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"Bridging the Worlds of Contemplative Practice and Science" with Alfred Kaszniak

"Bridging the Worlds of Contemplative Practice and Science" with Alfred Kaszniak

Visionary: Alfred Kaszniak

Over the past few decades, a growing number of people in the Western world have been engaging in the practice of meditation. Meditation practice occurs within various spiritual traditions, and increasingly through non-sectarian approaches that have been derived from these traditions and implemented in hospitals, clinics, and other settings. Simultaneously, there has been a dramatic increase  in behavioral and neuroscientific studies examining cognitive, emotional, and health-relevant changes associated with meditation practice, and in the funding of such studies by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The proliferation of popular books, magazines, and websites concerned with meditation, and the  spiritual traditions in which meditation has played a central role, also bear witness to the extent of contemporary interest.

This discussion focuses on some of the fruits of "contemplative science," and the implications of this body of meditation research for contemplative practice. It also explores how this area of research has come to gain increasing respectability within the scientific community, and address the question of whether contemplative science may serve as a skillful means for making meditation practice more approachable for a greater number of people in modern western culture.

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