Quiz: The art of meditation

Maria Trimarchi

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Walt Whitman wrote, "I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.” That's from "Song of the Open Road," but he could have been talking about the results of meditation. See how much you understand about meditation, as well as the effects of meditation on mind and body.

How often do people who believe in heaven meditate?

As many as 77% of people who believe in heaven meditate at least once a week.

How many American adults have practiced meditation, at least once or twice a month?

Eight percent of American adults practice meditation once or twice a month.

Which age group is more likely than others to meditate at least once a week?

People ages 30 to 49 are more likely than other age groups to meditate at least once a week.

Who is more likely to meditate once or twice a month -- men or women?

About 52% of women are more likely to meditate once or twice a month, but men aren't far behind. About 48% of men practice once or twice a month.

Meditation is a part of which of these practices?

Meditation is a part of yoga, tai chi, and Qigong. Relaxation techniques assist in the development of other skills.

After being trained in meditation techniques, how long does it take a chronic insomniac to fall asleep?

After being trained in meditation techniques, three-quarters of chronic insomniacs only need 20 minutes to fall asleep.

Which part of your nervous system is active during a "fight or flight" stress response?

The sympathetic nervous system, which is part of your autonomic nervous system, triggers the physiological changes that happen when you're stressed, such as an increased heart rate.

Which part of your nervous system is active in the deep relaxation of the "relaxation response"?

Meditation, or engaging your body's "relaxation response," involves the parasympathetic nervous system.

Why do activities such as running, knitting or playing a musical instrument trigger the relaxation response?

The repetitive movement that happens when engaging in those activities can trigger the relaxation response.

What part of the brain is affected by meditation practice?

Multiple areas of the brain, including but not limited to the amygdala, insula and medial prefrontal cortex, are affected during meditation.

What part of a person's brain is bigger after 20 years of meditating than it is in a person who doesn't meditate?

Long-term meditators have a greater volume of grey matter than those who don't meditate.

What type of thinking is meditation known to quiet down in your head?

Meditation is able to quiet rumination, worry, and "me"-centered thoughts.

Which is not a form of meditation?

Vipassana (mindfulness), Transcendental, and Metta (loving-kindness) meditations are all commonly practiced. Asanas are yoga poses.

Which is not one of the three marks of existence?

Also known as the three characteristics of existence, anicca, dukkha, and anatta are the three characteristics, representing impermanence, selflessness, and egolessness.

Which is not a benefit of practicing meditation?

Meditation can cause you to develop happiness and self-acceptance, as well as lower blood pressure.

Which style of meditation focuses on helping you find inner peace and promotes self-awareness?

The goal of Transcendental meditation is to discover your true self and find inner calm.

Which form of meditation focuses your attention on a single object?

Concentration meditation is a focused-attention meditation.

Who was the Beatles' spiritual guru?

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the spiritual guru to the Beatles after they met in 1967.

Which famous figure in the New Age movement created Primordial Sound meditation?

Deepak Chopra created Primordial Sound Meditation. It involves using a personal mantra.

Which form of meditation is a moving meditation?

Qigong is a form of moving meditation. The first syllable is pronounced "chee."

Which meditation style is meant to help release stress and negativity, and connect with suffering as a way to move beyond it?

Tonglen meditation, a form of Tibetan Buddhist meditation, helps us overcome our suffering and embrace compassion.

How successful is practicing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in preventing major depressive episode relapses?

It's been found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can reduce depressive relapses by 44 percent -- about as much help as taking antidepressants.

Which leader said part of his professional success is due to meditation?

Steve Jobs, Jeff Weiner, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons -- along with many others, male and female -- have credited meditation with much of their success. They cite increased compassion and the ability to be a game-changer.

How many U.S. employers offered mindfulness training to their employees in 2016?

Just a little more than 20% of employers offered mindfulness training to their employees in 2016.

What health conditions does some research suggest meditation may help?

Some research indicates that practicing meditation may help reduce your blood pressure, as well as anxiety and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

In loving-kindness (Metta) meditation, who do you begin sending love to?

When practicing the loving-kindness style of meditation, you'd begin by giving love to yourself.

Which NBA team began working with meditation teacher George Mumford in 1993?

While other teams have done this since, in 1993, then-coach Phil Jackson brought mindfulness meditation teacher George Mumford in to work with the Chicago Bulls.

How long have humans been meditating?

According to art found by archaeologists in the Indus Valley (today that's Pakistan and part of India), humans have been meditating since 3000 B.C. -- or earlier.

How long do you need to practice meditation to produce physical changes in your brain?

It only takes eight weeks of daily mindfulness meditation practice to have physical effects on certain areas of your brain. MRI scans show these results!

Which celebrity has not spoken out about their experience with transcendental meditation?

All of these celebs have been outspoken about their positive experiences practicing transcendental meditation. All except Taylor Swift, that is.

What type of meditation did the Beatles practice when they traveled to the Chaurasi Kutia Ashram, in the foothills of the Himalayas, in 1968?

The Beatles practiced transcendental meditation when they traveled to India in 1968. "Chaurasi Kutia" means "84 huts."

How long does it take to meditate?

Meditation doesn't have to be intrusive. Daily practice is best, and it can last however long you want.

Which NBA star improves his game with meditation?

All of these NBA players have credited meditation or mindfulness with improving their game.

As many as 60% of people who have visited a meditation retreat suffer at least one negative side effect. Which isn't a potentially negative effect of meditation?

Meditating may trigger some mental health disorders, such as depression, hallucinations and psychosis.

What is this meditation-induced negative experience known as?

This negative phenomenon is being studied at Brown University Medical School, in a program that was known as the Dark Night Project. More recently, the project was renamed Varieties of Contemplative Experience, in order to reduce controversy and attract more funding.

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