Rebuttal Rewrite—ChickenNugget444

While meditation has proven to be an extremely helpful and useful tool for gaining control of thoughts and emotions, skeptics are still resistant to trying it. Those who suffer from anxiety and depression do not believe that it could be helpful despite the fact that studies have shown that meditation can help relieve their symptoms. It is understandable that sufferers are uncomfortable with the idea of sitting with their thoughts or dealing with them at all. When experiencing negative emotions, it is common to attempt pushing these thoughts and feelings away or ignoring them rather than dealing with them. Some people argue that they simply do not have enough time to spend meditating. However, in reality meditation is not something that requires hours of practice or any special equipment. It can be done anywhere, anytime, for however long feels right. A lot of people have this image of meditation in their heads of a person sitting on a yoga mat with their legs crossed with their hands resting on their knees. But in reality, meditation is whatever the user needs it to be. Meg Mankings, the writer for Headspace, an app that promotes meditation, discusses this stereotype of meditation in an article. She states that, “more often than not, my sessions are emotional and active. I often use meditation to work through serious, difficult issues that life unexpectedly tosses at me. Mindfulness has helped me cope with the loss of loved ones, workplace stress, and social anxiety—all the fun stuff. It’s my meditation and I’ll cry if I want to (I often do).”  

The impacts of mindfulness meditation are very beneficial to one’s overall health, especially for those who struggle with their mental health. However, misconceptions about meditation may come from articles like Donna Lu’s titled, “A quarter of people who meditate experience negative mental states.” In this article, she explains how Marco Schlosser surveyed 1232 people at the University College in London who had meditated at least once a week for two months. Lu states that “The volunteers were asked if they had ever felt any particularly unpleasant experiences, including anxiety, fear or disturbed emotions, that they attributed to their meditation practice. Just over 25 percent reported that they had.” However, Lu also states that the volunteers participating in the survey “were not asked about the severity of their experiences or whether they occurred specifically during a meditation session.” 

It is important to recognize that there are many different types of meditations. According to Ashley Welch, “Mindfulness meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being mindful means being aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive to what’s going on around us.” This type of meditation is perfect for newbies. By accepting your thoughts, this allows you to have more compassion for yourself, understanding of your emotions, and therefore more control over them. Transcendental meditation is another great and simple way to get started. This meditation involves repeating a mantra, and falling into a state of deep relaxation. A guided meditation is also a fantastic way to get into the practice of meditation. Welch states that guided meditation is “is a method of meditation in which you form mental pictures or situations that you find relaxing. This process is typically led by a guide or teacher.” Mindful, transcendental, and guided meditations are all perfect for getting started on the journey of finding inner peace. There are also more strenuous and advanced types of meditations including Vipassana, which Donna Lu discusses in her article. 

 Lu states that “The participants were asked about the types of meditation they practiced. The survey found that those who only engaged in deconstructive types of meditation, such as Vipassanā and Zen Buddhist meditation, were more likely to report negative mental states than those who only practiced other types.” According to Sayadaw U Pandita, “Vipassanā is insight meditation, the practice of continued close attention to sensation, through which one ultimately sees the true nature of existence. It is believed to be the form of meditation practice taught by the Buddha himself, and although the specific form of the practice may vary, it is the basis of all traditions of Buddhist meditation.” Vipassana can be a difficult practice, especially when done through a retreat. Joddi Ettenberg shares her experience from her vipassana retreat in an article. In this article she states  “No matter the pain as you sit, or the fact that your hands and legs fall asleep and that your brain is crying for release. You are instructed to refocus attention on the objective sensations in your body, arising and falling, as you do a scan of your limbs in a specific order. By doing so, over 10 days, you train yourself to stop reacting to the vicissitudes of life. 

The process of Vipassana meditation is very similar to EMDR, a practice used to treat combat victim’s PTSD symptoms. According to Brainline, a website containing information on brain injury and PTSD, during the process of EMDR, “A trained therapist will guide you to think about a trauma while moving your eyes back and forth, left to right. Over time, this will help your brain reprocess the memories so that they no longer cause as much pain.” During this process, you must acknowledge past traumatic experiences in order to get through them, which is very similar to the goal of Vipassana. Neither are typically enjoyable experiences, and may bring up some sadness or pain. However, both of these processes share the goal of bettering oneself and achieving inner peace. When unaware of the many different types of meditation practices, it can be easy to become discouraged or fearful to try. However, it is important to understand that mindfulness meditation can be so helpful to one’s mental and overall health.

Sources 

Changes in self-concept, ego defense mechanisms … – JSTOR. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2021, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1387552

Lu, D. (2019, May 14). A quarter of people who meditate experience negative mental states. Retrieved December 04, 2021, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/2202323-a-quarter-of-people-who-meditate-experience-negative-mental-states/

What people get wrong about meditation. (n.d.). Retrieved December 04, 2021, from https://www.headspace.com/articles/what-people-get-wrong-about-meditation

Welch, A., Rapaport, L., Chai, C., Millard, E., Upham, B., Weinstock, C., . . . Vogt, C. (n.d.). A guide to 7 different types of meditation. Retrieved December 04, 2021, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/meditation/types/

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10 Responses to Rebuttal Rewrite—ChickenNugget444

  1. I would like some feedback on this essay specifically any grammar mistakes, or any repetitive/unnecessary sentences. If you have any suggestions on what would make this argument stronger, please let me know!

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  2. davidbdale says:

    First apply the advice I gave you on your Definition Rewrite, CN.
    Then, when you’ve made significant revisions, I’ll be happy to provide you more feedback on this specific post.
    Thanks! 🙂

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  3. davidbdale says:

    Your References section is not compliant, CN.
    Refer to this post for model bibliographic citations in the References section:

    APA Citation

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  4. davidbdale says:

    Your first paragraph sounds fine on my first reading, but it could be so much stronger. A list of anonymous People and Others and Some and more Some and a You and then a Lot and then You again could all be specific groups, and you could refute their objections in a word or two. (Plus, the 2nd person is banned in this class. WE never use the word YOU.)

    Skeptics who know nothing about meditation are resistant to it.
    Worriers may hesitate to try something new even though it can relieve anxiety.
    The Anxious and the Depressed may fear self-examination.
    Procrastinators will let their negative emotions delay a practice that can speed their recovery.
    The Overburdened can’t find the time to pursue a practice that could actually make them more productive.
    See?

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    • chickennugget444 says:

      This was a really helpful comment, I went through and changed all of those words and got rid of the “you”s and I think it is already sounding much better

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      • davidbdale says:

        Well, you started to, but . . .
        However, in reality meditation is not something that YOU need to spend hours doing. YOU can do it anywhere, anytime, for however long YOU want. A lot of people have this image of meditation in their heads of a person sitting on a yoga mat with their legs crossed with their hands resting on their knees. But in reality, YOU can practice mindfulness and meditation whenever, wherever, and however YOU want.

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      • davidbdale says:

        And, while you were stripping away all the YOU language in the early part of the Introduction, you left in all the SOME people and Other people language. I’m actually recommending that you replace those vague categories of anonymous complainers with actual categories of people, such as . . .

        Skeptics who know nothing about meditation are resistant to it.
        Worriers may hesitate to try something new even though it can relieve anxiety.
        The Anxious and the Depressed may fear self-examination.
        Procrastinators will let their negative emotions delay a practice that can speed their recovery.
        The Overburdened can’t find the time to pursue a practice that could actually make them more productive.
        See?

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  5. davidbdale says:

    Nugget, I’m very impressed that you, one of VERY FEW, have identified and cited a SPECIFIC ARTICLE by a WORTHY OPPONENT as the focus of your Rebuttal Argument. So many of your classmates have made a vague target out of “common knowledge” or what “most people think.” As you know, the assignment was to find an expert whose point of view needs to be knee-capped. I hope your choice is a good one. I haven’t read it yet.

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  6. davidbdale says:

    Yeah, that’s good. I like your explanation better than Lu’s attempt to minimize the objection.
    She says: “were not asked about the severity of their experiences,” but that’s contradicted by “particularly unpleasant experiences.”
    She says: “whether they occurred specifically during a meditation session,” but that’s contradicted by “that they attributed to their meditation practice.” AND it’s a trivial distinction WHEN the “particularly unpleasant experiences” occurred.

    You might want to draw an analogy to a practice used to rid combat veterans (and others) of the crippling and lasting symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress.

    https://www.brainline.org/treatment-hub/eye-movement-desensitization-reprocessing-emdr?gclid=Cj0KCQiAnaeNBhCUARIsABEee8VQOOkOUge9bgA0AA1VnvZDO-znT2YgVyQhIsouDFcyRU7VTaTRqA0aAh3sEALw_wcB

    The techniques are different, but the similarity is: EMDR compels trauma sufferers to revisit again and again the traumatic incidents that haunt them. Each time is painful, but the revisiting is therapeutic and when successful the technique finally dilutes the memories’ power to create recurring stress.

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  7. davidbdale says:

    Your last paragraph is an impenetrable block of text without easy access. And you don’t guide us well through the steps. I got lost.

    You’re going to get eye rolls from readers when you tell them that if they have a problem with meditation it’s because they were doing the WRONG KIND of meditation because “many people” don’t know there are types. It’s a hard sell and probably not the right way to start.

    You could start instead by suggesting that there are both gentle and strenuous types of meditation. Something for everyone, even the most timid newbies. Describe that one first. Then suggest that maybe once the new practitioners have ACHIEVED ALL THE BENEFITS of this relaxing and mind-comforting practice, they can advance, when they’re ready, to the type that might invite the stress of sitting with deeply disturbing thoughts as a way to rob them of their power.

    Yeah?

    A good version of your last paragraph will require at least three paragraphs to accomplish well.

    This is a conversation, Nugget. I expect to hear back from you. AND RESULTS! 🙂

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