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Tue Jul 10, 2018, 10:53 AM

How Buddhist meditation kept the Thai boys calm in the cave



(snip)

Turns out that their coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, who led them on a hike into the cave when it flooded on June 23, trained in meditation as a Buddhist monk for a decade before becoming a soccer coach. According to multiple news sources, he taught the boys, ages 11 to 16, to meditate in the cave to keep them calm and preserve their energy through their two-week ordeal.

“He could meditate up to an hour,” Ekapol’s aunt, Tham Chanthawong, told the AP. “It has definitely helped him and probably helps the boys to stay calm.”

(snip)

Ekapol, 25, went to live in a monastery at age 12 after he was orphaned. According the Straits Times, he trained to be a monk for 10 years at a monastery in Mae Sai, Thailand, but left to care for a sick grandmother. He then was hired to be the assistant coach of the team, known as the Wild Boars.

(snip)

Though there are few randomized control trials on meditation and mental health, a 2014 meta analysis by Johns Hopkins researchers for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that meditation, and in particular mindfulness, can have a role in treating depression, anxiety, and pain in adults — as much as medications but with no side effects. Meditation can also, to a lesser degree, reduce the toll of psychological distress, the review found. The research on kids is still fairly preliminary, though more and more schools are implementing mindfulness meditation programs.

https://www.vox.com/2018/7/9/17548512/thai-cave-rescue-soccer-boys-meditation-buddhism

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 11:03 AM

1. I can't say how much meditation had to do with the outcome,

but this young man deserves a lot of credit for keeping the boys together and safe during their ordeal. He must be a really remarkable person.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 11:18 AM

4. I believe it helped to quell panic and stress which in turn caused them to use

less oxygen and burn less calories being in a calm state.

I agree with you Arkansas Granny, their coach does have a remarkable life story.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 11:11 AM

2. Buddhist thoughts and prayers - 1. Right wing evangelical thoughts and prayers - Still 0.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 11:21 AM

5. I don't believe mediation to be a thought or prayer so much as a stilling of thoughts and

quieting of the mind.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 02:36 PM

8. That's right, Uncle Joe. One observes thoughts and feelings as they arise, neither engaging with

them nor trying to put them out of your mind. After a while the non-stop mental chatter we are used to stops and a great peace settles in.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 02:41 PM

9. ck, Buddhist meditation is not thoughts and prayers. It is learning to disengage from the

obsessive train of meaningless thought we engage in during all our waking hours. It is practicing how to stop our obsessive quest for "good feelings", and our reflex to shut out the negative. In other words, learning to just "be" for a while, without reacting to pleasant and unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 11:15 AM

3. I read an article out of Australia this morning that disputed the reports that the coach led them

into the cave. It said the boys went on their own and when the parents got concerned about them the coach went looking for them, found their bicycles outside the cave entrance and went in to find them. If this is correct, I hate that he's being criticized for taking them into the cave.

He may turn out to be the biggest hero in the story.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 12:16 PM

6. Orphaned at age 12

Wiw

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 02:34 PM

7. I participated in a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat in Thailand. I can vouch for

the ability of deep meditation to slow breathing and heart rate, as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 10, 2018, 05:30 PM

10. Thanks for sharing Nitram

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