Archives for posts with tag: Meditation

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

9780399184383.jpgGoleman, Daniel and Richard Davidson. Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain and Body. Penguin Random House, 2017. 336 p. ISBN 978-0-7352-2031-7

Publisher | Google Books

“In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers’ eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change—even if we continue for years—without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson’s own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.”

Holdings: Worldcat

9780190495800David McMahan; Erik Braun (eds.) Meditation, Buddhism, and Science. Oxford University Press 2017 (248  pages, ISBN 9780190495800)

Google Books | Publisher

“The scientific study of Buddhist forms of meditation has surged in recent years. Such study has captured the popular imagination, reshaping conceptions of what meditation is and what it can do. Within the lab and now beyond it, people have come to see meditation as a practical matter, a rewiring of the brain or an optimization of consciousness as a means to better health, more fulfilling relationships, and increasing productivity. Often suppressed if not dropped from this pragmatic approach are the beliefs, values, and cosmologies that underpin such practice from the Buddhist point of view.

Propelled by the imperatives of empirical practicality, for perhaps the first time in history meditation has shifted from Buddhist monasteries and practice centers to some of the most prominent and powerful modern institutions in the world-hospitals, universities, corporations, and the military-as well as many non-institutional settings. As the contributions to this volume show, as their contexts change, so do the practices, sometimes drastically. New ways of thinking about meditation, ways that profoundly affect millions of lives all over the world, are emerging from its move to these more strictly secular settings.

To understand these changes and their effects, the essays in this volume explore the unaddressed complexities in the interrelations between Buddhist history and thought and the scientific study of meditation. The contributors bring philosophical, cultural, historical, and ethnographic perspectives to bear, considering such issues as the philosophical presumptions of practice, the secularization of meditation, the values and goods assumed in clinical approaches, and the sorts of subjects that take shape under the influence of these transformed and transformative practices-all the more powerful for being so often formulated with the authority of scientific discourse.”

Holdings: Worldcat, UBW