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Asian Traditions of Meditation$
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Halvor Eifring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855680

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855680.001.0001

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The Science of Meditation

The Science of Meditation

(p.227) 12 The Science of Meditation
Asian Traditions of Meditation

Are Holen

University of Hawai'i Press

The first big wave of scientific research on meditation came in the 1970s and mainly focused on the physiology of relaxation. The second wave, which is still ongoing, has a stronger focus on modes of attention and their neural correlates. In both waves of meditation research, Anglo-American scientists have dominated the arena, but the kinds of meditation investigated have almost exclusively been of Asian origin. This essay argues that the shifting focus of scientific studies is not only determined by the available scientific methodology, but also by the form of meditation under investigation, as well as the influence from society and popular culture.

Keywords:   de-contextualization, re-contextualization, relaxation response, physiology, neuroimaging, mind wandering, default mode network, Mindfulness, Transcendental Meditation (TM), Acem Meditation

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