A comprehensive study summarizing scientific research on meditation is available online from the National Sciences Institute. The publication is titled “The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation” (1996) by Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan. In a useful introduction, Eugene Taylor discusses the historical roots of meditation, outlines the beginning of meditation in the modern West, and provides an overview of meditation as a subject of scientific study in China and West India.
|Effects of Meditation|
When it comes to defining meditation:
For modern development, all meditation techniques are considered culturally embedded which is a useful rule in attempting to create a definition of meditation. This means that no specific technique can be understood unless it is considered in the context of a particular spiritual tradition, which is situated in a specific historical time period or philosophy of a particular person. Is codified in a specific text.
Taylor is indicating that meditation does not exist as we popularly consider it – in an abstract or general form – only as specific techniques that have emerged from specific philosophical and religious backgrounds. As an example, Taylor explains that the comprehensive and thoughtful Mindfulness-Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, established at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, “combines elements of vipassana, the Theravada form of Buddhist meditation from Burma, and Zen hatha yoga.” “A Tradition of the Indian Subcontinent, in Dealing with Japanese Buddhism.” (An entry on the tricycleblog, a weblog of the Buddhist magazine Tri Cycle, presents some thoughts about the MBSR program’s secular presentation of Buddhist meditation.)
When attention is placed under a scientific microscope, Taylor refers to two points of collision. The first is whether or not a rationally based scientific method can adequately evaluate the scope of “intuition and insight”.
Science, the product of Aristotelian thinking and European rationalist Enlightenment, now focuses its attention on the spontaneous transformation of personality through awakened consciousness (and other such Asian meanings of the word enlightenment). This means that logic and understanding, the hallmark of the scientific method, are now being trained on traditional frequencies of intuition and personality correlations of intuition.
Understanding that meditation is not easy. The underlying and commonly hidden philosophical assumptions of traditional, rationalist science do not value intuitive knowledge. They do not accept the reality of altruism or subscribe to the concept of higher states of consciousness, let alone, in the strictest sense, even the possible existence of unconscious forces that are active in cognitive functions of cognition. Huh.
Secondly, Taylor asks if science will change from the encounter itself:
The difficulty required here is not simply the improvement of meditation techniques to fit the mandate of scientific methods, but also what can be called a deeper, more subtle and potentially more transformative conflict of the world’s epidemics. It is not only difficult to measure meditation techniques, but is that, in the past, meditation has been a predominantly taboo subject of scientific research. Now, however, major changes are currently underway in basic science, which not only advances the development of scientific method, but also changes the way science is viewed in modern culture. An unprecedented new era of interdisciplinary communication within the subfields of the natural sciences, a fundamental shift from the physical to the biological and cognitive neuroscience revolution has liberalized attitudes towards meditation and the study of related disciplines. Meanwhile, the popular revolution in modern culture has transformed into spirituality and increases the impact of consciousness on traditional institutions such as medicine, religion, mental health, corporate management strategies, the concept of marriage, child upbringing, and family, and more. Used to be. Increasingly, educated people want to know a lot about meditation, while our traditional institutions of high culture are as unfamiliar as interpreters.
The authors of “The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation” are Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan. Following their own observation of scientific studies on meditation, they provide a detailed summary of scientific research by organizing it into three categories: physiological effects, behavioral effects, and subjective reports. Research is broken down by category: