David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Contemporary Buddhism 13 (1):61-81 (2012)
Increasingly open to question are the efficacies and timing of some traditional, conventional and current meditative techniques. Recent brain research emphasizes that it is important to distinguish between the Self-centred (egocentric) and other-centred (allocentric) streams of processing. It also proves useful to view as complementary the assets of the concentrative and receptive styles of meditation, especially when one's practices cultivate an appropriate balance between their top-down and bottom-up systems of attentive processing. From this neural perspective, Part I ventures a small sample of empirical suggestions. Some of these could help practitioners engage in more open, effortless, choiceless, varieties of receptive meditation?indoors and outdoors. Part II discusses recent research that illuminates issues arising at the interface between Self and other. The evidence suggests how a balanced attentiveness might enable long-term meditators to enhance mindfulness of the present moment, while simultaneously becoming much less fearful and, ultimately, freer to openly express their most objective, innate instincts of selfless compassion. The art of Progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order. (Alfred North Whitehead 1861?1947)
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James H. Austin (1998). Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness. MIT Press.
D. Schiller & M. R. Delgado (2010). Overlapping Neural Systems Mediating Extinction, Reversal and Regulation of Fear. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (6):268-276.
James H. Austin (2006). Zen-Brain Reflections. The MIT Press.
James H. Austin (2010). The Thalmic Gatteway. In Brian Bruya (ed.), Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. MIT Press
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