Zygon 45 (3):605-626 (2010)
I first attempt a taxonomy of meditation in traditional Indian Buddhism. Based on the main psychological or somatic function at which the meditative effort is directed, the following classes can be distinguished: (1) emotion-centered meditation (coinciding with the traditional samatha approach); (2) consciousness-centered meditation (with two subclasses: consciousness reduction/elimination and ideation obliteration); (3) reflection-centered meditation (with two subtypes: morality-directed reflection and reality-directed observation, the latter corresponding to the vipassanā method); (4) visualization-centered meditation; and (5) physiology-centered meditation. In the second part of the essay I tackle the problem of the epistemic validity and happiness-engendering value of Buddhist meditation. In my highly conjectural view, the claim that meditation represents an infallible tool for realizing the (Supreme) Truth as well as a universally valid method for attaining the highest forms of happiness is largely based on the crēdō effect, that is, a placebolike process. I do not deny that meditation may have some positive effects on mental and physical health or that its practice may bring changes to the mind. Meditation may be a valuable alternative approach in life and clinical treatment, but it is far from being a must or a panacea
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References found in this work BETA
Attention Regulation and Monitoring in Meditation.Antoine Lutz - 2008 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):163--169.
Mental Training Affects Distribution of Limited Brain Resources.Lutz Antoine, H. A. Slagter, L. L. Greischar, A. D. Francis, S. Nieuwenhuis, J. M. Davis & R. J. Davidson - manuscript
The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness.A. Lutz, J. D. Dunne & R. J. Davidson - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness.James H. Austin - 1998 - MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Imag(in)Ing the Buddhist Brain: Editorial Introduction.Lorenza S. Colzato & Jonathan A. Silk - 2010 - Zygon 45 (3):591-595.
Rich Religion and Science: AsIan Religions, Ian Barbour, and Much Else.Willem B. Drees - 2013 - Zygon 48 (4):853-858.
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