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Thread: Medical research on meditation

  1. #1

    Medical research on meditation ... 15846.html

    This might be of interest to some of us.

    "These findings shed light on the common mistake of averaging meditations together to determine mechanisms or clinical effects."

  2. #2

    Re: Medical research on meditation

    Hi Jaana,

    It is interesting, although not surprising at all to anyone who has been involved in meditation, with its many flavors. I notice that the research was sponsored and conducted at the "Maharishi University of Management." ... the Transcendental Meditation college founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and which can be a little New Agey ...

    The author is listed on their webpage as ...

    Fred Travis

    Professor of Maharishi Vedic Science,
    Chair of the Department of Maharishi Vedic Science

    Without reading the study, I am not sure how they derived these categories, why "Zazen" appears in two categories, and why Zazen is not defined as "automatic self transcending".

    That there are various forms of meditation, as I said, is actually already well known to most meditation researchers from reputable institurions, as I see the research. So, I am not sure what the surprise is. The researchers have, for years, made distinctions between various techniques and methods.

    This is the most complete list I have ever found on medical/physiological/neurological studies on the effects of meditation besides the Austin book. It runs to several pages, although I am not sure if it has been updated (it may be only up to several years ago). The research is ongoing ... even as we sit.

    More recent research specifically (if I understood correctly) on a Shikantaza form of Zazen and its effect on pain ...


    There are many other ongoing studies.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Medical research on meditation

    Hi Jaana,

    Agree with Jundo's points. I looked online at Consciousness and Cognition and couldn't find the article, do you have any more details. Interesting area.


  4. #4

    Re: Medical research on meditation

    Hi guys,

    Yea, looks a bit new-age-ish. The journal this was published in looks sort of reputable though.

    I don't have access to the original from where I am currently, but I probably will have from the Uni; remind me and I'll check it out later. Here is a link to the abstract on ScienceDirect: ... fe4ed37eda

    Based on the abstract, I think the categorizations might have been made based on EEG changes, rather than underlying philosophy. I would have to see the original to confirm that, of course.

    I agree the findings are not really surprising. But then again, a lot of basic research isn't; the trick is not always in finding out something radically new, but in thinking up ways beyond "sounds like it" to figure out how stuff is.

    In general, I'm really glad about this new-ish trend of medical research into meditation.


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