Skip to comments.Marines expanding use of meditation training (Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (“M-Fit”))
Posted on 12/06/2012 6:08:20 PM PST by NormsRevenge
While preparing for overseas deployment with the U.S. Marines late last year, Staff Sgt. Nathan Hampton participated in a series of training exercises held at Camp Pendleton, Calif., designed to make him a more effective serviceman.
There were weapons qualifications. Grueling physical workouts. High-stress squad counterinsurgency drills, held in an elaborate ersatz village designed to mirror the sights, sounds and smells of a remote mountain settlement in Afghanistan.
There also were weekly meditation classes including one in which Sgt. Hampton and his squad mates were asked to sit motionless in a chair and focus on the point of contact between their feet and the floor.
A lot of people thought it would be a waste of time, he said. Why are we sitting around a classroom doing their weird meditative stuff?
But over time, I felt more relaxed. I slept better. Physically, I noticed that I wasnt tense all the time. It helps you think more clearly and decisively in stressful situations. There was a benefit.
Next year, the Marines will incorporate Mind Fitness Training classes into an infantry school at Camp Pendleton, Calif., making it a tentative part of the regular training cycle.
That benefit is the impetus behind Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training (M-Fit), a fledgling military initiative that teaches service members the secular meditative practice of mindfulness in order to bolster their emotional health and improve their mental performance under the stress and strain of war.
Designed by former U.S. Army captain and current Georgetown University professor Elizabeth Stanley, M-Fit draws on a growing body of scientific research indicating that regular meditation alleviates depression, boosts memory and the immune system, shrinks the part of the brain that controls fear and grows the areas of the brain responsible for memory and emotional regulation.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
A good work-out at the beach would work for me.
THAT’S why we’re winning in Afghanistan.
Military needs bigtime housecleaning at the top when someday we get a real Congress and President.
General Patton, please pick up the white courtesy phone, General Patton.
If it helps bring our men and women home alive tho’ too and help to handle the situations they face.. I see the benefit potential. I remember being told to meditate in boot camp so it’s not new, just newly funded I reckun.
Shock and Awe and Shaktipat
to sit in a chair and concentrate on a spot on the floor costs how much??
An all-nighter in Tijuana did it for my generation of Marines.
I have mixed feelings about this. I think the jury is still out.
This generation is different. They are exposed to different stresses both in combat and outside of combat. They were raised differently than previous generations.
I am in favor of any program that benefits our troops so long as it does not diminish their combat effectiveness. I am open-minded that this program might do that. I’m also open-minded that this program might improve their combat effectiveness.
What saddens me is the need for this. I think in the past, our troops relied on prayer for all of these positive effects. I think meditation is the politically correct and acceptable replacement for God in our lives.
Used to admire Patton, but not any more.
It’s also being studied as a PTS PREVENTIVE. I personally like to meditate on something in particular instead of nothing. My favorite relaxation technique is thinking about what life will be like after the Messiah comes back and all the enemies of Israel are gone. :)
Many great heroes are checkered. Jesus Christ is the only one who wasn’t.
Mindfulness meditation works!
I have suffered from PTSD for many years and this is the first technique/treatment, along with exercise, that truly alleviates the symptoms.
I usually do 20-40 minutes daily. I’m able to think more clearly and better handle the stresses of everyday life. I feel calmer and sleep better.
Its a great, free, self help tool and you can do it just about anywhere.
This is an interesting concept. Back at GA Southern in the middle 80s our marching band would sit in a big circle and meditate before every rehearsal.
Kinda hard to concentrate with all the gnats flying around, but did it make us better? I will say probably, because for those moments there were 150 of us striving for the same goal.
Will that work in an Infantry company (about 150-200 people? Again, I say probably.
While all of you FreeRepublic "conservative" Republicans are so quick to desert them; I can assure you the United States Marines are not the pu$$ies you so easily accept them to be.
If I were to ask for your prayers, what would they be worth?
Not to worry. I'm not asking.
You are so right, and thank you for your service.
Look West For The Inner Warrior.
Can you do this with headphones? Perhaps listening to music etc?
Considering women for combat, a BAM in charge of PI, but-buddies as foxhole buddies, law-enforcement training, nation-building, planned dissolution of a couple of brigades, and now this....
I couldn't even begin to post 99% of the feelings and discussion comments from the birthday party a few weeks ago...Even before the real drinking began...
Please don’t go there
posted as found on a public web site and you then make me the owner of it to boot? wow.
I served 4 years, I saw how Marines were built during a time of war.. sometimes I guess I should just stamp ‘Sarcasm’ on my forehead or at least on my posts.. if you’re offended, so be it.. I can ‘accept’ that too. as to desertion, your tea is cold.. as is your logic.
Is Doug Henning nearby?
I too wish it was Christian prayer and contemplation. But, it’s likely that won’t happen,
However, mindfulness meditation is, primarily a tool, and a preparation for some types of prayer. It’s faith-neutral, there is the equivalent in Christian Spiritual Exercises. So, it could be seen as a way to enhance Christian prayer life.
That's what I was wondering. This is basic shamatha (calm abiding) meditation. Usually the breath passing by the tip of the nose is used as a focal point. (it's always there no matter where you go) You can buy a special cushion to sit on and a pad to put the cushion on but you don't need to. It takes about 20 minutes tops to give someone the proper instructions. Who is pocketing the dough here?
No doubt your remarks are honest, but... i believe a bit naive and factually incorrect.
Your statement that the type of meditation being advocated in this article is somehow “faith neutral.” On what basis do you make that statement?
Second, studying the meaning of the Hebrew word for “meditate,” as seen in Psalms 1 and 2, is never used to describe an Eastern-style, mind-blanking type of meditation.
Rather, it conveys an active focus of one’s mental power, perhaps much like one does when trying to cram for an exam.
This move by the Army and Marines is another well-intentioned, misguided, post-Christian, progressive idea.
In the old days, Soldiers were encouraged to read the Bible and pray. Seemed to work for the likes of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. Even Douglas MacArthur read the Bible daily — though, to be fair, he was not a church-goer.
There is no such thing as a “mind-blanking type of meditation.” If you think Jesus wouldn’t approve of you sitting quietly and concentrating on one thing for 20 minutes a day don’t do it but that’s all this meditation is.
It’s faith neutral in the same manner that exercises to improve concentration are.
Awareness meditation is, in essences, concentrating on the present moment, removing the narrative mind that can distract our attention. It’s like a concentration skill in large measure. I still use it on occasion both before prayer and in bed if I’m having trouble sleeping due to my mind not shutting up. :)
The uses of the words meditation and contemplation are, basically, reversed in East and Western use.
thanks for your reply.
Are you serious? You appear to be woefully ignorant of Eastern-style meditation, such as Zen Buddhist or even Transcendental meditation.
Again, the kind of meditation that Christ would recommend is the kind mentioned in the Bible and described in my previous post. It is mentally active, not passive.
Also, for my understanding, define “one thing,” please?
You seem wedded to your presuppositions that are not in any way buttressed by Scripture.
We can agree to disagree, but I can back my position with Scripture, while — I submit — you cannot.
And, it is completely unfair and inaccurate to portray Eastern meditation and Western contemplation as basically equivalent, .... but I repeat myself.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "MIND BLANKING MEDITATION." Period. Anyone who told you otherwise is full of it.
Rather, it conveys an active focus of ones mental power,..
That is exactly what the type of meditation described in the article is. You concentrate on one point. That's it.
St. Paul said pray without ceasing.
Christianity and Buddhist meditation are not equivalent, but they share similarities - just as several religions share similarities of ‘prayer’. My previous statement was just to clarify terms. In the West (and Eastern Orthodox Christian) the term ‘contemplation’ is more closely compared to other Eastern religions’ use of the term meditation.
For information on Christian prayer other than vocal and petitionary, see the Desert Fathers and Lectio Divina among others.
thanks for your reply.
Okay: I figured we were probably each arguing from dissimilar presuppositional bases.
Thank you for (honestly) clarifying that you are deeply involved in pagan meditation.
There is little point in my attempting to argue my position with you unless you truly want biblical insight.
While I recognize that it is your prerogative to pursue Tibetan meditation, i prefer not try to dress up what you practice in (Christian) Scriptural attire or to somehow conflate the two (Buddhist vice Christian) distinctly different approaches to “meditation.”
Consequently, I still believe what the Marines are pursuing here is at its very foundation unwise (and, yes, antiScriptural). On this point, however, I believe that you and I will simply have to “agree to disagree.”
I do thank you for sharing your insights from your particular perspective.
As I said; the kind of meditation being discussed here is not Buddhist.