beyond the scope of science into discourses of meaning and purpose.


It is good for us to have factual knowledge. Without it we cannot build up our rational understanding of ordinary things. Science provides many opportunities to look for and find God in nature and to reflect on belief.


According to Emanuel Swedenborg Christian philosopher, the danger comes when we only see things in a natural light. We also need to use a spiritual light which is available to us. In other words, the worldly and bodily-minded individual makes a mistake to imagine one can use sensory evidence alone to see what is really important in life for oneself.


I rather like the view of the son of the founder of the Bahá’í religion. He said that religion without science is superstition and that science without religion is materialism.


As a clinical psychologist, Stephen Russell-Lacy has specialized in cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, working for many years with adults suffering distress and disturbance.

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Powerful Meditation Techniques You Can Try Today

It really is somewhat daunting to try to confine meditation types in a certain number, as there are so most of them, however there are a few most common and the most important that are well worth mentioning here.

1. Mindfulness deep breathing

Mindfulness is simply a meditation way which allows you to become more conscious of the here and the now, i. e. being in the now. You give attention to what is going on around you during the time you are meditating, therefore you become aware of every thought and feeling that you have during the meditation process. The way to do this through following your breat, then moving your full focus on your thoughts, the feelings you have in your body (e. g. tingling in your fingers, tickling of your nose, etc). What you must do is simply becoming an observer, without analyzing or judging.

2. Empty mind meditation

This kind of type of meditation is called ‘awareness without an object’, which means being aware without concentrating on something particular. You simply sit down still, if possible in the lotus position and just allow your head wander on its own. Ignore it silent. If you feel thought approaching, just simply acknowledge them, and enable them evaporate, without judging them.

3. Seeing your breath meditation

Could be this can be the easiest type of meditation, that the newbie can start out with, without becoming overwhelmed.

Sit in your chosen position, close your eyes and give attention to your breathing. Breath normally, avoid force it, and give attention to your breathing. Focus on how the air is heading throughout your nose, down to your lungs, and then how the process is reversed.

4. The Om meditation

You can actually use here either the ‘om’ or just put emphasis on another specific rule, like a positive support. Just keep repeating it as you meditate, if possible aound, or in your head if you’re not alone.

5. Concept yoga

This means you will meditate on an idea, a particular concept like the fleeting nature of life, or anything more, that is not very specific. You could think about how a flower flowers and then it fade away, for example. Essentially this technique bypasses your rational mind, and provides you a different type of understanding.

6. Walking relaxation

Another very powerful and known meditation type. You can practice this type of meditation either in your own room, or outside on your outdoor, or garden. Just watch your body as it moves its different parts one at a time, or together. Watch your legs and arms moving the by. Focus on these, and if you get your mind wandering off, just gently bring it to focusing on your walking. Usually do not judge, just simply allow it to happen and return to meditation.

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Getting Your Mind Back With Meditation

Your head is restless and you may think it is challenging to stay for meditation. This is normal when you first take up a regular meditation practice. The highly-charged world of action that people stay in everyday constantly calls after us to react and respond to all types of external stimulus. The most important thing to comprehend when starting to meditate is be patient.

Deep breathing techniques vary, nonetheless they all have the same goal, peace of mind. A state in which you see things more evidently, and guide your life in a direction towards peace and happiness. Several people meditate to get more calm during periods of stress. Other people meditate to find our more about themselves. If a lot more pulling you in a number of directions you could return to the sensation of being whole by having a regular meditation practice.

You might find it helpful to sit with a group that practices meditation regularly. If you are new to the practice a meditation group will help you feel supported. With time you will find talking of your brain and body becomes easier. And the length of time you take your practice boosts.

Yoga permits one to learn to use a deeper awareness of the breath which allows the deeper states of relaxation to occur naturally. The physical movement of yoga is invigorating for the entire body.

If you have 5 mins at the starting or end of your day this is a good start for a new meditation practice. Along with a week you can add another a few minutes, so that soon you are up to sitting for your deep breathing practice for at least ten minutes. There is absolutely no set in place limit on enough time for meditation. But the fact is your intention and that you are more steady.

Give your self time for you to adapt to the schedule of the regular meditation practice. It is sometimes helpful to practice yoga or other movement after your meditation. If sitting for your meditation becomes challenging don’t be discouraged. A group setting could be helpful in that you might ask questions or compare experience with others. Every time you practice you will have more methods that help you expand your meditation. Although there are many books, articles and other tools available for meditation there is a special experience waiting around for each and every one who takes the time to allow relaxation to help them become whole again. It is OK to start out with brief meditation sessions just where you are.

Categories: Meditation