Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life addresses essential and timely questions about the research and practice of meditation as a path to realization of human potential for health and well-being.
Balancing practical content and scientific theory, the book discusses long-term effects of six meditation practices: mindfulness, compassion, visualization-based meditation techniques, dream yoga, insight-based meditation and abiding in the existential ground of experience. Each chapter provides advice on how to embed these techniques into everyday activities, together with considerations about underlying changes in the mind and brain based on latest research evidence.
This book is essential reading for professionals applying meditation-based techniques in their work and researchers in the emerging field of contemplative science. The book will also be of value to practitioners of meditation seeking to further their practice and understand associated changes in the mind and brain.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: THE NEW SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
- Chapter 2: LONG-TERM MEDITATION PRACTICE
- Chapter 3: MINDFULNESS
- Chapter 4: COMPASSION AND RELATED QUALITIES
- Chapter 5: VISUALIZATION IN MEDITATION PRACTICE
- Chapter 6: EXISTENTIAL INSIGHT AND DREAM YOGA
- Chapter 7: THE STATE OF EXISTENTIAL BALANCE
- Chapter 8: THE POTENTIAL OF CONTEMPLATIVE SCIENCE
What is the science of meditation missing?
The mind’s capacity to self-regulate
Purpose, meaning and modes of existential awareness
Existential drive, health and well-being
Towards a long-term perspective of meditation
Summary: Chapter 1
Neural plasticity, body physiology and meditation
The state and trait effects of meditation
The quantity and quality of meditation practice
Formal and informal meditation
Adverse effects of meditation
Developing a long-term perspective of meditation
Summary: Chapter 2
What is mindfulness?
How to develop mindfulness?
Neuroscience of mindfulness
Mindfulness, self-regulation and existential well-being
A day of mindfulness practice
Mindfulness from a long-term practice perspective
Summary: Chapter 3
What is compassion? A Buddhist perspective
What is compassion? A Western scientific perspective
Developing compassion and related qualities in the Buddhist context
Neuroscience of compassion and loving kindness
Compassion, self-regulation and existential well-being
A day of compassion practice
Compassion from a long-term practice perspective
Summary: Chapter 4
What is visualization-based meditation?
Developing visualization-based meditation practice in the Buddhist context
Neuroscience of visualization-based meditation
Visualization-based meditation, self-regulation and well-being
A day of visualization-based meditation
Visualization-based meditation from a long-term practice perspective
Summary: Chapter 5
What is existential insight? The Western approach
What is existential insight? The Buddhist approach
Developing existential insight in daytime and dream yoga practice
Neuroscience of existential insight and dream yoga practices
Existential insight, self-regulation and existential well-being
24 hours of meditation practice
Existential insight practice from a long-term perspective
Summary: Chapter 6
What is the state of existential balance?
Developing the state of existential balance
Neuroscience of the state of existential balance
The state of existential balance, self-regulation and existential well-being
The state of existential balance in everyday life
The state of existential balance from a long-term practice perspective
Summary: Chapter 7
Contemplative science in health care
Developmental contemplative science
Contemplative science and society
Challenges facing contemplative science
Summary: Chapter 8
Dusana Dorjee, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Her research investigates how meditation, particularly mindfulness, impacts well-being and modifies the mind and brain. Dusana is also a long-term meditation practitioner and teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen.
Dusana Dorjee masterfully presents a wealth of information from diverse areas—neuroscience, psychology of meditation, contemplative practices, existential wellbeing, and Buddhism—in a flawless narrative that is sure to prove a classic in the field of meditation. Informed by research and practice, the book lays out the essence of six meditation practices, the changes that occur in the brain as a result of short- and long-term formal and informal practices, and how meditation enhances our general wellbeing. One of the great strengths of the book is that it presents this material in a very accessible form that can be used by practitioners and researchers alike.
Nirbhay N. Singh, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Mindfulness, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, USA