Science and Meditation

Science and Mediation

An overview

"There is a change in focus from the external to the internal environment, from stimulus variety to stimulus uniformity, and from an action mode (manipulate the environment) to a receptive mode (taking in or disregarding the environment) (Deikman, 1971). These alterations in attention produce a shift in the dominance of brain hemispheres from left to right (Ornstein, 1971, 1972).Each hemisphere has been associated with different modes of information-processing: the left hemisphere uses primarily verbal, logical, sequential thinking, whereas the right hemisphere uses chiefly imaginal, intuitive, and holistic "thinking" (Galin, (974). Western society tends to reinforce left-hemisphere thinking almost to the exclusion of right-hemisphere thinking. Meditation would then provide an activity for developing dormant right-hemisphere capacities (Davidson, 1976).Recent coherence analysis of the EEG's of meditators suggests that meditation may also promote greater integration of the left and right hemispheres (Banquet, 1972, 1973).

Naranjo (1971) surveyed a large number of different types of meditation and found them to cluster into three overlapping attentional sets: (1) concentrative or absorptive meditation (of which TM is an example), which fosters one-pointedness by practice and! OT willpower; (2) the negative way. whose focus is on eliminating distractions via purification or inhibition so as to reach a state of "no-mind"; and (3) the way of surrender and self-expression, which produces unity by the powerful emotional attraction of the meditator to the object of meditation (possession states are one form this may take)."

Read more at Toward a Cognitive Reconceptualization of Mediation

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