Gong Timer - Boost Your Short-Term Memory - Utagawa Toyokuni Ukiyo-e Woodblock
A certain type of meditation may help the brain retain images for short periods, says a new study on visual-spatial abilities.
When people view an object, they usually retain a clear picture of it in their visual short-term memory for only a few seconds before the details fade. An experiment by George Mason University researchers, though, found that people who practice Deity Yoga (DY) do much better at visual-spatial tasks shortly after they meditate.
The study’s authors, writing in a recent issue of Psychological Science, said the finding may have “many implications for therapy, treatment of memory loss and mental training.”
Practitioners of DY meditation zero in on an image of their deity, conjuring up a vivid, three-dimensional mental picture of it while honing in on the deity’s emotions and environment.
In the experiment, led by psychologist Maria Kozhevnikov, meditation and non-meditation practitioners performed two visual-spatial tests: imagining the rotation of a 3-D object and viewing an image, then trying to identify it from among several other similar images. After a first round of tests, the participants spent the next 20 minutes either meditating or performing non-meditative tasks before being tested again.
All the subjects had similar scores on the first round of tests, suggesting that meditating in general causes no overall, long-term improvement in visual-spatial skills.
However, those who performed DY meditation between rounds did much better on both tasks in the second phase of tests than those who did non-meditative activities or practiced Open Presence (OP) meditation. OP practitioners, rather than focusing on a specific thing, try to achieve awareness by contemplating a wider array of experiences, images or thoughts that may come to them.
Gong Timer Can Help Boost Your Short-Term Memory if You Use it to Meditate
The study authors concluded that further investigations should be done to see if other visual meditation techniques can produce similar improvements in visual-spatial memory or if the results are specific to DY meditation.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about the health benefits of meditation.
SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, April 27, 2009
“Mindfulness” is the spiritual practice of being aware of your present moment. World famous Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh has developed the use of a bowl-gong in a practice he calls the “mindfulness bell.” When you hear the sound of the mindfulness bell, you are invited to take a moment to breathe in and out and center yourself in the present. This practice allows the sound of the bowl-gong to periodically connect you to the peace and tranquility that resides inside you right now. This delightful practice reduces stress and improves your overall health.
Our Zen Timepiece’s acoustic 6-inch brass bowl-gong clock is the world’s ultimate alarm clock, practice timer, and “mindfulness bell.”
It fills your environment with beautifully complex tones whenever it strikes. In the morning, its exquisite sounds summon your consciousness into awakening with a series of subtle gongs that provide an elegant beginning to your day. Once you experience the Zen Timepiece’s progressive awakening, you’ll never want to wake up any other way. It also serves as the perfect meditation timer. Available in 5 wood styles, including bamboo (shown).
Gong Timers from Now & Zen - Boulder, Colorado
Now & Zen – The Gong Timer Store
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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