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Category: reflections

Cognitive, Affective, & Contemplative Neuroscience Research

Can Enlightenment be traced to specific correlates of the Brain, Cognition, or Behavior?

The term “Enlightenment” is quite a big word with a lot of semantic baggage. It’s really an imprecise construct for the field of contemplative neuroscience. Friend and colleague, Jake Davis, a Buddhist scholar and I comment in a recent issue of Frontiers in Consciousness about the forseeable future of unpacking the concept into clearly observable…
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Presenting to His Holiness The Dalai Lama – Probably the highlight of my life (after meeting my wife and the birth of my baby girl)

Mind and Life XXIV: Latest Findings in Contemplative Science The Brochure [ML24_Brochure] Why is this meeting interesting? B/C we represent how the younger generation of scientists arewilling to examine some of the more difficult and even taboo aspects of deep contemplative transformation – topics the first generation of more cautious researchers were never explicit about.…
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The 2011 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute

The Mind & Life Summer Research Institute was yet again a successful week-long venture into the depths of contemplative science. For a description of the program and its purpose see [Link]. For pictures see picasa [Link] or Flikr [Link] and a montage with Ottmar Liebert is on youtube [Link]. (photos by Dave Vago and Dave Womack)…
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Economics are finally catching up to Happiness

Hi everyone, Just a short note about the economics of Happiness. The topic has been very popular lately, more so than previously apparently. The short story is that Happiness is good business. It’s good business for your body. It’s good business for your family. It’s good business for your boss. It’s good business for your…
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Can Meditation improve Attention?

What types of meditation improve attention? And what types of attention? There appears to be some data that suggest “mindfulness training” will improve orienting ( a component of attention proposed by Posner and colleagues). There appears to be less an effect on shifting attention and engagement of attention. How about the phenomenon of “Change Blindness”…
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What it’s like to be both a meditator and a meditation researcher.

My Colleague and friend, Emma was recently writing an article for Tricycle Magazine about what it’s like to be both a meditator and a meditation researcher. She asked me if I had some thoughts on this topic. I thought it would be appropriate to share below: The simple answer for me is that being a…
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Researchers on retreat: Reflections and Mistakes

“House builder you have now been seen. You shall not build the house again. Your rafters have been broken down; your ridge-pole is demolished too. My mind has now attained the unformed nibbana and reached the end of every kind of craving.” (Dh. 153-54.) Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D is the  medical director of the Yale…
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Measures of Mindfulness

In order of personal preference: 1. Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) [Link] – The FFMQ, revised from the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, is used to assess the construct of mindfulness. Previous research on assessment of mindfulness by self-report suggests that it may include five component skills: observing, describing, acting with awareness, nonjudging of inner…
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