About this topic
Summary In addition to philosophical treatments of meditation and consciousness, this category also includes key works in the cognitive science of meditation, especially scientific articles oriented to the general methodological difficulties of empirical work on conscious experience. The philosophy and science of consciousness are of course broad and deeply contentious fields of current philosophical debate. Meditation is likewise a broad notion, applied to diverse practices derived from many different traditions of practice, and arguably lacking any unifying feature that would distinguish properly meditative practices from skill training and character development more generally. This category focuses in particular on those works that address the effects of attention training on consciousness experience, including self-consciousness, emotional awareness, and qualities of experience such as stability, clarity, and effortless awareness.
Key works Lutz et al 2006 offer a groundbreaking review and manifesto for research on meditation and consciousness in The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness. Lutz, Dunne, and Davidson are leading figures in the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience, and are also co-authors on an influential paper (Lutz et al 2008) proposing a distinction between Focused Attention and Open Monitoring forms of meditative practice. Travis & Shear 2010 propose that while these two categories may be adequate for understanding many meditative practices in Buddhist and other traditions, a third category "automatic self-transcending" more adequately describes certain meditative practices in the Vedic and Chinese traditions. In response, Josipovic 2010 suggests a fundamental distinction between dualistic and non-dual forms of meditation practice. In a special issue of Contemporary Buddhism devoted to the topic, Dunne 2011 argues that contemporary mindfulness meditation is best understood as falling on the non-dual side of this distinction. Following the lead of other authors in that special issue (e.g. Bodhi 2011Gethin 2011, Dreyfus 2011), Davis & Thompson 2013 offer a more classical perspective on mindfulness practice, relating Theravada Buddhist textual understandings to recent empirical research, with particular emphasis on relations to philosophical debates over the nature of consciousness and mind.
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  1. Changes in Cortical Activity in Altered States of Consciousness: The Study of Meditation by High-Resolution EEG.L. I. Aftanas & S. A. Golosheikin - 2003 - Human Physiology 29 (2):143-151.
  2. Meditation Als Soziale Erfahrung.Birgit Althans - 2013 - Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie 22 (2):252-263.
  3. An Atheist's Meditation: Living in the Present.Rudi Anders - forthcoming - Australian Humanist, The 122:9.
    Anders, Rudi When I see a colourful sunset, my mind goes to a spectacular purple sunset I saw near the Mexican border many years ago. That memory stops me from being fully aware of the scene in front of me. No two sunsets are the same and my memory is stopping me from fully appreciating the spectacle before my eyes. Famous and spectacular places don't work for me because expectations and memories get in the way, but when I walk alone (...)
  4. From Molecules to Mindfulness: How Vertically Convergent Fractal Time Fluctuations Unify Cognition and Emotion.C. M. Anderson - 2000 - Consciousness and Emotion 1 (2):193-226.
    Fractal time fluctuations of the spectral “1/f” form are universal in natural self-organizing systems. Neurobiology is uniquely infused with fractal fluctuations in the form of statistically self-similar clusters or bursts on all levels of description from molecular events such as protein chain fluctuations, ion channel currents and synaptic processes to the behaviors of neural ensembles or the collective behavior of Internet users. It is the thesis of this essay that the brain self-organizes via a vertical collation of these spontaneous events (...)
  5. Meditation Meets Behavioural Medicine. The Story of Experimental Research on Meditation.Jensine Andresen - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (11-12):11-12.
    This paper juxtaposes Asian spiritual narratives on meditation alongside medical and scientific narratives that emphasize meditation's efficacy in mitigating distress and increasing well-being. After proposing a working definition of meditation that enables it usefully to be distinguished from categories of similar practices such as prayer, I examine meditation's role in Mind/Body medicine in the West. Here, I survey a number of scientific studies of meditation, including the work of Dr. Herbert Benson and his colleagues who examine a meditational variant they (...)
  6. Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise.Lutz Antoine, J. Brefczynski-Lewis, T. Johnstone & R. J. Davidson - manuscript
  7. Meta-Analysis of Meditation Outcomes in Counseling and Psychotherapy.Leonard Chinaka Anyanwu - 1998 - Dissertation, University of North Texas
    Meditation inclues a variety of techniques that share a common conscious effort to focus attention in a non-analytic way. In terms of its goals, meditation is a state of completely focused attention devoid of external thoughts--a state of heighted choice-less awareness. ;This study was designed to: Identify and critically review professional literature on the effectiveness of meditation; Provide an overall measure of effectiveness through the statistical meta-analysis technique; Provide a classification of findings through the voting method; and summarize and integrate (...)
  8. A Critique of Whitehead in Light of the Buddhist Distinction of theTwo-Truth Doctrine.Noritoshi Aramaki - 2007 - Process Studies 36 (2):294-305.
    We need to distinguish systematically what is culturally creative from the degenerative forces that now rule the world. Whitehead comes closest to defining the creative when he identifies it as freedom on the human side and peace on the divine. Buddhist meditation can go deeper to realize the zero-dimension of the communal life-as-such, which corresponds to Whiteheadean freedom-and-peace as the ultimate wellspring of cultural creativity.
  9. Brain Patterns of Self-Awareness.Alarik T. Arenander & Frederick T. Travis - 2004 - In Bernard D. Beitman & Jyotsna Nair (eds.), Self-Awareness Deficits in Psychiatric Patients: Neurobiology, Assessment, and Treatment. W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 112-126.
  10. How Does It Feel to Lack a Sense of Boundaries? A Case Study of a Long-Term Mindfulness Meditator.Yochai Ataria, Yair Dor-Ziderman & Aviva Berkovich-Ohana - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 37:133-147.
  11. Enhanced Vigilance in Guided Meditation: Implications of Altered Consciousness.R. P. Atkinson & H. Earl - 1996 - In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press.
  12. Meditating Selflessly at the Dawn of a New Millennium.James H. Austin - 2012 - Contemporary Buddhism 13 (1):61-81.
    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 (...)
  13. The Thalmic Gatteway.James H. Austin - 2010 - In Brian Bruya (ed.), Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. MIT Press.
  14. Consciousness Evolves When the Self Dissolves.James H. Austin - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (11-12):209-230.
    We need to clarify at least four aspects of selfhood if we are to reach a better understanding of consciousness in general, and of its alternate states. First, how did we develop our self-centred psychophysiology? Second, can the four familiar lobes of the brain alone serve, if only as preliminary landmarks of convenience, to help understand the functions of our many self-referent networks? Third, what could cause one's former sense of self to vanish from the mental field during an extraordinary (...)
  15. Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness.James H. Austin - 1998 - MIT Press.
    The book uses Zen Buddhism as the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness.
  16. Issues and Perspectives in Meditation Research: In Search for a Definition.Bhuvanesh Awasthi - unknown
    Despite the growing interest in the neurobiological correlates of meditation, most research has omitted to take into account the underlying philosophical aspects of meditation and its wider implications. This, in turn, is reflected in issues surrounding definition, study design, and outcomes. Here, I highlight the often ignored but important aspect of definition in the existing scholarship on neuroscience and meditation practice. For a satisfactory account of a neuroscience of meditation, we must aim to retrieve an operational definition that is inclusive (...)
  17. Meditation Im Schnittfeld von Psychotherapie, Hochgradfreimaurerei Und Kirchenreform.Karl Baier - 2013 - Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie 22 (2):51-75.
  18. Domain-Specific Enhancement of Metacognitive Ability Following Meditation Training.Benjamin Baird, Michael D. Mrazek, Dawa T. Phillips & Jonathan W. Schooler - 2014 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143 (5):1972-1979.
  19. Transforming the Mind a Study in Meditation Practice.Mike Ball - 2000 - Communication and Cognition. Monographies 33 (1-2):121-140.
  20. The Protective Effects of Brief Mindfulness Meditation Training.Jonathan B. Banks, Matthew S. Welhaf & Alexandra Srour - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:277-285.
  21. How Similar Are the Changes in Neural Activity Resulting From Mindfulness Practice in Contrast to Spiritual Practice?Joseph M. Barnby, Neil W. Bailey, Richard Chambers & Paul B. Fitzgerald - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 36:219-232.
  22. The Lived Experience of Meditation.Jennifer Barnes - 2001 - Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 1 (2):1-15.
    Heuristic Phenomenology lends itself well to a relatively naïve exploration of meditative experiences. I began with an interest in knowing more about the nature of the bodily sensations that I experienced during meditation. I aimed to capture lived experiences as they emerged into consciousness, so I bracketed out my expectations, as much as possible, and meditated. I noticed that I could not tape descriptions of my experiences while in a deep meditative state because when in this state, I was not (...)
  23. Transcendence.Imants Barušs - 2003 - In Imants Baruss (ed.), Alterations of Consciousness: An Empirical Analysis for Social Scientists. American Psychological Association. pp. 187-210.
  24. 9 Meditation.Stephen Benton - 2001 - In Ron Roberts & David Groome (eds.), Parapsychology: The Science of Unusual Experience. Arnold. pp. 117.
  25. Nembutsu Und Herzensgebet Buddhist and Orthodox Meditation Practices Compared.Ernst Benz - 1960 - Kairos 2:131-144.
  26. EEG Manifestations of Nondual Experiences in Meditators.Amanda E. Berman & Larry Stevens - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 31:1-11.
  27. Kunstbetrachtung Als Meditation.Johannes Bilstein - 2013 - Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie 22 (2):235-251.
  28. Visual Meditation—the Art of Henryk Musialowicz I Editorial.Ewa D. Bogusz-Boltuc - 2010 - Dialogue and Universalism 20 (3):5.
  29. Meditation Im Kontext der Indischen Philosophie.Arno Böhler - 2013 - Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie 22 (2):29-40.
  30. Meditation as the Exploration of Forms of Consciousness.Gernot Böhme - 2014 - Dialogue and Universalism 24 (4):21-31.
    Gernot Böhme defines meditation as achieving specific states of consciousness by concentration and “switching off” the attention usually paid to diverse areas of everyday life. Böhme goes on to discuss what he considers to be the main meditation-generated forms of consciousness, like non-intentional consciousness, empty consciousness, consciousness of presence, the awareness of nonduality, and self-awareness, which extends beyond the normal sense of identity and reveals the hidden, unconscious dimensions of the deeper self. Böhme anchors these reflections in his philosophical critique (...)
  31. Meditation Als Erkundung von Bewusstseinsformen.Gernot Böhme - 2013 - Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie 22 (2):88-99.
  32. Das Meditative Gotteserlebnis Als Personal Bedingtes Seelisches Gefüge.Alfons Bolley - 1976 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 12 (1):85-104.
  33. The Science of Meditation.John Borelli & Rohit Mehta - 1989 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (1):168.
  34. Facing Death From a Safe Distance: Saṃvega and Moral Psychology.Lajos L. Brons - 2016 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 23:83-128.
    Saṃvega is a morally motivating state of shock that -- according to Buddhaghosa -- should be evoked by meditating on death. What kind of mental state it is exactly, and how it is morally motivating is unclear, however. This article presents a theory of saṃvega -- what it is and how it works -- based on recent insights in psychology. According to dual process theories there are two kinds of mental processes organized in two" systems" : the experiential, automatic system (...)
  35. Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action.Brian Bruya (ed.) - 2010 - MIT Press.
    This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities--from rock climbing to chess playing--and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked. (...)
  36. Introduction: Toward a Theory of Attention That Includes Effortless Attention.Brian Bruya - 2010 - In Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. MIT Press.
    In this Introduction, I identify seven discrete aspects of attention brought to the fore by by considering the phenomenon of effortless attention: effort, decision-making, action syntax, agency, automaticity, expertise, and mental training. For each, I provide an overview of recent research, identify challenges to or gaps in current attention theory with respect to it, consider how attention theory can be advanced by including current research, and explain how relevant chapters of this volume offer such advances.
  37. Can Long-Term Training in Highly Focused Forms of Observation Potientially Influence Performace in Terms of the Observer Model In Physics? Consideration of Adepts of Observational Meditation Practice.William C. Bushell - 2016 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 12 (2):31-43.
  38. Attention and Working Memory in Mindfulness-Meditation Practices.Heather Buttle - 2011 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (2):123-134.
    The construct of “mindfulness” has increasingly become a focus of research related to meditation practices and techniques. There is a growing body of research indicating clinical efficacy from therapeutic use, while cognitive neuroscience has provided an insight into the brain regions and mechanisms involved. Significantly, these approaches converge to suggest that attention is an important mechanism with trainable sub-components. This article discusses the role of attention and argues that memory has been neglected as a potential key mechanism in mindfulness–meditation practices. (...)
  39. Affective Meditation and the Invention of Medieval Compassion.Caroline Walker Bynum - 2010 - Common Knowledge 16 (3):552-553.
  40. Medi? Ation: Meditation and Medication in a Personal Tale of Clinical Depression.Sheva Carr - 1999 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 43 (1):98.
  41. The First Meditation.John Carriero - 1987 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 68 (3/4):222.
  42. Meditation Alters Perceptual Rivalry in Tibetan Buddhist Monks.O. L. Carter, C. de PrestiCallistemon, Y. Ungerer, G. B. Liu & J. D. Pettigrew - 2005 - Current Biology 15 (11):R412--R413.
  43. Bridging East-West Perspectives Through an Application of Mindfulness Meditation.Lise M. Cassinelli - 2011 - Dissertation, Proquest
  44. Méditation Sur «Nos Premiers Parents».A. Chapelle - 1990 - Nouvelle Revue Théologique 112 (5):702-717.
  45. En Guise de Méditation.A. Chapelle - 1965 - Nouvelle Revue Théologique 87 (8):831-835.
  46. The Use of Principles and Techniques Derived From Meditation for the Design and Creation of Co-Participatory Musical Systems.Hannah E. Clemen - unknown
    For this thesis, a detailed study was undertaken to determine whether techniques derived from traditional meditation systems can be applied to "co-participatory" music systems in order to enhance their accessibility, interactivity, and experiential impact, In order to adequately address this subject, a number of investigative steps have been taken. First, a workable list of definitions for what meditation actually is was made by comparing the practices and philosophies of a number of traditional meditation forms. The conclusions derived from this stage (...)
  47. Meditation-Induced States Predict Attentional Control Over Time.Lorenza S. Colzato, Roberta Sellaro, Iliana Samara, Matthijs Baas & Bernhard Hommel - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 37:57-62.
  48. Imag(in)Ing the Buddhist Brain: Editorial Introduction.Lorenza S. Colzato & Jonathan A. Silk - 2010 - Zygon 45 (3):591-595.
    Buddhism has captured the imagination of many in the modern (Western) world. Recently, scientists have seemed eager to discover whether claims about Buddhist meditation can be verified experimentally. Brain research is beginning to produce concrete evidence that mental discipline and meditative practice can change the workings of the brain and allow practitioners to achieve different levels of awareness, as measurable for instance in reaction times to stimuli. The goal of this section of articles in Zygon is to address recent developments (...)
  49. Narrative Possibilities: Using Mindfulness in Clinical Practice.Julia E. Connelly - 2005 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48 (1):84-94.
  50. Mind and Attention in Indian Philosophy: Workshop Report, Question Two.Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving & Lu Teng - manuscript
    This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: How can we train our attention, and what are the benefits of doing so?
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