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Neuroimaging and Neuropsychology of Meditation States

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451784 Year: Pages: 145 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-178-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Neurophysiological and psychological modifications induced by meditation practice have been consistently addressed by neuroscience. Training meditation practice induced plasticity (Barinaga, 2003; Knight, 2004), and as a consequence several benefit for mental and physical health (Davidson & McEwen, 2012), and cognitive performance. One goal of meditation is to achieve the light of consciousness observing with equanimity (the right distance) clouds of the mind wandering. This Frontiers Research Topic brings together studies from groups of authors whose research focus on neuropsychological systems involved in meditation demonstrating how meditation activates and can modify brain areas, cognitive mechanisms and well-being.

Interoception, Contemplative Practice, and Health

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450947 Year: Pages: 316 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-094-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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There is an emergent movement of scientists and scholars working on somatic awareness, interoception and embodiment. This work cuts across studies of neurophysiology, somatic anthropology, contemplative practice, and mind-body medicine. Key questions include: How is body awareness cultivated? What role does interoception play for emotion and cognition in healthy adults and children as well as in different psychopathologies? What are the neurophysiological effects of this cultivation in practices such as Yoga, mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi and other embodied contemplative practices? What categories from other traditions might be useful as we explore embodiment? Does the cultivation of body awareness within contemplative practice offer a tool for coping with suffering from conditions, such as pain, addiction, and dysregulated emotion? This emergent field of research into somatic awareness and associated interoceptive processes, however, faces many obstacles. The principle obstacle lies in our 400-year Cartesian tradition that views sensory perception as epiphenomenal to cognition. The segregation of perception and cognition has enabled a broad program of cognitive science research, but may have also prevented researchers from developing paradigms for understanding how interoceptive awareness of sensations from inside the body influences cognition. The cognitive representation of interoceptive signals may play an active role in facilitating therapeutic transformation, e.g. by altering context in which cognitive appraisals of well-being occur. This topic has ramifications into disparate research fields: What is the role of interoceptive awareness in conscious presence? How do we distinguish between adaptive and maladaptive somatic awareness? How do we best measure somatic awareness? What are the consequences of dysregulated somatic/interoceptive awareness on cognition, emotion, and behavior? The complexity of these questions calls for the creative integration of perspectives and findings from related but often disparate research areas including clinical research, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, anthropology, religious/contemplative studies and philosophy.

Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194858 Year: Pages: 135 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-485-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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So-called altered states of consciousness (ASC) are an intriguing, still under-researched topic, with profound neuropsychological and epistemological implications. In the last few decades there has been increasing multidisciplinary interest in consciousness and ASC, a term encompassing a wide range of pathological and non-pathological conditions, including dreaming, near-death experiences (NDEs), hypnagogic states, hallucinogenic experiences, epileptic seizures, psychotic symptoms, coma, and minimally conscious states. There has also been considerable research on procedures that may affect ASC including hypnosis and various forms of meditation. Since the term altered implies for some abnormality or dysfunction, the concept of anomalous experiences (not necessarily implying pathology) is increasingly used and more general.The term non-ordinary mental expressions (NOME) encompasses both anomalous (at least for a particular culture at a particular time) experiences and related neuropsychological processes and induction procedures. Our use of non-ordinary: a) does not assume pathology; and b) is suitable for sophisticated and positive mental activities, including, creativity, intuition, and some forms of spirituality. We use the term mind to include both conscious and preconscious processes, and question the notion that, "ordinary", waking consciousness provides the only epistemologically valid stance with regard to the mind and its interactions with reality. Similarly, although genius and madness both imply something beyond normal, they differ importantly in their ontology and implications. In short, NOME refers to both experiences and procedures that seek to change short- or long-term psychological processes. Regarding the latter, meditation is an intentional activity, calling for training of attention and reflective awareness, and varying in specific procedures and outcomes. With regard to an absence of pathology, NDEs, which have several features in common with mystical experiences, may occur in the absence of any brain disorder and bring about positive changes. Reductionist interpretations of NDEs as pathophysiological do not explain nor encompass the whole range of their phenomenology. Instead, brain areas and neurotransmitters potentially involved in these experiences may provide a common terrain for both pathological and non-pathological mind expressions.We believe that a proper approach to NOME should adopt a neurophenomenological approach to the study of brain mechanisms and subjective experiences as a whole, integrating experiential and neuroscientific perspectives, without any a priori fixed hierarchy or ontology. The brain-mind relationship can be analyzed as a recursive loop, where brain activity gives rise to mental phenomena and mental processes, in turn, yield functional and plastic changes in the brain. This Research Topic will include international experts in NOME as well as young researchers within a multidisciplinary discussion, in which neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, anthropologists, and other professionals will be asked to contribute. We aim to reappraise the importance of NOME and its implications for the mind-brain-world relationship. The editors will solicit original research contributions as well as theoretical papers, such as reviews, mini-reviews, and theoretical discussions.

What can neuroscience learn from contemplative practices?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199716 Year: Pages: 166 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-971-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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A recent wave of brain research has advanced our understanding of the neural mechanisms of conscious states, contents and functions. A host of questions remain to be explored, as shown by lively debates between models of higher vs. lower-order aspects of consciousness, as well as global vs. local models. (Baars 2007; Block, 2009; Dennett and Cohen, 2011; Lau and Rosenthal, 2011). Over some twenty-five centuries the contemplative traditions have also developed explicit descriptions and taxonomies of the mind, to interpret experiences that are often reported in contemplative practices (Radhakrishnan & Moore, 1967; Rinbochay & Naper, 1981). These traditional descriptions sometimes converge on current scientific debates, such as the question of conceptual vs. non-conceptual consciousness; reflexivity or “self-knowing” associated with consciousness; the sense of self and consciousness; and aspects of consciousness that are said to continue during sleep. These real or claimed aspects of consciousness have not been fully integrated into scientific models so far. This Research Topic in Consciousness Research aims to provide a forum for theoretical proposals, new empirical findings, integrative literature reviews, and methodological improvements inspired by meditation-based models. We include a broad array of topics, including but not limited to: replicable findings from a variety of systematic mental practices; changes in brain functioning and organization that can be attributed to such practices; their effects on adaptation and neural plasticity; measurable effects on perception, cognition, affect and self-referential processes. We include contributions that address the question of causal attribution. Many published studies are correlational in nature, because of the inherent difficulty of conducting longitudinal experiments based on a major lifestyle decision, such as the decision to commit to a mental practice over a period of years. We also feature clinical and case studies, integrative syntheses and significant opinion articles.

Die waarheidsweg Dhammapada

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ISBN: 9781928396192 Year: DOI: 10.4102/aosis.2017.dwd42 Language: Afrikaans
Publisher: AOSIS Grant: University of Pretoria
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-21 11:01:48
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This book aims to contribute to the understanding of Early Buddhism, specifically the Dhammapada (one of the great classical religious scriptures of the world) in its historical setting, namely India in the third to fifth centuries BCE, comprising a unique linguistic, religious and socio-cultural setting. It further aims to contribute to the hermeneutics of bridging the historical gap of two and a half millennia between ancient India and contemporary society and to bridge the gaps between various cultures (African, Western, Indian) and religions, mainly theistic religions (specifically Christianity) and Buddhism in contemporary society. The central foci of this interest are the crucial issues of the existence of God and life after death. The book further investigates the possibility of a metaphysical mystical model, embarked on by myself over some decades. Lastly, it explores the field of a translation strategy from classical metaphysical and religious texts, in this case into Afrikaans, which is a relatively new medium in this field, with unique challenges. Regarding research methodology, the book utilised the historical critical method of explaining the content of the Dhammapada, taking into account its context. It further used the method (derived from phenomenology) of understanding the subjective intentionality structure of the original author(s), going back to the Buddha as well as the method of tendentional interpretation, extrapolating the intentionality structure to a metaphysical-mystical model of religious ‘peace’. It entails a first-hand study of the text in the original language, as well as of extensive secondary literature on the aspects noted above. The book contributes to scholarship by unfolding the history and language of this Buddhist text, revealing the structure of its conceptual edifice, the specific style of its communication of its message and the ultimate goal of this system. It makes a case for the relevance of this ancient system of thought across various divides. It also makes a case for the relevance of an inclusive metaphysical mystical theory of all human systems of ultimate meaning and confirms work done in this regard by the author while offering a translation of the text, regarded as excellent by peers. The target audience of the book is envisaged as three concentric circles. The centre target consists of scholars in one or more of the fields of Pāli and Buddhist studies, theology, comparative religious studies and philosophy. Secondly, the text is aimed at readers with a wide education and cultural interest but not necessarily trained in any of the fields mentioned above. Thirdly, and more peripherally, the book intends being of value to the general public where inter-religious understanding and dialogue is of great significance on a global scale and of particular relevance to South African society.

Eastern Philosophies and Psychology: Towards Psychology of Self-Cultivation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453344 Year: Pages: 129 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-334-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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The publication of this book, East Asian Philosophies and Psychology: Towards Psychology of Self-cultivation, signifies an important breakthrough for the indigenization movements of psychology which have happened in many non-Western countries since 1980s. Viewing from the perspective of scientific revolution (Kuhn, 1969), when Western paradigms of psychology are transplanted to non-Western countries and encounter anomalies which cannot be explained by the imported theories, the foreign theories are in a state of crisis waiting for scientific revolution.

Religious Experience in the Hindu Tradition

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ISBN: 9783039210503 / 9783039210510 Year: Pages: 196 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-051-0 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Social Sciences --- Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-08-28 11:21:27
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This Special Issue of Religions brings together a talented group of international scholars who have studied and written on the Hindu tradition. The topic of religious experience is much debated in the field of Religious Studies, and here, we present studies of the Hindu religious experience explored from a variety of regions and perspectives. Our intention is to show that the religious experience has long been an important part of Hinduism, and should not be dismissed or considered as irrelevant. As a body of scholarship, these articles refine our understanding of the range and variety of religious experience in Hinduism. In addition to their substantive contributions, the authors also show important new directions in the study of the third-largest religion in the world, with over one billion followers.

Keywords

Hinduism --- renunciation --- Nirguna Bhakti --- devotion --- performance --- Sadhus --- India --- Indian Religions --- religious experience --- Ethnography --- tantra --- yantra --- Srividya --- Bengali home --- sacred domesticity --- shankh --- conch --- Lakshmi --- Manasa --- shongshar --- Indian music --- sacred sound --- Hinduism --- K?rtan --- Bhajan --- N?da-Brahman --- Dhrupad --- Khayal --- Bhakti --- Rasa --- Sang?ta --- R?ga --- T?la --- religious experience --- Erfahrung --- Erlebnis --- seeing --- being seen --- I --- not I --- S??khya --- Yoga --- puru?a --- prak?ti --- puru??rtha --- religious experience --- bhakti --- Tukaram --- Mahipati --- Mariyamman --- ammai --- poxes --- affliction --- Tamil --- religious experience --- Hinduism --- rain --- agricultural field --- goddess --- Hinduism --- religious experience --- Ramakrishna --- Vedanta --- pluralism --- Santmat --- Sants --- religious experience --- divine light and sound --- medieval Sant tradition --- moral conduct --- modern gurus --- ??nti --- dhy?n --- guru --- William James --- Yoga --- G?yatr? mantra --- Bhagavad G?t? --- Patañjali --- S??khya philosophy --- Gandhi --- Bhakti --- Ved?nta --- Yoga S?tra --- religious experience --- creativity --- modern Hinduism --- ??kta tantra --- tantric s?dhan? --- yoga --- ku??alin? --- ?akti --- arts & religions --- Tantric Studies --- ?r? Vidy? --- India --- Hinduism --- yoga --- tantra --- devotion --- meditation --- prayer --- saints --- brahman --- bh?va --- mah?bh?va --- bhakti --- trance --- sam?dhi --- mok?a --- dar?an --- bhakti --- anta?kara?a --- Yogas?tras --- sa?yama --- possession --- Balaji --- Ganges --- pilgrimage

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