In Rick Repetti (ed.), Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation. London, UK: Routledge (2022)

Matthew MacKenzie
Colorado State University
Some meditative experiences are reported to involve a change in the meditator’s sense of self. For instance, some practitioners of body-scan meditation report a felt dissolution of bodily boundaries and a corresponding change in their bodily sense of self. In ‘pure-consciousness-events’ some subjects report a sense of self as pure consciousness, while others report a loss of the sense of self. In this chapter, I use recent philosophical and empirical work on the phenomenal self and the variability of self-experience to explore possible connections with particular types of meditative experience. In particular, I differentiate minimal subjectivity from the more complex and plastic phenomena of self-identification, self-location, and a strong first-person perspective. I discuss how certain reported meditative experiences transform key aspects of phenomenal self-experience, such as phenomenal (dis-)identification with the body, agency, spatial location, and the phenomenal field. I then discuss philosophical implications for the study of consciousness, the self, and meditation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Lived Experience of Meditation.Jennifer Barnes - 2001 - Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 1 (2):1-15.
Mindfulness and Trauma: Some Striking Similarities.Yochai Ataria - 2018 - Anthropology of Consciousness 29 (1):44-56.
Symbolic Conscious Experience.Venkata Rayudu Posina - 2017 - Tattva - Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):1-12.
Non-Dual Awareness and Logic.Frank J. Hoffman - 2001 - Asian Philosophy 11 (2):125 – 132.
A Whiteheadian Interpretation of Religious Experience.Frank Wayne Quillen - 1987 - Dissertation, The University of Tennessee
A Coleridgean Account of Meditative Experience.Peter Cheyne - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 3 (1):44-67.


Added to PP index

Total views
3 ( #1,363,159 of 2,520,386 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #205,255 of 2,520,386 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes