Reflection vs. Meditation

Differences between meditation and reflection (at least differences I see between them myself):

Meditation is an activity that is performed alone, quietly, sitting and needs to be performed on a regular (if not daily) basis for a long time in order to reap its benefits. This is because it actually leads to neuronal changes in the brain for sensations and the reticular formation (RF) in the brainstem. One of the things the RF is responsible is gating what sensations are actually transmitted to your conscious brain. Meditation selectively lowers the gating power of the RF. However, even though it does all this fancy stuff in your brain, it doesn’t lead to any new potent insights about oneself and others. It’s mostly just about the present moment, in its complete beautiful entirety. It is a bodily experience, trying to dissociate the mind whilst keeping sensations in complete consciousness only. In summary, meditation leads to you feeling the world differently.

Reflection (also called deep introspection or contemplation) is an activity that doesn’t require silence or being alone or sitting (although personal experience has shown best results being alone). It does not require to be done on a regular basis, in fact, it should not as it is a very mind strenuous exercise if done right. It does lead to physical brain changes, but not as significant as meditation does in the long run (contemplation focuses on changes within the prefontal cortex). However, the benefits could possibly be immediate. New insights about the past, future, present problems, thoughts, ideas; whatever, you name it. It is not about the present moment, although it may tackle challenges in the present day. It’s a mind experience, trying to dissociate the body. In summary, reflection leads to you seeing the world differently.

Now stop asking me. Thanks.

For any questions, queries, comments, criticisms, complaints, clarifications or confusions, please feel free to leave a comment or to contact me on Twitter (@AyyubImtiaz7) or by sending an email ( [Make the subject “BLOG” so I know it isn’t spam]. If you enjoyed the post, please like, share, follow and all that good stuff. Until next time, stay human.

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