Wrong mindful brainLifshitz, Michael et al. What’s wrong with “the mindful brain”? Moving past a neurocentric view of meditation. In: Amir Raz and Robert Thibault (eds.), Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging. Academic Press, 2019

Preprint | Publisher

“Meditation is trending right now. From classrooms and hospitals to business meetings and phone apps, our culture is enthralled by meditation as a powerful tool to train our brains and shape our private mental lives—to make us happier, more productive, and more peaceful on the inside. But meditation is not just about training our brains. It’s a deeply social—and fundamentally embodied—collection of cultural practices. If we reduce meditative practices to just a set of brain patterns, we miss the richness of how these practices work and ignore much of what they have to teach us about our own subjective experience.

Keywords: Mindfulness; Meditation; Neuroscience; Enactive cognition; Embodied cognition

ab1e910f93b41e28df2fa90eab83217dAnne Gleig. American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity. Yale University Press, 2019. 376 p. ISBN 9780300215809

Publisher | Google Books

“The past couple of decades have witnessed Buddhist communities both continuing the modernization of Buddhism and questioning some of its limitations. In this fascinating portrait of a rapidly changing religious landscape, Ann Gleig illuminates the aspirations and struggles of younger North American Buddhists during a period she identifies as a distinct stage in the assimilation of Buddhism to the West. She observes both the emergence of new innovative forms of deinstitutionalized Buddhism that blur the boundaries between the religious and secular, and a revalorization of traditional elements of Buddhism, such as ethics and community, that were discarded in the modernization process. Read the rest of this entry »

9780199362387Jerryson, Michael (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism. Oxford University Press, 2017.  760 p. ISBN 9780199362387

Publisher | Google Books

“As an incredibly diverse religious system, Buddhism is constantly changing. The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism offers a comprehensive collection of work by leading scholars in the field that tracks these changes up to the present day. Taken together, the book provides a blueprint to understanding Buddhism’s past and uses it to explore the ways in which Buddhism has transformed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Read the rest of this entry »